Artists brighten the weekend during 10th Annual Millennium Art Festival

By Karie Angell Luc For Chronicle Media

Thousands of people were expected to experience the 10th Annual Millennium Art Festival in Chicago’s Loop just north of Millennium Park over the weekend.

The festival featured 100 artists from around the United States, said Amy Amdur of Highland Park, director and president of Amdur Productions.

Artist Karina Llergo (center) of Northbrook talks to a customer. (Photo by Karie Angell Luc/for Chronicle Media)

“You can see paintings, you can see sculpture, you can see jewelry, you can see photography to mixed media work, we really have everything here,” Amdur said. “What’s so cool about this festival is we’re right here on Michigan Avenue and Lake Street.”

Blue skies with breezy temperatures in the lower 70s caused attendees to whip out cell phones for Friday photo selfies.

“Art just is my life,” said patron Shirley Espey of Houston, Texas. “Art is my life, it talks to me.”

Couples held hands as they walked the midways at lunchtime. Families with strollers were seen.

“I think it’s gorgeous,” said Gail Goldfarb of Homewood, a patron at the free entry event.

Eric Johnson, of Minneapolis listens to a customer in his booth. The inventory featured wearable objects made of historical artifacts. (Photo by Karie Angell Luc/for Chronicle Media)

Art makes people feel better, Amdur said.

“More than ever now, in these times when we’re dealing with a lot of adversity and division, art brings people together,” Amdur said. “So I think what’s really important about this festival is it gives us a little respite from the news and difficult times, and it gives us a chance to really enjoy just the visuals that the artists have created. There’s a lot of passion behind the work.”

Karina Llergo of Northbrook exhibited her work, figurative paintings. Her artwork is featured on this year’s event poster.

“What I do are paintings of women floating on water, the theme is energy through human motion,” Llergo said.

Llergo said she always uses three elements in her work, air, water and dance with her oils on canvas and cotton.

John Denis of Chicago is a sculptor whose work features recycled glass and acrylic fused. His work can be seen by appointment at the John Denis Gallery at the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St., Chicago.

Nancy and Joe Zinn of Salome, Ariz., staff their booth with work featuring functional art made of wood and leather. (Photo by Karie Angell Luc/for Chronicle Media)

“It’s a good day for art,” Denis said.

“Look at this building right up there,” Denis said, with a smile, pointing with his right arm to a skyscraper. I’m adjacent to this beautiful, historic building, first time doing a show right in downtown, so I love it.”

Of art, “It challenges your heart,” Denis said. “It challenges the mind and that’s what it’s about.”

  1. Scott Wilson, an artist who works on canvas with acrylics, is from Kansasville, Wis.

“My art consists of nonobjective abstract painting,” said Wilson, who began painting when he was 5. “I sold my first painting at 5 years old, believe it or not, for five bucks.”

View looking east from Michigan Avenue. (Photo by Karie Angell Luc/for Chronicle Media)

Wilson said hello to other exhibitors on the show circuit, including acrylic on canvas artist Maria Reyes-Jones of Orlando, Fla.

Wilson said art appeals.

“Food for the mind,” Wilson said. “Absolutely.”

The 10th Annual Millennium Art Festival in Chicago runs through Sunday, July 8. Learn more at







—- Artists brighten the weekend during 10th Annual Millennium Art Festival . —-