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Beverly Art Walk Fundraiser Set For Tonight At Lagunitas Taproom

By Howard Ludwig | August 4, 2017 8:22am | Updated on August 14, 2017 8:11am
 Lagunitas Brewing Co. will host a fundraiser for the Beverly Art Walk from 5:30-8:30 p.m. tonight at its taproom in North Lawndale.
Lagunitas Brewing Co. will host a fundraiser for the Beverly Art Walk from 5:30-8:30 p.m. tonight at its taproom in North Lawndale.
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NORTH LAWNDALE — Supporters of the Beverly Art Walk will gather from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Monday at Lagunitas Brewing Co. for a fundraiser ahead of the fourth annual art showcase.

The brewery at 2607 W. 17th St. in North Lawndale will donate all the proceeds from beer sales to the event, which will again take over vacant storefronts, small businesses and other venues throughout the neighborhood Oct. 7.

It costs $10 to enter the fundraiser or $5 for artists who are participating in the art walk. Food provided by Beverly's Horse Thief Hollow brewpub will be for sale, and those proceeds will also be donated.

The Leadfoot String Band of Beverly will entertain the crowd. A bus will be available from Olivia's Garden in Beverly to take attendees to the taproom and back to the neighborhood, said Monica Wilczak, a co-founder of the art walk.

The bus departs at 5 p.m. from 10730 S. Western Ave. and returns after the event. A $5 suggested donation will be asked of those using the shuttle bus.

Wilczak and other Beverly artists organized the art walk to showcase their work as well as bring together those living on the Far Southwest Side with a passion for art.

After four years, she believes the art walk has done just that — putting Beverly on the map for artists throughout the city. Often these artists are looking to put down roots, as was the case with Elaine Miller. The painter moved to Beverly from suburban Oak Park.

Miller recently completed a mural at 95th Street and Longwood Drive. Wilczak said she's a prime example of the type of artists that have been drawn to the neighborhood as a result of the art walk.

The Beverly Art Walk "is a great way to showcase our neighborhood," said Wilczak, adding that the event has attracted art lovers from other neighborhoods and even some living out-of-state.

About 200 artists are expected to have their work on display this year, up from about 150 last year. The art will be on showcased at 55 different venues. The makeshift art galleries include bakeries, taverns, Italian delis, coffee houses, churches and more.

Art lovers are encouraged to visit these galleries on foot, by bike or using several trolleys hired to bring those interested in art between venues.

Wilczak said some small businesses are hoping to make their debut on the weekend of the art walk, as the event typically draws a crowd. The goal is to turn these neighborhood art aficionados into customers, she said.

"It's so great to see that they [small businesses] want to be a part of it," she said.

As for the fundraiser, Wilczak said a handful of artists featured on the walk will have their work on display. This "sneak peek" will include the work of Sandra Leonard, a fashion artist from Beverly.

Leonard designs wild costumes and elaborate fabrics. Besides the art walk, she is also planning a performance called "Wandering Bird" that will be featured Nov. 4 at the Beverly Arts Center.

Nearly 200 people are expected at the Lagunitas fundraiser. Wilczak said those unable to attend are encouraged to make a donation on the Beverly Art Walk's website.

"We rely on the support of our community," she said.