By Alexandra Gill
There are many photographers, painters, jewelry makers who come to Chicago to show off their talent. An annual event in Hyde Park named 57th Street Art Fair held on June 2nd is where all the hard work pays off. People from the Chicago community either came out to buy their products or to see what kinds of artwork they created. There were ornaments, masks, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, dresses, and handmade items found only in Chicago. If you didn’t get a chance to meet your local artist one on one, here is where you get the chance to know a little bit about them and their work.
Ronnie Phillips is an artist and a photographer. What he does is take his photographs, and he puts them right on top of his paintings. He has been a full-time artist since 1991, and he has traveled around the country to 20 art festivals each year. Since the 90’s, he’s done the Street Art Fair. Phillips stopped participating in the fair because they placed him behind the school and today was his first time in attendance since that day. “We have some good vibes, we’ll see how it works,” said Ronnie Phillips about this year’s event.
The next artist is Heather Ward-Miles, an abstract painter from Indianapolis. “I applied to 57th Street Art Fair, and it’s been great so far,” she said. Heather has four years of painting experience. “I graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with an Arts degree, and I taught high school for fifteen years. I recently just transitioned to this. Who would have thought abstract painting would actually work out.” Chicago meets Heather Ward-Miles for her first time at the Street Art Fair. People apply to these fairs to make money, and to be in the same place with other artists.
Lastly is local artist Kevin Lin who has designed jewels and metals for 12 years. . “I was here last year I did the D.A.P publication, and I always liked artwork because of my dad. My dad always brought me to art galleries, and then I got into the metal work. It was something I enjoyed doing, so I just kept on,” he said. Lin makes jewelry pieces with his hands. “I learn through fabrication and find different techniques, so I have a variety of pieces and styles.”
There was a great turn out of people that attended the Street Art Fair. Booths were on Woodlawn, Kimbark, Kenwood, and on 56th street. Thanks to the people apart of William H. Ray Elementary School, the fair was a great event that provided the community with an opportunity to meet with artists and to experience the cultural side of Chicago. There were food vendors with delicious Philly cheese steaks, and funnel cakes people could not resist. I’m sure next year will top the outcome of this year annual 57th Street Art Fair.