Storm Chaser-Weather Artist Featured at Gold Coast Art Fair

July 27, 2009 Considered the "Granddaddy" of art fairs, it is the third oldest and one of the most well attended art festivals in Chicago. More than half a million art lovers are expected to attend the three-day festival that starts this weekend. Now rated one of the top 25 art festivals in the country, the Gold Coast Art Fair is open on Friday, July 31 from 12 noon to 5 pm and Saturday and Sunday, August 1 and 2 from 10 am to 5 pm. The free, outdoor festival is located at Superior, Huron and Erie between Clark and Wells in Chicago.

Mayhew is a landscape photographer who makes the sky and weather the primary subject for all his work. A transplant from England, Mayhew finds plenty of inspiration for his weather photos in the Midwest. "The severe weather of the Midwest plains provides the best opportunities for me in spring each year and it takes me anywhere from Texas to Canada," Mayhew says. "Dedication and persistence are certainly a requirement for my work, often traveling up to 1000 miles in a day and at times without seeing a photogenic storm. However, when the elements come together the result is undeniably spectacular."

Mayhew will join more than 300 juried artists from around the world who are exhibiting their work at the Gold Coast Art Fair. They will exhibit and sell their two-dimensional and three-dimensional work, with prices ranging from $25 to $2,500.

The Gold Coast Art Fair features many activities for art-lovers of all ages. Guests are invited to meet the artists and watch unique art demonstrations located in several of the artists tents. Local restaurants, including Fuego and Blue Frog will have food booths. Local bands including Cirrus Falcon, Michelet Innocent and Ariane Lydon, will perform live during the outdoor festival.

To find out more about the Gold Coast Art Fair where you can meet David Mayhew, visit or call 847-926-4300.

Founded in 1984 Amdur Productions, Inc. is a nationally acclaimed arts festival production company that organizes and directs a selection of Chicago area's most prestigious and successful juried summer art festivals, including Arlington Height's Promenade of Art, the Cantigny Fine Art Festival, the Glencoe Festival of the Masters, Eastside Millennium Art Festival , the Lincolnshire Art Festival, the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival, the North Shore Festival of Art, Glenview's Art at the Glen Town Center, Chicago's Gold Coast Art Fair, and Highland Park's Port Clinton Art Festival. This year, Amdur adds a new festival to the impressive roster with Highwood's Last Call Art Fair, featuring affordable artwork from masters in the field. All of Amdur's festivals have been rated in Sunshine Artist Magazine's top 100 with half in the top 50; and the Art at the Glen Town Center and Port Clinton Art Festival are in the top 10.

Friday from 12 noon to 5 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 pm
Free admission


High Speed Connection: Lightning crosses the Chicago Skyline. All of the branches merge and then crash down on the Sears (Willis!) Tower. July 18, 2006.

Sky Net: A tornado-warned storm passes over downtown Chicago. Sirens whine as lightning webs its way across the skyline trying to find the path of least resistance to the ground. The entire streak of lightning took about 3 seconds to cross the sky. August 4, 2008.

Chicago Fair Weather Panoramic: Fair weather cumulus clouds pass over Chicago. September, 2008

Wilmington Tornado Panoramic: A tornado touches down near Wilmington, IL (Kankakee area). The storm continued to Gary, IN, producing roughly 7 tornadoes. The National Weather Service used David's photos to help establish the path of damage in order to rate the tornado. July 6, 2008.

River Bend: Chicago River at night. A composite of 11 images seamlessly stitched together provides a very high resolution image capable of being printed at photographic quality at 17 feet wide, revealing intricate details. The image covers a 270 degree view. A clear skies evening in Chicago!

Refuge: Boiling clouds pass over an abandoned barn near Bloomington, IL. July 13, 2004. David's first-ever solo storm chase!

DAVID MAYHEW – Artist Statement

Most landscape photographers do not pay adequate attention to the beauty of the sky, despite the sky generally occupying a large portion of each photo. The normal approach is to find a location of natural beauty to photograph. My approach is very different. I seek the sky I want to photograph and then seek a subject that may enhance the scene or I simply fill the frame with sky and cloud formations.

In my photographs I make the sky and weather the primary subject for my work. I seek good composition, strong color and an unusual appearance, often an abstract element of the sky. Often dramatic cloud formations fill the sky, belittling any object on the ground as well as creating the feeling of immense space.

The severe weather of the Midwest plains provides the best opportunities for me in Spring each year and it takes me anywhere from Texas to Canada. Dedication and persistence are certainly a requirement for my work, often traveling up to 1000 miles in a day and at times without seeing a photogenic storm. However, when the elements come together the result is undeniably spectacular.

DAVID MAYHEW - Biography
Born in the UK, David Mayhew was raised in rural Suffolk in the east of England, close to where Constable created his paintings and where pictorial naturalist photography first came to be under the skillful hand of Emerson. After his private school education David went on to obtain a Bachelor of Engineering in Product Design at Loughborough University.

As is common with the adventurous and curious young minds of the UK, David donned a backpack and headed around the world, stopping in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and hitchhiking across Canada. What was initially to be a year became 19 months and a number of odd jobs were required to sustain his onward travel. On his return to the UK, David fell victim to the itchy feet syndrome and took a job that allowed him continued travel. Various jobs within the automotive industry whisked him off to Turin in Italy, Chicago in the US and back home again, spending 18 months at each. It was during this period that David developed a love of photography and made use of his income to indulge in the medium.

In 2003 David decided to abandon the 9 to 5 environment and delve head first into photography, taking on studies in digital and film photography at the College of DuPage, located just outside Chicago. He has also made use of the Weather Lab at the College, inspiring him to take up storm chasing, a perfect opportunity for a very diverse set of images. David was also extremely encouraged in the early stages of his photographic career when he received various scholarships and awards.

In the future his aim is to make use of the new digital medium and to continue to travel to capture remarkable images of landscapes, skyscapes and the abstract geometry that nature presents.

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