26. Kick Off Art Festival Season in Barrington, Illinois

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2011 Barrington Art Festival

Can you believe a whole year has flown by since the sizzling hot inaugural 2010 Barrington Art Festival last year on Memorial Day Weekend!!! The second annual festival is just days away, the countdown has begun and there are some exciting changes in store for this year’s festival.

2011 Barrington Art Festival

Just like last year, we’re devoting our posts at 365Barrington.com this week to sharing festival details and spreading the word about this year’s exhibitors and other Barrington artists. We’re starting today with an overview of the festival along with some of the changes that you’ll find this year.

The Village of Barrington has again hired art festival production company, Amdur Productions, to plan and choreograph this weekend’s activities. The Highland Park based business is the company behind thirteen upcoming Chicagoland art festivals, starting with ours here in Barrington.

2011 Amdur Productions Art Festivals

This morning, I spoke with Amdur Productions owner and the woman in charge, Amy Amdur.

Art Festival Producer, Amy AmdurAmy and her team work on planning upcoming art festivals all year long and Barrington’s festival this Memorial Day Weekend is their first event of the season. Amy says being the very first comes with some big benefits. “The artists make their work all fall, winter and spring and they’ll be debuting that new work at the Barrington festival this weekend. You’ll find your favorite artists with the fullest inventory at the beginning of the season and that means you’ll have the newest and best work that hasn’t been shopped yet. So I’m as excited as anybody when I walk the Barrington show.” Amy also says, “The great thing about this year is that we’re not in our first year anymore. Now the public has a feel for what the festival is, we have a lot of the favorite artists coming back as well as many new artists who will be joining us.”

There are about 120 artists who will be exhibiting their works for sale this year. Amy says the biggest change you’ll notice at the festival is the new layout. To improve the flow of traffic and make it easier for visitors to access downtown Barrington shops and restaurants, they’re spreading the booths out and making some festival footprint changes this year.

2011 Barrington Art Festival on Memorial Day Weekend

The festival will again extend down Station Street, just east and just west of Cook Street. But it won’t extend all the way down Station to Hough this year, to make public parking easier at that intersection. And, Amy says they’re excited to be expanding the festival to portions of Lake Street this year, both east and west of Cook. “It’s a nice, shady street and that’s where the youth art activities are going to be.” Stay tuned for a post we’ll be publishing this week that’s all about the youth art activities planned for the festival. In the meantime, here’s a look at the new and improved festival map.

Layout Changes in Store for Barrington Art Festival

Be sure to check back at 365Barrington.com all week for full art festival details about the food, the music and the artists you’ll find at this weekend’s festival. Amy Amdur says somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors made it out to last year’s festival and, if the weather cooperates, they’re hoping to draw even more visitors this year. The FREE festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, May 28th and 29th, and the businesses in downtown Barrington are gearing up for one of our community’s biggest events of the year.


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