The Farm/Art Dtour: A Midwest Gem
Driving through the Midwest can often be a drag. Nothing but corn fields and the occasional farm animal. Except there’s so much more to that when you stop and dig a little deeper. That’s exactly what the 8th Annual Fermentation Fest held in Reedsburg out of Sauk County, Wisconsin, aims to do. Presented by Wormfarm Institute, this non-profit highlights the integration of culture and agriculture through art , fermentation classes, poetry and the farmers behind the scenes.
One of the most important goals of this event is to connect rural and urban communities. The biennial Farm/Art DTour is a major way this connection takes place. This self-guided 50+ mile tour through Sauk County can be biked, driven, or even by buggy and contrary to most Midwest road trips, there is a lot to see. Art installations, roadside poetry, local vendors, and musical events were all placed thoughtfully throughout the hilly roads around the county.
A total of six artists out of 60 proposals were chosen to create temporary art installations that celebrated the land and their owners. Below is a series of images from the Art DTour along with some explanations of how these pieces of work connect land and people along with the idea of urban and rural!
Stop #2 “Sentinels of the Hills”
Artist: Madeline Straka
These 10 feet tall beasts watch over the hills of Sauk County. The mythological creatures’ openings are a beautiful natural frame to the fall foliage that surrounds them.
Stop #9 “Field Sketches”
Artist: Sarah FitzSimmons
On the grounds of a family owned organic farm, Sarah FitzSimmons uses aluminum tent poles to create true to scale sculptures that blur the lines between inside and outside.
Stop #32 “XYLEMXYL”
Artist: Peter Krsko
A series of musical instrument placed in Abelman’s Gorge, the name of this piece comes from the combination of the words xylem (the vascular tissue in plants) and the xylophone. These structures continue the theme of combining different worlds; in this instance science and musical artistry. So grab a flip flop and play away!
These were a mere 3 of the 38 stops on the DTour. Every turn and stop is expertly laid out on the path so this is a perfect opportunity to unplug and follow the signs down dirt roads and explore small towns. The area has so much to offer, including this unique festival that brings the community and people from all over together. There are local food stands galore and the biking community is so abundant, it feels like a little oasis that is still off the beaten path. Reedsburg is only 20 miles away from Devil’s Lake State Park, another fall favorite destination.
For more information on the fest and DTour head to https://fermentationfest.com/about-farmart-dtour