Fine Arts Festival returns

The 47th annual event will be smaller in scale with safety measures

Sandra Holt didn't intend to become an artist. Although she had enjoyed a career teaching art to others, the purses she began making in retirement were supposed to be nothing more than a hobby.

"I just couldn't stop," said Holt, who pairs her talents as an artist with the sewing skills gained from her grandmother to create one-of-a-kind handbags. Using unique fabrics and cork from Portugal, she creates special occasion bags in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The bags will be among the many unique, handcrafted items on display at the 47th annual Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16.

Claudia Thornton, marketing director at the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce, said careful thought and planning have gone into preparing for Hinsdale's traditional summer event. As always, the juried festival will be held in Burlington Park, on Chicago Avenue between Garfield and Washington streets. And while much will be the same as in years past, Thornton said every measure has been taken to keep this year's festival safe for all involved.

Rather than the typical 100-plus artists, 52 artists representing a wide variety of media have confirmed their participation in this year's event.

"We scaled it down to half," Thornton said, which will allow for greater distance between booths and more room for visitors to safely peruse and admire the artists' work.

Masks are required, and booth operators have been asked to have sand sanitizer available and to monitor the number of people visiting their booth at any time. With proper cooperation from everyone involved, Thornton said she's confident the village can enjoy this long standing event again this year.

"The Chamber and village are doing everything necessary to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines," Thornton said. That includes restricting food vendors to selling pre-packaged products only.

Even with the added safety measures, Artist Stephen Almandarz said he's excited to showcase his pencil drawings at the Hinsdale show for the third time this year.

Using watercolor, oil and pastel pencils, Almandarz creates drawings that are often mistaken for paintings of landscapes, people, and his favorite subject, dogs.

"I like that I can do a lot of detail with it," he said of his chosen medium.

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean