Pets on Parade debuts at breezy Art & Garden Fest

  Homewood Events Manager Allisa Opyd drops a tent
  wall Friday at the Art & Garden Street Fair to reveal
  the Pets on Parade statues decorated by local
  businesses and community groups.
(Photos by 
  Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Homewood-area residents celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Art & Garden Street Fair by enjoying two sunny days and warm evenings filled with food, music, art, science and greenery. 

Some of that art was in the form of dog and cat statues ― and one giraffe ― colorfully decorated by local businesses and organizations, including the H-F Chronicle, for Pets on Parade. The collection of more than 30 statues, is a fundraising project for the South Suburban Humane Society (SSHS). 

  Katelyn Cheung poses 
  beside her Daisy Girl Scout 
  Troop's contribution to 
  Pets on Parade. 


SSHS CEO Emily Klehm and Development Director Jacob Engelman took the stage before the start of the evening concert Friday to talk about the program.

SSHS representatives approached the village of Homewood about a year ago, Klehm said, to propose a Pets on Parade project similar to the 1999 Cows on Parade public art project in Chicago.

Designs on the statues range from simple and elegant to complex and colorful. Klehm said the results were impressive.

"Homewood businesses set the bar high," she said. "I'm so pleased. Everyone got the idea of making them something super cool to look at."

The pets will be on display in Homewood commercial districts during the summer months. They will be auctioned off during Fall Fest in September.

"All the proceeds go to the homeless pets at the South Suburban Humane Society," Klehm said. "We never have enough money."

The sale of statues mainly covered costs. The prices were kept low to allow more participation, Klehm said.

  Artist Ryan Duggan, holds a 
  framed print of the 
  commemorative poster 
  he designed while standing 
  in front of a large street 
  version of his image.


In a Chronicle story late last year, Klehm said about 45 percent of the agency's budget comes from donations, so the proceeds from the auction will build on that.

"It's like nothing we've ever done before so we have no idea" how much the auction might bring in, Engelman said, but Klehm said SSHS hopes to raise at least $5,000.

The main weather challenge for the festival was a gusty breeze that rattled tent walls and at one point lifted a few tents off the ground briefly. 

That same breeze made the near 90-degree weather more bearable, though, according to Homewood Events Manager Allisa Opyd. And, she very much preferred it to rain.

Festival goers did get a little wet Friday evening, as a series of brief showers moved through the area. Aside from delaying the start of the evening concert by Bumpus by about an hour, the rain seemed to have little affect on the festivities.

The windy weather had an impact on the annual Chalk of the Town artwork on Kroner Lane just west of Martin Avenue.

This year, Nancy Pochis Bank's team of three artists had to use tempura paint rather than chalk, according to artist Shayne Taylor who explained the chalk they typically use is light and would have been spread by the wind, creating a blurred image.

This year, the team created a large version of Ryan Duggan's Homewood commemorative poster commissioned by the village.

Duggan was impressed with the result. He said it might be the second largest rendering of his work, after a 60-foot mural on an Austin, Texas, building.

Residents were still able to make chalk drawings on the street and sidewalk west of the Homewood poster.

Two local youngsters, Julianne, 8, and Gabriel, 5, were collaborating on designs. 

"She made that for me, because I don't even know how to draw a butterfly," Gabriel said, pointing to a diamond shape that he was helping color.

"I also drew him a dinosaur," Julianne said. The youngster provided a tour of several of her chalk drawings, including one named Lilly that she had built a story around. 

"I'm going to write a book about that," she said.

  Julianne, left, and Gabriel collaborate on a chalk 
  drawing during the Art & Garden Street Fair on 
  Saturday,  June 10. 



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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.


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