ENGLEWOOD – When the Englewood Festival & Arts Commission put out its annual call for the Youth Art Fair, students in the Northmont school district heard it loud and clear.
The day of entry drop-off at the Englewood Government Center in late February was a busy one as a record 190 pieces of work were delivered by students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
“This year was absolutely the best,” said Linda Bryan, a long-time festival and arts commission member overseeing the art fair.
Once art was dropped off, it was sorted by volunteers and judged by independent art teachers. Following judging, commission members hung the art at the government center for display and the annual awards program the following weekend. A best of show and runner up was selected in each age group.
Works were submitted by students in public and private schools as well as those being home schooled.
An array of art was submitted from pencil drawings to painting, weaving, glass blowing, clay, wire and origami, among many others. Among the more unusual pieces was a house made out of pretzel, crackers and other edibles.
The volunteer Festival & Arts Commission’s members are appointed by the city council. Members work not only on the art fair but also on city beautification, the annual holiday event on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the summer art festival that will observe its 45th anniversary this year.
“It is really fun,” said Bryan, who is retired from Delphi and has been involved in the commission around 20 years.
Donna Alexander, another commission member, said the summer art festival parade has always been her favorite activity, but she also enjoys the Youth Art Fair.
“This, I just love to see the kids come in with the art. I think there is a lot of talent. It shows how expressive kids can be,” Alexander said while admiring the entries including some by her granddaughter.