Glenview art fair attracts patrons — and pooches
Left, Amber Gehring, a 26-year Glenview resident, at the 59th Annual Glenview Outdoor Art Fair with her Great Dane Finn who just met Earl, the English Mastiff. | Karie Angell Luc~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2012 1:05PM
Where else could you bring your dog to a venue where several of the nearly 75 exhibitors placed water bowls to welcome them?
“We had so many dogs here yesterday,” said Glenview resident Sandy Sheagren, volunteer co-chair of the 59th Annual Glenview Outdoor Art Fair, which ran Saturday and Sunday at Lyon Elementary School.
In Glenview, where the park district offers a fenced dog park, pups are welcome under certain conditions.
“It’s an art fair that comes to a dog show,” joked David Cohen, a veterinarian from Glenview, who enjoys this Glenview Art League-sponsored fair annually.
Cohen brought his leashed toy poodle Lulu, 3, weighing six pounds. Lulu said hello to Earl, the English mastiff, who is “The World’s Best Dog,” says his owner David Merel, a potter (and vendor) from nearby Mount Prospect.
Earl, 4, has a “lifespan of hopefully 10-12 years, sleeps on an over-large stuffed chair, loves everyone and is bred for sleeping in doorways,” according to his card.
But Earl could have lapped large water bowls set out yards away, courtesy of his other owner, Jake Merel, 15, a Hersey High School sophomore, who helped his father David sell handmade wares.
“I’m a potter, just a potter,” said Jake’s dad, whose inventory included glazed ornamental dragon whistles.
Merel, who dabbles in functional and sculpture pottery, has a property manager day job.
And then there was Myrtle Peltonen, a full-time artist and Wilmette resident since 1955, who, as an acrylic painter, brought to life Midwest roadside wildflowers, often overlooked by motorists.
“Queen Anne’s Lace,” said Peltonen, of a large painting featuring heavy brush work, the plants in 3-D, giving viewers the feeling of rough relief but with gentle pastels.
“I did it in about a week,” said Peltonen, of her unnamed Queen Anne’s Lace painting.
One Northbrook patron visiting Peltonen’s booth noted, “It’s so interesting how you can create something so beautiful out of a weed.”
Observed Peltonen, “I love flowers, I like the weeds.”
Added the patron: “I like how you grouped them (paintings) by color.”
Of dogs walking by paintings featuring Alice Wonderland-worthy flowers: “Lots of training,” said Amber Gehring, when asked about her blue Great Dane Finn’s good behavior.
Finn, 4, 180 pounds, tugged on his leash just steps from Peltonen’s booth.
Gehring, a Glenview resident of 26 years, is a Warren Township High School math teacher. As mom to Finn, she witnesses how a canine who can wolf five to seven pounds of raw meat daily.
For a math teacher, that adds up quickly on a food bill, right?
“Yah, he’s kind of like a horse, but he loves to snuggle at home on the couch,” said Gehring, as twins Elizabeth and Katherine Harris, both 8, both Glenview Hoffman Elementary School third graders, joined the crowd gathering around Finn to pet him, many snapping cell phone pictures.
To think, near a midway where festival music was provided by Dona Benkert (dulcimer) and Rick Veras (fiddle) of the duo Scattlin Reunion, patrons crowded around large dogs at a fair where art added color to their day.
But let’s not forget the felines, shall we?
“We’re enjoying (seeing the booths of) a couple of vendors,” said Helen Chan, a 15-year Glenview resident who brought her daughter Meilin, 14, a Glenbrook South High School freshman.
“We got our favorite,” said Meilin’s mother, of their mutual purchase. The work, called “Raggity Cat,” is number five in a series of 40 block prints by artist Alice Jaeger-Ashland.
The Glenview Art League can be reached at PO Box 463, Glenview, IL 60025. Call 847-724-4007.
Visit www.glenviewartleague.org. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.