After one of the coldest Spring seasons in decades, Chicago’s warm weather is now in full swing. Residents are outdoors riding bicycles, running races, attending farmers’ markets and participating in one of the city’s favorite pastimes – shopping at outdoor art fairs. In keeping with this warm weather tradition, Lake Meadows Art Fair takes place during Father’s Day Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th. Located in the Bronzeville community from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. both days, this celebration will be held on the parking lot at 33rd Street and M.L. King Drive across from the Lake Meadows Shopping Center.
Local and national fine artists will showcase their paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, and hats, while artisans and vendors will display their specialty items, collectibles, and more. The Lake Meadows Art Fair provides something wonderful for everyone. Food and beverages will also be available for sale.
“The Lake Meadows Art Fair continues to celebrate the richness of the African-American and African heritage and culture. Through the beauty of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, wearable art clothing, and handmade jewelry, the talented artists are given the opportunity to share and sell their work to an appreciative audience,” said Helen Y. West, curator and executive producer of the Lake Meadows Art Fair. “Holding the Lake Meadows Art Fair during the Father’s Day weekend is our way of honoring fatherhood and inviting families to join us for a fun and creative weekend outdoors,” she added.
An important part of the Lake Meadows Art Fair tradition is the presentation of a featured artist. This year’s artist honoree is Gwendolyn “Gwen” Pruitt, a celebrated visual artist who is known for her design prowess in print media, digital art, metal work, casting, stained and painted glass, wood, and mixed media work. She has served in the arts as an educator, administrator, entrepreneur, mentor, lead artist, and art specialist for organizations, businesses, and individuals, both internationally and locally. Pruitt is an avid volunteer and has donated to numerous causes. For the last four years Pruitt has operated Tangible Things, a store located at 4856 South Cottage Grove, where she exhibits her vast breadth of work and provides the community with holistic resources and custom beautification options.
As in previous years, the Lake Meadows Art Fair uses music as a backdrop for the beautiful artwork. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Chicago’s own Maggie Brown will take the stage to perform in her many genres such as jazz, blues, R&B, soul or spoken word. Brown is the daughter of composer, entertainer, and social activist Oscar Brown, Jr. She uses music to entertain and educate and gives talks and demonstrations on music and African American musical history.
Emmy Award-winner and international vocalist Joan Collaso will light up the Lake Meadows Art Fair stage on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. bringing her sensual melodies, colorful improvisations, and soulful stylings that capture both the ear and the heart. She is well known in Chicago for her performances, recordings, and productions and has traveled extensively sharing skillful, heart-touching performances nationally and internationally. Collaso has been blessed to perform in films, television (from Oprah Winfrey to the hit TV show Empire), numerous radio and TV commercials, and recordings. She has performed supporting vocals in concert for musical giants like Stevie Wonder, George Duke, Al Jarreau, and most recently the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin. She is the creator, director, and producer of three musical productions – Eleven Jazzy Divas, A Tribute to Nancy Wilson & Shirley Horn, and A Timeless Revue.
Final Melody Acapella Group will present their musical talents on Sunday afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m. This group of five young men ages 15-20 enjoys performing together after having started their musical career singing at open mic events at a local McDonald’s store with their families serving as the audience. These young singers have appeared on ABC7’s “Windy City Live,” as well as WGN Radio, WCIU’s “The Jam,“ and the Internet radio show titled “Mind, Body, & Soul.”
LaRay Reddin will serve as DJ throughout the art fair spinning his combination of old school, R&B, adult contemporary, and jazz. Reddin’s music, the performing musicians, and all the talented artists and vendors will join the community to celebrate Father’s Day and the 13th anniversary of the Lake Meadows Art Fair.
Admission and street parking at the Lake Meadows Art Fair are free of charge. For more information, visit www.lakemeadowsartfair.com or call 312-593-0230.