Arts Infusion Spotlights Works of Local Artists

Article excerpt

Byline: Sean Hargadon

Elgin isn't lacking talented artists. What it lacks is suitable venues able to present the works of its artists on a larger scale.

Aside from the venerable Elgin Fine Arts Festival, there wasn't much available to give patrons an opportunity to pursue and appreciate local artists in a new way. Not anymore.

Now there is a new festival celebrating the output of human creativity - Arts Infusion.

This downtown festival, set in State Financial Bank at 16 N. Spring St., offers a makeshift art gallery presented in tandem with live theater.

The brainchild of Elgin Cultural Arts Commissioners Mark Hardiman and David Powers, this event gives Elgin a new urban approach to the arts.

On a recent visit, there were more than 70 pieces of work ranging from oil paintings, photography, sculpture, and mixed media, offering an array of visual stimulation that easily satisfied. Some work focused on simple lines and colors, while others were patriotic, scenic, or just delightfully bizarre.

Experiencing this exciting exhibit makes you think of what it must have been like to witness the first showing by the French Impressionists at the Salon des Refuses in 1865; instead of the names Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro, we have Massion, Haerr, and Allnutt. …