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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Art Talk – New kid in town


Visit Naperville’s Water Street on any summer Sunday, and you’ll experience a bustling district with a European vibe, filled with innovative restaurants, charming boutiques, and a public art installation that captures the city’s history and spirit. It’s hard to imagine what would improve the setting, but Nick Ryan and Peter Foyo, two notable figures associated with the Water Street development, had an idea. What about an outdoor art market featuring the talents of local artisans?

Long-time Water Street collaborator Deb Newman learned of the concept and was eager to bring the event to life.

“Water Street is a proud supporter of the arts, home to the Century Walk ‘Streaming History’ installation, and sponsor of the Century Walk Pocket Guide,” said Newman. “We love to showcase our location, and welcoming artists and art lovers on a summer Sunday seemed like the next step in our support.”

With that in mind, the inaugural Water Street Fine Art and Fine Craft Fair is set for Sun., July 14. Running from 10AM to 5PM on Water Street between Main and Webster Streets, the juried exhibition and sale will feature the work of 18 artists from DuPage, Will, and Kane Counties. Attendees will discover a colorful display of functional and non-functional art in various mediums. The Pete Ellman Trio and the DuPage Children’s Museum are on board to provide entertainment throughout the day.

Some asked, since Naperville already has two established and well-respected art fairs, why introduce another one? Newman felt the new show would have a much different focus and expressed she was intentional in her approach so as not to compete with either of the signature events. She targeted members of local arts organizations while recruiting from a broader base of regional exhibitors and attracted applications from both experienced and emerging artists.

Naperville Art League member Gedra Simkus, a Lithuanian-born artist now living in DuPage County, is a newcomer to the arts arena and was among the first to apply.

“After retiring four years ago, I began pursuing my creative passion for art,” said Simkus. “I applied to the Water Street Art Fair because it will allow me to expose my art to a diverse cross-section of art lovers.”

Upon receiving an invitation to the show, Simkus began preparing by investing in a professional artist tent and display walls. She then expanded her inventory and produced new work at various price points to ensure visitors on a budget could make purchases.

The community’s response has been positive, and Newman is optimistic about the future of the fair. “This is a maiden voyage for our event; we expect to grow it!”

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Debbie Venezia
Debbie Veneziahttp://www.artsdupage.org
Debbie Venezia is the Director of Arts DuPage, a DuPage Foundation initiative. Contact her at debbie@dupagefoundation.org or visit www.artsdupage.org.