Whiting art festival is ‘worth the trip’
By Sue Ellen Ross Post-Tribune correspondent September 4, 2012 12:38PM
Artist Peter Anton draws a portrait in pastels during the seventh annual For the Love of Art Festival in Whiting, Ind., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~For Sun-Times Media
High temperatures didn’t keep hundreds of people from the recent, seventh annual, “For the Love of Art” show in downtown Whiting.
“We come every year, I wouldn’t miss this,” said Jeanine Hartman of Calumet City. “I always find unique one-of-a-kind gifts here, so it’s worth the trip, no matter what the weather is.”
In addition to perusing the booths of jewelry, paintings and other hand-made items, Hartman and other visitors also had the opportunity to have a caricature painting done or make a tie-dyed t-shirt.
“I’m going to make one of these as soon as my mom gets here with her wallet,” said 14-year-old Jana Martin of Hammond, as she watched another teen squirt different colors of paint on a white T-shirt. “These are so cool, no one else will have exactly what I make.”
Other vendors were set up along 119th Street, and local band Indiana provided the atmosphere music. Following their set, local musical artist Keenan Baxter was at his keyboard to finish off the afternoon.
For those needing lunch or a snack, hot dogs, popcorn, pies and gelatos were among their choices. And for those wanting to make their own lunch or dinner, a farmers market offered many fruits and vegetables.
This is the seventh year for the event, developed by the Whiting 119th Street Artists group.
Originally held just along 119th Street, the show moved to Oliver Street, right off 119th Street along the side of Nathan Hale Elementary School. This gave an opportunity for other vendors to sell their wares on 119th Street, and also offer much-needed shade for the visitors.
“It’s an exciting concept,” said Kathy Winsbery, Whiting business owner and coordinator of the event.
“It’s reminiscent of when the Pierogi Fest art show was on Liver Street. We’re looking forward to it as we have been welcomed with open arms by the School City. It’s a place for us to grow, be back in the lovely shade and it’s quite a scenic location.”
Keri Lanman of Calumet City was pleased with the change
“Anything to help us shoppers be more comfortable while spending our money is appreciated,” she laughed, as she purchased a bottle of ice-cold water.
Also this year, a table was offered for free mural painting. Both adults and children tried their hands at the experience.
“Our family loves art and we try to go to all the art shows, both big and small,” said James Parker of Merrillville, formerly a resident of Chicago.
“These little towns and cities have the best ones — you have the opportunity to look at more than just painted pictures. The little downtown shops are fun to peruse too.”