Batavia's Art in Your Eye Fine Art Show and Festival is much more than a fine arts show, celebrating all art media, including poetry and film.
This year's fest, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Riverwalk and city hall, will have indoor and outdoor venues featuring nearly 150 artists, 13 bands, continuous films and ongoing readings from local writers and poets.
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Festival Coordinator Rebecca Allen said about 8,000 people have visited each year of the event.
One of Allen's favorite aspects of the show is the outdoor venue, which will feature 72 professional artists from across the country, with many from Illinois. Artists compete for excellence, best of show and mayor's choice awards.
"I think our festival is unique and we really try to involve the community," Allen said. The fest will have areas for students, local artists, musicians, poets, children's activities and a combination of writers and artists in the new event, "Drawn With Words."
The Student Legacy Exhibit at city hall will feature local high school and college artists. Lisa Dzuricsko, who has been involved with the student exhibit since it started seven years ago, talks with teachers to determine which students to feature in the show.
"You can't tell the difference between (a student) and professional art," Allen said.
Dzuricsko said students -- many of whom are looking to pursue an art career -- benefit because they can talk with professionals about the field.
"I think it's a great experience for those going into their senior year to be able to put this on their resume," Dzuricsko pointed out.
Alongside the students' art show will be the indoor juried City Hall Exhibit. It provides a venue for 54 local artists to display their work.
"We coordinate that to involve more local artists," Allen said. It is designed to allow artists with fewer pieces to still show their work in front of an audience.
City hall will be the site for "Inspiration and Process," a series of documentary short films about Water Street Studio artists. It will be show continuously in the Fox River Conference room. Allen said the films' producer wanted to show the community the work and creative process an artist goes through from the start of an idea to the day the piece is displayed.
The interactive part of the fest is also a favorite.
"I've always love the children's activities. I think we have a lot of fun things," Allen said.
The children's tent will have three potter's wheels to allow anyone to experience hands-on art, and artists will provide demonstrations and help people create a ceramic piece.
Festival volunteers also built a 10-foot pentagon frame for children who want to design a castle. The "Castle in the SkEYE" group sculpture project will be created with decorated recycled boxes and containers.
A poetry tent will feature local writers and poets who will provide continuous readings of their own work. The art pieces from the new event, "Drawn With Words," can be purchased in a silent auction.
In addition, there will be a miniatures competition and auction and continuous live entertainment from Hix Brothers Music.
The fest runs until 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information visit artinyoureye.com.