Evanston artists and businesses are collaborating to highlight the local arts scene through the inaugural Central Street Art Walk starting on Friday afternoon.
The art show will showcase more than 15 local artists specializing in painting, pottery, jewelry and photography, displaying the work outside stores along Central Street between Eastwood and McDaniel Avenues. A reception will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and kick off the exhibit that will continue through Saturday.
Since the Evanston Art Center moved to Central Street in 2015, people have been looking for a new way to publicize its art in a way that brings the community together, event coordinator Mari Barnes said.
“I’m anticipating people in the area coming out and seeing local artists and to enjoy art in a completely local setting,” Barnes said. “Central Street is all small ‘Ma and Pa’ businesses, that’s the beauty of the street.”
The art walk poses a new opportunity for artists to promote their work in a popular area of the city, she said. Each artist will station themselves at a business on Central Street and showcase their pieces during Friday afternoon and throughout Saturday.
Local jeweler James LeTerneau said the walk presents an opportunity to publicize his art and meet other Evanston artists.
“I’m expecting to see many people I know,” LeTerneau said. “I’m hoping people will take a special interest in my work and talk about the arts and why they are so important.”
LeTerneau said that this event follows the footsteps of other commercial districts in Evanston, such as Dempster Street, Main Street and the downtown district, which all host similar arts-oriented events.
The event is looking to benefit both the participating artists and the businesses who are hosting them for the two-day showcase, Barnes said. In addition to providing publicity for the artists involved, she said she hopes the art will bring new customers to various Central Street retailers.
The ability for local artists to show off their creativity is great for Evanston, its businesses and its talented locals, said Courtney Martin, a sales associate at Allegro Dance Boutique. Allegro Dance Boutique, located at 2114 Central St., will host photographer Topher Alexander for the event. She said she is looking forward to hosting an artist who focuses on photography featuring women dancers in a boutique that primarily appeals to women and girls.
“I’m hoping that the community takes part in appreciating these designers and really shows them their support,” Martin said.
As for the future of the event, Barnes said she is already looking to expand it for a second annual art walk. She said she hopes to expand future events past two days.
“We’re hoping to grow it, that’s why we started so small,” Barnes said. “Ideally we’d make it a bigger event every year.”
Robin Opsahl contributed reporting.
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