September art fairs

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Summer may be coming to a close, but there is still plenty of life left in the art fair season. September is a great month for fairs and festivals in Rockford, and art fairs in particular, with both the Rockford Artists’ Fair and the 59th Greenwich Village Art Fair returning Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16.

These art fairs, which both feature a large number of area artists, offer the perfect opportunity for both experienced and first-time art buyers to purchase work unique to the Rockford region.

The Rockford Artists’ Fair, run by the Rockford Art Guild and now in its 36th year, will feature an array of artists and media, with a focus on artists from the Rock River region and surrounding areas.

With artwork on display from more than 75 artists, there will be painting, textiles, wood and metalworking, photography, glass, ceramics and jewelry, providing something for everyone interested in adding to, or starting, their personal art collection.

The fair will once again be held in Beattie Park, providing a scenic atmosphere with curving pathways leading guests through the surrounding trees to artists’ booths, as well as a number of vendors offering snacks and refreshments, perfect to enjoy while strolling through the park.

Held just up the street and on the same weekend, Rockford Art Museum’s 59th Greenwich Village Art Fair is the oldest continuous outdoor fine art fair in the entire Midwest, and has been ongoing since 1948.

Although Greenwich Village has a slightly more national scope, including artists from Alabama, California and Texas, the heart of the fair is composed of local artists, with more than 50 artists from Illinois and 27 from the Rockford area.

Artists are juried into the fair in six different categories, so visitors will be able to see and buy painting, photography, jewelry, 2-D work, 3-D functional work, and 3-D non-functional work.

Are you looking for that last little something to furnish your home? Check out the Raku pottery of Robert Sunday or Jim and Shawn Barbagallo. Perhaps a unique piece of jewelry to wow your friends at one of Rockford’s upcoming galas? Stop by and take a look at the work of Nancy Anderson or Cindy Karnitz. Or maybe you’re interested in contemporary photography—Greenwich Village has that, too, with work by photographers like Cali Hobgood-Lemme or Charlie Jefko.

Like the Rockford Artists’ Fair, Greenwich Village provides a relaxed, family-friendly setting that can be difficult to find in other art-buying experiences. Creations by Kids: Passport to Art features a variety of children’s art activities from around the world led by Rockford Art Museum’s Education staff, allowing you to browse artists’ booths, or stop and listen to one of the Rockford-area bands performing live on the Krypto Music Stage. If you need a quick break from browsing art, the Bud Light Village Pub, Point Bark/Kortman’s Vodka Lounge, and the Art Bar Wine Bistro offer something to eat and signature art fair drinks.

When it comes down to it, if you’re looking to buy art for the first time, or if you buy art on a regular basis, there’s no better time or place to do it than at these local fall art fairs. Between the relaxed setting, the variety of artwork, and the perfect end-of-summer features on the side, you couldn’t ask for much more in an art-buying experience. So head down to North Main Street Sept. 15-16—you’ll like what you see.

The Rockford Artists’ Fair is in Beattie Park at North Main Street and Park Avenue, Rockford, and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is free.

The 59th Greenwich Village Art Fair is at Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, and runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $3 in advance or $5 at the gate, and is free for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available at RAM or any Alpine Bank location.

Rockford Art Museum Communications Coordinator Dave Dixon can be reached at from the Sept. 5 – Sept. 11, 2007, issue

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