Westfield Old Orchard holds art festival this weekend

In between tents at the North Shore Art Festival | Skirt Public Relations

SKOKIE — More than 100 local and out-of-state artists will showcase thousands of one-of-a-kind art pieces available for sale this weekend at Westfield Old Orchard during the annual North Shore Festival of Art.

Now in its seventh year at Old Orchard, the North Shore Festival of Art will feature art from six different mediums including photography, paintings, jewelry, pencil and pastel sketches, handmade and uniquely-designed clothing, and sculptures crafted from wood, metal and glass.

This year’s art festival, July 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature plenty of diversions for the whole family, including kids entertainment, live music, a still-life photography contest and “Art Bingo.”

Because the show is geared toward the general public, both serious buyers and casual browsers will find pieces that fit a wide price range starting at $20 and going all the way up to $20,000, said festival director Amy Amdur.

“The show has a broad appeal from traditional to contemporary and from expensive to inexpensive, so guests will see lots of different styles and prices,” Amdur said.

Amdur—a Highland Park native who founded art festival production company Amdur Productions in 1983—hosted the first North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard in 2007.

One of her favorite memories as a child was going to a similar art-themed festival at Old Orchard that had eventually stopped running more than a decade ago.

“I wanted to bring it back because I loved it so much as a kid,” Amdur said. “I met with the Skokie Chamber of Commerce, and we created a fest where artists had to apply to get in.”

The festival was moved into the interior of the outdoor mall between Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s five years ago after it was held outside in the Nordstrom parking lot in 2007 and 2008.

The event has gained a positive reputation over the years for featuring talented artists who have to pass a selection process before being allowed to show their work during the festival.

Artists come from all over the country for the festival, Amdur said, but there’s also a great local showing.

Lake Forest-based gold jewelry specialist and artist Martha Richter will join other North Shore-area artists including jewelry-maker Randy Polk, sculptor Karen Terhune and artist/photographer Joy Bauer of Skokie.

“It’s a really interesting group of artists because we’ll have some who people know of, and some who are newer,” Amdur said. “It’s a great family-friendly event that will have something for everyone.”

Last year 84,000 people visited the shopping center during the North Shore Festival of the Arts weekend, according to Amdur.

All stores at Old Orchard will be open during regular business hours during the festival.

The event is free and open to the public. Westfield Old Orchard is located at Skokie Boulevard and Old Orchard Road in Skokie.

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