Highland News Leader

16th annual Art in the Park event in Highland big success

On Oct. 12-13, the 16th annual Art in the Park welcomed thousands of people from the metro-east and St. Louis area into the city of Highland.

It began with a preview party on the evening of Oct. 11 where 175 people enjoyed refreshments, while deciding which of the pieces of art they would purchase. The SIUE Jazz Combo delighted the crowd.

“It was a fantastic show,” said Lynnette Schuepbach, chair of the event. “Saturday (Oct. 12) and Sunday (Oct. 13) offered perfect fall weather, beautiful artwork, good conversation, a ton of people, and many purchases from the artists exhibiting at Lindendale Park. It takes a multitude of volunteers and sponsors to pull this event off.

“But it is well worth the effort. If you’ve never been to Art in the Park, plan to attend next year. There is artwork at our show that is affordable for everyone.”

Families came to enjoy time together. Children could make their own art projects, and everyone in the family could help to create a unique community unity project, which is now on display in the 1300 block of Broadway. The generosity of the exhibiting artists allowed Highland Arts Council to offer an art gallery ... Just for Kids. All children from ages 5-18 could buy any piece for $5. Live music, a youth art exhibit, and food filled out the weekend for this family-friendly event.

Brady Kesner, photographer and native of Highland, said, “I’ve exhibited my art at Art in the Park for almost as long as it has been happening. It’s a pleasure to share my images with people from Missouri and Illinois. It’s a great show with volunteers that treat us like royalty.”

John Denhouter, professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, spent the two days painting what he saw at the show. This style of painting is called “plein Air” painting. Denhouter painted in oils, but many plein air painters use watercolors or pastels.

Guests may be able to watch him next year as the Highland Arts Council adds on a plein air festival immediately prior to the 2020 Art in the Park on Oct. 9-11. Highland Arts Council has announced there will be indoor exhibits as well as outdoor exhibits in the upcoming year. Mark the calendar and plan to attend.

The artists were judged Oct. 12, and Highland Arts Council awarded prizes totaling $9,000 to 17 artists.

Schuepbach said, “The awards are Highland Arts Council’s way to honor the world-class art exhibited at Art in the Park.”

To keep up with the Highland Arts Council, check out their website at www.HighlandArtsCouncil.org or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HighlandArtsCouncil/.