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The organizers of the Riverside Arts Weekend (RAW), which will take place May19 and 20 in and around Guthrie Park, say there is still room for more artists to take part in the juried art fair that is the centerpiece of the annual celebration of the arts in Riverside.
The art fair will have a different look than in the past, said Heather Plaza-Manning, the point person for the juried fair this year. About 60-70 percent of the artists this year are new to the event.
"We tried looking for people who did edgier art, something we hadn't seen in past years," said Plaza-Manning, who wasn't sure yet just how many artists will be at the fair.
"We're still receiving some applications; it's hard to say at this point," she said. "I think we can say we've added a lot more to our offerings. People of all ages will have a great time there."
The event's website shows that 32 artists have signed on so far to be part of the fair. The artists hail from Illinois and out of state and work in a variety of media, from painting to jewelry to ceramics to photography.
In addition to the professional artists, the work of student artists from Riverside District 96 will be displayed in the hallways of the Arcade Building, just across street from the fair site at 1 Riverside Road.
The art fair has moved this year to Bloomingbank Road in front of the downtown train station and adjacent to Guthrie Park, which will play host to a variety of activities.
On both days the Riverside Arts Center will run a children's craft booth. On a stage erected in the park, fair-goers can enjoy live music, including performances by the orchestra and jazz groups from both Hauser Junior High and Riverside-Brookfield High School. Saturday will also feature a fashion show by students at Dominican University in River Forest.
The Sunday entertainment lineup hasn't been nailed down yet, but the Frederick Law Olmsted Society will again provide a walking tour of Riverside that afternoon. Food vendors, including Soul Amici, Aunt Diana's and Primo Pizza will also be selling their products on both days of the fair.
"We wanted to do something that would keep us unique from other art fairs that communities have," said Plaza-Manning. "It's really about a way to celebrate all of the different arts and bringing people to Riverside."
In addition, the Riverside Arts Center on the evening of May 19 will host its main fundraiser for the year at the Riverside train station. The theme this year is "Midnight in Paris," and the event will feature a silent auction and food by Soul Amici.
The event drew 140 people last year, and organizers are hoping to top that this year. The buffet dinner begins at 8 p.m.
For more information on the Riverside Arts Weekend, visit the website at http://riversideartsweekend.weebly.com/.