5 Reasons to Attend the West Loop Art Fest
There are a lot of great reasons to hang out in the West Loop. The constant changing face of the various corners makes each visit to the West Loop refreshing. This weekend is the highly anticipated West Loop Art Fest (Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th), which takes over six blocks of the West Loop (Washington Blvd., between Aberdeen and Halsted Streets).
1. Amazing Art
Last year’s West Loop Art Fest was incredible, and this year you can expect more of the same! Over 150 juried artists from across the nation will show and sell their work this weekend. Stand-outs include modern portrait painter Lydia Wylangonska showcasing her life size portraits and figures. Must-sees also include nationally acclaimed pop photographer Bruce Reinfeld displaying his new works on aluminum of iconic images. Also, you won’t want to miss steam punk artist Mick Whitcomb, who brings new life to old objects and adds filament lights to create unique functional art pieces. Love jewelry? From sublime to edgy, there is something for everyone! Visit Devin Johnson’s booth to see some super cool unisex work and Dana Reed’s booth for contemporary necklaces, rings, earrings and much more!
2. West Loop-Based Artists
Artists from all over the country will be exhibiting at the West Loop Art Fest, but did you know that there will be two who are home town boys? Be sure to check out sculptor Jeffrey Breslow, who in 2015 had a six-month solo sculpture show with 27 pieces (indoor and outdoor) at Willis Tower! You’ll also want to visit photographer Jonny Cubert White, a graduate of The School of the Art Institute, who also teaches 16mm filmmaking to students at the summer camp PROJECT. Both are incredible talents!
3. Fabulous Food
Strolling through 6 blocks of art can build an appetite. No worries! The West Loop Art Fest offers an array of delicious food options from some of the West Loop’s most popular restaurants including hot-from-the-oven pizza from Forno Rosso Pizzeria, fresh lobster rolls from Smack Shack, Argentinian-inspired fare from El Che Bar and tasty gyros and kabobs from Nicholas Quality Meats. You won’t leave hungry!
4. Music, Music and MORE Music!
This year's DJ stage will bring international sounds to the festival! Experience African rhythms with Adam Gibbons, Puerto Rican "bomba" with Bomba con Buya, Brazilian percussion with Bloco Maximo and live house music with Maad Soul. There’s also Latin flare with CumbiaSazo and classic house sounds by Gene Hunt, Lady D, Miguel Martin, Fathomdj and more. Closing out the weekend will be a set by Alan King, of the Chosen Few, honoring the West Loop’s dear friend and "godfather of house music" Frankie Knuckles.
5. Just for Kids
Stop by the Community Tent, where JTA Schools will be providing Arts & Crafts projects for all children in attendance. In addition, students and teachers from UIC will be on hand to encourage young artists to partake in some painting fun! Click here for this colorful event.
Festival entry is a suggested $10 donation to the West Loop Community Organization, where residents, visitors, and businesses have an active voice in decisions affecting the neighborhood parks, development, schools, traffic, safety and more. The organization is continuously working to ensure positive progress for the neighborhood, while offering social events and beneficial developments to improve the quality of life in the West Loop.
Need parking options? WLCO member, ParqEx, is offering West Loop Art Fest goers exclusive parking options in order to alleviate the limited parking availability in the West Loop this weekend. Be sure to download the ParqEx app to save your spot!