Park Forest Art Fair includes music fest, food
September 12, 2012 4:48PM
Flynn Sochon, seen here with some of his teapots, began exhibiting in the Park Forest Art Fair in 1964 when the event was in its ninth year.
◆ 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 15-16
◆ Downtown Park Forest
◆ Admission, free
◆ (708) 748-3377;
Updated: October 15, 2012 9:17AM
Approximately 70 artists from the Midwest will exhibit works in a variety of media including paintings, prints, photography, pottery, glass, wood and fiber arts during the Park Forest Art Fair.
Officials said the 57th annual event, which will take place from Sept. 15-16 in downtown Park Forest, is the second oldest juried fair in the Chicago region.
Several new artists were selected to participate in this year’s fair, which also will feature children’s activities from the traditional art contest to mural painting, tie-dyeing, and activities hosted by the Park Forest Public Library.
Several food vendors will serve selections such as pizza, pork chop sandwiches, Mexican foods and desserts. A wine tasting will be back by request.
Also, the village of Park Forest will host a music fest all day Sept. 15 during the art fair. Musical groups will perform in styles from jazz to folk.
On Sept. 16, the folk music duo known as Patchouli will perform all day with a special appearance at noon by the Grande Prairie Choral Arts choir.
Both the music fest and art fair are open to the public for no charge.
During the art fair, the Tall Grass Arts Association Gallery will host a free exhibit entitled “Luminosity” featuring the work of Tall Grass artists. More than 50 new works, not seen before in the gallery, will be on display.
Fair visitors should be aware that Orchard Drive, the main street through Park Forest, is under construction and is one-way going north. Alternative routes include Governors Highway or Western Avenue.
Artists who work in clay often stamp an indelible, immediately recognizable style into their artwork. The following three artists who will participate in the Park Forest Art Fair illustrate this point.
He began exhibiting in the Park Forest Art Fair in 1964, when the art fair was in its ninth year.
In 1972, Sochon founded Flatlands Pottery in Beecher and the business is located now in Twin Lake, Mich.
He has taught at various colleges and high schools throughout the Midwest.
Sochon’s works are in 140 shops and galleries in the United States and in private collections in China, Japan, Germany, Israel, France, Mexico, Canada and throughout the United States.
His current work is created from porcelain and select hardwoods and designed from a unique combination of hand-building and wheel-thrown techniques.
Sochon has expanded beyond pottery in recent years, designing and building tables that incorporate his ceramic tiles.
All of his clay and glazes are formulas of his own creation.
This Park Forest artist exhibited in the Park Forest Art Fair for the first time in 2010, winning first place in the fair that year.
After 30 years as a photographer and graphics artist, Weiss left his career to devote himself full time to clay art.
He uses the Raku method, an ancient Japanese form of pottery known for its spontaneity and random results.
Raku is a fast firing process in which the ceramic object is removed from the kiln while it is still red hot.
In Japan, the hot pieces were placed on a brick to cool.
Western potters generally carry out another step by placing hot glazed pieces in a metal container containing combustible material.
Weiss’ work evokes botanic life and whimsical organic forms.
“The alterations of form and surface textures of my work strive for an amalgam of the natural and the man-made worlds,” he said about his work.
“Clay has its own serendipitous needs and constraints, contributing its own spontaneity to the artistic process.
“My role as the artist is to lend my aesthetic while allowing the natural quality of the clay to emerge. At this junction of the natural and man-made, new forms and themes emerge.”
This artist makes his home and studio in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Woods has been exploring clay and making both functional and decorative pottery since 1974.
In 2001, he became a full-time potter, marketing his works through art fairs in Florida and the Midwest. Since he began exhibiting, Woods has won a large number of fairs each year.
All of his work is wheel-thrown and altered by a combination of hand-built and thrown pieces.
Decorative pieces are highly textured with black underglaze emphasizing the texture.
Textural pieces are created by first throwing a cylinder. Woods then applies a black slip on a portion of the piece, dries the colored slip and expands the piece.
As the piece is expanded, the dry surface cracks and splits, exposing the white clay under the dark slip. This technique produces a variety of organic textures.
Nature is also a common thread in his work — either through the use of leaves, stylized images of leaves, organic textures and, most recently, the use of crystalline glazes in which he grows crystals similar to those found in nature.
MAIN STREET MUSIC FEST
The village of Park Forest, in conjunction with the 57th annual Park Forest Art Fair, will host a music festival from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 15.
The lineup of bands includes an eclectic mix of renowned artists from Chicago and the Southland. “Come on out to downtown Park Forest for a day of rock, jazz, blues and more,” officials said.
THE BLISS PHILOSOPHERS (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.): This new project headed by Chicago musician Neal Alger blends the raw sensibility of rock, the sophisticated harmonies of jazz and lyrics that probe existential themes, performing a mix of original compositions and an array of covers (Jackson Browne, Stone Temple Pilots, Stevie Wonder, etc.).
THE MARCYA DANEILLE TRIO (12:30-1:45 p.m.): Listeners will be transported to an era when jazz was king, the blues didn’t always make you cry and soul music fed the soul.
Daneille’s melodious voice has been described as “the perfect blend of Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan with a dash of Billie Holiday.”
“This will be an afternoon of soulful nostalgia that will have you humming and tapping your feet long after the show has ended,” officials said. “Let the good times roll.”
T.L. WILLIAMS & THE STORM CHASER ORCHESTRA (2:10-3:25 p.m.): Billed as one of the hottest groups in the Midwest, this live band experience often joins Williams (among other artists) on stage for what some call an awesome show.
The group will be in the studio in fall joining Williams for the Carl Davis Project, a tribute to the legendary music producer from Chicago.
“BLU” WILLIE T & DA MID-NITE LOVERS (3:45-5 p.m.): “Blu” Willie T started with his brothers as “Pretty” Willie & the Delta Blues Band.
Playing the blues clubs of Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis, “Blu” Willie T made a name for himself as a young firebrand on guitar and as a gifted vocalist.
He’s performed alongside Muddy Waters, Lefty Diz, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and other blues greats from the 1950s-1970s.
“Blu” Willie T and his band members — Bradley D., Big Mo Thirus and Mr. Chuck Franklin — perform blues standards and original material.
Admission to the music fest is free. Information: (708) 747-0580.
GRAND PRAIRIE SINGERS
At noon Sept. 16 at the Park Forest Art Fair, the Grande Prairie Singers will perform a selection of old favorites, show tunes and patriotic songs.
Based in Park Forest since 1977 but drawing singers from the entire Southland, the Grande Prairie Singers are led by artistic director Jo Rodenburg, who is in her third season with the chorus.
The 2012-13 season includes three Sunday-afternoon concerts: Winterlude on Dec. 9, On This Island: Music of the British Isles on March 3 and American Choral Music Today on May 19.
Season tickets are $40.
Information on the group or Grande Prairie Choral Arts’ Children’s Choral Workshop will be available at the Grand Prairie Singers’ table at the art fair, grandeprairiechoral.org or (708) 481-8684.