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Residents enjoy paintings, ceramics at STC Fine Art Show

ST. CHARLES – Art lovers on Saturday flocked to downtown St. Charles to get their creative fix.

The 16th Annual St. Charles Fine Art Show was host to 108 juried artists with paintings, pottery, glass, bronze and more for sale. The event also included chats with some of the artists explaining their work and process.

Attendees took in art as well as free live music and trolley rides. Not only was the weather nice, but people kept saying it was the best show they've ever seen, said Sue McDowell, the event's committee chair.

The Art Show committee works hard to bring in not just local families but art enthusiasts from across the Chicago area. The main appeal is of course the artwork, and the fact that the event is diverse but not overwhelming, McDowell said.

"I think they like the size of the show – it's walkable,” she said.

Sharon Perez of St. Charles and her family on Saturday traveled across the entire length of the show with ease. She and her husband Jason were looking for artwork for their living room and also their one-year-old son J.C.'s room.

Two booths that caught Perez's eye included the nature-themed work of Elgin's Robert Rydin and the cartoon-esque art of Green Bay, Wisconsin's Melvin McGee.

"We love it," Perez said of the event. "We always go to the art shows in the area."

Perez said she and her family have attended the St. Charles show for at least the past four years.
Saturday was Lori Woodcock's first time at the show. She brought her son Matthew, 15, and daughter Abigail, 9, to check out the art before dinner.

"I think it's terrific," Woodcock said of the show. "It's a nice way to come out and enjoy the weather."

Woodcock is a jewelry maker and will consider applying in the future to exhibit at the show.

Another artistic family, the Barbagallos of Rockford, have been part of the show for 15 of its last 16 years.

Shawn Barbagallo, whose father Jim introduced to clay pottery when he was three, said the St. Charles show in general has always been great.

The younger Barbagallo spent his Saturday on a pottery wheel in front of a consistent crowd. He even let some children try their hand at the craft.

"If you can instill pottery into children and make them have a love for it, that's a great thing," Barbagallo said.


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