Artists Opening Up Their Studios for Art around the Fox Tour

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Byline: Kathryn Grondin Daily Herald Staff Writer

Art aficionados can escape this weekend to the colorful worlds created by watercolors, oils, photography, fabrics and more in the Art Around the Fox gallery tour.

The gallery walk will take tourists into more than 40 commercial galleries, private studios and educational establishments in 13 communities in Kane and DuPage counties.

"This is the ideal way to focus on all of the visual artists in the Fox Valley, to let people know all of the talent we have," said Sandra Wilderman, executive director of the Fox Valley Arts Council. "This is a wonderful opportunity for people to go into the artists' galleries that are not normally open to them."

The Fox Valley Arts Council is sponsoring the free three-day event in partnership with Fox River Valley Heritage Tourism Project, a consortium of more than 50 tourism groups. It starts Friday and runs through Sunday.

"There is something for everyone," Wilderman said. "There is artwork by high school students. ... There is Native American art. There is a Vietnam War exhibit in Aurora."

Artist Don Castro will open up his Naperville house and his studio.

"They'll get the best bird's eye view of a studio that is a part of your house," Castro said. Visitors will not only see where he works but also much of the Illinois and Pennsylvania landscapes and botanical scenes displayed throughout his house.

The tour will feature performing artists as well as displays, demonstrations and receptions of visual artists. Performances include poetry readings, guitar playing and storytelling.

The Bubotto Fine Arts Salon in Elgin will have 40 artists' pieces in various media. But the gallery's show at Focaccia's Restaurant in Elgin also will include a demonstration by a Ukrainian egg painter, portraits drawn throughout the day, poetry readings, live music and even children's activities.

"Besides art, there is plenty of entertainment and kids' activities," said artist Dawn Blais, president of Bubotto. "Children can come out and create art as well."

A bus tour will be available for selected DeKalb area locations. For details, call (815) 753-1936. Hotel packages also are available.

"People who couldn't get out on Friday, they can get out on Saturday or Sunday," said organizer Gerry Lang, who owns the Hand Heart Mind Studio/Gallery in Geneva. "There is so much going on out here: artists, poets, dancers and musicians."

For details, call the Fox Valley Arts Council at (630) 232-1127. …