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Wheatcroft selected Festival poster artist

| May 21, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Local photographer Woods Wheatcroft has been selected as the 2022 poster artist for The Festival at Sandpoint.

Wheatcroft was selected for the honor by past poster artists of the summer concert series, which will be taking place July 28-Aug. 7 at Memorial Field.

Born in February 1970 in San Diego, California, a childhood of beach culture, family trips to neighboring Baja and lots of adolescent freedom during simpler times were early influences to the budding creative.

Idaho was added to the map in the mid-1970s as family divorce sparked a need to explore new environments. Wheatcroft said he attended elementary school in McCall in the second, third and fifth grades before graduating high school in San Diego in 1988. He then went on to study social science and photography at University of California Berkeley and graduated in 1993.

Travel would become a major influence after college as Wheatcroft hustled to photograph and put more stamps in his passport. Upon settling back in Idaho and trying to take the leap to make photography a full-time gig, Wheatcroft said he received incomparable advice from another Idaho photographer, Andy Anderson — “Don’t spend more money going back to school. If you want to be a photographer you have to shoot and shoot and shoot.”

Advice heeded.

Early publications with Patagonia, Outside and other outdoor industry mainstays helped him become more confident to pursue his passion, Wheatcroft said.

Fast forward 20-some years … photography is still the staple for Wheatcroft as are other applications within the medium. Photo collage since the college days is now part of the main menu. Polaroid and instant photography remain a vital creative sidecar to the digital age.

“I love what I do and I love the collaborative space of working with friends and all of the dynamic humans I meet along this path.”

In drawing inspiration for this year’s Festival at Sandpoint, Wheatcroft said his love of music and multi-decade documentation of the community of Sandpoint will come together in a “Sgt. Pepper-esque” homage and rendition … ”we hope you will enjoy the show.”

In the Festival’s first years, the poster’s function was to advertise the concert series, but has grown into more than that, Festival officials said. The poster has become a way to showcase Bonner County’s talented array of artists, ranging from high school art teacher, Dan Shook, to quilters Sue Graves, Gerri Harvill and Helen Newton with “A Symphony of Threads”.

It is now the one facet of the Festival in which board members and staff do not have a say. Instead, an artist is chosen by a panel of former Festival artists. The panelists feel strongly that only a local artist can best reflect the beauty of the Festival.

Once unveiled in July, a signed print of the poster goes on sale to the public for just $10.

The original artwork is then bid on through the Festival until the winning bid is announced at the Grand Finale. All proceeds go to the Festival.

The Festival at Sandpoint was founded in 1982 as a non-profit with the mission to make exceptional musicians and great performances accessible to the Sandpoint community and surrounding region. Along with making great music accessible, the Festival’s Education Mission also exposes up to 1,000 youth to no-cost music education opportunities year round through its Pre-K Outreach Program, Youth Strings Orchestra, Instrument assistance Program, scholarship program and more.

To learn more about Wheatcroft and see his work go online to woodswheatcroft.com. To purchase tickets or to learn more about The Festival at Sandpoint, go online to www.festivalatsandpoint.com.

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