Alley Art Festival brings real, live artists to the public on Saturday in downtown Aurora

Don Picton is an artist at Alley Art Fest in downtown Aurora. He keeps coming every year. The fest is Sat. Aug. 26 from noon to 5.

More than 60 artists will be on display along Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora on Saturday. It’s not the first time that local artists have set up at the “pedestrian-friendly” walkway that is bookended by “City Hall” and Culture Stock “bookstore.”

It started in 2010 when, at an informal downtown gathering, people were asked what they wanted to see in downtown Aurora. Aurora, Ill. is the second largest city in the state, and has a huge reputation for also having the second largest art scene.

“An art student had the idea to capitalize on the idea. So a group of us organized an event and invited artists,” said organizer Marissa Amoni.

Alley Art Festival has since grown from around 40 artists to about 60. It’s held on Water Street Mall on the last Saturday in August. The artists will be on view from noon to 5 p.m.

“Well, they won’t be roped off or anything, but we ask that people respect the artists and not touch them. At least not without asking first,” Amoni said.

One artist who has been coming out every year, Don Picton, said he appreciates the opportunity to showcase himself.

“A lot of people have been buying mass-produced art for years now, so it’s kind of cool for people to have a chance to see that real, live artists still exist. Most people are like, “Whoa. I had no idea.” I’ve even sold some buttons,” Picton said.

Aside from artists, the public can also view musicians, food vendors, card readers, and more.

Check out the Facebook invite HERE.

Alley Art Festival is a grassroots art event from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26 on Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora. Real, live artists will actually be there. They’ll be selling their art, too. 

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