La Grange has earned a reputation for many things, David Hasselhoff notwithstanding. Along with a high-energy downtown area, hip restaurants and a classic theater, our village is increasingly recognized for its lively arts community.
Yes, we have art galleries and art leagues, art classes, exhibits and studios. But, we also have a growing number of retailers representing well-known regional artisans. Our merchants deal in vintage art, modern art and cartoon art. You can spend an afternoon and paint your own canvas, prepare your ceramics for the kiln and design your own beadwork, too.
There’s a buzz that La Grange is an art destination, due in part to two events organized by the La Grange Business Association. Our annual Sidewalk Art Exhibit – this year displaying colorful bag toss board games – brings visitors from surrounding communities to discover the whimsical themes created by clever local artists. These much-admired games will be auctioned for charities Sept. 6 from outside Village Hall.
A week later, artists from across the country will participate in a late summer festival that attracts thousands of art admirers and patrons to La Grange. Celebrating its 18th year from Sept. 13 through 15, the annual West End Art Festival brings a fine art event to the charming neighborhood near the Stone Avenue train station.
This year, the festival has added a nod to performing arts with acclaimed local dance, theater and music ensembles. A culinary tent celebrates, The Art of Food, with live cooking demonstrations by local culinary artists. Hands-on activities are also available, such as an open-air painting party, crafts for kids and the creation of a community mural. A full schedule is at lgba.com.
Year-round, La Grange offers a palette of attractions for every art lover. And that’s something that even The Hoff can brag about.
Nancy Cummings is executive director of the La Grange Business Association.