The Art of Fall: Enjoy Colors of an October Art Festival or Tour


The 49th Annual Red Wing Fall Festival of the Arts will be held in historic downtown Red Wing, where artist booths, food vendors and various musical acts enliven the streets for the weekend. It is a very popular event, and typically over 10,000 people pass through Red Wing for the festival. Artists come from all over the upper-Midwest to show their artwork.

The fine art festival features 100 artists and their wares. “It’s a beautiful time to come to Red Wing,” says Dan Guida, executive director of the Red Wing Arts Association. “It’s a really spectacular weekend.” 

The juried show includes woodwork, fiber and fabric, watercolor, glasswork and metalwork, in a wide variety of sculptures, paintings, jewelry, pottery and apparel. The bright colors and mixed media of the artists’ work are truly inspirational, and visitors will find it hard to leave with empty hands.



The festival is held in the heart of downtown Red Wing, whose many independent shops and restaurants are happy to entertain. Take a break from the festival to check out Oliver’s Wine Bar for wine-tasting and hors d’oeuvres, enjoy a meal at the newly opened Staghead Restaurant or try your hand in pottery classes at Red Wing Pottery before relaxing with a coffee at Bob White Coffee. 

Keep an eye out for antique cars over the weekend, as the 12th Annual Color Cruise and Car Show rolls out from St. Paul on Sunday, October 12. The antique cars are out for a great cause, and proceeds from the race will benefit at-risk youth through Red Wing Youth Outreach and Bolder Options. The cruise will finish between 12-4:30 p.m. in Red Wing, with a curbside car show, entertainment, free food and beverages. For times and a list of artists who have confirmed, visit


Continue westward across the blushing Minnesota landscape for the Studio ARTour. Now in its 11th year, Studio ARTour will be held October 17-18 in studios across Northfield, Faribault and Cannon Falls. Inspired by art festivals around the nation, Studio ARTour invites the public to come and see where the magic happens. 

This is a unique show that allows the artists to open up their studio doors and welcome people to experience art in the setting where it is created. With 46 participating artists and 19 studios, the Studio ARTour highlights working artists in the area and welcomes interaction with and discussion of many different artistic mediums, including ceramics, painting, jewelry, textiles, glass, metal, photography and woodwork. 

“We have a lot of people that have wanted to be artists or want to try a new technique and don’t know where to get started,” says Heather Lawrenz, ARTour committee member and participating artist. “So the ARTour allows people a way to interact with the process of making art and is much more relaxed than a traditional art festival.”

Whether it’s seeing the tools that go into making the artwork or having conversation with the artists in a relaxed setting, Studio ARTour strives to inspire the community by opening studio doors. “Many people do come and make a weekend of it,” says Lawrenz. “We are so fortunate to have so many good, working artists living in the area, and this is such a great opportunity to meet them.”

Artists, artwork and studios are listed on the website, and some studios will be open Friday night. To plan your route or to learn more exact details, visit


Begin your fall art touring during the Fresh Art Tour featuring dozens of fresh artists in 19 studios and galleries throughout Pepin and Pierce Counties in western Wisconsin. You can try some hands-on art making or see demos at every site. For locations and more information visit

The 8th Annual Flyway Film Festival will be held October 21-25. The Flyway Film Festival is an independent film festival on the shores of the Mississippi River in Pepin, Stockholm, Maiden Rock, Wisconsin and Red Wing, Minnesota. Over 50 national and international independent films will be shown, with many filmmakers and industry professionals in attendance to interact with. For more information, visit

Amanda Wingren is a freelance writer.