ELMHURST – For Roz Long, president of RGL Marketing, the annual Art in Wilder Park event has grown considerably since she started it back in May 1996.
“I used to be an art teacher, and I worked with a lot of artists and I loved going to art festivals,” Long said. “I was in the Old Town Art Festival in Chicago, and I thought it would be a pretty cool dream to produce one in Elmhurst. I love to support artists.”
The 21st annual Art in Wilder Park takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 6 and 7. The free event will include 125 local and Midwestern artists offering a variety of arts and crafts in the form of jewelry, glasswork, ceramics, photography, paintings, clothing and sculptures.
“For most people, it’s their favorite event in Elmhurst. The young people come out, we have kids there, we have 90-year-olds there. There’s something to do for everyone. It’s an event for all generations.”
Additionally, food, music and children’s activities will also be offered, with a café set up by Café Amano at the historic Wilder Mansion and transportation to the fair supplied by the Explore Elmhurst Trolley.
Originally established at the Elmhurst City Centre after two years the art fair moved to Wilder Park to partner up with the Elmhurst Park District. Since then, the art fair now receives over 8,000 patrons annually, according to Long.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Long. “For most people, it’s their favorite event in Elmhurst. The young people come out, we have kids there, we have 90-year-olds there. There’s something to do for everyone. It’s an event for all generations.”
For the artisans, the Art in Wilder Park has become a major venue to sell their wares, both for local artists, and with vendors from across the Midwest, such as Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to Long.
“It’s usually their first festival for the year for [the artisans],” said Long. “They travel all across the U.S., and this is usually their first [art fair] because the response from the community is so great.”
Future events by RGL Marketing include the Girls’ Night out at Wilder Mansion from 4 to 9 p.m. Sept. 13 and the Wilder Mansion Holiday Market on Nov. 3 and 4.
For more information, visit www.rglmarketingforthearts.com.