Woodstock Old Courthouse Arts Center to host gala, gallery open Saturday

Documentary screening, NPR storyteller and live music events offered

WOODSTOCK – The Old Courthouse Arts Center will be all about art and storytelling Saturday night.

The Old Courthouse Arts Center will host a gala Saturday to introduce two new exhibits including “Quatren” and “Listen.” The event will feature artist and activist Peggy Lipschutz’s film “Never Turning Back,” a storytelling session with National Public Radio commentator Kevin Kling and local author Jim May and live music by Lia McCoo.

The Old Courthouse Arts Center has operated for more than 25 years and puts on more than 20 shows annually. “Listen” explores a variety of local, national and global issues such as the environment and activism, gallery manager Victoria Senn said.

E/artgroup, which Senn is a member of, curated the “Listen” exhibition.

“Quatren” is a set of work put together by four artists and showcases encaustic style painting, which involves mixing colored pigments to hot wax.

Senn said she was excited to bring these new installations to the courthouse.

“I am really very excited about all of it,” she said. “The quality of the work is amazing.”

The events that will take place Saturday will complement the gallery, Senn said.

“Peggy Lipschutz is a 1960s artist and activist who is 97,” Senn said. “She has a film she put out about her life that has themes of conflict resolution, equality and justice. … Several people refer to her as a Chicago institution in the labor movement and the people’s movement.”

Kevin Kling – who also will perform two shows Saturday at Woodstock’s Opera House – is known for his commentary on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

Senn said that as an artist, she felt McHenry County had a unique arts scene and liked to contribute to it.

“We have so many great places to visit,” she said. “Crystal Lake has the Raue [Center for the Arts] and the Dole. We have the Old Courthouse and the Opera House. There’s the Starline Factory. It’s such a great place to be an artist and a resident.”

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