Browse the art fairs in Barrington and St. Charles this weekend

As pandemic restrictions begin easing up, outdoor events are making a comeback, and this weekend marks the return of two favorites - the Barrington Art Festival and the St. Charles Fine Art Show.

Both take place Saturday and Sunday, May 29-30, in the communities' downtown areas. Admission is free.

Here's what you can expect at each event.

Barrington Art Festival

The 12th annual Barrington Art Festival will showcase the work of more than 110 juried artists from around the country in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, sculpture and more.

The Barrington Art Festival returns to the village's downtown Saturday and Sunday, May 29-30. Courtesy of Village of Barrington

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Cook and Station streets. Admission is free.

Amdur Productions, the organizer of the show, is encouraging attendees to register for a time in advance to help spread crowds throughout the weekend; however, they say walk-ups are welcome, too. To reserve a time, visit

If you work up an appetite while browsing artists' booths, local restaurants McGonigal's and Big Iron Horse will be on-site hosting a Bar and Grill Garden.

The Barrington Cultural Commission is inviting attendees to participate in its Community Art Project. Stop by the booth at Cook Street and Park Avenue, near McGonigal's, and put your handprint on a tile to be made into a community mosaic called "Pillars of Strength," reflecting residents' experiences from the last year.

Have art at home you're tired of? Bring it to the festival to be recycled. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, The Chicago Furniture Bank is accepting gently used art, which will be distributed to people leaving shelters and moving into permanent housing. The donations will help turn empty spaces into cozy homes, according to The Chicago Furniture Bank.

St. Charles Fine Art Show

St. Charles is preparing for a big weekend to celebrate the arts with the return of the St. Charles Fine Art Show and other art events to enjoy around town.

The 22nd annual St. Charles Fine Art Show will take place on Riverside Avenue and bring more than 90 artists showcasing original, juried art in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, mixed media, glass and more.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, rain or shine.

The St. Charles Fine Art Show will feature the work of more than 90 artists. Courtesy of Oscar Pallares Photography

Be sure to stop by this year's Feature Tent, which will host the St. Charles Arts Council, who will be promoting the Amanda Browder Fabric Art Installation coming to the St. Charles Municipal Building in August. The St. Charles Arts Council will also be collecting donations of cotton fabric with saturated deep colors to be used in the installation.

Fine Art Show visitors can also find live music entertainment and enjoy local, talented musicians while they peruse the art.

Saturday's lineup: Samuel Wyatt at Flagship on the Fox, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Jack Macklin Solo at Pollyanna, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Jack Macklin Trio at Pollyanna, 2 to 4:30 p.m.; Mike Hayes at Flagship on the Fox, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Keep the Eleven, Wine Exchange, 4 to 6 p.m.; Riley Bros Duo, Flagship on the Fox, 6 to 9 p.m.; Fantasy Masters, Wine Exchange, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; and Ryan Budyak (of Bodichitta), Pollyanna, 7 to 10 p.m.

Sunday musical entertainment: Matt Keen, Flagship on the Fox, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nicole Devine, Pollyanna, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Rich Sawyer, Flagship on the Fox, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Afternoon Logic, Pollyanna, 3 to 5 p.m.; and Steve Bores, McNally's Pub, 4 p.m.

Visitors can also head from the show to St. Charles businesses, which are hosting Fine Art Show weekend deals, specials and promotions. All information on these specials can be found at

Visitors to the St. Charles Fine Art Show are encouraged to check out the nearby exhibits at the St. Charles Park District's Sculpture in the Park display at Mount St. Mary Park. Courtesy of Dave Heun

Beyond the Fine Art Show, there will be plenty of other art activities around town. 116 Gallery, located in Mixology Salon Spa, will be showcasing colored pencil and graphite creations of Andria Burchett, paintings by Janice Czerwinski, photographs from Sue Braunsky, sculptures by Howard Russo and fine woodworking by Tory Haines.

Another must-see are this year's Sculptures in the Park at Mount St. Mary Park on Route 31, where visitors can view the various sculptures while taking a scenic walk around the park.

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