What I See: Evanston, Illinois
Ever since I heard about Pat B. Allen’s Open Studio Project, I have been hankering to attend her workshop series located in Evanston, Illinois. Finally, last weekend, I was able to participate in one of the facilitator workshops about establishing your own personal practice. What I didn’t expect was how enchanted I would be by the city of Evanston, Illinois. Since I arrived quite early before the workshop, I had time to explore the town a bit, and – nerd alert! – the public library was at the top of my list. Pictured above is a beautiful installation piece which inhabits the library’s stairwell. This library is top notch, from the children’s room to the “Most Wanted Books” section to the research floor. I spent a leisurely hour or so perusing shelves and researching archives for information about the Eleanor Club in Chicago where Mom lived in the late 1940’s. More on this in another post. Strolling about I wandered onto the campus of Northwestern University and came upon a charming chapel, now used for recitals. These windows caught my eye. Walking towards Lake Michigan, I was astonished to find a sandy beach beneath my feet, just blocks from the downtown streets that are chock full of shops and eateries. One clearly beloved place was Bennison’s Bakery and I snapped a view of this young woman decorating a cake:The vibrant colors reminded me of the purpose of my trip, a weekend of intentional art making at the Open Studio Project, an easy walk from the University grounds, as you head towards Chicago proper. Here’s a shot of their light filled gallery:I must mention the Lucky Platter, where my colleagues and I had a few delicious meals. (The apricot flakey will take your taste buds to heaven) After an afternoon of sculpting with tin foil and masking tape, we felt right at home here, where the ceiling is embellished with little balls of aluminum foil. The humble sparkle adds a whimsical ambiance and those who served us made us feel right at home. As a matter of fact, I felt very welcomed by the city of Evanston, with its cozy downtown, international flavor and friendly folk all around. To be honest, I didn’t even mind the delay at O’Hare Airport. It’s sunny and colorful concourse with public art displays gave me yet another terrific experience during my trip to Illinois. Needless to say, I plan to return again soon!