PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Those who were disappointed with the cancelation of the annual Fine Art Fair can now experience it through another avenue.
Shannon Cox, director of the Peoria Art Guild, said after health concerns due to COVID-19 scrapped the traditional route for the art fair, an idea presented itself to go virtual.
“We had a great opportunity to create a virtual environment,” Cox said. “Our team has been working really hard. Everything is almost the same except its on your computer.”
Cox said people can go to the art guild’s website and register for free. She said once registered, there are quick instructions on how to navigate the virtual fine art fair using a computer and then art lovers can have the opportunity to explore the digital riverfront area.
She said there are 30 artists from all over the nation whose work is displayed in virtual tents with the featured art includes paintings, jewelry sculptures, and more. Cox said there are also virtual tents for their sponsors who helped make the virtual environment possible.
Cox said in order to bring the virtual Riverfront to life, they partnered with Adrian Chase, who’s never been to Peoria, and his tech start-up company Interactiva Studios. She said virtual Riverfront was created from 360° view photos.
“This is the first time ever, creating something like this,” Chase said. “This is the first time ever that there’s been a fine art fair of this type so we really hope you’re going to enjoy this.”
Andrew Ngui, Director of Innovations and Start Ups at the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, said this is only the start for future possibilities of creating a digital Peoria.
“It is the idea of building up Peoria in the greater Peoria region as a smart city,” Ngui said.
Cox said there’s still an opportunity to buy the featured art by clinking on the artists’ weblinks.