One of the paintings available for purchase last year. (Submitted photos)

The Watertown Fine Arts Council has been hard at work organizing their Art and Wine Festival taking place November 2. After holding their first one last year, the Council is bringing in a new aspect: a local photography contest.

“We want to engage with the community even more,” said Holly Neaton, one of the organizers. “It’s open to everyone to enter.”

The Art and Wine Festival is a free event for Watertown and surrounding art enthusiasts to see some of the artists in Carver County. Paint pouring, painters, resin artists, and more will featured as well as wine and local music. This year, there will be multiple musicians featured and previous artists will be making an appearance.

“We had a great year last year, with a big crowd and many different artists,” said Neaton. “We’re hoping to have an even better year.”

The photography contest is new this year for the Council, and is for everyone to try. There are three categories for photographers to enter into: Nature & Animals, People, and Structural/Architecture. Each photograph may enter three photos per category, so there’s plenty of opportunity for an amateur photographer to show their skills. And while it won’t matter if you use a phone or a fancy camera, what will matter is how the photo is submitted.

The rules are simple: Photos must either be 5x7 or 8x10, and be printed, not electronically submitted. Photos can be submitted during the Art and Wine Festival and it’s not required that they are framed or on an easel, though Neaton did say that contestants are allowed to place photos in them. There’s also no age restriction, so even elementary students can submit photos that they’ve taken.

“Anybody who likes to take photos can submit them,” said Neaton.

Photos will be judged by three judges, two professionals and one amateur. Each winner in each category will receive $50 as a reward for their efforts. The hope, according to Neaton, is to bring out a lot of people with a lot of photos.

“We would love to have a lot of submissions,” she said.

As for the Festival, the Hollywood Sports Complex staff will once again be assisting with the distribution of wine and beer for guests to try(as long as they’re of age). The Festival will be held at the Watertown Community Center on November 2 from 2pm-5pm, and will be featuring several artists to purchase pieces from. Artists that are interested in showing their stuff can purchase a table for $20 to show their craft at the Festival. Contact Neaton at hjneaton@gmail.com in order to discuss getting a table.

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