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Brief rainfall cools Wells Street Art Festival

On June 15, 2014, between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood was the site of the 40th Annual Wells Street Art Festival. (This event was also on June 14, 2014.) On Wells Street between North Avenue and Division Street, attendees could admire and purchase art. Between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., rainfall cooled proceedings for approximately 20 minutes.

This flyer has a colorful drawing in its center.
Old Town Merchants & Residents Association

This festival had at least 210 booths. Besides art booths, there were radio station booths and rental car booths (at least one). In addition, in food booths, vendors sold hot dogs, beer, Italian sausages, etc.

Pop Art paintings (This had nothing to do with the fact that it was Pop’s Day. . . uh, Father’s Day.) vied for attention with Impressionism Style paintings. Glass’, artistic qualities shone through even though the skies were partly cloudy. Dogs in paintings or as sculptures did not move even though barking, live dogs may have been goading them.

Many attendees probably had seen the famous oil painting, Dogs Playing Poker by C.M. Coolidge. (C.M. Coolidge was absent from this festival.); nonetheless, they were able to see the works of a more contemporary artist who displayed paintings of dogs playing cards and dogs playing billiards. (If Mr. Coolidge was available with his art, many attendees would not have been to afford any.)

Anatomical art showed the inner organs of humans and animals, but in artistic ways. These appeared to be mixed media; a combination of oil paintings and drawings. (There was no obvious indication that this particular artist was currently or formerly in the medical profession.)

Fused glass shapes fused concepts. The artist(s) fused together, different glass types. Would not it be artistic if artists could fuse glass with wood?

Several, exceptional, clear and colorful, art pieces were obviously heavy. These were photographs on marble. The wall specifications for securely holding these pieces would probably require wood strengthened with metal.

Although we know that humans can shape stone (Current artists probably use titanium blades or tungsten-carbide blades instead of the unknown composition of tools that the ancient Egyptians used to build the pyramids.), some stone art at this festival was uncut. To create her particular art, one artist attached shaped metal to uncut stone to create works resembling birds and other animals. All of these pieces had metal heads and metal plinths that she embedded into the stone. These artworks could qualify as Minimalist Style sculpture.

Although this article does not indicate the number of human, festival attendees, there were probably at least 100, canine attendees during the festival’s, two-day run. Dogs definitely barked their approvals or disapprovals, but this was likely because due to the unfamiliar humans instead of the art. As Beethoven might say, “It was ruff, no one liked my slobber.”

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