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Local

Crowd embraces the arts at Kaneland fest

MAPLE PARK – Carson King, a 9-year-old from Sugar Grove, didn’t have any artwork displayed in Sunday’s Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, but that didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for the activities he did get to do, particularly the pottery wheel.

The John Shields Elementary School fourth-grader only watched someone use the pottery wheel at last year’s festival, his mother, Lisa King said.

“He’s so excited to do this,” she said, watching him mold the spinning clay.

Held at Kaneland High School, the 14th annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival also featured live performances; visual artists whose focuses included watercolors, fiber felt work and jewelry; and artwork from current and former students.

Seated at a table near the auditorium, 2010 graduate Megan Cline displayed some of her prints. The junior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is majoring in fine arts with a concentration in printmaking, although she also draws, sculpts and paints, she said.

The Kaneland festival was the first such art festival she has participated in, she said.

In the arts pavilion, lines for caricatures and silhouettes kept artists’ pencils and – in the case of the latter – scissors busy.

Artist in residence Eric Nye also drew a crowd with his interactive paintings. Visitors were welcome to turn the paintings’ into moveable pieces, which were mostly arranged in 3-by-3 or 4-by-4 grids. Because each piece had three sides, there were thousands of ways a painting could look.

Nye, 41, also displayed artwork from the Kaneland School District 302 students he talked to as the artist in residence. He spoke about what it’s like to a be a working artist, he said, adding he told them they shouldn’t worry if every piece isn’t a masterpiece.

“You can always make another one,” he said.

Nye plans to incorporate the artwork the children made, which included sets of blocks inspired by his interactive paintings, into a piece for the district office, Nye said. Seeing the students’ enthusiasm and the moments that the lightbulb went off in their eyes made Nye proud to be a part of the program, he said.

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