Artists of the Artwalk
"Fast Food in the Yorkshire Dales" by George C. Clark
Area artists love the idea of Highland Park’s Art Walk, which isn’t surprising, considering that the city’s annual window-shopping cultural perambulation is devoted exclusively to Illinois painters, sculptors, photographers and the like.
They tend to be more excited, though, about the way the event allows them to present their work to people who might not typically see it, in spaces that have more to do with everyday life than wine-and-cheese gallery openings.
“I think it’s a very significant event,” said painter Piotr Wolodkowicz of Norridge, whose oil-on canvas landscapes of trees in the Chicago area were recently featured by Art Walk curator Debra Hatchett in a one-man show at Chicago’s Athenaeum Theatre. Wolodkowicz has two paintings on display in two Highland Park businesses, including the landscape “Sunflowers” at the Sunflower dress shop, 1882 Sheridan Road.
“It’s an interesting way to show art in places where it usually doesn’t appear and to people who might not be as likely to see it in a gallery,” he said, especially since works on display during the Art Walk works are exhibited long enough to be discovered by a sizable number of people. “That’s especially helpful now, because a lot of galleries are closing because of the financial crisis. This is really a nice alternative.”
“It’s great, because people can see art as part of their ordinary day, in places where they don’t expect it,” said sculptress Suzanne Horwitz of Highland Park, who has participated in two previous Art Walks.
Horwitz, who also currently has an eight-foot aluminum sculpture entitled “Nautilus” on display outside the Art Center of Highland Park, has a resin-relief “Homage to Chagall” on exhibit in the Nail Bar, 662 Central Avenue. The “Homage” is something of an experiment for Horwitz, who decided to interpret the painter’s “Self Portrait with Seven Fingers” as a three-dimensional piece.
Horwitz thinks there’s a good chance she’ll get more reaction to the work from having it on display there than she would in a typical gallery setting.
“It’s been my experience that the Art Walk can wind up giving you a lot more exposure,” she said. “Because regular people see it, just walking by, and your contact information is right there.
“I’ve had lots of people call me and email me because they saw my work during the Walk.”
That makes perfect sense to Mount Prospect painter Cheryl Wolfberg, whose oil on canvas “Bicycle Classic” is also a departure from her usual work. Ordinarily a portrait painter, Wolfberg decided to paint an action scene from a photograph she took several years ago of riders in an Evanston bicycle race.
“I’ve been trying to strike out more into figures and abstracts in my work,” she said. “Bicycle Classic” will be on display at Higher Gear, 1898 Sheridan Road.
She’s anticipating significant exposure to the work, partially because “Highland Park has such great support and enthusiasm for the arts,” partially because “it’s a natural thing for people to want to go out and take a long stroll and enjoy seeing something new” and partially because “Debby Hatchett just does a really great job with all her shows.
“Hey, she got me booked into a bicycle shop!”