The 34th Annual Port Clinton Art Festival, recognized as one of the top ten art shows by Sunshine Artist Magazine, returns to downtown Highland Park for its 34th year, Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27. Produced by Amdur Productions, this highly anticipated FREE event attracts thousands of guests from across the Midwest and features hundreds of the country’s most celebrated artists.
Kicking off the festival weekend is the 11th Annual Taste of Highland Park, opening Friday evening, August 25 at 5 p.m., which will run in conjunction with the art festival all weekend long. The Taste features food and libations from many of Highland Park's most notable restaurants including Backyard Grill, Beelow’s, Casa de Isaac, Green Panda, Judy’s Pizza, Michael’s, Onion Garden, Phoenicia, Real Urban BBQ, Ruby of Siam, and Tamales. Highland Pop and Sunset Foods will also be part of the Taste.
In addition to the tasty fare, festival-goers will enjoy a variety of live musical performances from acclaimed bands and performers throughout the weekend including one of the country’s most popular Beatles tribute bands, BritBeat, on Saturday evening at 6 pm. Other groups scheduled to perform that weekend include The Saturday June Band, Spoken Four, Check with Lucy, and Class of ’68. A performance by the Highland Park Players takes place on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 34 years,” said Amy Amdur, president of Amdur Productions, producer of the festival. “What started in 1983 as a small gathering of artists showcasing their work in downtown Highland Park has evolved into the largest suburban art festival in all of Illinois,” she adds. “The artists love this show, not only because Highland Park is a beautiful place to exhibit, but because of the support they’ve received year after year from this art-loving community.”
With hundreds of juried artists representing 31 states, visitors to the Port Clinton Art Festival will find spectacular art in every medium possible including oil, acrylic, watercolor, jewelry, sculpture, photography, glass, mixed media, wearable art, and much more. Attendees have an opportunity to get up close and personal with the artists thanks to booth chats and live art demonstrations. “More than half of the artists exhibiting at this year’s show are new to the Port Clinton Art Festival, so there’ll be quite a few pieces making their debut at this fest,” says Amdur. “Another interesting fact is that we’ve got close to 50 artists who are couples, sharing their love and their love of art!”
Something else unique to the Port Clinton Art Festival is the Youth Art Division. Nearly 20 young artists (age 18 and under) will be showcasing their work throughout the weekend including jewelry, painting, drawing, ceramics and sculpture. “We’re happy to give these young artists a chance to shine and an opportunity to exhibit at an art festival,” she explains. “Not only do they gain real-world experience, but attendees enjoy seeing the work of up-and-coming artists. Their talent is truly astounding!”
As with all Amdur Productions art festivals, there’s something for everyone. Young attendees are invited to visit an area just for them where they can participate in “Draw for the Troops,” a new program launched this year by Amdur Productions. Kids of all ages are welcome to color a special picture for the brave men and women serving our country. At the end of the show, the drawings will be sent by Amdur to the troops stationed in the U.S. and abroad. Other activities for kids include an art scavenger hunt, spin art, and a giant graffiti wall.
Amdur Productions is pleased to announce that Autism Speaks is the charity chosen for the Port Clinton Art Festival’s Green Ribbon Project. Participating artists will be placing a green ribbon on a piece of art in their booth. If the piece is sold during the fest, then the artist will donate 10% of the proceeds to Autism Speaks.
“The Port Clinton Art Festival is one of the country’s most popular outdoor art shows,” says Amdur. “Highland Park has such a cool suburban vibe and offers a beautiful backdrop for the artists’ work,” she adds. “When the streets are closed, and you’re walking the show amongst the city’s stores, boutiques and restaurants, you can really appreciate the buildings, the architecture and the city’s beautiful landscaping; things you normally don’t have an opportunity to notice and appreciate.”
This year’s show has a new layout making it even easier for people to visit every booth. And those with wheels (strollers, wheelchairs, etc.,) will find navigating the show quite simple, as all of the booths are moved toward the curb, allowing for greater space in each aisle.
The Port Clinton Art Festival runs Saturday, August 26th and Sunday, August 27th from 10am to 6pm each day. The Taste of Highland Park’s hours are Friday, August 25th from 5pm to 10pm, Saturday, August 26th from 10am to 10pm and Sunday, August 27th from 10am to 6pm. Festival admission and parking are free. The show is accessible from Metra’s Union Pacific/North Line with a stop in downtown Highland Park.
For more information about the Port Clinton Art Festival or about Amdur Productions, please call (847) 926-4300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Amdur online at amdurproductions.com, as well as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
About Amdur Productions
For 34 years the Highland Park, Illinois-based Amdur Productions, a nationally acclaimed arts festival production company, has organized and directed many of the country’s most prestigious juried art festivals. Shows produced by Amdur include many in the Chicago area, such as the Gold Coast Art Fair, the Port Clinton Art Festival, Millennium Art Festival, Artfest Michigan Avenue, the West Loop Art Fest, and in Milwaukee, the Third Ward Art Festival. Many Amdur Productions’ events are rated in Sunshine Artist Magazine’s “Top 100 Best Fine Art & Design Shows” and Art Fair Calendar’s “Best Art Fairs.”