ROGERS PARK — Nearly every restaurant, cafe and art gallery near the neighborhood's four "L" stations will open their doors this weekend for a free blowout event dubbed "Art Round Trip."
The inaugural walking tour of neighborhood art, hosted by the Rogers Park Arts Alliance, begins at noon Sunday and wraps up at 5 p.m.
"We really want people to come and experience what Rogers Park is about," said alliance member Roberta Schmatz, who runs Loyola Avenue's Xoro Gallery. "The geographic location of it in the city is something really special."
Schmatz's gallery and the others tucked away behind the Loyola "L", like the Roman Susan Art Gallery, plan to throw a block party with live music and dancers. Attendees can stop in at Roman Susan to help Siobhan Leonard complete her crowd-sourced art drawings and stop-motion animation.
Student artwork from Sullivan High School, Kilmer Elementary School and Waldroff School will be on display, too.
Royal Coffee, at 6764 N. Sheridan Road, craftsman Nathan Minnehan will play live music. The Bike Room gallery, on West North Shore Avenue east of Sheridan, will feature paintings by Katherine Jost and Leslie Greene.
Near the Morse "L" station, the Common Cup, Heartland Cafe, Glenwood Bar and Greenleaf Art Center plan to participate.
At Beit Yichud, the Jewish spiritual center that replaced the Mess Hall earlier this year, a collection of mystical artwork woven with Hebrew text will be on display. Bring a hand drum and join the Jewish "Shiviti Drum Circle" from 1-2 p.m.
At the Howard "L" stop, Sol Cafe plans to feature art and its usual offerings of coffee, sandwiches and pastries.
Food trucks, including one from J.B. Alberto's Pizza, will be roaming the galleries to serve hungry art gazers.
Volunteers will direct people and hand out a map and full schedule of events at each of the stations.
Working for months, the art walk organizers were able to attract a wide range of participants, said Sheree Moratto, director of the Glenwood Sunday Market.
"We were like, 'You know what? There’s so much going on [in Rogers Park] and there’s no way to get the information out,'" she said.
And so, she said, "Art Round Trip" was born.