Those attending the Geneva Arts Fair last weekend were exposed to a diverse array of art.
That included the artwork of Chicago artist Derek Christensen, who uses license plates to create portraits of famous figures along with maps. The Geneva Arts Fair, coordinated by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, took place July 23 and 24 on Third Street in downtown Geneva.
Christensen likes the novelty of the art form.
“I just thought it was different,” Christensen said July 24. “You don’t see a lot of it out there. I just wanted to do something a little bit different, I guess.”
He has made portraits of Michael Jordan, astronaut Neil Armstrong and other notable people.
“I just try and think of people that I think are interesting, people who have made some sort of impact,” Christensen said.
Steve Meadows’ whimsical folk art attracted plenty of attention. He creates his pieces from salvaged junk such as brooms, door knobs and bread pans.
His gallery, S.D. Meadows Folk Art Gallery, is located in Palestine in central Illinois.
“I’m just doing my own thing,” Meadows said. “It’s basically a gift that has been given to me. I credit God for doing that.”
Meadows goes to garage sales and estate sales to find the materials he uses to create his art pieces. He enjoys seeing the reaction of people when they see his artwork for the first time.
“It puts a smile on everybody’s face when they walk in,” he said.
Meadows has been part of the Geneva Arts Fair for several years. While it rained off and on July 23, the rain didn’t keep people away from the show.
“As soon as it started raining, people went away, but as soon as the sun came out, people came right back. It was amazing,” he said.
Yolanda Franklin of Bolingbrook is a mixed media artist and uses a variety of materials.
“I use everything from sheets of plexiglass to textured paper made from mulberry bark,” she said.
She has been a professional artist for about 15 years.
“I was self-taught,” she said. “It was just a hobby that kind of grew over time.”
Some of her latest work include silhouettes of African Congo women. Franklin said she is inspired by their strength and poise.
Those attending the Geneva Arts Fair on July 24 also got the opportunity to hear guitarist John Ivan of Batavia, who was playing at the Geneva Winery along Third Street.
“It’s just awesome to be here,” Ivan said.
The acclaimed guitarist was the winner of Musician Magazine’s best unsigned band contest and is a Chicago Music Awards Best Entertainer nominee.