Fine Arts Festival turns 50

One of the season's most visible events returns to downtown this weekend

The Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival is an event for the family to enjoy - and an exhibition where even the artists are family.

Among the 85 participating artists at this year's milestone 50th annual fest Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4, in Burlington Park, 30 E. Chicago Ave., are brother and sister Scott and Teri Causey.

Teri, an abstract painter, was the first sibling to present at the show, debuting last June.

"A friend of mine had told me about it the year before, saying, 'I think you would do well there,' " she related from her home in Mississippi.

That proved to be true, as Teri was awarded the Best Newcomer award. And her work graces this year's promotional material.

"I was really surprised about that. It's quite a honor," she remarked of the featured floral piece. "I think it's the right clientele. It's an easy show to do, in a great neighborhood with a great downtown."

So impressed was Teri by Hinsdale's set-up that she recommended it to her brother Scott, a ceramic sculptor based in Florida. He'll have his first booth in Burlington Park this weekend, although he expects to see some familiar faces.

"When you go to a show for the first time, it's always interesting to run into people that I've seen down here in Florida who are now back where they live in the summer months," Scott said. "There some collectors of my pieces who live there in Hinsdale but are part-time Florida residents."

Just as rewarding, he continued, is meeting those seeing his striking sculptures of animals for the first time. Each brightly glazed figure, first constructed then broken into pieces, which are glazed separately and fired before being reconstructed, takes nearly a month to complete.

"It's quite a long process - I think there are over 28 different steps to it," he said. "I use gold and platinum and mother of pearl and really bright glazes. I try to create something that most people haven't seen before."

Scott said animals are what he is known for, adding that he has a lot of repeat business.

"Nobody just buys one. They usually get several," he said. "The biggest thing for me is just keeping up with inventory. When a piece gets sold, it takes me three weeks to replace it."

The festival, presented by the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce, is one of the village's cultural highlights of the year. Food vendors will be available on the west end of Chicago Avenue. And a face painter will be on hand from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday in celebration of the fest's 50th year, according to Amanda Wagner, the chamber's marketing director.

"We thought it would be fun for families to have this out there," she said.

Tesla Motors will be on site all day Sunday as well.

Teri said she started out as an interior designer before following her passion for creating her vibrant works.

"I just try to make an impression with color and not go overboard on the design," she said. "As an artist you can do more of what you want to do rather than what someone else wants you to do."

Scott, who studied at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, said his love for animal imagery dates back to his youth. He takes credit for convincing his sister to pursue painting, while he owes her a debt for leading him to art shows in addition to gallery exhibits.

"It's so much better when you actually get to meet your customers. You're out there getting to know the person who's collecting your work, and they're getting know who you are. It's a firsthand experience," Scott shared.

The fine arts festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the park at 30 E. Chicago Ave. Visit for more information.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean