By Linda VanderKolk, President of the Naperville Art League

Thirty-three years ago, members of the Naperville Art League invited the community to a reenactment of Georges Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” a painting that is part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection.

Photo courtesy Naperville Art League

To recreate the painting, Naperville Art League members spent months sewing costumes, gathering props, developing a riverside plan, scheduling photographers and the press, and informing the public of the event.

On a warm September day in 1985, Naperville Art League members took their places by the DuPage River and the new art fair they were promoting became the talk of the town.

And the beautiful Naperville Riverwalk has provided a natural backdrop ever since.

10AM-5PM Saturday & Sunday

This weekend from 10AM to 5PM Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16, the 33rd Annual Riverwalk Fine Art Fair will be held along the Riverwalk and Jackson Avenue between Main Street and Eagle Street. The Riverwalk Fine Art Fair always has been a hometown event, planned, hosted and presented by Naperville Art League members.

Debbie Venezia, who has directed the event for the past 13 years, returns to add new artists and activities to keep the fair fresh and interesting. 

Debbie, of course, cannot present the art fair alone. Volunteers from the Naperville Art League mobilize as set-up teams, judge escorts, booth helpers, people delivering water to artists, art league information booth attendees, artist reception hosts and more to ensure the artists and guests are treated like royalty.

With nearly 70,000 attendees expected, this event also is an important time to showcase the city and its businesses.

The Riverwalk Fine Art Fair Information Booth is across the street from the Dandelion Fountain along the Riverwalk, Jackson Avenue at Webster Street.

Riverwalk Fine Art Fair has grown and is now recognized as one of the nation’s best juried fine art fairs, attracting international artists, too. In fact, the award-winning Riverwalk Fine Art Fair is one of the top outdoor fine art fairs in the country, according to a survey by

Naperville Bank and Trust and the City of Naperville are among the many sponsors of the event.

Over the years, we’ve noted our sponsors get just as excited about the art fair as we do. This is an opportunity to support the arts in a very visible fashion. We appreciate the support they provide and recognize them in our publications throughout the year as well as in the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair event magazine available at our booth near the corner of Jackson Avenue at Webster Street.

Visit Naperville Art League & Gallery Year-Round, 508 N. Center Street

Naperville Art League is active year-round offering art classes, Gallery shows, and special events at its Naperville Fine Art Center & Gallery at 508 N. Center St, Naperville.

I hope all attendees have as much fun as we at the Naperville Art League will have at the art fair!

For more information, visit