Park Forest Art Fair features fine art, music, food
By Jessi Virtusio email@example.com Twitter: @JessiVirtusio September 18, 2013 4:28PM
"Ramblin' on my Mind" by Gary Love
PARK FOREST ART FAIR
♦ 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
♦ Park Forest Village Green, Cunningham Drive and Main Street
♦ Admission, free
♦ (708) 748-3377;
Updated: October 21, 2013 6:08AM
It’s been nearly six decades since the Park Forest Art Fair began, and it is still going strong.
“We’re a not-for-profit organization that runs it and, therefore, we keep prices low to the artists and they can keep their prices lower to the public,” event chairwoman Janet Muchnik said.
“So people know it’s a place where they can come and get good original art at reasonable prices.”
Billed as the second-oldest juried art fair in the Chicago area, the Park Forest Art Fair runs smoothly thanks to a large volunteer force coordinated by Vivian Purnell, of Park Forest.
Several artists have exhibited at the annual event continuously for four decades.
“That adds to the tradition,” Muchnik said of the popular fair, which will present its 58th annual installment on Sept. 21-22 in downtown Park Forest.
“It helps people keep up the tradition for younger, newer artists to hear that people have been willing to return year after year,” Muchnik said.
The artists hail from towns including Chicago Heights, Crete, Frankfort, Glenwood, Homewood, Matteson, Monee, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Peotone, South Holland and Tinley Park. Some come from as far as California and Florida.
“They said they love the way they are treated in Park Forest,” Muchnik said of why artists from other states say they like returning to the fair.
“Secondly, it’s been a tradition for the people to talk to the artists. In some fairs, you see people averting their heads. But in Park Forest, it’s been a tradition to go in and engage the artists and chat with them.
“The artists love that. Feel free to go right in their tent if you like it and tell them why and if you don’t (like their art), talk to them (about it).”
In addition to art, the fair features a Music Fest on Sept. 21 with Lexus BBM at noon, the Hayfield Concept at 1:30 p.m., MuzicNet Staff at 3 p.m. and “Blu” Willie T & da Mid-Nite Lovers at 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 will feature the popular folk duo of Patchouli and a 1 p.m. performance by Grande Prairie Choral Arts.
There also will be an interactive tent showcasing the Tall Grass Arts Association School, which is directed by Michele Owens, of Olympia Fields.
Muchnik said she enjoys the one-on-one opportunities with the fair’s exhibitors.
“They’re creative people. They’re interesting people. I’m not an artist, but I’m an art lover so, for me, the joy is interacting with the artists,” she said.
“I love doing that. I just think it’s a very special event, and I love being part of it. I’m just honored to be able to work to keep it going.”
Jessi Virtusio blogs about music, movies and much more on Elaborating on Entertainment at blogs.southtownstar.com/entertainment.