Area mall to host show of many art works, crafts

By Amy Ross

Students who crave malls, arts and crafts might want to journey northward to St. Charles from Sept. 7-12.

Master Productions, an organization of artists and craftsmen from around the country, will be appearing at the Charlestowne Mall, 3800 E. Main Street.

“We try to keep the prices (for the show) reasonable so the public can take them home and enjoy them,” said Ray Young, the art show’s promoter. According to Young, this art show contains work a person must see to believe.

One of the featured artists will be John Nelson, a pencil artist, who has work in major galleries like the Smithsonian and has done work for such companies as McDonald’s and Reebok.

Young, who said Nelson’s pencil art is the best in the country, said pencil art is, “one of the most difficult things to carry off and you have to be a pretty good artist to get away with it.”

Bill Reed, another featured artist, uses a palate knife for impressionism. Young said Reed’s work is different from most because instead of using bright colors and abstracts, which is commonly used for this type of work, Reed uses more mauves, light blues and greens.

A few of the other artists to be shown include Ken Fuller who paints 3-D, Char Daggart who makes quilts and Dick Johnson who is a poet.

“When you read his poetry you will understand why he is in the art show,” Young said.

The original works sell between $150 to $5,000 while the limited editions start at $50. “We try to keep the prices reasonable so the public can take them home and enjoy them,” Young said.

Master Productions, which travels from February until October, only tours shopping malls. Young said one reason for this is because there is no concern about weather conditions inside.

Young says they like to keep their show, which features 45 to 50 artists, smaller than most.

“Sometimes there are 120 displays crammed into a shopping center and it looks like a flea market. Ours is smaller so the public can walk around the displays and meet the artists. You don’t get the feeling you are trying to be hustled,” Young said.

The majority of the artists have been with the company for over five years, but it is not unusual to find someone with them for 10 or 15 years. Many own their own galleries and appear with the art show at their convenience.

To become a member of the show, interested candidates can send slides or photos of their work to be judged.

“This is a great training ground for young artists because they get to associate with other artists and get experience working with the public, who is very honest in telling you if they like something or not,” Young said.

This is the first time Master Productions has come to the Midwest and they will be returning to the East Coast after their one stop at Charlestowne Mall. They have plans to return in June.

“We try to keep the prices (for the show) reasonable so the public can take them home and enjoy them.”Ray Young art show promoter