Riverside Arts Weekend – RAW – returns to downtown Riverside on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, but with a difference.

Not only will the juried arts fair be located in a different spot, organizers sought out artists whose work more closely reflected the “RAW” aesthetic.

“We have a handful of returning artists,” said Jean Sussman, one of the principal organizers of the two-day event, “but the group deliberately sought out different kinds of artists. The intent was to be a little more raw.”

That aesthetic is reflected in the poster for the show, which features the word “RAW,” crafted by a local artist from recycled materials. It’s been hanging above the circulation desk at the Riverside Public Library.

“The whole intent is to make the event a part of the community,” said Sussman, who was joined this year by a battalion of volunteers in organizing RAW.

The arts fair itself will be located on Bloomingbank Road in front of the Riverside train station, and it’ll be surrounded by a weekend full of events in Guthrie Park, the train station and at the nearby Arcade Building.

There will be live performances throughout both days of the event in Guthrie Park. Saturday will feature six music ensembles from Riverside-Brookfield High School and Hauser Junior High School, while The Ralleys will close out Saturday an acoustic rock ‘n’ roll set.

Also on Saturday at 2 p.m., fashion design graduates from Dominican University in River Forest will transform the train station platform into a runway, the first time RAW has featured fashion-as-art during its event.

The fashion designers will also be showcasing their work at the Riverside Arts Center’s fundraiser, “Midnight in Paris” at the train station on Saturday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. In addition, the fundraiser will include dinner, drinks, dancing and entertainment from cabaret singer Claudia Hommel.

Sunday afternoon, music returns to the main stage, with a string ensemble from Mother McAuley High School, guitarist Fred Krubel, the acoustic rock of Fable, and the Great Lakes Navy Band “Liberty Call,” which will provide a selection of country, rock, jazz and blues. The afternoon will also feature dance from the Riverside District 96 Step Dancers and Principle Dance Studio.

In addition, Sunday at 2:15 p.m. will also mark the unveiling of a new mural at Metal Mites, 36 E. Quincy St. The mural was created by art students at Riverside-Brookfield High School.

The Arcade Building, 1 Riverside Road, will play host to an exhibit of artwork by students from Hauser Junior High all weekend.

And for those kids who wish to help create a work of art, the Riverside Arts Center will be once again hosting an art activities tent. This year, however, kids can help create a work of art along the lines of the RAW poster logo, using recycled wire, yard, fabric and plastic.The completed work will hang in the stairwell of the Riverside Public Library after the fair closes.

Riverside’s architecture will be in the spotlight during the weekend. Not only will the Frederick Law Olmsted Society be hosting its biennial housewalk on Sunday afternoon, but Riverside resident Lonnie Sacchi will be leading a walking tour of the village on Saturday afternoon at 2:20 p.m.

More information about RAW can be found at the event website www.riversideartsweekend.weebly.com.