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Big plans for Art in Your Eye Festival

Brookfield resident Peggy O'Brien checks out Windows to the Garden pressed flower art during the 2012 Art in Your Eye show in downtown Batavia.
Brookfield resident Peggy O'Brien checks out Windows to the Garden pressed flower art during the 2012 Art in Your Eye show in downtown Batavia.

BATAVIA – During this weekend’s ninth annual Art in Your Eye Fine Art Festival, festivalgoers will be able not only to view all types of art, but make their own art as well.

“Children will have the chance to paint umbrellas that will be put together as a sculpture,” festival coordinator Rebecca Allen said. “That’s among the hands-on activities that kids can participate in.”

The festival will show off the talents of local and national artists from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Batavia Riverwalk at Houston Street and Island Avenue in downtown Batavia.

The free festival is sponsored by the city of Batavia, the Batavia Library and the Batavia Park District. The Kane County Chronicle also is a sponsor.

The festival is usually held in August, but organizers moved it to September this year in hopes of better weather.

“The heat and humidity has been an issue in the past,” Allen said. “And last year, there was a really bad storm on the first day, and we had to close down early.”

Water Street Studios in Batavia will offer potter’s wheel demonstrations and “hands-on” ceramics experiences for children and adults.

“We’ve done this before, and it’s been a blast,” said Jim Kirkhoff, director of development and public relations for Water Street Studios. “It’s a fun thing to try to do.”

There also will be activities at Water Street Studios in conjunction with the festival. The work of Water Street Studios artist Michele Norman, whose painting is featured in this year’s Art in Your Eye poster, will be featured in a solo show starting Saturday in the Kane County Chronicle Gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St.

The show’s reception starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, which also is the last day that the fashions from Water Street Studio’s recent On-som-bel fundraiser will be on display.

The centerpiece of the two-day festival is the outdoor fine art show, which will feature works by more than 70 artists from around the country. Artists of all media are represented, including watercolor and oil painting, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, woodworking and fiber.

“We have a glass blower who will be giving demonstrations,” said Erin Melloy, the fine art show coordinator. “And then there’s the father-daughter team. He makes fine crafts out of wood, and she makes wood jewelry out of his scraps.”

The indoor juried City Hall Exhibit provides a venue for 50 local artists to do their work. As part of the exhibit, the Student Legacy Exhibit will feature the artwork of area high school and college level art students.

The day promises to be full of things to see and do. Water Street Studios artist Greta Bell’s traveling art project, R/Evolving Circus, will be on display. The project gathers stories of treasured objects and displays paintings of them on a collapsible, bicycle powered carousel.

Bell will assemble her carousel from 10 a.m. to noon each day, with readings at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Another new event this year is the Slam Poetry/Spoken Word Showcase presented by the Teen Writers and Artists Project. The event will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Albright Theatre on the third floor of the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

Music also will be presented both days as part of the Art in Your Ear entertainment stage at the Batavia Riverwalk’s Peg Bond Center. For information, visit

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