Looking for the purrrfect way to spend your Sunday? If you’re a cat lover, like local Minneapolis artist Jana Komaritsa, then the Mystery of Cats: Cat Art Festival is where you want to be. The Minneapolis festival, organized by Komaritsa, is a celebration of the mysterious feline.
“I’m a very big cat person,” she said, wearing a black shirt embroidered with white cat faces. “So I just love cats.”
According to Komaritsa, the festival will have more than 50 local artists presenting their artwork of cats created in all kinds of materials, along with artists doing face paintings of cats on attendees and live painting of cat portraits.
“There will also be a merchandise table where artists can submit merchandise like prints and jewelry,” she said. “And a craft station where kids can make cat art projects.”
The day also includes a silent auction, with proceeds going to support Diabetic Cat Help and Diabetic Cats in Need, two volunteer organizations that help fight feline diabetes.
“My cat is diabetic and that’s why I want to help those groups,” Komaritsa said. “They helped guide me through the special treatments cats receive when they have diabetes.”
Komaritsa said she has loved cats since she was a little girl, and her current cat, Kitty, inspired her to move from just making customized cat jewelry for her website to organizing an event dedicated to celebrating people’s affection for cats.
“I’d done a few small events devoted to cats and cat art, but I always wanted to make it bigger,” she said, “so I’m happy I’m able to do it now.”
While a lot of people feel like cats can be standoffish and too independent, Komaritsa said they’ve been her most supportive and comforting companions.
“When I feel sad or depressed, my Kitty comes to me and soothes me and calms me with his cuddles,” she said. “I just feel very comfortable being with a fluffy cat.”
The event is called Mystery of Cats as a play on the way cats have been depicted in history as difficult-to-understand animals with secrets, Komaritsa said. She also said artists honoring cats with paintings isn’t a new phenomenon.
“Artists way-back-when would show the worshiping of cat goddess Bastet, through sculptures and paintings.”
Cats have been celebrated in the Twin Cities before, of course. The Walker Art Center kicked off the cat craze in 2012 with the Cat Video Festival, which was a huge success with more than 10,000 people in attendance and media coverage from around the world. Then in 2016, the St. Paul Saints took over the event and moved it to CHS Field.