By Anna Hughes

This year marks the 51st annual Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival, one of the village’s most anticipated summer events.

Over 85 artists will showcase their creations in booths throughout Burlington Park, allowing residents and visitors to experience a wide range of unique, classy, and fun fine art spanning a variety of mediums and subjects.

We spoke with artists Murray Henderson, Melanie Rolfes, and Michael Zavison, who shared their excitement about returning to the exhibition on June 1 and 2.


“[Art shows are] an incredible way to improve and promote your art.
They are very important, and hopefully, people visiting realize that this is,
for most of us exhibitors, our
livelihood.”

– Murray Henderson, artist


Murray Henderson poses with one of his signature paintings.

Murray Henderson

Murray Henderson was recognized at a very early age with a natural artistic ability. He recalls being at a 9th-grade level while only in kindergarten. In high school, he created a John Lennon piece that he was encouraged to make and sell prints of. That was just the beginning.

His skill and talent developed, and he worked primarily doing wildlife and hockey realism painting, but he realized there was a lot of competition for artists in that subject area. He happened upon his now-signature style by mistake: he spilled some paint on a photorealistic hockey painting, and it splashed everywhere.

“It looked pretty cool, so I added some more splashes in other colors, that was it! I call it exact abstract,” Henderson said.

That perfect accident propelled him to his current success. With over 110,000 followers on Instagram, he’s known for combining abstract art with realism, creating “a cool piece of controlled chaos on canvas.” Henderson’s art is featured in private and corporate collections around the world, and he also uses his talents to support conservation groups and charities across the U.S. and Canada.

This is Henderson’s 3rd time at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival, and he said he’s looking forward to it.

“It’s a great weekend with some people I get to see at this show year after year. Beautiful area and residents,” Henderson said.

He said shows like this are a great way to get out and meet people, from fellow artists to potential collectors. He also hopes the shows will encourage young artists to try to paint and/or draw what they love.

“[Art shows are] an incredible way to improve and promote your art. They are very important, and hopefully, people visiting realize that this is, for most of us exhibitors, our livelihood,” Henderson said.

Melanie and Michael are partners both in art and life.

Zavison Rolfes

Michael Zavison and Melanie Rolfes are an artistic duo, who found that both their creative instincts and lives intertwined. While exhibiting their work at an Atlanta art event, they met and developed a strong friendship. After a couple of years, they became life partners. They started by showing their work together, but it wasn’t long before they began collaborating.

A Zavison Rolfes piece showcasing their unique collaboration styles.

Both of their careers began in interior design. Melanie worked as a special wall finish artist, and Michael manufactured custom plaster wall canvas. They both evolved into fine art. Michael, hailing originally from Chicago, takes inspiration from the older American cities where he has lived. He uses mediums like steel, paint, and plaster to creative pieces that are atmospheric, moody, and timeless.

elanie, originally from Europe, works in a mode she calls Atmospheric Impressions. This style is related to Abstract Expressionism but with careful thought to include evocative, color-saturated points of focus and meditation that are designed to express her deepest feelings and connect with a viewer. Their separate creative identities intersect to bring a new, unique viewpoint.

Despite their different backgrounds and expertise, they can agree on the most important moment for them:

“Definitely it was when we started to do the work together. We now create the most important work of our careers,” they said.

This will be their 10th time showcasing their work at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Show. They said it has been a positive experience every year, and they look forward to meeting new art lovers. Through their shows and work, they hope to inspire young creatives to keep experimenting and creating new work to stretch their natural talent.

“To be successful takes consistency and focus,” they said.

To see these creators and more, visit Burlington Park on June 1 and 2 from 10 AM to
5 PM. Visit www. hinsdalechamber.com/fine-arts/ for more information. ■

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