63rd Park Forest Art Fair
The 63rd Annual Park Forest Art Fair was held on September 15 and 16 in Downtown Park Forest. The fair was honored by bright blue skies, a collection of extraordinary artists and a group of attendees anxious to talk to artists, observe their work closely and shop. In the words of art fair artists, Glenn Woods and Keith Herbrand, known as "The Pottery boys, "We were so happy with our sales this year, we were practically giddy! Having a great show at Park Forest really made our summer!!"
The art fair was marked, this year, by the participation of four new sculptors. Gedion Nyanhongo from Zimbabwe not only sold his stone carvings, he demonstrated the art of stone carving periodically during the fair. Gedion has promised to return to Park Forest next summer and offer a workshop in stone carving before or after the art fair. Watch for information next year as September approaches.
Paul Scouten, a metal sculptor from North Carolina, exhibited his working water fountains, large weather vanes in the images of birds and small metal animals meant to enhance gardens and garden planters.
David Zahn, a sculptor from Moline known for his clay and bronze sculptures, won first prize in the three-dimensional category plus a purchase prize. His sculptures were primarily highly realistic and many seemed to convey messages about life.
Scott Zuziak exhibited his woodcarving endeavors focusing on realistic flora and fauna, hand carved from North American Basswood. These included tender and intricate scenes of a deer nestled on a log or a turtle climbing on rocks. He also exhibited delicately carved flowers and floral arrangements in the natural tones of basswood, mounted on pieces of driftwood.
Thirteen new artists exhibited. Some were painters, like David Dallison, whose watercolors reflected his world travels. Many long-standing artists also exhibited. The artworks included watercolors, print making, oils and acrylic paintings, photography, fiber arts, wood works and jewelry in a tremendous range of styles.
The one sad note was the absence of Flynn Sochon, who died this past year. Flynn's distinctive style was on hand as his wife, Halona Gustin, brought many pieces of his work to show, once more.
Winners of the Art Fair
The Louise Renner Prize for two-dimensional work was awarded to Rebecca Flowers. Rebecca's field is digital photography.
The James Marzuki Prize for three-dimensional work was awarded to sculptor David Zahn.
The Terry Harrison Prize for jewelry was awarded to John Mroczek.
Two prizes, known as "Judge's Choice Awards", which can be awarded in any category the judges select, were awarded to fiber artist Bronwyn Elkuss and Keith Herbrand of "The Pottery Boys."
The Park Forest Art Fair has an interesting aspect to its prizes. Several individuals or organizations participate in what is known as "Purchase Prize Awards." The purchasers state their preference in the media and whether they prefer traditional or contemporary art. The judges select the purchases for them. This year Claire Zaret sponsored a purchase prize in jewelry from John Mroczek. Tom and Joan Krysinski sponsored a purchase prize in sculpture from David Zahn. The Village of Park Forest sponsored purchase prizes from watercolor artist David Dallison, metal sculptor Paul Scouten, photographer Seung Jae Kim and woodworker Thomas Tampa.
The 64th Annual Park Forest Art Fair will be held on Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22, 2019. Mark your calendars right now for what promises to be 64th in a long history of beautiful art fairs. And, if you enjoyed the art fair this year, first, tell a friend. Surveys taken at the fair show that the majority of people hear about this wonderful fair by word-of-mouth. Second, if you would like to get involved with the art fair, contact Tall Grass Arts Association at 708-748-3377 and let them know. Volunteers are always welcome!