Students display art at YEA Festival

Drop by the YEA Festival on May 16 at Raymond Park, and check out some of the many pieces, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures by ETHS students.

The YEA Festival will go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, the festival is located at Raymond Park, on Lake and Chicago, as opposed to Dempster, where it has been held in the past.

“We try to have a wide representation of all the arts,” said art teacher Petra Maton. “We usually represent between 70 and 100 students.” The art teachers pick pieces to be represented at the festival.

“We have so many great pieces to choose from,” said Maton. “It’s great for emerging artists.” She also adds that “some students have probably been in YEA since kindergarten. A lot of students have fond memories from younger years.”

Along with visual art, the YEA Festival will also include Evanston students in the performing arts. The ETHS Blue Note Combo and the Dance Ensemble will be performing, as well as the school’s a capella group.

Sophomore Katie Jane Torma, who is has a part in the Evanston Teen Choir (ETC.), looks forward to performing. “We’ll be singing arrangements of pop songs, like ‘Riptide,’” said Torma. Last year, she performed both with ETC. and Bazao, ETHS’s advanced a capella group.

“Because I’ve done this performance before, I’m not that nervous.” said Torma. “I usually don’t get nervous until the minute before I step on the stage, especially if I have a solo.”

Almost all Evanston schools, from elementary to high school, are participating in YEA. “It’s really a great community event,” said Maton.

This will be the YEA Festival’s 28th year. YEA began in 1987, and ETHS has been involved in the festival since it first started. According to the YEA Festival organization, Harvey Pranian, an art and antiques dealer, started YEA after deciding that Evanston businesses should be giving back to the community.

About eight years ago, a silent auction was added to the YEA events to help promote local business and fund the festival. Business such as SPACE, Taco Diablo, and Evanston Symphony Orchestra donate gift certificates for the auction.

According to art teacher Marla Seibold, if there is bad weather, the festival will be held at Roycemore School. Seibold said that the festival has only been rained out once in all 28 years.

Although the art teachers involved get to pick the final pieces, the festival is still looking for volunteers to help set up the venue. Forms to volunteer can be found on the YEA website.

Besides the new location, food trucks will be at the festival this year.