A full palette of artsy opportunities will be on display during the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s fourth annual “Arts & Nature on the River” event set for June 15 in Channahon.
The art will be presented from noon-4 p.m. in a natural setting at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Informal venues and galleries will be sprinkled throughout the setting for visitors to view, absorb and interact with as they stroll at their own pace on the 0.66-mile paved trail loop.
“This event allows visitors to get up close to the art process, talk to the artists, and have an experience very different from visiting a gallery or theatre,” said Tina Riley, the facility supervisor at Four Rivers. “There are no art sales and no pressure, resulting in a very casual, relaxed afternoon for everyone involved.”
This year’s celebration of art will include more hands-on activities, which have been popular with attendees in the past, Riley added.
“The event is intended to inspire creativity in our visitors and encourage interests in new and different art forms that they may not have been exposed to in the past.”
Main stage musical offerings will include: The Big Lagniappe, a New Orleans-inspired band from noon-1:30 p.m. and The Pickin’ Grinners, a bluegrass band, from 2-3:30 p.m.
Other musical performers scheduled to perform are Spanish classical guitarist Neil Dix Smith; musical trio Kielbasa & Kimchi, playing contemporary, classical and jazz music; and master drummer Mark Vaugh.
Exhibits and activities will be presented by painters, photographers, sculptors, a silverpoint artist and a bonsai artist. Oversize reproductions of Claude Monet’s work will be featured in a display probing the artist’s inspiration for his work.
Attendees also can learn about birds and designs in nature, draw their own landscapes, view winning photos from Channahon’s Pioneer Path fourth grade art students and explore poetry and inspiration along the trail.
A new addition this year will be Beach Bums Tropical Sno! Shaved ice treats in a variety of flavors will be available for purchase near the Four Rivers Shelter.
“Arts & Nature” is free and registration is not required. The event is an environmentally sensitive “unplugged” affair. Visitors can bike or hike in via the I&M Canal State Trail. Bicycle parking will be available. Carpooling is encouraged. Bring a refillable water bottle you can replenish at on-site water stations.
Please leave pets at home. The trail loop will be limited to foot traffic. Strollers and accessibility aids will be allowed. The event will take place rain or shine on a paved trail and on natural surfaces across uneven terrain. Most of the event is outdoors with some activities taking place indoors.
For more information on this event and other Forest Preserve District offerings, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.