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Turn Your Ugly Christmas Sweater Into Art at Holiday 'Portrait Slam'

By Casey Cora | December 6, 2013 6:56am | Updated on December 6, 2013 9:19am
 Families are invited to have their portraits drawn by artists at Project Onward.
Project Onward Portrait Slams
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BRIDGEPORT — The Bridgeport Art Center is offering you a chance to turn that ugly Christmas sweater into art.

At "The Grinch's Ugly Christmas Sweater Portrait Slam" at the gallery, visitors are encouraged to sport the sweaters and then sit for a hand-drawn portrait illustrated by a talented local artist.

The slam is 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Project Onward, 1200 W. 35th St.

Here's how the event works:

Arriving guests will choose from a roster of a dozen artists from Project Onward, a nonprofit that supports artists with developmental disabilities.

Once selected, the artist will get to work painting or drawing a unique portrait, which takes about 30 minutes. Organizers say adding people to a portrait will take more time, so plan accordingly.

An individual portrait costs $20, and each additional person is $10, with a maximum of four people.

"We have had entire families come and spend the day with us, each getting individual portraits with separate artists. Those kind of groups are always a lot of fun," spokeswoman Rachael Zuppke said.

Appointments are required. Click here for a sample of what to expect.

Along with their original artwork, holiday cards, handpainted ornaments and more will be sold.

The portrait slams, generally held around holidays and special occasions, serve as a fundraiser for the group, which moved to Bridgeport earlier this year after a nine-year tenure at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Can't make it to Saturday's slam?

Zuppke said portraits can be scheduled during regular studio hours (11 a.m. to 5p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays) as well.

To make an appointment, email info@projectonward.org or call 773-940-2992. Organizers say the last appointment will be at 4 p.m.