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Steve Mineck's blown glass will be among the art displayed during the June 21 Art Festival.

Steve Mineck, a native of Cedar Rapids, now residing in rural Vinton, Iowa, is among one of the newer glass blower artists in the state. He is one of nearly 30 artists preparing to display their work during the June 21 Festival at Celebration Park in Vinton

Mineck's interest in blowing glass began many years ago after observing a glass blower at an art festival in Madison, Wisconsin.

A little more than ten years ago, Mineck made the decision to pursue glass blowing on a more full-time basis. He says his more “formal” education in glass blowing was rather limited. He attended a two weeks art program where he received instruction from University of Wisconsin art professor, Jim Engbritsen.

Mineck then participated in Kirkwood Community College’s, Glass Art program for two semesters. Unfortunately, as there were no glass studios or opportunities to work with experienced artists in Eastern Iowa, he read and observed to further his knowledge and skills in glass art. Financial constraints dictated that his shop and equipment would be mostly designed and built by him.

Once the shop was complete, Mineck was able to begin honing skills and expressing his vision in glass. He is currently represented by Wiederspan Gallery of Cedar Rapids, and was awarded first and second places at the Iowa State Fairs Fine arts competition- glass division in 2013.

"My intent for my work is to show a connection to nature, and my strong desire to be outside hiking , paddling, skating, or biking," says Mineck. "I realized early in this journey that I will never be a great technical worker and I’m OK with that. I’m more interested in color and texture than in making the prettiest vase or bowl -- and have come to think of the glass as a canvas. Realizing also that the shape the color and texture are applied to does matter. I also try to inject a bit of humor when I can."

About the Art Festival

"We have approximately 25 booth spaces registered and over 30+ artists displaying their artworks," says Paul Roster.

"We have the very well known bluegrass band 'Castle Ridge' performing for 2 hours, here is their facebook page: .

"Todd Frank has been very busy lining up musicians and sound equipment for the event. Todd will also play folk music for 1 hour. Another well known musician Sam Thompson will be playing folk music as well for 1 hour. Award winning 'Smokin on the Cedar' will be at the festival selling food. Blessed Hope will be available to sell beverages.

"And most importantly," says Roster, "we will be presenting Stephanie and Amillianna King a check that the guild was able to raise with the silent auction last month. Stephanie will speak about the experiences of her family and her daughters fight with cancer. She is hoping to have a doctor speak about this type of cancer to create an awareness of it."

See more information about the Guild and Festival HERE.

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