Art lovers flock to 56th annual Chesterton Art Fair
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent August 2, 2014 10:50PM
A sculpture by Ohio artist Thomas Yano adorns the lawn at Hawthorne Park in Porter for the annual Chesterton Art Fair on Saturday, August 2, 2014. The fair continues Sunday. | Michael Gard/For Sun-Times Media
If you go
The 56th Chesterton Art Fair continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Hawthorn Park in Porter. Admission is $5, and parking is free.
Updated: September 4, 2014 6:15AM
CHESTERTON — It’s the first weekend of August and, like clockwork, the artists are back.
One hundred and one artists from near and far have set up their tents to display their wares at Hawthorne Park in Porter for the 56th Chesterton Art Fair.
The lure of the art, coupled with Saturday’s splendid summer weather, assured a steady throng of patrons of the arts to come view — and buy.
Many people are browsers, hoping to get ideas for a home decoration project. Others, such as Anne-Marie Finch, of Valparaiso, came ready to buy.
“I always find lots of good stuff here,” Finch said.
Finch selected several pieces of art, including a paper carving using traditional Chinese paper cutting methods, a painting of the sun setting over a lake and a “very pretty” ceramic piece she planned to give to her daughter.
“I look at my home and see a need for something, so I come to the show knowing exactly what I want,” she said.
Mike and Nancy Harrigan, of Munster, have been coming to the art fair every year for the past 15 years.
“This is always a nice show. We like looking at the art,” Nancy Harrigan said.
Craftsmen themselves — they own and operate a custom furniture and millwork store in Munster — the Harrigans appreciate the arts and crafts here because of the work they know goes into every piece.
The Harrigans enjoy coming to the Chesterton show, too, to find unique pieces. Saturday they found something for their house and garden: copper decorative wall pieces and a sculpture garden accent.
Those who come to the fair appreciate the arts on display and the artists, and the artists equally are appreciative of fair-goers.
Mixed media artist Mary Burke, of Berrien Springs, Michigan, enjoys coming to the fair. This marked her third trip.
“It’s a nice fair. The people are nice and I enjoy myself when I come,” she said. “It’s not like doing a big show in Chicago but coming here is totally worth it. The audience is just as sophisticated as in Chicago. They know what they’re looking at.”
Burke started as a painter some 40 years ago but shifted to mixed media about 10 years ago.
“Mixed media is like jazz. It’s improvising with different material and shapes,” she said.
Indianapolis photographer Jasen Goslin has a display of black-and-white photographs, including landscapes, natural abstracts and human interest. Goslin has taken photos at many of the national parks, including the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and many of his photographs are reminiscent of the late Ansel Adams, from whom he draws his inspiration.
The photographic prints Goslin has on display are large and exquisitely detailed. He uses a 1950 view camera that he calls, “the Cadillac of press cameras,” and a newer roll film camera. The large format film cameras let Goslin take photos and make prints that are exceptionally fine-grained, achieving results that remain beyond the capabilities of digital printing.
Jeweler Gopal Kapoor, of Greenville, North Carolina, has been coming to the art fair in Chesterton for 37 years.
“I just like the area,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor combines silver and gold with semi-precious stones to make his jewelry — very popular jewelry, too, judging by the number of customers crowding the counter in his tent waiting to try on a ring or pendant.
“I have enough customers,” Kapoor said.