With studies from Harvard to the World Health Organization showing the healing powers of art, the 25th annual West End Arts Festival returns to La Grange September 11-12 for much-needed stress relief during the pandemic.
It features the talents of nearly 50 fine artists from across the Midwest plus music performances, artists-at-work, live culinary demonstrations by local chefs and engaging activities for everyone in the family.
Nestled in front of the historic Stone Avenue train station, the free festival has become a favorite of both artists and visitors and has helped define the eclectic West End as a must-see destination for both shopping and dining. The event will run from 10am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, September 11-12 with artists’ tents placed along expansive Burlington Avenue.
Juried artists from across the country in a variety of mediums will display and sell their works in a variety of mediums including painting and photography, glass and functional art, fashion, jewelry and sculpture. Visitors will be able to interact with artists through demonstrations and booth chats.
In addition, a live art auction is featured in front of the train station (701 W. Burlington Avenue) on Saturday beginning at 5:30. Nearly 35 locally-designed, hand-painted dog houses and lounge chairs which were displayed as a summer art exhibit in the village, called Sit, Stay & Play, will be auctioned off to benefit local nonprofits including the La Grange Pet Parade.
Along a winding path near the train station, local restaurants including Antonino’s Ristorante, Monk’s Burgers & More and Taqueria Mi Taquito will sell their unique menu specialties and Palmer Place Biergarten will offer wine and beer.
A booth showcasing the works of art students from Lyons Township High School will be featured including live demonstrations on the pottery wheel.
Children can engage with interactive art activities and crafts throughout the weekend provided by the La Grange Art League and the La Grange Public Library; face painting and songs with a princess are also scheduled.
“There’s a proven benefit to surrounding yourself with beauty and art,” said Nancy Cummings of the La Grange Business Association. “And throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of interest in supporting local artists. The West End Arts Festival is a great opportunity to do both,” she said.
THE ART OF FOOD TENT, sponsored by Baird & Warner Real Estate (La Grange), will feature live culinary demonstrations and samplings from the experts at popular area restaurants including Milk Stop, Pazzo Bene, Steak + Vine, Sushi Ukai and Wheely’s Cafe, among others.
“We’ve been passionate supporters of this event for many years,” said Jimmy Janevski, the managing broker of Baird & Warner. “We recognize the value of giving back to the community, and our agents all love the art of great food, so it’s a perfect fit!” he said.
The festival is made possible through the generosity of numerous local businesses including Baird & Warner Real Estate (La Grange); FNBC Bank & Trust; Chiro One; Club Pilates La Grange, North Hill Mobile Framing; Smothers Group with Compass, and the Village of La Grange.
Free parking is available in the nearby commuter lots. Visitors may take the Burlington Northern METRA train directly to the Stone Avenue station.
For festival updates, visit: www.lagrangeevents.com