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Celebrating the Arts in Western Illinois

Macomb, IL – Art and music filled Chandler Park in Macomb over the weekend.

The works of more than 40 artists were on display under white tents and blue skies during the Gazebo Art Festival. This year's "Best in Show" went to a French native Cecile Houel.

"It's my first year and I am very happy to be honored by this award," says Houel. "My main inspiration is humanity. I am more of a portrait painter, but I love landscapes and still lives too."

Houel says she constantly travels to art exhibits around the country. She thinks these journeys provide her with her artistic ideas.

Bill Kaymon creates his water color home portraits from photos he takes. Kaymon says the Macomb festival is one of seven he participates in annually. The Peoria native was pleased with this year's event and was thankful to avoid rain, which plagued the festival last year.

Kaymon says he took a more serious approach to his artwork after he retired. He credits his wife with motivating him because she made him paint the interior of their home.

Josh Wolf traveled from Champaign to showcase his art. This tattoo artist says he has taken his artistic ideas off of skin and on to the grains of wood.

Wolf says he stares at the wood until he can see what he would like to create. He says that works can take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple weeks to complete.

You can listen to an interview with Wolf by clicking on the audio button.

Also on Saturday, music lovers flocked to Chandler Park for the Al Sears Jazz Festival. It featured more than a half dozen bands. They played from noon until well into the night.

The jazz performances in Chandler Park were free and open to the public.

The jazz festival festival opened Friday night with a performance by Karrin Allyson at Western Illinois University's COFAC Recital Hall. The singer/songwriter has been nominated three times for Grammy Awards.

WIU also hosted an "Artists in Residence Day" on Friday.

The music festival wrapped up on Sunday with a special jazz brunch featuring The St Louis Stompers. It took place at the Old Dairy in Macomb.