Beverly Art Walk #5

The Beverly Area Arts Alliance (The Alliance) is gearing up for Beverly Art Walk Week at the end of this month. This year carries with it a hint of something special, as 2018 marks the organization’s fifth anniversary.  

For the first time, the popular Beverly Art Walk artist studio tours will take place on a different day to allow visitors more time to appreciate the artists’ and their places of work. Ten artists will showcase their studios, located from 90th and Oakley to 111th and Hoyne, on Sun., Sept. 23, noon to 5 p.m. Artists will provide guests with unique insights into their creative processes, their inspirations and the work they produce. Studios will feature artist collaborations and live music. Libations will also be served. A reception at Wild Blossom Meadery, 9030 S. Hermitage, will follow the Artist Studio Tour from 5 to 7 p.m.  

The Alliance, which was formed by local artists and community activists, has seen a tremendous growth since its inception in 2014. Alliance cofounder Monica Wilczak said this growth spike is why the Artist Studio Tour is being held on a separate day this year. With such a high number of participating businesses and art activities on the day of the Beverly Art Walk, the studios themselves would be overlooked, she said. 

“These studios should be highlighted,” Wilczak said. “They’re the backbone of the art in our neighborhood. It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t make time for them.” 

As part of the Artist Studio Tour day, The Alliance and the Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative will partner on Terrain Fest, an event that celebrates diversity and imagines a more walk-able, bike-friendly community, 2 to 4:30 p.m. Ride your bike to the corner of 95th and Hamilton for an afternoon of food, music and art. Learn how you can support more bike lanes in the 19th ward. A group will then ride bikes to the reception at Wild Blossom Meadery 

Beverly Art Walk Week continues with a special edition of The Frunchroom Tues., Sept 25, 7:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Presented by The Alliance, The Frunchroom is a quarterly event that brings live stories of the South Side to the stage from writers, business owners, artists, teachers and others. Storytellers for the evening include Clare Hartfield, author of “A Few Red Drops,” and writer/researcher Rayshauna Gray whose forthcoming book is titled “Roseland.”  A $5 donation is requested to support the work of The Alliance. 

The Beverly Art Walk will be held Sat., Sept. 29, 12 to 7 p.m. Exhibitions of works by more than 200 artists will be showcased in 50+ local businesses and vacant storefronts across the commercial corridors of Beverly/Morgan Park. Special Art Walk events include the Uprising Craft Market, live music on two main stages, interactive art activities for children at Clissold Elementary School, and food and beverages at several locations. People can start the Art Walk at any participating location where they can pick up a program that includes a map of venues and information about the artists and activities.  

Three free trolleys will provide transportation between participating venues during the event, and The Alliance also encourages biking or walking during the event. It’s a great way to see the neighborhood, said Wilczak. 

“The whole point of the Art Walk is to engage with the businesses and people in our community,” she said. “If you take your time walking or riding a bike, you might stumble across someone or something you’ve never seen before. 

The Beverly Art Walk is free and all are welcome. Cofounder Sal Campbell said this inclusivity is what makes The Alliance so excited about this event every year.  

“We have a diverse neighborhood and a diverse art scene,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to come together and celebrate something that we can all appreciate.” 

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