Weekend With The Arts

tglogo.gif Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Tall Grass Arts Association 52nd Annual Park Forest Art Fair takes place this weekend in downtown Park Forest. The event will be held 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on September 15 & 16 outside on Main Street in Downtown Park Forest, IL. Admission is free and will feature affordable fine art from a variety of local and non local artists.  This event will also feature live entertainment, an assortment of foods, and activities for children.  More than 100 artists are planning to participate and 17 new artists have been juried in to participate in the event. 
What the artist Pam Eberlin enjoys best is working with found objects.  “My art is all about feeling good.”  Her inspiration evolves from manipulating items such as glass, wire, vintage objects, wood and plastic into whimsical fun filled creations.  This will be her fifth time exhibiting at fair.  Eberlin’s art has evolved in many different directions as she blurs the lines between what can be classified as fine and craft art.  She enjoys exploring and defining the boundaries of her materials.     

For over fifteen years, jeweler Sam Wolfson has been exhibiting at the Park Forest Art Fair.  We always look forward to his return and enjoy his delightful sense of humor.

Carolyn Funk’s interest in photography was sparked by her achievement of winning the 7th grade coloring contest at her school where she won her first camera.  It wasn’t until several years after her retirement that she began taking courses at Prairie State College to have her hobby emerged into a career.  Since then, Funk has exhibited at numerous art shows.  Inspired by her love of nature, her photographs contain a lot of scenery.  This year at the fair, she will be exhibiting and selling some of her more recent photos which will be printed directly onto the canvas.  This is both an exciting and new technique for her and we look forward to her return to the art fair.

“I like to build things, such as tables, lamps, practically everything.” says the self taught artist, Phil Sapienza, “I consider painting a form of construction.  The finished artwork is very satisfying, but the process of creating the art work is what I like the most.”  Sapienza has been exhibiting in the fair for over ten years.       

First time showing in the fair will be the photorealist artist, Don Millon.  He loves to work in a variety of media as he creates portraits of people, animals and landscapes. Millon remarks that “While I am doing a piece, whether it’s a landscape or still life, I hope the viewer can feel the serenity, quiet and peacefulness. If it’s an animal (or pet), I strive to imprint the animal’s personality and essence into the portrait.”  As such, many of his clients have remarked, "You’ve captured my pet’s personality."
Charles Mull says that he creates fusion portraits.  His art works’ styles vary as he creates portraits, abstracts, and landscapes in a variety of media such as acrylic, oil, wood, metal and other artistic media.  Many years ago while receiving his undergrad degree in Special Ed down at SIU, his interest in art began to grow as his friends encouraged him to be adventurous.  As such, he purchased his first art set in college and won a prize at a local event with his first attempt at painting.  Since then, his art has always been highly connected to his feelings.  It has helped him cope throughout the years with life’s troubles.  

The artist Eugene Benes, still the model train enthusiastic, enjoys the challenge of dealing with miniatures as he creates one of a kind writing pens out of such materials as a variety of woods, celluloid and synthetic materials.

“To me, a pen is more than a writing instrument.  It is a way for me to display the beauty of nature through my artistic interpretation.” remarks Benes.  His work is always presented as a theme.  Some of his past themes included the color schemes of diesel locomotives representing “Fallen Flags” of railroads of the past and most recent cities on the route of the Orient Express.  No stranger to exhibiting, Benes does approximately sixteen shows a year. 

The artist couple, John and Kathy Farabaugh, will be exhibiting together selling their jewelry and stained glass creations.  John’s interest in stained glass began when they moved into their home approximately 21 years ago and decided to do some remodeling by replacing one of their front upstairs windows with stained glass.  They had trouble finding someone to meet their needs because of the window’s odd size.  The Farabaugh then began to take a stained glass course as well as other artistic courses.  From there their love of art grew into more than a hobby.  Both Kathy and John Farabaugh enjoy creating as well as exhibiting their various artworks together.  Although this will be the first time they will be exhibiting in the Park Forest Art Fair, they are no stranger to fair circuit.  Their art works will also be featured in this month’s Munster in Park Event which will be held in Indiana on August 20th, 2007.             

Brian Bleakley’s art inspiration derives from historical figures, places he has been and things he has seen.  “I do acrylic paintings, pen and ink, watercolor, wood burnings. I’m inspired by historical figures, wildlife, and outdoor scenes. My goal is to document, contemporize, pay homage to, and re-contextualize each subject; and to make people smile!”  Bleakley says, “And just occasionally to say "hmm" or even weep.  The 52nd Annual Park Forest Art Fair will be my first time exhibiting in an art fair.”  Recently, Bleakley is redefining his career and following his first love, which is art.         

“I was born in Boston, Mass., into a family that was split between artists and engineers.  Through the influence of those around me, I somehow wound up somewhere in between.” says the photographer, Sharon Lee McCarthy.  “In college, at Northeastern University in Boston, science won out over art as I graduated with a BS degree in Chemistry.  I continued my pursuit of science at Renesselear Polytechic Institure where I received my PHD in theoretical biochemistry.”  Currently McCarthy is a professor of Chemistry at Chicago State University where she has taught for the last 16 years. 

McCarthy remarks, “soon through the joint effort of my fellow faculty in the Art department at CSU and myself, I will be teaching a class on the Chemistry of Art.”  Their  the students will gain first hand knowledge how chemistry influences art as the students experiment with such chemical reactions as mixing paints and etching into metal. 

Some time ago, Sharon Lee McCarthy developed a medical condition that slowly began to take away her eyesight and her ability to focus a camera.  “I gave up on ever taking photographs again, but with the advent of the newer digital cameras, I took a chance and brought a ‘point and shoot’ camera.”  This enabled McCarthy the ability to re-establish her ability to continue her love of photography.  “It has been a journey of living with what can be accomplished with a disability, instead of concentrating on what has been lost.  I try to maintain a positive outlook on this as my sight is a day-to-day accomplishment.  I consider myself lucky as my eyesight has remained stable now for the past few years.  However, since I could lose my sight at any time, my photos concentrate on the beauty in nature.  I want my work to be a celebration of life.”        

“I began working with precious metal clay (PMC) on a whim.” says the technical editor and writer by profession, Patricia Weikersheimer.   She has earned an MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1988.  Precious Metal Clay, which handles much like modeling clay, is pure silver particles, binder, and water. The created object is fired, during which the binder burns away and the silver particles fuse.

“It’s the organic quality of the medium that draws me. The surprises and imperfections are part of the pleasure.” says the jeweler, Patricia Weikersheimer.  “Jewelry because it is worn is intimate.  The element of surprise continues beyond the fabrication—each wearer gives a piece different context, thus influencing it.  For me, PMC is about play and surprise.  I never could have imagined that my return to the arts would involve silver microparticles in clay form.”

More than 100 juried artists will participate in this event.  Each artistic member of the Tall Grass Arts Association is united in both their freedom of expression and/or talent of media.  Please come and join us on September 15 & 16 and meet the rest of our organization’s members.  Admission to the art fair is free.  In addition to the art fair, the Tall Grass Arts Association offers throughout the year a variety of different events which range from an assortment of art gallery openings, educational lectures, field trips, film series, art instruction, and other creative adventures.  For more information concerning the 52nd Annual Park Forest Art Fair or any other event, please call 708-748-3377 or visit the Tall Grass Arts Association’s website at www.tallgrassarts.org