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Art lovers to converge on Cantigny this weekend
By Sara Hooker | Daily Herald Staff

Wheaton artist Donna Leonhardt creates jewelry from metal and semiprecious stones. She'll display her work at the Cantigny Fine Art Festival.


Courtesy of Winger Marketing

Naperville artist Valerie Lorimer will display her mixed media art this weekend at the Cantigny Fine Art Festival in Wheaton.


Courtesy of Winger Marketing

Valerie Lorimer often weaves words and phrases into mixed media art and emphasizes the relationships between women.


Courtesy of Winger Marketing

Visitors to the Cantigny Fine Art Festival can explore works by 125 juried artists.


Courtesy of Winger Marketing

Naperville artist Valerie Lorimer's mixed media art is among the works on display this weekend at the Cantigny Fine Art Festival.


Courtesy of Winger Marketing

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Published: 6/18/2010 12:00 AM

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If you go

What: Cantigny Fine Art Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20

Where: Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton

Cost: Free, $5 parking fee

Info: (847) 926-4300 or

Art runs in the family for Donna Leonhardt.

Her grandfather, a stone mason from Italy, made the molds for the lion statues outside the New York Public Library. Leonhardt, of Wheaton, designs jewelry with semiprecious stones.

That sense of family and art will intermingle this Father's Day weekend at the ninth annual Cantigny Fine Art Festival where Leonhardt will be among 125 juried artists displaying their creations.

The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Admission is free, but there's a $5 parking fee.

"It's all so interrelated," she said of her connection to family and art. "One art medium is definitely interrelated to another."

The Cantigny festival is a unique event for both artists and art lovers.

"I like it because it's in a beautiful parklike setting," Leonhardt said. "The grounds are fabulous. They have great music and a fabulous setting for artists."

The festival offers several free activities, including demonstrations of weaving and spinning fiber to make felt. Visitors also can play art show bingo.

Beyond the art show, activities include live music and plenty of food options.

A free movie will be offered in the visitor's center about the life of philanthropist Robert McCormick.

Visitors may take tours of the 35-room McCormick mansion or explore the First Division Museum.

It's also a great time to check out Cantigny's 15 acres of gardens, ponds, woods and nature trails, and the weekend coincides with the peak time for the rose garden.

Guests are invited to bring a blanket and pack a picnic lunch.

"The way I like to look at the fest, it can be an hour or it can be a day," said Amy Amdur, whose company, Amdur Productions, puts on the event.

The price of artwork ranges from $15 to $2,500.

Leonhardt's work, meanwhile, incorporates sterling silver, brass, bronze, copper and semiprecious stones. Hot colors this year seem to be turquoise and coral, she said.

Mixed media artist Valerie Lorimer of Naperville focuses on the connection between women in her work, which often incorporates words or sayings.

"I'm very drawn to the strength of women and friendship, that whole process, and that connection that women seem to have," she says. "My husband says, 'Why don't you draw men?' With women, there's a connection there that they may not see with another artist."

For details about the festival, call Amdur at (847) 926-4300 or visit