Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Evanston gears up for Big Art Weekend

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Illustration by Olivia Abetya
More than 130 artists will participate in this weekend’s three programs: First Saturday Art Events, Open Studio Tours and Maker’s Markets.

Evanston is gearing up for its second Big Art Weekend, a three-day celebration of local artists and artisans presented by nonprofit arts organization Evanston Made.

More than 130 artists will participate in this weekend’s three programs: First Saturday Art Events, Open Studio Tours and Maker’s Markets.

Each event is free and open to the public, starting with an opening party and pop-up group show at 3 p.m. on Friday in 1100 Florence Gallery. On Saturday, various tours of artists’ studios will take place starting at noon, along with other gallery and exhibit events throughout the city. The festivities will culminate in this season’s final Maker’s Market on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the parking garage at 1800 Maple Ave.

Lisa Degliantoni, founder and co-director of Evanston Made, said these events give community members opportunities to engage with local artists in unique ways.

“There’s a lot of barriers for engaging with art — people find it intimidating to go to galleries,” she said. “This is meant to really put you in front of an artist, so that you can meet them and see what they make.”

One such artist is Sarah Kaiser-Amaral, whose studio at Noyes Cultural Arts Center will be open on Saturday. She said the event is valuable for artists and gallery-goers alike.

“I think it teaches (the public) that they don’t have to have a fancy education to look at art,” Kaiser-Amaral said. “It makes it less elite and more accessible.”

For Kaiser-Amaral, these events also allow artists to connect with one another.

Degliantoni said she aims to create a space that inspires up-and-coming artists through Evanston Made. When they see other artists displaying their work, she said, it gives them “permission to pursue their own craft.”

“We get inspired by each other and bounce off each other,” Kaiser-Amaral said. “Art’s not really made in a vacuum.”

Scott Greenberg, emerging artist coordinator for Evanston Made, said that Maker’s Markets are great for artists that don’t have much prior experience or have never sold their creations.

“They get the opportunity to showcase their work in a much lower stakes environment where they are still being challenged artistically,” Greenberg said.

In addition to providing a platform for emerging artists, Greenberg said these markets are a good opportunity for the public to purchase affordable art.

Temple White, owner and curator of Thaxton White Boutique, said these markets are mutually beneficial for the public and artisans. White plans to participate in the Maker’s Market this Sunday, selling jewelry and other accessories all handmade by women, some local.

“If the community comes on out and just comes down to support and brings people — regardless if they live in the community or not — that helps the makers grow,” White said.

Ultimately, as its name suggests, supporting local makers is Evanston Made’s goal, Degliantoni said.

The Evanston Made co-founder said she takes great pride in supporting local residents.

“You should decorate your house with the art that your neighbor makes,” Degliantoni said. “You should wear the clothes that your neighbor makes. You should absolutely eat soup out of the bowl that your neighbor makes.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: emmarichman_

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