Celebrate arts outdoors at Graue Mill festival
La Grange artist Julie Matos reused pieces of copper to create these one-of-a-kind pieces.
11th Annual Graue Mill
Fine Arts Festival
Graue Mill and Museum, 3800 York Road, Oak Brook
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 2 and 3
(630) 920-1920 or grauemill.org
Artists have a knack for seeing things differently, and it was just such a vision that inspired artist Deeda Cordin to create the Graue Mill Fine Arts Festival.
The 11th Annual Fine Arts Festival will take place this weekend, June 2 and 3, turning the lawn between the mill and the Graue House into an outdoor art boutique where a group of carefully selected artists, most from the western suburbs, will exhibit and sell their one-of-a-kind creations.
“It brings people onto the campus of the mill and it helps to get people interested in the mill, as well as purchasing and viewing art from 30 local artists,” Cordin said.
One of those artists is Julie Matos, also known as Julie Marie of Julie Marie Jewelry.
“My jewelry is all upcycled,” which is a fancy word for recycled, Matos said. But she’s not talking about paper clip necklaces and pop-top bracelets. Matos, with help from her woodworker father, transforms wood from fallen trees into sculpted and polished pieces for her pendants, and scraps of copper into rustic ornaments for her necklaces and bracelets.
Matos uses limbs from area suburbs, including her hometown of La Grange, and can tell buyers exactly where each piece was gathered.
“It fits into Graue Mill with the nature aspect,” said Matos, whose jewelry also provides new life for used wine corks, discarded tea tins, vintage beads, buttons and earrings, old T-shirts, and antique vinyl records.
Watercolor artist Alix Palo of Clarendon Hills also draws from nature to create her paintings, most of which are intricate portraits of flowers and plants.
Trained in botanical art and illustration at the Morton Arboretum, Palo’s paintings capture a plant’s every detail in a form that will never wilt or fade.
Palo said she always makes the Graue Mill show a part of her summer schedule. “I love the location of it,” she said. “It’s quaint and picturesque.”
She said the small space means shoppers can take their time to admire everyone’s work, yet still have time to see it all.
Along with botanicals and wearable art, the Graue Mill festival will offer ceramics, hand-woven textiles, mosaics, pastels, stained glass, and wildlife and nature photography.
The event helps to support the mill and museum, not only by attracting people to the site, but financially, as well. Now in its 61st season, the Graue Mill and Museum hosts activities and events all summer and fall, each of which offers a look at life in the 1850s, when the wheels of Frederick Graue’s gristmill turned for the first time.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.