All eyes on Warrenville's Art on the Prairie festival this weekend


As a poster advertising one of his recent artist’s receptions puts it, Chris Hodge thinks in ink.

What comes through on paper are images that often evoke mythological creatures and themes.

“A lot of my art work has a narrative attached to it. Some comes out of mythology or the Bible. Others are more like concepts I’m trying to convey about society,” Hodge says.

The Batavia artist will be one of about 35 showcasing their work at the annual Art on the Prairie art and music festival this weekend outside the city hall complex in Warrenville.

An art teacher who specializes in teaching photography at Naperville Central High School, Hodge has been featured in the show for the past several years.

“The Warrenville community is just so friendly,” he says.

This year, art fans will find a larger selection than ever of handmade creations at the juried show, says Ruth Brackman of the Warrenville Park District. The festival is presented by the district, city and Warrenville Public Library.

Live music will begin at noon Saturday with L.J. Slavin, followed by the Real Steel Island Band at 1:15 p.m. Bluegrass artists Ashley Lewis and Legacy take the stage at 4 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m. show with the Tin Fiddle Band.

On Sunday, the Paul Botts Jazz Band sets the mood with a performance at 11:30 a.m., followed by a 3 p.m. Banjo Buddies Band show.

Free face painting and Ben’s Bubble Show will be featured from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. Face painting is back from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, accompanied by the entertaining strolling juggler, Chris Fascione.

“We also have a large children’s art station,” Brackman says.

Images of art work by the top 10 finishing artists in the 2018 Faces of Warrenville contest will be featured on streetlight pole banners flying throughout town during the fair, Brackman says. “We had quite a number submitted this year,” she says. “We’re really promoting the Warrenville artists.”

Those artists will be honored with plaques presented by Mayor David Brummel during a 2:40 p.m. Saturday ceremony.

One of the honorees will be Hodge, a Faces of Warrenville winner who recently completed an art residency at the Warrenville Art and History Museum.

Hodge says his work often incorporates objects made of biological material, such as eyes, hands and tree roots.

“I like to show the connection between nature and humans,” he says.

He says he’ll be bringing an assortment of prints to the Warrenville show.

“It’s a phenomenal show. There’s always a lot of people there,” he says, “and the music’s great.”

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