Craft League of C-U's Art Fair draws from all over creation

Craft League of C-U's Art Fair draws from all over creation

The 35th annual Art Fair has a bonus — 36 artists so far.

The Craft League of Champaign-Urbana will show original works in ceramics, jewelry, photography, glass, woodworking, painting, printmaking and basketry Saturday and Sunday at the Urbana Civic Center.

Art fair Chairwoman Beverly Fagan said you'll see the best of the best.

"More than a dozen art disciplines applied for the juried show. Exhibitors and attendees come from as far as 100 miles away," she said.

The Craft League of Champaign-Urbana was founded in 1982.

In the first years, the event was held in empty storefronts and church basements; it has been at the Civic Center in Urbana since 1986.

"The fair is a great opportunity to support the arts and to buy locally," Fagan said.

Many are veterans, noted jeweler Jill Bush.

"We are excited to be having many of our past exhibitors returning to the art fair this year, with several new artists who have not exhibited in the Craft League Art Fair in the past," she said.

Fagan will be exhibiting her cast, forged and fabricated jewelry.

"There will also be eight other artists with a wide variety of jewelry," she added.

During the 1970s, Urbana native Judie Spencer lived in San Francisco, where she worked as a freelance quilter. She then served as assistant costumer at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for several years and earned a degree in crafts/metals in 1987.

Spencer has researched how humans decorate themselves to express status, personal beauty and societal norms throughout time and cultures.

The inspirations for her work "are found in these subjects, as well as the patterns and colors seen in the natural world."

All of her creations are made with a variety of Japanese glass seed beads.

Quilter Deborah Fell's tools include natural fabrics, fiber-reactive dyes, textile paints, stitching and found objects.

"I create dimension and movement using color and line," Fell said.

"Quilting is intertwined with our history. It is the common thread that connects people to one another, generation to generation, and cultures to other cultures. By its very essence, quilting is a celebration of the human condition. The stitches are like paths that lead us home after a long journey."

Photographer Mark David draws his inspiration from the outdoors.

"My love of photography is driven by my passion and sense of gratitude for the land around us and the people in my life," he said.

"Childhood memories of exploring the outdoors with my grandfather taught me a responsibility and adoration for our natural resources. My interest in nature led me to studying black bears in graduate school. It gave me an appreciation and firsthand knowledge on how bears have adapted to their environment."

He said he loves to photograph moose, elk, sandhill cranes and grizzlies.

If you go

What: Craft League of Champaign-Urbana's 35th annual Art Fair.

Where: Urbana Civic Center, 108 E. Water St., U.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: Free.