EDWARDSVILLE - The three-day Edwardsville Art Fair runs this weekend through Sunday, Sept. 24. Over 90 local, regional and national artists are exhibiting their artwork through the event produced by the Edwardsville Arts Center (EAC).

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Local performing artists, live art demonstrations and food and drink vendors round out the event. Kids of all ages can also purchase art for $15 at the children’s art gallery on Saturday. The fair is open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 23 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 24 at City Park, located at 101 S. Buchanan St. in Edwardsville.

“This is my first year,” Stacey McCracken, an Edwardsville textiles artist, said. “I'm excited because people I know will be able to come through and then I'll get to meet other people as well as outside the community.”

McCracken creates handcrafted leather goods through her business, Colibri Sewing Studio, LLC. She explained that the fair is juried, so EAC studied each vendor’s art and chose each artist to be included in the fair.

“This is in our backyard,” Tim Gusewelle said. Gusewelle is a painter and art teacher. “It's just a big hangout time…We've been to a couple of [art fairs] over in St. Louis. This one's always just as busy as they are, if not busier.”

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A demonstration in painting and clay wheel throwing runs throughout the evening on Friday and from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, visitors can also enjoy face painting and sweet-making.

The Skylark Brothers take the stage until 9 p.m. on Friday night. On Sept. 23, Edwardsville High School Chamber Strings and Choir will perform in the morning, followed by the SIUE Suzuki Program from 2 to 3 p.m. and a performance by Dance Hipnotíque from 3:30 to 4 p.m. Random Gravity will play until the end of the night. Tessitura Music and Thomas Voice Studio will kick off the day on Sept. 24. Performances by SIUE Dance and O’Faolain Academy of Irish Dance will complete the weekend.

The EAC hopes the weekend will encourage more support for the arts and creation in the community. They organize exhibits and outreach events like the fair and regularly offer art classes for students of all ages. For more information about the Edwardsville Arts Center, visit their official website.

Natalie Avondet, a painter from Manchester, Mo., added that she enjoys going to fairs like this throughout the area. Using bright colors, she paints portraits of people who have overcome adversity. She tries to make it to every fair she can.

“[You can] get your name out [and] hopefully inspire somebody to keep going on,” she said.

The 2023 Edwardsville Art Fair is presented by the Wylie Family. For a full schedule of events, visit the Edwardsville Art Fair webpage at EdwardsvilleArtsCenter.com.

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