GSR Fine Art Festival History
For the past 17 years, The GSR Fine Art Festival has been passionate about Arts in the Mankato area. The brainchild of Patty Conlin and Sacha Bliese, it began in 2003 as a one day, three artist show held at Harpies’ Bazaar in Old Town Mankato. Following a conversation between Patty, a goldsmith for 45 years who’s been working in the area for 25 years, and her former apprentice, Sacha, The Goldsmith’s Reunion was born. Over the years, the festival has grown from three artists in a small local shop to eight artists at the YWCA in 2005 musicians to the mix.
The festival later moved on to the Ellerbe Room in the Civic Center. In the seventh year, the festival hosted 31 artists in half of the banquet hall at the Verizon Center. In 2010, the festival rebranded itself as the GSR Fine Art Festival, in recognition of the variety of artists participating. Later, GSR took over the entire banquet hall in 2013 and added a bistro.In the 15th year, GSR was thrilled to bring over 45 artists to the Mankato area, providing community members with a two day festival during Shop Small Saturday and the following Sunday. The GSR Fine Art Festival affords the Greater Mankato area public a free opportunity to interact with professional artists working in a multiplicity of mediums, find unique goods and gifts that are handmade locally, enjoy live music in a variety of genres, and attracts art buyers downtown. In addition to the benefits to the community, GSR encourages and supports visual artists by producing an affordable, convenient, professional venue for them to gain exposure and display and sell their works. They also celebrate local musicians by inviting them to perform on our GSR stage. GSR is deeply grateful to have been an integral part of the arts community in the Mankato area for 17 years.