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Art and Culture at the Ridge Park Art Fair

 By Krsistin Boza 

The inaugural Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival is slated for Sat., June 23 at the Ridge Park Cultural Center, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. As a joint effort between the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC), the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association and the Chicago Park District, the art fair promises to bring art, culture and fun to the community. 

Irene Testa, president of the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, came up with the idea of the summertime art festival to enhance the rise of the vibrant arts community in Beverly/Morgan Park.  

“Artists need our support and their contributions to society are not adequately acknowledged and rewarded,” Testa said. “The Art Fair fits perfectly with the mission of the John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, which is to aid children and adults in acquiring a knowledge of and an appreciation for art.” 

The Art Fair is supported by Ridge Park supervisor Dan Ryan, and RPAC, led by Mary Jo Viero. Testa says that the assistance and support from the park district and RPAC has been invaluable to gaining momentum for the Art Fair. 

Forty-one artists will open booths at the Art Fair, selling their art and chatting with attendees. Participating artists will be selling paintings, photos, jewelry, ceramics, and even dolls.  

“I invite the public to support the artists by purchasing their art. It takes a lot of work to set up a booth and dedicate a day to selling their creations,” Testa said. “Let’s make it a rewarding day for the artists, and the community will benefit from having an Art Fair right here in Beverly.”  

The Ridge Park Art Fair will also offer visitors many opportunities to experience community fun. The ceramics studio at Ridge Park and the Vanderpoel Gallery will be open for tours, and local artist Judie Anderson will create a watercolor rendition of Ridge Park during the event. 

Families with young children are welcomed as well, and a bounce house will be set up for the kids to enjoy. Three food trucks will be selling food onsite, including Calabria’s, Pollo Locuas and Smokin’ BBQ Kitchen. Attendees can also dance and enjoy live music. 

For more information, visit the Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival website at RidgeParkArtFair.org.