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posted: 7/23/2014 3:15 PM

Geneva Arts Fair: an interactive gallery

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  • Christina Byrne of Geneva watches as Barry Stevens of the Vulcan Glass Art Studio demonstrates how to make a glass marble at last year's Geneva Arts Fair.

      Christina Byrne of Geneva watches as Barry Stevens of the Vulcan Glass Art Studio demonstrates how to make a glass marble at last year's Geneva Arts Fair.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • The kids' art area at last year's Geneva Arts Fair offered handmade tie-dyed shirts to take home.

      The kids' art area at last year's Geneva Arts Fair offered handmade tie-dyed shirts to take home.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • The creativity of Plandscape Inc. Elburn-based landscape designers, will be part of the Geneva Arts Fair.

      The creativity of Plandscape Inc. Elburn-based landscape designers, will be part of the Geneva Arts Fair.
    Courtesy of Geneva Chamber of Commerce

  • Crowds pack Third Street at a previous Geneva Arts Fair.

       Crowds pack Third Street at a previous Geneva Arts Fair.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Patti Stern of Moreland Hills, Ohio, explains the work of her husband, Bob, to Gayle David, left, of West Dundee and Mac Chaney of Huntley at a previous Geneva Arts Fair.

       Patti Stern of Moreland Hills, Ohio, explains the work of her husband, Bob, to Gayle David, left, of West Dundee and Mac Chaney of Huntley at a previous Geneva Arts Fair.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
Submitted by Jean Gaines
President, Geneva Chamber of Commerce

If you want to know the story behind a piece of artwork before purchasing it, the Geneva Arts Fair offers many such opportunities.

The fair, which runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27, in downtown Geneva, will provide a venue for more than 155 artisans to sell their original works of art to thousands of art enthusiasts, while allowing patrons to meet exhibiting artists, learn the sources of their inspirations, ask questions about techniques, commission a specific piece and of course purchase existing fine works of art.

The Geneva Chamber of Commerce is proud to host this prestigious Arts Fair. On Saturday, eight awards of excellence worth $500 each will be presented for 2-D and 3-D artwork.

Thanks to the support of generous sponsors, visitors can enjoy stunning displays of artistry for free.

Information garden

For the fifth year, the expertise and products of Plandscape Inc. will transform the corners of South Third and Franklin streets into a comforting, breathtaking display of foliage and color. Stop by for questions about the Arts Fair, upcoming festivals or visiting Geneva. The decision of the layout starts with trying to strike a balance between using their involvement to showcase examples of what they do as a company, but also to join in the spirit of the event and attempt to present landscaping as art. The specific details of each display come together as a collaborative effort between all of their design and production team. Everyone contributes.

It is amazing how the street transforms in a matter of hours. However, this magic does not happen overnight. The week before the fair, the designers visit local growers to see what's available, selecting plants at the peak of bloom. Then the displays are mocked up and hardscape features are prefabricated as much as possible. This can take two men and the designers at least three days. The day before the event, a three-man crew will spend most of the morning to load trucks and trailers. Once Third Street is closed, 12 people work from 6 p.m. until after dark on Friday to get everything set up.

While Plandscape seems to do the setup and takedown with ease, there are challenges. Plants provide the biggest challenge. The plantings, especially those in flower, are a big part of each display. They are fragile and difficult to transport and handle. Last year about 700 specimens of 70 different species were used, requiring almost constant watering because the asphalt got so hot in the sun.

Incorporating new features and reinventing old ones have continually kept the displays fresh. Plandscape's 2012 landscaping design recently won top prize in the Special Events Category at the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association competition.

For details on the Geneva Arts Fair, visit genevachamber.com or call (630) 232-6060.

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