Walking the main street is an annual family tradition. There are actors walking the sides of the street and great shopping.
Each year, Belleville, Illinois plays host to Art on the Square, which is a rather unique gathering of artists from all over the country (and in some cases, the world). They descend on Belleville to set up in the downtown square in individual tents, proudly displaying their craft and offering fine art, photography, sculpture, jewelry, glasswork, and woodwork of all shapes and sizes. It’s really a fascinating sort of event. They block off about four blocks’ worth of street in the downtown area just to hold it, including the roundabout that’s right in the center of town.
This year was the second time we’d visited. There’s no way we can afford many of these pieces of art (some of them cost into the thousands of dollars), and I’m always nervous taking the kids for a walk around the square when just about everything around is breakable, but it’s always an enjoyable time. This year, the weather was nice and cool, the sun was shining, and as always the people were friendly. It’s a great thing to be able to engage the artist, to ask about their work, how and why they create it, and where they are from.
We plan on continuing to go each year. Someday we’ll take back a piece of art to adorn the walls of our home.
I’ve prepared a small flickr photoset with additional images of the event. If you’d like, check it out.