“Surrounded by Beauty Every Day”

The Chesterton Art Center

The Chesterton Art Center


Imagine yourself surrounded in a world full of colors, shapes, lines, textures and vast imagery that are forever evolving as it reflects human experience and storytelling. Welcome to the world of art! Or as Wendy at the Chesterton Art Gallery told me today, “I get to come into work and be surrounded by beauty every day.” Wendy is one lucky woman as she works both inside the Gallery and teaches workshops in mixed media art. Wendy was a graphic artist who found her way into the world of fine arts. She is now living the artist’s dream of living, working, creating and instilling the love of art to her students and all who visit the art gallery.

Today’s trip to the gallery was a celebration and sneak preview of the accepted work to be exhibited into the Illiana Artists 12th Regional Juried Exhibit. The show opens tomorrow, Thursday, August 20 and I suspect numerous visitors will be anxiously scanning the exhibit space with anticipation of eyeing their showpiece on a wall, pedestal or the “ideal space”. Did I win an award? Who won 1st place? Will there be labels or ribbons indicating who the award winners are? Well, the art is up but winners will not be announced until the opening reception on Friday, August 28.

Helping fellow members hang the artwork today was both fun and tiring as it took approximately 4 hours to organize, distribute, measure and nail in place all 63 accepted pieces of art. This number is not a reflection of participation as there were 114 or so submissions prior to the Juror elimination. What an exhausting job it must be to decipher what the show will keep for exhibit and what to place aside when there are so many creative pieces to choose from. Some of my favorites belong to the members of the Illiana Artists with years of training and teaching experience behind them. I am in awe of the wealth of talent this community has to offer.

Hanging an art show requires ingenuity and a keen eye for space. I found a great article The Collectors Guide for professional art installation and gallery guidance. With 4 people available to hang the art we still found ourselves in a collective group questioning and deciding which piece to put in place and whether or not to move items from one wall to another as it might look better “over there”. I can’t even count the number of pieces we took down in order to re-hang. There were framed pieces of all sizes and weights so a few extra hands to measure, hold, survey, hammer and run for supplies was necessary. The name plates set the finishing touches for the show and everything came together quite nicely by the end of the day. I can’t wait for the opening tomorrow and witnessing the joy the exhibit will bring to all those who participated and are eagerly waiting the moment the gallery doors first open. It will be a busy day.

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