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August 11, 2000

Mrs. Ryan Welcomes Illinois Artisans to the 2000 Illinois State Fair in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan officiated at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Illinois Artisans Village, a new attraction at the State Fair, this afternoon.

The Artisans village provides a unique opportunity to watch Illinois artisans demonstrate traditional arts and crafts at this year's Fair, Aug. 11-20.

"I am very pleased that visitors to the Fair will have the chance to learn first-hand about Illinois' history while watching traditional demonstrations by these extremely talented artisans," Mrs. Ryan said. "This wonderful new exhibit is a natural extension of the 'Made in Illinois' gift catalog, as well as our continued efforts to preserve the state's rich history and culture by promoting Illinois arts and crafts."

More than 100 demonstrations of a variety of crafting techniques will be presented by 34 members of the Illinois Artisans Program during the 11-day run of the Fair. Ten artists will be featured each day of the Fair from noon to 8 p.m., practicing traditional Illinois crafts, including wheel-thrown ceramics, stained glass, beaded embroidery, wood carving, weaving, hand-forged iron, folk art, furniture making, scherenschnitte, knitting and lace, gourd pyrography, metal sculpture and glass blowing.

In addition, crafts made by the demonstrators and other Illinois artisans will be displayed and available for sale in a tent shop operated by the Museum Store of the Illinois State Museum.

Sponsored by the First Lady, the Department of Natural Resources/State Museum, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, the Capital Development Board's Arts-in-Architecture Program, and the Illinois Arts Council, the Illinois Artisans Village will be located next to Ethnic Village near the Main Gate of the Illinois State Fairgrounds.


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