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For The Love of Art weekend fair draws crowds

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Each year, lovers of all creative mediums flock to the Century Center for the For The Love of Art gallery.

Chief organizer Shireen Cline has overseen the growth of the fair since its inception to recently becoming a staple in South bend tourism, averaging 1,500 visitors each annual weekend.

“South Bend is enjoying it right? Michiana is enjoying it. Why not pull in northwest Indiana?” Cline said.
“What why not pull in Southwest Indiana? Why not pull in Fort Wayne and make here an art destination for everyone within a 100-mile radius? Everybody’s coming to South Bend, Indiana because we have all these great things happening.”

One of this year’s headliners came all the way from northwest Arkansas after branching out an unlikely art career.

“It was nine years ago in the winter time,” hand-twist wire sculptor Ed Bratton said.
“I was bored. I wasn’t landscaping because the ground was frozen, so I picked up some wire we had in the kitchen drawer and I made a little tree out of it that evening. I showed my wife and she was like ‘Oh my gosh, you just made that?’ And I was like yeah it’s a tree! So I started making more, and it’s all I do now.”

For traveling visitors from East Indiana, the love of art makes the trip worthwhile.

“Every time I’ve turned a corner, I didn’t think I could be more impressed, more blown away,” visitor Tammy Luce said.
“The talent here is incredible. It’s really been fun. I’m so glad we came.”

Cline said the art fair won’t be getting bigger in size next year - just better, with a wait-list of artists already trying to get a spot to sell their creations.

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