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posted: 7/26/2013 6:00 AM

Geneva Arts Fair features original work, emerging artists

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  • The Geneva Arts Fair on Third Street in downtown Geneva typically draws a crowd of more than 20,000 over the weekend, organizers say. About 160 artists are expected at this weekend's show.

       The Geneva Arts Fair on Third Street in downtown Geneva typically draws a crowd of more than 20,000 over the weekend, organizers say. About 160 artists are expected at this weekend's show.
    Laura SToecker | Staff Photographer, 2006

  • Estelle Serena, a functional fabric artist who makes hand-woven rugs, will be one of the artists at this year's Geneva Arts Fair. The show runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28.

      Estelle Serena, a functional fabric artist who makes hand-woven rugs, will be one of the artists at this year's Geneva Arts Fair. The show runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28.
    Courtesy of Estelle Serena

  • La Waltz, a forged iron sculpture and functional art lamp, is an example of the type of work Roberta Elliott will be showing at the Geneva Arts Fair.

      La Waltz, a forged iron sculpture and functional art lamp, is an example of the type of work Roberta Elliott will be showing at the Geneva Arts Fair.
    Courtesy of Roberta Elliott

 
By Jennifer Tranmer
jtranmer@dailyherald.com

After 30 years and anywhere from 10 to 24 art shows, May to December, Estelle Serena knows a good show.

"(The Geneva Arts Fair) is a very diverse show in the choosing of the artists -- it's very well-rounded," the self-taught rug weaver from Burlington, Wis., said.

Serena is one of many artists back for the 12th year of the Geneva Arts Fair, which will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28.

The annual fair that typically draws a crowd of 20,000 to downtown Geneva will take place along South Third Street, from James Street to South Street.

With up to 160 artists, as well as about 10 emerging artists, showcasing art from a variety of media and price points, art patrons won't be short on choices, said Laura Rush, communications manager for the Geneva Chamber of Commerce.

Four awards will be given out by two judges for both the best 2-D and 3-D art Saturday afternoon.

The emerging artist section is unique to the Geneva Arts Fair, said Erin Melloy, the event planner who organizes and maps out the fair.

"Other shows do it, but it's few and far between," she said. "We believe it's well, well worth it."

The show will have two changes to the program this year.

The kids' section will be moved to the corner of Franklin Street and South Third Street by Graham's Fine Chocolates. Kids can get a splash of color when they tie-dye a shirt at the booth, free, with supplies included.

Attendees can also be part of the first Patron of the Arts program through the fair by dedicating a certain amount of money they know they will spend at the festival.

This program helps secure a good art show because pre-sales are an encouraging sign for artists trying to make a living, said Melloy.

"It attracts more artists to provide more artist selections -- it's a win-win for artists and attendees," she said.

And the variety of media caters to every patron: from functional art to sculptures, rugs, paintings and photographs. The only requirement of artists is that they produce original work: a unique feature among festivals.

And Rush said the lineup of artists has always been approachable.

"It makes it more personal when you talk to the artist," she said. "They can tell you more about the piece and its history."

First-time artist at the fair and 2-D painter Armando Pedroso of Chicago said he decided to be part of the fair because of the event planners and the feedback he heard from other artists.

When looking for new shows, he said, "I mainly look for high quality shows."

And Roberta Elliott, who has shown her work at the fair for about 10 years, said she continues to be part of the fair for the crowd.

"It's a nice community and a nice group of artists," the Carbondale artist said.

Serena agreed -- she's looking forward to another successful year and working with some of her regular buyers.

"It's great to see people come back ... it's one of my best shows," she said.

For more information on the fair, visit www.genevachamber.com/artfair.html

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