Garage culture transforms alleys into galleries

Fifth year for art walk is Aug. 25

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By Nona Tepper

The Garage Galleries art walk celebrates its fifth, and biggest, year, from 2 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 25 with 16 garages and more than 40 artists featured. 

"It's been amazing to find out how many artists there are in Forest Park that no one even knew. I want to say there's probably been at least 60 to 80 people in Forest Park who've come out of the woodwork," said Lin Beribak, a member of the planning committee who will be showcasing her watercolor paintings in one of the garages. 

From painting to pottery to wearable art, the show will highlight the work of fine artists and artisans, including 16 locals, such as Kimberly Adami-Hasegawa, who runs the Galaxie Safari greeting card business. The planning committee said they expect about 500 people to attend the walk, with garages clustered from 122 Elgin to 1508 Marengo. 

Organizers met in November after last year's walk, reviewing how the event was received by artists, garage owners and walkers alike. They regrouped in January, creating a timeline and assigning responsibilities to each member of the three-person planning committee. The work really picked up in June when the website launched and the application period opened. For the first time, Garage Galleries had so many artists apply from Forest Park, Oak Park, River Forest and beyond that they had to create a waiting list. 

Artists will be at the site of their garage gallery during the walk to discuss their work with attendees.    

"It really is a way parents can introduce kids to art in a very casual, not an 'It's a gallery, you can't touch this' or 'Oh, you have to be quiet,' none of that kind of thing," said Susan Cross, a member of the planning committee. "I think it's very family friendly and I think it is a good way to get people, who would never walk into an art gallery, exposed to art."

The Kiwanis Club of Forest Park donated funds, used to print fliers. Other than that, all costs of funding the event have come out of pocket from organizers or were donated by businesses and residents. Attendees can pick up printed maps of the garage route the day of the event at Creativita, 7512 Madison St., or visit the website at tinyurl.com/GarageGalleries for online versions of the maps. 

"This is completely volunteer-driven; that is really just something we're doing because we think it's a good idea," said Andrea DiFebo, a member of the planning committee.

CONTACT: ntepper@wjinc.com 

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