Now in its 30th year, Lubeznik Center for the Arts’ Lakefront Art Festival has had a long history of bringing the very best of art and fine crafts to Michigan City’s Washington Park.
The event is, and always has been, a major fundraiser for the Center—a not-for-profit organization that hosts world class exhibitions, arts programming, classes and events. Lubeznik Center’s acclaimed community outreach programs bring diverse art experiences to underserved populations, including thousands of area school children.
Local portrait artist and illustrator Neil Kienitz believes that he may be the only artist to have participated in the Lakefront Art Festival every year since its inception, and recalls the year that a tornado struck.
"We knew that a bad storm was coming and everyone was given adequate warning. The artists were advised to remove their work, and the festival closed early on Saturday -- at about 4:30. By that time you could see the storm approaching over the lake. On Sunday morning very few tents were left standing."
It was the only time that any part of the Festival had to be canceled due to weather.
In fact, the Lakefront Art Festival has earned a reputation for withstanding adverse weather conditions. Local writer and historian Barbara Stodola recalls that in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, rain insurance was purchased from Lloyd’s of London, but was never collected on.
Over the years, the Festival has been chaired by socialites, artists, public servants and volunteers. 2011 co-chairs Rachel Saxon and Alison Jaksa began work on this year’s event while there was still snow on the ground. As in previous years, artists were solicited in 5 categories: 2 Dimensional Art; Fine Craft; Photography; Sculptural Objects and Wearable Art. Jurying took place in February, and over 100 artists were accepted from 11 states.
Returning favorites include “Fishmonger” Greg Summers from Fremont, Indiana. Each of his fish is handmade from recycled metals and found objects—no two are alike.
The same can be said of newcomer, Ukrainian-born Chicago artist Anastasia “Mak” Makarenko’s colorful canvases. Her contemporary mixed-media paintings combine natural and surreal elements with easily recognized buildings, cities and landscapes.
Always the third weekend in August, this year’s Festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21, 2011. The popular children’s art tent will once again entertain “emerging artists” while the international food court will offer sustenance to hungry shoppers. Admission is $4, with proceeds benefiting Lubeznik Center for the Arts. LCA members and children under 12 are admitted at no charge. Free off-site parking and shuttles to the park are available. Phone 219.874.4900 for more information or visit www.lubeznikcenter.org
The Lubeznik Center is located at 101 W. 2nd St., at the lakefront in Michigan City, IN. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00am to 5:00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Galleries are closed on Mondays. For more information please visit www.lubeznikcenter.org or call 219-874-4900. All times are based on Chicago time.