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Art Gallery Aims to 'Capture' Crowd-Sourced Animation on Paper

By Benjamin Woodard | October 9, 2013 9:14am
 Siobhan Leonard has invited neighbors to help her create a stop-motion animation drawing on Loyola Ave.
Capture Project
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ROGERS PARK — Artist Siobhan Leonard has invited the neighborhood to help her finish a new crowd-sourced art installation made of a series of drawings captured on camera — one stroke at a time.

Since Sunday, people have been lured inside the Roman Susan Art Gallery at 1224 W. Loyola Ave. to contribute to Leonard's "Capture Community Project."

Anyone's welcome to pick up a crayon and draw whatever comes to mind on a wall-sized sheet of paper.

But there's one rule, Leonard said, participants must draw one line or one shape at a time, then step out of the way, so each incremental change can be captured in a photograph.

At the end of each day through Oct. 20, she'll string together her images to create a stop-motion animation to bring the drawings to life.

Moving Pictures Animation
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Vimeo/Siobhan Leonard

"This is sort of like our stage, and when you're up here, you're part of making this film," said Leonard Tuesday in the small, storefront gallery. "But you're not really in it — your images are in it."

Leonard, a former student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, made her first drawing animation while teaching art to 5-year-olds in her hometown of Benton Harbor, Mich.

Since moving to Chicago, she's wanted to bring her concept to the city's neighborhoods, so she partnered with Roman Susan and its director Kristin Abhalter.

"It's nice to get people to stop in ... who normally wouldn't come into an art gallery," she said.

A sign outside the gallery says, "Come inside! Draw!"

"It forces you to interact with your neighbors," said Leonard, who plans to move to Rogers Park from Logan Square in December.

On Tuesday, a woman had drawn a yellow circle and wrote, "Let My Light Shine." A mother and her two children had stopped in, too, Leonard said. The mom drew portraits of her kids scribbling away on the paper.

Someone else drew an elephant with oversized ears and trunk.

Marina Pfenning and Nicholas Szczepanik, both students at the Art Institute, stopped by to contribute.

"So I can give the elephant a mustache?" said Pfenning, after getting a rundown of how the project works.

"That's kind of the point," Abhalter said.

A final reception for the installation will be held 7-9 p.m. Oct. 25 at the gallery and will feature each day's drawing and the completed stop-motion animation.