Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Art on the Square kicks off in Belleville

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI)-- A windy day wasn't dampening spirits during set up Friday for Art on the Square in Belleville.

"Its kind of like people from all across the country bring their studios to one central location," says Ronna Katz, a New Mexico based artist.  "So it's a very efficient way to shop for great artwork."

It`s also a great place to meet the artists face to face, who've traveled to southwestern Illinois from all over the world.

"This is like a home for me," says Yoram Gal, an Israeli based artist returning to Belleville.  "I did my American driver's license in Belleville.  My bank is across the street, Bank of America.  I feel at home since they welcome me in 2005."

The juried fine art show, now in its 13th year, knows how to prepare for Mother Nature and mixed media coming together under a series of tents.

"Then when we have the weight of our artwork on the walls that helps as well but outdoor art shows, we're vulnerable," says Katz.

But it is highly sought after in the art world.

Art on the Square sold more than $100,000 in art bucks over the holidays to be used during this weekend`s three day festival.

"Which makes is very appealing for artists to come because it might not come into my booth but it will be spent here at the show," says Katz.

That makes the number two ranked art show in the nation, number one in many artists` hearts.

"In sales, in treatment of artists, in amazing spirit of the town, the volunteers," says Gal.  "In every sense, it's the best.  It's like coming to paradise."

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