Art community gathers for 5th Artruck gallery


Jennifer Ball/The Daily Northwestern

rom 7-10 p.m. Saturday, two U-Haul trucks will park end-to-end on Ashland Avenue between Crain and Greenleaf streets.

Jennifer Ball, Reporter

It is not common to see two U-Haul trucks parked end to end on quiet Ashland Avenue, which is why Evanston resident Brianna Pizarek stopped by with her husband and child to check out what was inside.

“We’re new to the community in Evanston, and I was looking for interesting things to do,” Pizarek said.

Nearly 200 art lovers, friends and neighbors filled the brightly lit trucks Saturday night to view the work of 25 artists that ranged from oil paintings to printmaking.

Julie Cowan was the mastermind behind the event, known as Artruck. The art show has been held twice a year since October 2011.

Cowan, an artist and resident of Ashland Avenue, organized the event with the help of her husband, contacting artists, renting the U-Hauls, putting up the lights and hanging the show. Artist Bill Friedman aided with installation, and Laura Morton Leith helped drive the trucks.

“Well, I thought, ‘What if we got U-Haul trucks, put them out front and figure it out?’” Cowan said.

Her husband is an electrician, so he figured out how to light and set up the trucks and to securely hang the artwork.

“Instead of waiting for someone else to do an art event and try to participate in it as an artist, why not just create an art event?” she said.

The art show has attracted as many as 200 people for each event over the years, according to organizers.

Neighbor and baker David Bond’s “bread car” offered complimentary baked goods to attendees out of the trunk of his SUV.

“I think it’s a really cool idea, a way of bringing art to the people and into the neighborhoods,” said Kay Nemanich, an abstract artist whom Cowan invited to join the show. “I was not able to this year, but next year I will.”

Cowan said the art show is worth stopping by, even for just a few minutes.

“It would be fun and interesting to somehow have it evolve into something and help other people do it,” Cowan said. “There is something about it that is attractive to people. Even if you only stay for a little while, it is still a fun and unique experience.”

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