The month of October is being celebrated as Arts DuPage Month in West Chicago and in many surrounding DuPage County communities. A Proclamation which will be read at the upcoming City Council meeting, lists the benefits received through the arts, culture and humanities which include the enrichment of civic life, the improvement to the local economy, the increase in tourism, and the profoundly positive influence on the education of our children.
In fact, according to Arts DuPage, research shows that the arts help to foster discipline, creativity, imagination, self-expression, and problem solving skills while also helping to develop a heightened appreciation of beauty and cross-cultural understanding. Here in West Chicago, the arts are doing that and more.
The 2019 Banner Art Exhibit, themed Home, brought beauty, color, and vitality to Main Street for residents and visitors throughout the summer. They were a big hit among the thousands who flocked to West Chicago for the Union Pacific’s Big Boy visit.
The overwhelming success of The Butterfly Effect, a public art project of 36 artist-designed butterflies scattered throughout the community, has Commission members already wondering what’s next – frogs, bees, or something entirely different that builds on the enthusiastic response shared by community members. All butterflies move downtown this month and will be on display at the West Chicago Food Fest on Saturday, October 12, 2019, where many will be included in a Silent Auction to benefit future art projects.
The Cultural Arts Commission is currently coordinating a Mural Dedication for acclaimed Mayan artist Juan Chawuk’s City-commissioned work which will be unveiled at 10:00 a.m. at the Supermercado Tampico building, 516 Main Street. The mural is yet another nod to West Chicago’s celebration of The Year of the Butterfly, as it depicts the ephemeral beauty of a fragile creature and a moment in time.
Local artists have found a supportive home in West Chicago. Lewis Achenbach currently has a curated collection of his artwork hanging at City Hall; Buddy Plumlee is featured at Kindred Coffee through October 2, 2019; and a new creative voice, Giovanni Arellano, received tremendous positive support from the Facebook community for the mural he created for the broken front window of Gallery 200. More details of all three may be found at www.westchicago.org by searching the artists’ name.
Upcoming Featured Artist shows at Gallery 200 will include the FALL INTO ART show to be held during the month of October. Everyone is invited to the Opening Reception on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. with light refreshments served. Sue Tripp, Valerie Baxter, Mindy Milan, and Rita Skarha, who work across the bench from each other and share the same kiln, bring unique fused glass art to Gallery 200 in the month of November; and December brings the ever-popular Small Gift of Art Show where a group of Gallery artists display and sell lovingly handcrafted and one-of-a-kind pieces of art right in time for holiday gift-giving. The show opens on Friday, December 6, 2019 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The arts are shaping our community identity in very profound ways in West Chicago. For more information, explore the dedicated Arts section here.