Rebel Art Fest will feature art and music four blocks east of campus

The flyer for Rebel Art Fest sits displayed at MAKE South Bend along with an example of a DIY that will be available at the festival. PHOTO/Leah Fick

The flyer for Rebel Art Fest sits displayed at MAKE South Bend along with an example of a DIY that will be available at the festival.
PHOTO/Leah Fick

Staff Writer

MAKE South Bend, an art studio, gallery and maker’s space near campus will host its first ever Rebel Art Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.

Around 20 artists will participate in the event, which will also include live music, food and do-it-yourself projects provided by MAKE.

Artists Rhonda Whitledge, Kelsey Mast, JenniJain and IUSB’s own Assistant Professor of Costume Design Jason Resler will display work at the show.

Some do-it-yourself projects will include a geometric shaped planter, henna station and possibly a mini session with a pottery wheel, according to MAKE South Bend founder, Michelle Fitzgerald.

The festival will also include area food trucks such as, Sweet Treats, Grateful Green and Hog Trough BBQ. Live music is scheduled to start every 45 minutes, with eight bands playing.

“This type of street fair will be different than others in the area. “There are shows like this, but you have to go to Indianapolis, Bloomington, or Detroit for these types of things. I thought we could try one,” said Michelle. “Basically we’re trying to do an indie-modern, curated show, so people will see quality work that they’ll want to buy and enjoy.”

Michelle and Nathanial Fitzgerald live near the River Park Neighborhood, run MAKE South Bend and are heavily involved in the music at The Well café, also near campus.

“We do a lot already with The Well and music in River Park, and then we opened this shop here in River Park with artists and makers, and we thought it would be really good to do something like this here,” said Michelle. “We really like the area. We really like the neighborhood, and we’re a part of the River Park Business Association, so we’ve been trying to help them think of new ideas to get new people into the neighborhood in the area if they haven’t been.”

“We aren’t just highlighting artists from River Park, but we do have a good amount from the area. A lot of the musicians are from River Park: Paul Erdman, Letters from Earth, SPACESHIPS [are] from right near here. A quarter of the artists are from the neighborhood and the rest are from the South Bend area,” said Michelle.

“This neighborhood has a good, creative population that lives here, and I feel like there were more who lived in this area,” said Michelle.

“The Max Black Gallery used to be down the street, next to Merriman’s Playhouse, which is still there,” said Nathanial.

The couple hopes to make this a twice a year event, with the next one falling somewhere around River Park Day in late May.

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