Good Taste, fine art in Highland Park
"Million Dollar Quartet" | Photo by Doug Blemker
Port Clinton Art Festival and Taste of Highland Park
Port Clinton Square, Central, downtown Highland Park
6-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, (Taste only); 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25-26
(847) 926-4300; www.amdurproductions.com
Updated: August 24, 2012 1:21PM
It just keeps getting better.
That’s the verdict of Jim Lederer, owner of Bluegrass in Highland Park, who’s been involved in the Taste of Highland Park since Day 1. Six years later, the food offerings have been kicked up more than a few notches.
“It used to be fest food, corn dogs, hot dogs, cotton candy,” Lederer said. And it was all packed into an overloaded garage until the Taste moved mainstream to Central Avenue. “We stepped it up and gave it a new look. It’s an ideal showcase for Highland Park restaurants.”
So some of Highland Park’s most interesting gourmet food will be available for a taste for visitors to the Port Clinton Art Festival next weekend. They’ll also see more than 260 unique artists from around the country, and enjoy a roster of live music topped by a performance from the cast of “Million Dollar Quartet” at noon Saturday.
At the Taste, casual all-American eatery Lederer’s Bluegrass, 1636 Old Deerfield Road, Highland Park, will be serving up jambalaya and smoked corned beef brisket on mini slider buns. Last year, Lederer said he went through 2,000 sandwiches and more than 20 gallons of his famous Hurricane cocktail.
Participating restaurants also include: Abigail’s American Bistro with fruit cobblers and ice cream sandwiches; Cafe Central with paninis and gazpacho; City Park Grill with chipotle wings, barbecue skirt steak and chicken tenders; Jade China Bistro with eggrolls, pot stickers and fried rice. The Highland Park Chamber of Commerce will also operate a Beer and Wine Tent.
Live music throughout will add to the festivites. Jeanie B!, one of the hottest acts on the kids’ music circuit, will perform at 10 a.m. Sunday.
“You have great live entertainment for free, great offerings from a number of restaurants and you get to meet the personalities of all of the restaurant owners,” Lederer said. “The quality and the fun, it’s a couple of real fun days. You get to see the community. The city stepped in and helped create this; the restaurants stepped it up, now it’s a huge event.”
Along with food, artists at this event also have top billing. Some of the most innovative artists from 32 states, Canada and even Israel, will be on hand.
“People will see many of the favorites they know and love plus brand new artists for the first time,” said Amy Amdur of Highland Park, whose Amdur Productions oversees the festival. “This is a one-of-a-kind group of 260 artists with paintings of oil or acrylic; 2D, pencil, pastels, collage, lithographs, photography, jewelry, beautiful wood furniture and 3D non-functional, straight art.”
Work of exhibitors runs the gamut. There will be monumental, 12-foot sculptures by Lorri Acott, gripping underwater photographs by Chris Guglielmo, bronzes of large, beautiful women by a Nigerian artist Nnamdi Okonkwo.
Highland Park’s Barbara Sucherman will show her fine jewelry and James Wilbat of Deerfield will offer art glass.
A highlight of this year’s art festival includes art by Terry Cannon of Chattanooga, Tenn., whose found objects art is depicted on this year’s festival poster of a person wearing sunglasses, on one eye DREAM and the other eye, CREATE, with paint brushes in the shirt pocket.
“That’s our message — to dream and create and be inspired from the experience at
the festival,” Amdur said. ~.