|Tunes and talent at annual arts festival|
|Written by Brittany Tepper, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 14:14|
Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and great atmosphere of Uptown Normal this weekend. The Sugar Creek Arts Festival will take place July 7–8 and is free to all. The festival will include live music, food vendors, and, of course, art.
Approximately 135 artists from across the country will gather to sell their artwork, while art professionals are judging their artwork. A wide variety of art will be available including jewelry, textiles, wood works, photography, ceramics, glass blown art, and sculptures.
Monetary awards and ribbons will be given to winning artists in the categories of fine arts and fine crafts, and the overall ‘Best in Show’ winner who will win $500.
Doug Johnson, Executive Director of the McLean County Arts Center, says a new award category will be added this year in honor of a sculptor who had participated in previous festivals.
“We do have an additional new award this year, and it’s in honor of D. Bill. It’s a prize for artwork that best utilizes recycled material. It’s in honor of a local artist who was a ‘Best in Show’ winner who died last year,” said Johnson.
Typically, only art professionals display their art in the festival, however, students have also taken part previously.
“We have had students in the past, but they would have to have the displays and the set up. So it’s really geared toward the professionals,” Johnson added.
Live music will be provided by GLT radio, including a demonstration by the Sugar Creek Cloggers. A Blues rock band, Jazz quintet, acoustic folk duo, and a traditional Irish and American folk band will also be playing on the Sugar Creek stage.
This is the festival’s 29th year, making it one of the most popular juried art festivals in the Midwest. About 20,000 people are expected to attend.
Bloomington–Normal residents and ISU students are excited about this year’s festival. Gabrielle Thomas, senior communications major, has never attended the Sugar Creek Arts Festival before but is looking forward to gaining a new experience.
“This summer I have decided to stay in Bloomington so that I can take summer classes and work, but when I don’t have to work I want to do something enjoyable. It’s really hard to find things to do in this town, especially when more than half of ISU’s population is gone,” Thomas explained.
She added that although she is not completely sure what to expect, she hopes to find interesting pieces of art and have a good time at the festival.
“I love art and music so I think this will be a nice experience for me. It’s not everyday that you hear about fun and interesting events going on in Bloomington–Normal,” Thomas said.
The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday July 7, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday July 8. The McLean County Arts Center runs the festival, and this year’s major sponsor is Advocate BroMenn Hospital. For more information visit www.mcaart.org