One of our dearest friends, Patty Gregory, is responsible for starting Art of the Square. The event and the organization is very near and dear to her heart and she has devoted countless hours to it's continuation.
For the past five years, I have had the distinct privilege of serving on a committee for Art on the Square. The helpfulness, vision, and motivation of this group of volunteers is unmatched! By working year-round, a dream becomes a reality year after year and is FREE and open to the public. People of all ages have the opportunity to view and purchase fine art and support our community.
Without a doubt Art on the Square is the premiere event in Belleville, IL. Not only does the fine arts fair provide free of charge access to major artists and their work it also focuses on the education of the fairgoers...including children of all ages. By creating the Artists in Residence program, school children ranging from elementary school thru high school are given the opportunity to experience in the classroom the craft of individual artists who generously give of their time. This is only one of the very positive results created by Art on the Square.
Art on the Square has brought together a community in support of the arts in a collaborative effort that is seldom seen. This event brings together artists from around the world while at the same time highlighting the artistic talents of high school students and other young performers. This family friendly event not only brings much needed revenue to the businesses in our area, it has become a source of great pride for our city. Volunteers manage every aspect of the project, from the co-directors down to the trash clean-up. Those who want to attend a safe, relaxing event that celebrates the arts need to come to Belleville, Illinois on May 15-16 and see how small-town, civic minded individuals can put together the #1 Rated Art Event in the country.
The Art On The Square experience. It's the middle of May. We're out of the duldrums of Winter. The weather is usually amazing. The Belleville Square is blooming with freshly planted flowers. The beautiful fountain is refreshing the beautiful surroundings. People are enjoying the atmosphere. And we haven't even talked about the 100 artists that are showing their dazzling creations. Stroll the Square, enjoy the art, stop to talk with friends, pause for a meal or refreshment at a table. Feel the spring breeze. Absorb the warmth of the season and the warmth of all the people. You have to be there.
I have been involved with this foundation for years and have been overwhelmed by the difference it has made to the community of Belleville, Illinois. Belleville has regained a sense of pride in its history and a determination to reclaim its position of prominence in the region.
This is the most amazing group of volunteers! They have taken a brand new show and put it in the top 5 of the country in less than 4 years time. Art on the Square has been the #1 Art show in America in 2008, #2 in 2009 and is currently #1 for 2010. They also have a wonderful education component with their artists in residency programming, their art workshops for children of deployed military, and the Sculpture in the City program, which has donated 16 piecees of Sculpture to the city of Belleville in the past 3 years.
I have been going to Art on the Square since its inception. I have found the venue of being on the Public Sqaure an ideal place to hold the event. Also, I have been so happy with everything that I have purchased from the artists. How fortunate we are to have such a wonderful event in our community.
Art on the Square is the number one art show in the US as stated by "Art Fair Source Book". In its ninth year, this juried show is the talk of the art world. Please visit Belleville May 14, 15, 16, 2010 to see the 100 juried artists exhibit their work around Veteran's Memorial Fountain. In 2009 pre-purchase patrons bought over $70,000 in Art Cash to spend with the artists.