Evanston artists put on free gallery showcase


Jennifer Ball/The Daily Northwestern

An Evanston artist presents his work to potential customers Friday evening at Art Hop. The second annual showcase gave residents free access to galleries and other displays.

Jennifer Ball, Reporter

Evanston artists organized a free showcase in the city’s West Village on Friday,  giving residents a glimpse of new galleries and open studios.

Lea Pinsky, one of the event’s organizers, said she hopes the Art Hop will be at least biannual.

“This is the second one we’re doing,” Pinsky said. “I’m really excited about the community-building aspect of it.”

Space 900, where Pinsky shows her art, was one of many galleries and studios in the area that opened up for the night.

More than 12 organizations joined in the second event of its kind to feature open studios, gallery exhibitions, a craft beer tasting, a variety of demos, an open mic and a live jazz jam. The first Art Hop was in June.

In addition to the open gallery, Space 900, 1042 Wesley Ave., hosted jazz artist Donovan Mixon and offered beer tastings from Temperance Brewery, which recently opened a warehouse at 2000 Dempster St.

Alice George, another Art Hop organizer, shares King George Studio and Gallery with artist Jill King. King estimated 200 people came to their gallery Friday night.

A few blocks away, Ausrine Kerr will rent out Art Room, a gallery space on Florence Avenue, to artists to create their own shows or to employ the workspace. Fran Joy, a member of the Evanston Arts Council, said renting the Art Room space out to artists is “really commendable.”

Jhana Chinamasta said she rented Ausrine’s Art Room for a textile show.

“This place is such an asset to anyone who’s in Evanston,” Chinamasta said.

Joy said Chinamasta’s collection contained what she considers “museum-quality” textiles.

“I didn’t know we had such an art community in this area,” said Hugh Gilbert, who lived with his wife in Evanston for 23 years.

He attended the printmaking demo at The Evanston Print and Paper Shop, located next to Ausrine’s Art Room, and called it “just charming.”

“We’re thrilled to have artists and craftsmen that have moved into this storefront,” said Joe Feinglass, a Feinberg professor who lives around the corner from the print shop. “I’m happy to have them here.”

Art Hop attendees agreed the event shows how the city’s art community is growing.

“People kept saying this is exactly what Evanston needs — a community art scene,” George said.

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