Plenty to meet eye at Art in the Park
Northbrook resident Bonnie Lecat will be one of 70 artists displaying work at the Art in the Park July 14-15. Lacat is shown in her home with some of her finished pieces. | Tamara Bell~Sun Times Media
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:44AM
Art in the Park, a juried fine arts festival in Northbrook July 14 and July 15, will present the talents of more than 70 artists from as close as across the street and as far away as New Jersey.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, they will show what they can do with acrylics, photography, oils, wood, glass, watercolors, sculptures and jewelry at the Village Green, Shermer and Meadow roads.
The show also will include live music, children’s activities, a silent art auction and food vendors, as well as free parking and admission.
Bonnie Lecat, a resident of Northbrook, is creating personalized “Vintage Portrait Plaques” to be introduced at the art fair.
Lecat, who began taking art lessons when she was 8 years old, graduated from Columbia College in Chicago where she studied fine art and illustration. After that, she began a career as an art director and commercial illustrator.
Lecat worked at various advertising and marketing agencies in Chicago designing everything from the toys that come in cereal boxes to album covers and store displays.
Then, in the late 80s and early 90s she became interested in faux finishing and murals, and painted every room in her house.
“When I had kids and bought a new house at about the same time, decorative painting was becoming really popular. People were faux finishing their homes and I loved that so much that I pursued that,” Lecat said.
“I went to Italy and studied with some masters first-hand. I also got to see how beautiful decorative painting can be.”
When friends, family and work associates began requesting her artwork for their homes and businesses, she decided to fulfill her passion for creating fine art and decorative painting, and opened “Bonnie Lecat Designs.”
Lecat, who is currently specializing in birds, nests and angels, will show pieces from her new series using acrylics and mixed media.
Her process involves not only layering plasters, waxes, and different types of metallic paints, but also utilizing different materials such as old lace curtains, locks, keys, beads, and stamped metal to further help each piece convey a feeling of history and nostalgia.
Lecat’s art will sell from $35 each for small pieces and a couple of thousand dollars for the larger ones.
However, methods of creating artwork differ from artist to artist.
Jane and James Meade of Hoffman Estates prefer cameras to create “Visual Expressions,” the name of their photographic art enterprise.
The Meades, who specialize in landscape and architectural photos, will bring images of France and Canada to the festival.
Jane said that she has come a long way since she went to a local camera store asking for a camera that would take photos of people’s heads.
“When I showed them some of my work, the employees — all long time photographers — went over what I was doing wrong and doing right, and that’s how I started learning,” Jane said.
“Then, my husband and I went to free classes at the shop, and he decided that he had to have a camera, too. That’s how we started doing this together,” Jane said.
Jane, a human resources systems analyst, and James, a recruiter, also joined the Chicago Botanic Garden Photographic Society and the Chicago Area Camera Club, where they learned side-be-side from the members.
Now they are selling their smaller unframed images from $65 to larger framed pieces at $2,100.
Because of artists like these, the Illinois Art Fair Directory expects 7,000 to attend the festival.
“For the past three years, the Northbrook Arts Commission, in collaboration with the Northbrook Park District, has hosted this event, said Cheryl Fayne-dePersio, Northbrook’s communications manager.
“It has quickly developed into a revered and highly anticipated summer happening for the village and surrounding communities.”