The Allen County Public Library will hold its first Artist Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It will take place in the Great Hall of the Main Library Building.
Craig Bailey, a librarian with the ACPL, is helping to put the fair together. In a post for the ACPL's “What's Happening” blog, he explained that the Artist Fair will be “a bazaar of unique contributions from a variety of local artists.”
During the Artist Fair, the ACPL is also hosting Classical Music and You, Simon Says Art, Chainmaille Jewelry, and Watercolor Art workshops.
The library will hold the workshops in different areas of the Main library, and individual events are designed for different age groups. Supplies for the art projects are provided at no charge. At Classical Music and You, a duet from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic will give a 45-minute concert with a little music education added.
Art works on display at the Fair will range from jewelry to photography to oil paintings and more. Every artist will bring his or her specialty, and works on display will be for sale.
Participating artists were asked to submit their registrations to show at the fair last spring. Here is more information about some of the artists who will be at the library.
“I submitted right away and was very thrilled to be accepted,” Valerie McBride said.
A draftsman who works for the city of Fort Wayne, McBride said, “Being an artist is all I ever wanted to do.” Self-taught in her work, McBride has met with a fair amount of success: she won the Hoosier Women Artists award twice, and has shown her work at a number of museums and shows.
McBride's favorite medium is textural acrylic. This method of painting involves applying many different layers of paint to a canvas, giving it a three-dimensional look. “It takes time for each layer to dry,” she explained, but the finished product is worth it. She also does mixed-media work, with India ink – a nod to her drafting experience, where inking in fine lines is the norm.
At the show, McBride will have larger pieces, which are 24-by-24 inches, and some smaller works. She plans to bring in collage work, textural acrylic, and maybe some alcohol-ink work, “If I get it done,” she added. The latter form of art is created when ink is mixed with alcohol and applied to ceramic tiles or glass. It dries very quickly. She adds a sealant to the tiles, so that they can later be used as coasters or trivets.
“I hand-make jewelry,” Janelle Young said of her art. Her work focuses on natural elements, glass, crystal and semiprecious stones. She makes necklaces, bracelets, and earrings – usually a best seller.
She started working with her craft when she was 12 or 13 years old, inspired by the jewelry her aunts wore. One aunt, in particular, lived in Florida and had access to different accent pieces. “I think that was my first inspiration,” Young recalled. “(She had such) nice, classy jewelry.”
Today, Young works full-time as the general manager at the Three Rivers Co-op Natural Grocery and Deli. But she still finds time to work on her art and attend events. “Every artist sets out their table like a little boutique,” she said. Visitors are able to explore the different pieces and try on items, just to see how they would look.
Although she has her hands full with jewelry projects and her full-time job, Young concluded, “I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing now.”
“I've been drawing all my life,” Heather Houser said. A dedicated mom, Houser noted, “I don't paint full time.” But when she does get some artwork in, she likes to do oil painting.
Houser received her first oil painting set when she was 12. But her artistic bent was really inspired in 2008, when she wanted to have an original oil painting to hang over the fireplace. The issue: original paintings are expensive. So, she decided to make her own.
“It really worked out!” she exclaimed. And she's been doing it ever since.
For real-life work, Houser does “Plein air” painting, which means that she sets up an easel outside. While it may look like a simple practice, she noted that there are bugs, sunburn, and wind that blow over the canvas, so it isn't as easy as you may think.
“I love ordinary moments,” Houser said. “…anything that I think is beautiful and has worth… I want to portray value for each (subject).”
WHAT: The Allen County Public Library Artist Fair
WHERE: Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN, 46802
WHEN: 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday
COST: no cost to attend or participate in workshops
INFORMATION: http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/home/what's-happening/as-you-like-it/what's-happening/2017/05/22/artist-fair-adult-summer-learning or call the library, 421-1200, for more information.