Artfest brings diversity and art to Streeterville

(Published June 30, 2019)

By Elisa Shoenberger

Sixty-five artists from 19 states will be displaying and selling their works during the fourth annual artfest Michigan Avenue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19-20 at 435 N. Michigan Ave. This juried art show features artists of numerous disciplines, including traditional visual arts, photography, jewelry and ceramics.

Amdur Productions, who run the artfest along with the Millenium Art Festival, June 28-29 at Lake and Michigan, have been running art shows for more than 36 years.

Amy Amdur, of Amdur Productions, said they reached out to the Magnificent Mile Association after learning there was an opening to run the show. She had grown up seeing Michigan Avenue as “a magical street with all the beautiful stores and windows.” For Amdur Productions to run an art show on Michigan Avenue, she said “it was a full circle experience for me having grown up always idolizing Michigan Avenue.” 

Now in its fourth year, people expect beautiful art in Pioneer Court, next to Tribune Tower and the Apple store. Amdur explains, “It’s a spectacular setting with landmarks, but what makes the show really special this year is the artists,” Amdur said.

Mark Hersh, a Chicago based photographer, will be showcasing his work for the second time at Artfest. Hersh said his work “Time After Time” brings together the new and old in a single photograph. He finds 100-120 year old photographs of cities, such as Chicago and Boston, then recreates the shot exactly in the present day at the same angle. Then he merges the two photographs together. 

Hersh said he finds that the audience in areas such as Streeterville and Printer’s Row “like the history of those neighborhoods and tend to appreciate the history and preservation.”

Other artists at the fair include Ali Hasmut, a Chicago Portrait artist who has done quick portraits at past fairs; Todd Babb who creates 3-4 foot tall ballet dancer sculptures; and West Loop artist Heather Offord with giant paintings.

But the focus of the Artfest is the art itself, Amdur said. Visitors should expect to see great art and demonstrations by artists. ###

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