MICHIGAN CITY —Lake breezes and shade trees cooled art admirers at the Lubeznik Arts Festival at Lubeznik Center for the Arts last weekend.
Nearly 80 artists displayed their unique creations in tents set up on the arts center’s grounds for the festival, now in its 37th year.
This is the third year the festival has set up shop on the Lubeznik center’s lawn at the corner of West 2nd and Washington streets rather than in Washington Park, said Amy Davis Navardauskas, marketing director.
“This format works best for us,” said Navardauskas. “The focus is the art.”
The show, which is juried and judged, “helps keep the quality up and brings a different mixture of artists every year,” Navardauskas said.
One-of-a-kind pieces included hand-woven shawls and scarves, leather purses, wooden vases and bowls, stained glass, metal yard sculptures, clay potters, photography, polar fleece hats, origami, jewelry, driftwood artwork, oil paintings and water colors, and polished agate wind chimes.
The unique chimes will not break like others made of glass and ceramic, said creator Dale Cantrell.
Cantrell, of Danville, Indiana, has been crafting the chimes, which are diamond-cut and diamond polished to a “mirror finish,” for 47 years and has eight buildings full of the organic rock.
“I’m as old as dirt,” said Cantrell. “I’ve collected crystals and specimens since I was a rug rat and it got progressively worse. Instead of shoe boxes full of the stuff, I have buildings full of it. I’ve been stockpiling it for more than 35 years.”
Cantrell, who normally shows in Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Virginia, and Florida, was pleased with his first appearance at the Lubeznik show, especially because the event is only two hours from his home.
“I’m 72-years-old. I have to slow down eventually,” Cantrell said.
Also entertaining the crowd were South Shore Dance Alliance dancers, and children sat for face painting and balloon artistry while others got henna tattoos and participated in a photo scavenger hunt.
Jeanne Schimeck, of Michiana Shores, arrived at the festival on her bike, and walked from booth to booth, admiring the works.
“It was my morning exercise,” said Schimeck, of her five mile trek.
Schimeck, who moved to the area three years ago from Naperville, Illinois, is used to hometown art festivals.
“The juried items here are just beautiful,” Schimeck said.
Long-time Lubeznik Center for the Arts board members Suzanne Cohan-Lange and Rick Lange judged the show and awarded cash prizes for first and second place in five categories and Best in Show.
Navardauskas said the festival’s gate and booth rental fees, which total $25,000 on average, go toward the center and its programs.
Festival visitors also become familiar with the Lubeznik center, said Navardauskas, and the event brings a spike in new memberships.
“Right now, it’s exciting, because we have the Warhol exhibit, which features 50 works by Andy Warhol from small Polaroids to large scale prints,” said Navardauskas.
The center’s Andy Warhol exhibit runs through Oct. 13 and includes original Warhol works on loan from the Drew and Wendy Levenfeld collection and from the Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University.