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Talented Families Showcased in Park Forest Art Fair

The Tall Grass Arts Association is sponsoring the annual event, which will include art, music and activities for kids.

The , the second oldest juried fair in Chicagoland, is back for another year of artist-friendly fun.

One artist recently declared the fair the "best fair she participated in last year." The attendees stopped to talk to the artists and the Tall Grass Arts Association volunteers made me feel exceptionally welcome.” 

Apparently, she is not the only artist who feels that way. Several artists have been showing in Park Forest for nearly four decades. 

Meet the Artists

This year, for the first time, three families representing two generations of art fair artists will be participating.

First there's Robert Fritz, who has worked with glass for over 30 years. He specializes in hand-blown works of art which have been exhibited in exhibitions in Japan and Denmark and are represented in collections throughout the US and Europe. 

Robert's son, Jonathan, grew up learning the skill from his dad. He began selling his own works in his father’s holiday shows at age 10. His work was recently juried on its own merits and he will be exhibiting at Park Forest alongside his Robert.

Laura Meddaugh has been living and painting in Madison for more than 30 years. She has a passion for exuberant colors and playful subjects. Humor is a common thread that links her works and they tell a story that often elicits a smile. She draws inspiration from the magical paintings of Marc Chagall, the bold landscapes of Wassily Kandinsky, vibrant Latin American folk art and the work done by children. 

Her daughter, Sarah Lichtenwald, apparently drew her inspiration from Laura and has been going to art fairs and creating art all her life. Both mother and daughter work in acrylics and will be exhibiting together.

John Mroczek is an accomplished goldsmith who has practiced his art for over 35 years. His twin sons, Damen and Coley, grew up attending art fairs and learning to appreciate art. Although initially a sculptor, Damen is now a jeweler. 

Coley, however, has always been more interested in producing functional, stoneware pottery. He creates using both hand-built and wheel thrown methods. All three Mroczeks live in Mishawaka, IN, with their families and will be exhibiting alongside one another. 

These three families with join 80 other artists who come from as far away as California and New Hampshire and who exhibit in a range of media from painting, pastels and photography to glass, ceramics, jewelry and wood. 

More Than Art

Another “first” for the 56th Annual Park Forest Art Fair is an all-day music fest on Saturday hosted by the Village of Park Forest. 

Musical groups include The Big Boppers at 11, a rock band that plays music from the '50s to the '70s.

At 12:15 p.m., T. L. Williams and “Ice” will perform. Primarily a jazz band, they also perform R&B and soul music.

Silk & Smooth and the Family Bank will perform at 2 p.m.  This group specializes in jazz. “Blu” Willie T and da Mid-Nite Lovers will wrap up the fest at 3:45 p.m. with their Delta Blues. 

On Sunday, fair favorite Patchouli will perform all day.

The fair includes many activities for young children such as an art contest, mural painting, tie dying, library story, art activities and more.

The fair will be held all day Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Park Forest.

For additional information see the Tall Grass Arts Association Facebook page or call the gallery at (708) 748-3377.

-Submitted by Janet Muchnik

PLEASE VISIT our Patch Places directory to look up arts and entertainment spots in the area.

clueless joe September 18, 2011 at 01:44 AM
Help: Our 9 year old daughter sold a Blue peacock painting of hers Saturday afternoon at the fair that has enormous sentimental value to her parents. We'd like to buy it back; please contact keating2948 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Thank you!

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