| Art Fest was a unique
exhibition exclusively showcasing Johnson County artists. Initially
presented in celebration of the county's Sesquicentennial in 2005,
Art Fest continued for eight years as an annual tribute to the
widely diverse talents of the many artists residing in Johnson
County. The exhibit, which was hosted at the Ernie Miller Nature
Center, was discontinued in 2013 when development began on additional
educational displays that had long been planned for the space
Art Fest had been using on a temporary basis.
The existence and success of Art Fest was due in large part to
the efforts of the late Robert G. Endres, one
of the exhibit's co-founders. Each year the juried exhibition
featured a creative assortment of artwork that included paintings,
ceramics, photography and mixed media. All of the pieces on display
were available for purchase and a portion of each sale benefited
the nature center.
From the initial exhibit in 2005 to the
final exhibit in 2012, a total of 625 local artists entered
art for consideration and 325 pieces were selected for display.
Over that time period, more than $35,000 was awarded to artists
through best of show prizes and purchase awards.
Art Fest was made possible through the generous support of Johnston,
Ballweg & Modrcin, LC., the commitment of the Johnson
County Park & Recreation District, and the dedication of
the exhibit's Organizing Committee of Randy Knight,
A.J. LoScalzo, Alberta McGrath, and