Friday, August 28, 2009

Port Clinton Art Festival Expects 250,000 this weekend

Art attracts, but that's not all you'll find at renowned festival
Daily Herald Staff Report

People pack downtown Highland Park at a previous Port Clinton Art Festival.

Daily Herald file photo

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Visitors stroll by a fiberglass sculpture made by artist Marina Lee during a previous Port Clinton Art Festival in downtown Highland Park Saturday. The event returns this weekend with more than 260 juried artists from around the country.

Daily Herald file photo
Published: 8/28/2009 12:01 AM

The annual Port Clinton Art Festival takes center stage this weekend at the Taste of Highland Park, featuring the work of more than 260 juried artists from around the country.

"Families are looking for opportunities to share happy experiences together during these tough economic times," says Amy Amdur, founder of Amdur Productions, which launched the show that has become an end-of-summer tradition.

"Art has the power to speak to you," she said. "It can elevate your mood and perspective. We want each of our guests to take that feeling home with them, whether it's with a new piece of art or the memory of a perfect summer's day."

Free and open to the public, the Port Clinton Art Festival is ranked the number three show in the country. Young artists, ages 18 and under, shine in the Youth Division of Show, which offers youths an opportunity to experience participating in a real art festival. More than 250,000 loyal art lovers travel from places near and far to visit this acclaimed show annually.

The Port Clinton Art Festival has been a cultural tradition on the North Shore for 26 years. Veteran artists return to the show year after year as new artists emerge. One aspect that remains constant year after year is the quality of art showcased at the Port Clinton Art Festival.

Live music from several local bands continues throughout the weekend...In addition to the incredible artwork available at the festival, there are fun activities for showgoers of all ages. Activities just for kids include an art Bingo game where children serve as art explorers and an art tent where kids can create their own masterpieces. Many of the activities for children are free, but some are available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Celiac Foundation and Children's Memorial Hospital.

This year the Taste of Highland Park takes place in conjunction with the festival. Guests are invited to sip, nibble and nosh from several of Highland Park's most celebrated restaurants including Norton's, Stash's, Sushi Kushi, Tamales, Café Central, Sunset Foods, City Park Grill, Lincolnshire Gourmet, Jade, New York Slices, Fudruckers, Abigail's, Lou Malnati's, Blue Grass and Glunz Wine. The Taste of Highland Park opens at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, and continues throughout the weekend. Chicago area bands, including American English and R-Gang, will be in concert at the festival, with a feature performance by The Buckinghams on Saturday night. For more information, visit

All of Amdur's festivals have been rated in Sunshine Artist Magazine's top 100, with half in the top 50; and the Art at the Glen Town Center and Port Clinton Art Festival are in the top 10.

The Taste of Highland Park is brought to you by the Highland Park CBD Alliance, a partnership of the downtown Property Owners Association, the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce and the City of Highland Park. The Alliance was founded in 2008 to enhance the economic vitality of the central business district of Highland Park.