HIGHLAND - Highland Arts Council invites community members to embrace their creative side at the upcoming Art in the Park weekend at Lindendale Park in Highland.

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From Oct. 14–15, visitors can peruse the exhibitions, watch art demonstrations and potentially win free artwork. With 65 featured artists and a predicted 8,000–9,000 attendees, this family-friendly event encourages art appreciation at all ages.

“People don’t realize how much creativity is in every occupation that we have,” said Lynnette Schuepbach, chairperson with the council. “The mission of Highland Arts Council is to bring the art to the community, to keep people thinking creatively, so then it spills over into their jobs and everything that they do.”

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, visitors can enjoy the exhibits and speak to the artists, who work with a variety of mediums. There will also be a few performing artists and demonstrations of different art techniques. A caricaturist and ceramist will be present, as well as people demonstrating how to spin yarn and use a loom.

“I think people, once they understand how a piece is developed and works, they have more of an appreciation for the value of that piece,” Schuepbach said.

Highland Arts Council wants to help build this appreciation at a young age. Kids can make their own art in the Kids Kreation Area. There is also a “Just for Kids” art gallery where children can purchase artwork for $5 each.

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“If they learn to appreciate and buy art as children, they will also buy art as adults,” Schuepbach explained. “Not only just appreciating, but purchasing it to share in their own homes.”

A full schedule of events for the weekend can be found on the Highland Arts Council website. But you don’t have to wait until Saturday to enjoy Art in the Park. A Happy Hour Arts Reception from 5–8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 invites you to visit with artists, enjoy music by the Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville Jazz Band, and purchase art before the exhibits open to the general public.

To attend the Happy Hour Arts Reception, you must pledge a minimum of $100 that you plan to spend on art over the weekend. This pre-pledged amount, called “Art Bucks,” allows you to enjoy the Happy Hour with exclusive access to the art and artists. For more information or to register, visit the Happy Hour webpage.

Throughout the weekend, you can also enter a raffle to win $500 worth of artwork. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. The winner can spend their $500 on as many art pieces and exhibits as they wish.

All proceeds from the weekend will go back to Highland Arts Council, which sponsors several programs to promote art creation and appreciation in the Highland area. Ultimately, Schuepbach explained, the Council and the Art in the Park weekend aim to support local artists.

“It’s just a way for people to be able to purchase and appreciate [art] and help us to share our love of the arts with everyone,” Schuepbach added.

For more information about Highland Arts Council and Art in the Park, visit their official website.

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