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Local artists take step at Art Walk

Skulls, skateboards, watercolor and more showcased during event


Graydon Cafarella spent his 72nd birthday doing what he loves most: painting.

The Art Attack teacher had some of his watercolor paintings on display Saturday at the sixth annual Art Walk. While painting water splashing against rocks, Cafarella said he hoped the event would expose more people to watercolor.

“It’s a different medium, but to me, there’s a sparkle and charm to it that I don’t see in any medium,” he said.

Sixteen venues across Sycamore and DeKalb participated in the event, which promoted more than 60 local artists’ work, said Susan Edwards, director of The Art Attack, 215 W. Elm St. in Sycamore.

There was a marked increase in traffic this year, Edwards said.

“It makes me feel good people want to take part in the arts,” she said.

DeKalb resident Elizabeth Swedberg viewed several pieces, including artwork depicting skulls. Swedberg suggested leaders host more events for artists during high-traffic times when tourists are in town, such as during DeKalb’s Corn Fest and Sycamore’s Pumpkin Festival.

“Realistically, most artists don’t get noticed until they’re dead,” she said.

Artists Spencer Siebeck, 16, and Ryan Lindsey, 17, volunteered at SMLTWN SK8 Shop to decorate skateboards. Siebeck even brought her own longboard to show patrons. Her skateboard featured a cat and the story of the Zodiac.

Lindsey said that skateboard decorating is an individualistic expression, which makes it art.

“You put a little bit of yourself into it,” he said.

SMLTWN SK8 Shop offers a clear tape for skaters to put on the top of their boards for gripping, which makes it possible for art to be featured on both sides of the skateboard.

Traditionally, only black tape is offered, which restricts skateboard art to the back side.

Since Siebeck spent so much time decorating her skateboard, she said she would be devastated if anything happened to it.

“If it got stolen, I’d be looking all over the place for it,” she said. “I’d put up fliers everywhere. There would be police involvement. It’s my baby.”

Sterling resident Deb Waters was at The Art Attack with her husband, an artist. Waters thinks people would rather buy factory-made art rather than local art, which costs about the same price.

“You don’t find this kind of stuff anymore,” she said. “You won’t find it in a store.”

Waters said art programs shouldn’t be cut from schools because they teach children an important lesson.

“When you teach a child art, you’re telling them how to use their imagination,” she said. “That opens up a whole world.”

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