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St. Charles Fine Art Show to be biggest yet

ST. CHARLES – More than 110 artists from such states as California, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington are coming to St. Charles this weekend, and they’re bringing their artwork with them.

If past St. Charles Fine Art Shows are any indication, the watercolors, photographs, jewelry, sculptures and other types of art will attract thousands to downtown St. Charles.

Lynne Schwartz, executive director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, said the two-day Memorial Day weekend event typically draws 10,000 people.

Held rain or shine on Riverside Avenue between Main Street and Illinois Avenue in St. Charles, the juried art show provides a different focus than other downtown events, thus letting a different audience come and experience the city, Schwartz said.

“We’re also a community that’s very focused on the arts,” said Schwartz, noting the city’s live theaters, the St. Charles Arts Council and the downtown partnership’s public art committee. “It’s a natural fit for St. Charles and downtown.”

It is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The 15th annual St. Charles Fine Art Show will be the biggest yet in terms of the number of participating artists, Schwartz said, giving some credit to the show’s purchase award patron program. Participants of the patron program commit to spending at least $250 during the art show.

“That lets artists know we have some serious art buyers,” Schwartz said.

The Downtown St. Charles Partnership added a new element to the art show this year: art talks. Set for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the talks will give artists a chance to share their techniques and inspiration behind certain pieces. The later time slot will be dedicated to a panel discussion about the similarities and differences between fine craft and fine art.

The show’s feature tent will showcase the Fine Line Creative Arts Center, which has had booths in past St. Charles Fine Art Shows, executive director Lynn Caldwell said.

“We feel really honored they wanted to include us this year in this way,” she said, adding Fine Line jumped at the chance.

Located in St. Charles Township, Fine Line Creative Arts Center is primarily a school where artists teach workshops in various mediums, including textiles, ceramics, graphic arts, metalwork, glass and jewelry.

At the art show, Fine Line representatives will demonstrate the following arts: weaving, which makes cloth; spinning, which makes the yarn used for weaving and knitting; ply-split braiding, which makes strong cords and braids; felting, which describes several processes for working with woven wool or wool yarn; and basket weaving, which usually involves wood or reed-type products.

“Most of the people demonstrating are on the faculty here or are very accomplished and part of the membership,” Caldwell said.

Visit for information about the art show, which also will include historical downtown trolley tours. All Fine Art Show activities are free to the public.

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