Committee readies for 2011 Fine Arts Festival

By on April 1, 2011

Kaneland Fine Arts Festival
Sunday, April 10
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
High School

Photo: Handmade arts and crafts will be on display at the 12th annual Kaneland Fine Arts Festival, set for Sunday, April 10, at Kaneland High School. File Photo

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—All things artistic will be on display during the 12th annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival (KCFAF) on Sunday, April 10. And this year’s festivities will include dance, glass and painting workshops, caricature artists, various music ensembles, a live performance of School of Rock, and an art experience for pre-Kindergarten children.

To say there will be something for everyone at this festival might be a bit of an understatement.

“The Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival will provide another year of spectacular opportunities to immerse oneself in the arts, (and) people of all ages will be able to participate in watching the amazing artists present their work throughout the day,” KCFAF Executive Director Maria Dripps-Paulson said. “We will have another year of our Pre-K Art Experience offered throughout the entire day in the Fox Valley Career Center Child Care Center, with interactions with the KHS Art Club as well as puppets and storytelling.”

The 2011 Fine Arts Festival, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Kaneland High School, typically draws close to 3,000 people each year and is a main attraction during the arts-oriented month of April in the Kaneland School District. In addition to the festival, the KCFAF will present its third-annual Juried Art Show at the Sugar Grove Public Library throughout the month of April. The show will feature 18 artists and over 50 works of art on display. A reception and awards show will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at the library.

Dripps-Paulson said the Sugar Grove Public Library is an outstanding place in which to showcase art, citing it as one way to try and unite the many communities of Kaneland, working with public and visual entities within the school’s boundary.

“We understand that the Kaneland District boundary covers many municipalities, and the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival tries to have as much representation from the different communities as possible,” she said.

Visual art styles such as pencil art, acrylic and oil painting, watercolors and calligraphy will also be well represented during the festival. However, boasting a wealth of performing and visual artists as well as a healthy crowd turnout each year isn’t about to cause anyone on the KCFAF committee to forget about the tight festival budget.

“We’re expecting upwards of 3,000 people again this year, and even though (all of the planning) is coming together quite nicely, we have to really keep track of our finances to make sure we’re all in check,” said Kara Berth, a KCFAF committee member. “But it hasn’t really been a problem because we’ve worked really well together and we’ve done a few fundraising efforts that turned out nicely for us. People are still out there supporting the arts, which is great.”

According to Berth, those fundraiser efforts include a few mailers to businesses, and a feast that took place on Feb. 19.

With the festival coming up in just over a week, the committee’s focus has been on making sure all of the festival’s small details are accounted for.

“The festival is so close, (and) with spring break this week, it makes it a little more difficult to tie up all the loose ends,” said Bonnie Whildin, a KCFAF committee member and an art teacher at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School.

KCFAF Committee member Colleen Grigg said she believes some of the festival’s appeal comes from the city-caliber artistic talent it draws out to the Kaneland community.

“The feedback is so positive from anyone who goes, and it’s just a good time with a variety of stuff to do,” she said. “The festival can hold the interest of my 2-year-old daughter and also my parents, who are in their sixties. It’s really just wide appealing to all groups of people.”