For 36 years, the annual Port Clinton Art Festival has been an integral part of life in Highland Park.
It’s only fitting then that when the outdoor art festival returns this weekend, it will join in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the city.
“We’re proud to be part of Highland Park’s 150th anniversary celebration,” says festival producer Amy Amdur, president of Highland Park-based Amdur Productions. “Our first, modest gathering of artists in 1983 has evolved into the largest suburban art festival in Illinois. This annual event is the perfect mix of talented artists, both young and old, in a lovely location convenient to savvy art enthusiasts and their families.”
Held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 24 and Sunday, August 25, more than 240 of the country’s most celebrated artists will showcase painting, jewelry, sculpture, photographs, fashion wearables, furniture, and more. Local artists Mark Hersch, Meg Musick, Dana Reed, Ryan Roessler, and Howard Tatar from Highland Park; Sher Berman and Jim Wibat from Deerfield; and Jackie Schomburg from Glencoe are slated to exhibit. Artist talks and demonstrations will be held on Saturday at noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Rated as one of the top art shows in the US by Sunshine Artist Magazine and a top show by Art Fair Calendar, the festival is held in the heart of the city. Downtown streets are closed to traffic during the festival so that attendees can appreciate the city’s architecture and landscaping by foot in a relaxed fashion. Festival-goers with strollers and wheelchairs can enjoy an accessible festival with easy access to all booths.
Throughout the weekend, thousands of art enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to purchase unique works of art by master artists from across the country. There are also art activities for kids like face painting, interactive art demos, and even a Youth Art Division. Alongside established artists, the Youth Art Division celebrates the talents of artists ages 18 and under, offering them the opportunity to participate, exhibit, and experience behind-the-scenes at an art festival. The Youth Art Tent is sponsored by Blick.
In addition to the artwork, festival-goers can enjoy delicious food and beverages from neighbor- hood establishments, including from Real Urban Barbecue, Michael’s Chicago Style, and Ravinia Brewing Company. Continuous live musical performances are scheduled throughout the weekend, including classic rock tunes from the duo Cirrus Falcon and jazz rock fusion by Check with Lucy on two live music stages. A special performance of music from Mama Mia by the Highland Park Players is scheduled for Sunday, August 25, at noon.
Parking is free, and festival admission is a suggested donation of $5 per person. The show is accessible from the downtown Highland Park stop of Metra’s Union Pacific/North Line.