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posted: 7/27/2012 7:58 AM

Art and Soul on the Fox livens up downtown Elgin

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  • Batavia resident David Sutton performs for his audience at a previous Art and Soul on the Fox. This year's celebration will be held Saturday and Sunday in downtown Elgin.

      Batavia resident David Sutton performs for his audience at a previous Art and Soul on the Fox. This year's celebration will be held Saturday and Sunday in downtown Elgin.
    Daily HERALD File Photo

  • An art piece decorates South Grove Avenue at a previous Art and Soul on the Fox. This year's festival will be held Saturday and Sunday in downtown Elgin.

      An art piece decorates South Grove Avenue at a previous Art and Soul on the Fox. This year's festival will be held Saturday and Sunday in downtown Elgin.
    Daily HERALD File Photo

  • Tyler Saltmarsh of Wildfire Productions in Downers Grove entertains with his glass blowing technique at a previous Art and Soul on the Fox. This year's fest will be held Saturday and Sunday in Downtown Elgin.

      Tyler Saltmarsh of Wildfire Productions in Downers Grove entertains with his glass blowing technique at a previous Art and Soul on the Fox. This year's fest will be held Saturday and Sunday in Downtown Elgin.
    Daily HERALD File Photo

 
By Hannah Meisel
hmeisel@dailyherald.com

Downtown Elgin will once again be covered in art of all types this weekend at the fourth annual Art and Soul on the Fox.

The event, which brings together artists from the area to exhibit local talent, will be put on in conjunction with the Kaleidoscope music festival Saturday and Elgin Walkabout Theater throughout the weekend.

Sigi Psimenos, Art and Soul coordinator and founder, said the collaboration is aimed at bringing visual and performance artists together in order to bring a three-dimensional experience to the area.

"Nobody knows the true talent we have here," she said. "We don't need to go to Chicago; we don't need to go anywhere else to find talent; we have it here."

The weekend will start off with Elgin Walkabout Theater's first performance of Edgar Allen Poe's works by four local theater companies in a promenade-type setting. Saturday morning, the arts will continue on Dupage Court, South Grove Avenue and South Spring Street with art displays by 90 juried artists paired with live music beginning at noon. This Kaleidoscope Music Festival, put on by the City of Elgin, will feature five different types of music, ranging from the Second Baptist Chorale Ensemble to the Jazz Consortium Big Band.

Post-Kaleidoscope, Psimenos said Art and Soul visitors should stick around for the Passeggiata part of the evening, which will feature musical artist Beth Patterson, visually aided by firedancers. "Passeggiata," as Psimenos explained, means "a little stroll." Visitors for Saturday evening are encouraged to pull up a chair and enjoy the sounds of the eclectic musician on her 10-stringed Irish bouzouki.

"She's a cross between a cobra and a puppy. She's a musical misfit that got lost going to Ireland through Istanbul," Psimenos said, quoting Patterson's own biography. "She's a Grammy nominee. We're putting on something really special."

Psimenos encouraged locals to come out, even bringing their own food and drink, though festival food will be available on DuPage Court. The Passeggiata, as the entire weekend barring Elgin Walkabout, is a free event.

"We just want to make it accessible to everyone," she said. "We don't think art and music are elitist things; they need to be shared with the public. We all have enough things on our mind and need time out, so come as you are."

Sunday will display more local art, with the opportunity for public to buy some original pieces via Elgin Al Fresco: A Taste of the Arts, an auction at 1 p.m. Psimenos said the money earned from the auction will be given to undetermined neighborhood projects. Last year, leftover $3,000 proceeds from Art and Soul were given away as three scholarships to young artists.

Musical performances also continue Sunday, beginning with the Elgin Opera at 10:30 a.m., again running the gamut of all types of music until Moses Gun closes the day with its 6 p.m. performance.

Art and Soul, which is put on by Art for All and the Arts Commission, began in 2009 to supplement the now defunct Fox Fire Fest. Art and Soul is also sponsored by the Hemmens Cultural Center, McGrath Nissan, Woody Buick GMC and the Daily Herald.

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