Art on Main Fine Arts Festival draws a crowd in Canton14
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Art on Main Fine Arts Festival draws shoppers to Canton

Nearly 40 artist booths lined Jones Park on June 1 and 2 in Canton, Illinois, drawing in crowds eager to hear local musicians, taste local wines, and most importantly, see a wide array of art for sale ranging from photography, sculpture, woven stoles and jewelry.

The Art on Main Fine Arts Festival welcomed artists from across Illinois to this small town of just south and west of Peoria in the famed Spoon River Valley that borders marshes and wetlands along the Illinois River.

The judge for this year’s event was Marianne Stremsterfer, who is a researcher and educator for the Springfield Art Association. She writes, “When you as a visitor, view a piece of art and are attracted to it, the artist has become a kindred spirit and has succeeded in touching your ‘art side.'”

The opportunities to get in touch with your artistic side were many. Whether it was the gourds in the style of Tiffany lamps from Mattoon’s John and Debbie Wiles, or the windswept wooden eagle sculpture from Farmington artist Craig Kijanowski, there was much for the eye to take in. Here’s Kijanowski explaining how he created his gorgeous piece:

The Best of Show winner was Tim Schroll, whose stunning black and white photography is refreshing to see in the age of digital (cell phone) images. Schroll uses traditional film and develops the photos in his own darkroom.

The Mayor’s Award went to glass artist Susan Haley, while the People’s Choice award (votes cast by attendees) went to Joe Peters, whose metal and wood sculptures won over the crowd with their complexity as they were placed around the park. Other awards in specific categories were given at a dinner for the artists held at the Canton Harvester Inn.

Below is the full list of awardees. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for next year’s festival, which will be held on June 6 and 7!

Best of Show: Tim Schroll
Mayor’s Award: Susan Haley
People’s Choice: Joe Peters
Top Student Art Award: Chloe Howell

Category Awards

  • Best Ceramics: Chris Kukla 
  • Best Glass: Joy & Randy Turner
  • Best Jewelry: Nadine King
  • Best Mixed Media: John & Debbie Wiles
  • Best Painting & Drawing: John Bumgarner 
  • Best Photography: Scott Sternberg
  • Best Sculpture: Craig Kijanowski
  • Best Textiles: Bobbie Johnston 
  • Best Wood: Larry Anderson
Susan Barreto

Written by Susan Barreto

Susan is an award-winning journalist who has worked for a number of regional and global publications. Much of her career has been covering the global finance industry for publications published by Crains, Reuters and Euromoney/Institutional Investor. She also interned and later freelanced for Rockford Magazine as well as the Northwestern Illinois Farmer newspaper.

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