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'Art on the Fox' Growing in Popularity

Algonquin artists will feature their artwork at Algonquin's outdoor art festival scheduled to take place from June 18-19.

The village of Algonquin and the Algonquin Public Arts Commission are gearing up for the fourth annual “Algonquin’s Art on the Fox” event to be held the weekend of June 18-19.

The event takes place along the Fox River in Riverfront Park and allows local artists to display and sell their artwork.

“It started as a one-day event,” said Benjamin Mason, Algonquin senior planner, “but last year we expanded it to Saturday and Sunday. It went over very well with the artists.”

Mason said he is anticipating about 40 artists to register for the event this year.

After the Algonquin Public Arts Commission successfully launched a public art loan program in 2005, the group looked for a way to expand the presence of art in the village even more.

“The Commission wanted to feature one of our downtown parks,” Mason said. “Then they had to idea to host a hometown show where local artists can display their work.”

Most recently the village board granted permission to include amplified music at this year’s event.

“We had live music last year, and it was well-received,” Mason said, “but it was difficult to hear the music over the noise of the road and the river.”

Musicians Mary Lai, Merv Collins, and Don Humbertson are scheduled to perform on Saturday, and the bluegrass band Uncle Zesty’s Old Time Bootknockers are slated for Sunday afternoon.

Mike Argol, fiddle player for Uncle Zesty's, and the rest of the band are out of Grayslake. Argol's grandmother, an artist and Algonquin resident, suggested that the band perform at the art event. Influenced by jug bands and traditional Americana music, the band is excited to play at Art on the Fox.

"It's always nice to play to a new audience," Argol said.

Local artists are encouraged to apply. The application includes a non-refundable jury fee of $15. If selected into the show, the exhibit booth fee is $85.

Participating artists will be eligible for a “best in show” contest in which college art teachers from the area will judge the artist’s booths and award ribbons for best display and quality of work. Media featured at the art show include painting, drawing, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics and more.

“This is a great way to introduce local artwork into the community,” Mason said. He added that the event will occur rain or shine.

“Last year it rained for a half hour or so, but after that, we were fine,” Mason said. “We’re hoping for nice weather this year.”

The event is free to the public. Artists interested in applying for exhibit space can print a copy of the registration form at www.algonquin.org.

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