Davenport, Iowa - (August 2, 2008) - The Beaux Arts Fair will be held on Saturday, September 6, 2008 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, September 7 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in on The Figge plaza. The fair features 73 exhibitors from several states working in painting, drawing, printmaking, weaving, jewelry, and crafts. Admission is free to the Fair and to The Figge during that weekend. There will be a children's activities tent, and concessions will be sold. This is an opportunity for visitors to find something truly unique for their collection.
In addition to The Fair, in The Figge lobby art instructors will give visitors a preview of Figge`s fall art classes provide examples of the art projects. Classes include Tapestry Weaving Techniques, Techniques in Jewelry, Improving Your Digital Photographs, Figure Drawing, Solvent-Free Oil Painting, Novice Drawing, and Novice Painting. Visitors who can also receive a discount on upcoming art class registrations.
This year is also the 55th anniversary of the formation of Beaux Arts. In 1952 The Beaux Arts Fund Committee, Inc. grew out of Sunday morning sketch group. It was their idea to put on a ball designed to raise money for the Davenport Art Gallery that year. Fifty-five years ago, on November 2, 1953 they were deemed a not for profit incorporation. In 1954 non-artists were invited to become a part of the group.
The balls were a yearly event held in the Gold Room of the Blackhawk Hotel. The Committee decided on a theme and worked all year on decorations for this major community event. The best costume was awarded the Beaux Jeste statue, Beaux Arts equivalent of The Oscar. This group of art enthusiasts approached the Friends of Art and borrowed $300 to finance the ball in October 9, 1953.
Membership put up with the hardships of creating their decorations in unheated warehouses. Just a few days before "A Three Ring Circus" (1957) they received word from the fire department that all 480 yards of cheesecloth which had been dyed had to be fireproofed. Not letting anything deter their ambition they dipped the material in a fireproofing solution and wrung it out. Everything was ready by ball time.
This creative group was always looking for ways to boost their funds for the benefit of the art gallery. By 1966 it was decided they needed a permanent place to work. Plans were made for the construction of what came to be known as the Beaux Arts Annex at 947 Wilkes Ave. That was the last year a ball was held
In1967 the Beaux Arts Fund Committee, Inc. introduced the community to a new event. Booth fees of $10.00 were collected from artists wanting to sell their creations. The Sweet Adelines sang, Isabel Bloom presented a puppet show and an auction was held. Due to its great success the event became an annual tradition that is known as the Beaux Arts Fair today. By 1969 it had grown to 100 participants with 10,000 people attending.
Because of the growth and popularity of this event it was decided in 1970 to have a spring fair which was to emphasize crafts. It was held in front of the Davenport Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of the Wiese addition. The Fall Fair continued with its emphasis on fine art.
Today, Beaux Arts presents two
fairs a year, and over the years has raised and donated over $500,000 to the
Davenport Museum of Art/The Figge. Beaux
Arts contributed to Haitian Collection and helped purchase the Grant Wood
Collection now exhibited at The Figge.
For more information visit www.beauxartsfair.com.