Friday, June 17, 2011

Art Fest in Chagrin Falls

This past Saturday a couple of friends and I ventured to Chagrin Falls to visit the 28th annual Art by the Falls. More than 100 artists presented their work at the juried fine arts and contemporary craft festival, presented by the Valley Art Center in Riverside Park.

A co-worker mentioned this show on Friday telling me that his wife, the gallery director for the Valley Art Center, is the woman that organizes this show each year, which is the Center’s largest fundraiser. There were artists showing textiles, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, jewelry, weaving, ceramics and more.

Art by the Falls began 28 years ago in Triangle Park when a small group of artists wanted a venue to show their wares and raise money for the art center. It has since grown into an annual community event that attracts artists and visitors from across the region, and even across the country.

Many artists showing at the festival are local, though some traveled from as far away as Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Florida. The free two-day festival also featured live music, entertainment, food and drinks and raffles.

We wandered the booths and then headed onto the Main Street for some lunch at Joey’s. Joey’s is a quaint tiny space serving up pretty terrific Italian food. My fried Perch sandwich was very good, Lynn had the Portabella Grill, and Nancy had the Turkey Reuben (mostly minus sauerkraut since they’d just run out) and both enjoyed their lunches. The service was a bit slow but I think it was mostly due to the overly large crowd piling in from the Art Show so I’ll give them some leeway on that.

White Magnolia Window Shopping
After lunch, we set out to tour some of the little shops along Main. My favorite by far was the White Magnolia. This shop is a combination boutique and cupcake shop – by far the most interesting combination I’ve seen in one location. The shop is filled with beautiful antiques, replicas, china, candles, lawn art and just plain loveliness it was hard to say which items we liked best. Artfully put together, this shop is well worth spending an hour browsing in. Then comes the best part – decadent cupcakes arranged in a case by the door where I ooed and ahhed over them trying to decide which to bring home.

Beautiful displays at White Magnolia
The Cherry Cheesecake cupcake won by a slight edge over the Chocolate Mint. This pretty little cupcake had a cherry cheesecake filling and was piled high with icing and covered with cherry sprinkles all topped off by a Marciano cherry. This was well worth carrying home with me. Realistically, I think I'd have room for two cupcakes next trip up.

This pretty little cupcake gives me the urge to bake some of my own versions up but since we're smack in the middle of the Biggest Looser at work these will have to wait a while.  I thought of perhaps baking some and giving them out to all the other contestants, but then figured they'd find a way to pay me back somehow.  So stay tuned, I'm working on a couple of recipes that sound pretty good for sometime AFTER the contest is over.  Maybe a treat for all of us Loosers!

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