Western Courier

Art in the Park tradition continues

Hand-made items for sale during last year's Gazebo Art Festival.

Hand-made items for sale during last year's Gazebo Art Festival.

Emily Boyer/ Courier Staff

Emily Boyer/ Courier Staff

Hand-made items for sale during last year's Gazebo Art Festival.

Emily Boyer, Courier Staff

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Nearly two dozen local artists will have their work on display and for sale in Chandler Park this Saturday, Sept. 8.

Gayle Carper, one of the organizers of the festival, said the participating artists are extremely talented in a variety of mediums including photography, jewelry and pottery. “Everything we have there is hand made by the artists who are showing it,” Carper said.

The Gazebo Art Festival is part of a 50-year tradition of having an annual event celebrating art in downtown Macomb.

GAF is a juried art show, meaning that the artists have to apply and get accepted into the show. They will also participate in a competition on the day of the event. Another talented local artist, Melissa Inman, is serving as the judge this year and will give out awards for ‘best in show’ and other categories.

There will also be a ‘people’s choice’ award, which Carper said is an opportunity for anyone who attends the festival to cast a vote for their favorite artist.

But, it’s not just a competition. Artists will also be selling their hand-made items and one of a kind creations.

“We have a broad range of prices. You can buy things for $10 or you can buy things for $1,000,” Carper said. “You’ll see expensive jewelry and inexpensive jewelry. You’ll see prints of paintings that sell for a lot less than the original painting. It’s very affordable for all price ranges.”

In the afternoon, WIU Art Professor Ian Shelley will lead a pottery demonstration with some of his students. “You’ll be able to see first-hand how people make those beautiful pots they are selling,” Carper said.

Carper added the public will also get the opportunity to ask questions to the artists and learn more about how they make their items. Carper, who will be selling her hand-made jewelry during the festival revealed one of her favorite questions to get is, ‘how did you make that?’

Carper said she loves to talk about her process and most other artists feel the same way. “They love to talk about their art and talk with younger people who are interested in becoming artists too.”

The Gazebo Art Festival is held on Saturday in conjunction with the Macomb Balloon Rally at Western’s Vince Grady field. Carper hopes many attendees go to both events.

“While the Balloon Rally has activities in the early morning and evening and then the Gazebo Art Festival is something to do during the day,” Carper said.

Chandler Park in downtown Macomb will be buzzing with activity this Saturday. Vendors with the farmer’s market will be set up in the morning. There’s a sidewalk chalk art contest open to all hosted by Macomb Downtown Development.

Anyone looking for a good book to read can check out the Friends of the Macomb Library annual fall book sale. There will be rows of tables set up that are overflowing with books for sale from all genres. Becky Parker, one of the book sale organizers, said paperbacks typically start at 75 cents and hardbacks costs $2 each.

In the event of rain, the Gazebo Art Festival will move indoors to the West Central Illinois Arts Center which is located on the east side of the downtown square.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Art in the Park tradition continues