Woodstock Square's 2nd Friday Art Walk off to successful start

Stuart Thiel performs in July at the 2nd Friday Woodstock Square Art Walk.
Stuart Thiel performs in July at the 2nd Friday Woodstock Square Art Walk.

It’s all about 2nd Fridays on the Woodstock Square.

Crystal Lake’s Lakeside has its 1st Friday Art Show, and 4th Fridays celebrate art and live music at Harvard’s Starline Gallery.

“We’re trying to fill in another Friday for people to think about art in the region,” said John Heng, a board member of the Northwest Area Arts Council, which began hosting a 2nd Friday Art Walk this summer on the Woodstock Square.

The group’s next Art Walk will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 14, with merchants throughout the Woodstock Square staying open late, artists selling artwork at trunk shows, art galleries in Woodstock’s Old Courthouse Arts Center and the former La Petite Creperie building and street performers, including singers, musicians and magicians.

For a $10 donation, a reusable Art Walk bag (available at 101 N. Johnson St.) entitles visitors to special offers at participating merchants throughout the night.

“It’s basically trying to do an Art Walk that’s not just about stuff hanging on the walls,” Heng said.

The initial plan was to host the 2nd Friday events through August, but because of their success, they’ll continue through October.

Heng envisioned a similar scene to what he grew up with in Boston on the Harvard Square – singers with their guitar cases open, artists at work, jugglers, dancers passing their hats and so on.

“This is exactly what I’m trying to recreate,” he said. “It’s the kind of thing you would see in downtown Chicago, as well.”

Each Art Walk has at least 10 different performances throughout the night, he said. Along with musical acts, past events have featured escape artists, even a sword swallower.

“We’re really about connecting art and artists with the general community,” he said.

Among the performances planned Aug. 14 is a “Real Sleeping Beauty” show by area mind-reader and magician Joe Diamond. He intends to hypnotize a young woman to remain asleep and on display in the window of Jaci’s Cookies throughout the Art Walk.

After two hours, a young “prince charming” will arrive to kiss the young woman on her forehead and awaken her from sleep.

Along with performers will be numerous art displays, including a “Fluid Motion: Fresh Visions of Chicago at Play” exhibit by Algonquin artist Jeanine Hill-Soldner in the Old Courthouse Arts Center, 101 N. Johnson St.

According to Hill-Soldner’s description, the exhibit represents various movements made by water during human interaction.

She is hosting an artist reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15 during the Art Walk, while the exhibit will remain through Sept. 26. The Old Courthouse Arts Center also has a “Real People” exhibit on display through Sept. 26.

Next door at 115 N. Johnson St. in the former La Petite Creperie building, artist bert leveille will be hosting her “REVISITING THE MILLENNIUM” installation, also from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 14 during the Art Walk. The exhibit is inspired by leveille’s visit to the Accelerator Art Space at Elmhurst College, which holds one of the original atom splitters of the mid-20th century.

After that visit, leveille, who works with large unstretched acrylics and treats them like tapestries hung from bars, created “BRIDGING THE MILLENNIUM.” Her latest exhibit entwines the previous one, connecting them through video.

For information on the Art Walk, find Woodstock Square on Facebook or call 815-338-4525.

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