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A & E

Creative spaces: Sycamore Art Trail offers chance to meet artists where they create

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore Art Trail began as an idea between two friends, Kathleen Weisser of Sycamore said.

Weisser and Valerie Weberpal, also of Sycamore, started the art trail to encourage artists to repurpose spaces in the community for art and to encourage the public to take a drive to meet their local artists and buy unique works from members of their community.

Weisser said selling her art out of her summer studio during last year’s event was new territory for her, but it was good to meet the about 50 people who traversed the trail then.

“It really is about art in the community and people having the opportunity to see artists,” Weisser said.

The second annual Sycamore Art Trail this weekend encourages patrons to see converted barns and buildings that house the work of Sycamore artists by taking a drive through the area to visit with artists on the trail, Weisser said.

Whether someone is an art teacher, professional artist or hobbyist, Weisser said, they were more than welcome to open up their studio for the event this year, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday starting at 25228 Henderson Road in Sycamore.

Other stops on the Sycamore Art Trail include 451 E. Elm St., 472 E. Elm St., 112 North Ave., 1302 Larson St. and 16521 Swanson Road in Sycamore and one DeKalb location, 2235 Sycamore Road, #312 West. The event is free and open to the public.

Textiles, pottery, drawings, paintings, woodworking and other art will be available for sale. Weisser said the main goal is to get people to connect through locally produced art, but if attendees buy the artwork, the artists can make more of it.

Valerie Weberpal of Sycamore said the future goal for the event is to include all of the arts, including music and theater. She said the number of participating artists doubled this year – about four people participated last year and nine artists will take part in this year’s event.

“So it grew a little bit this year and I hope to have it grow every year,” Weberpal said.

Bart Woodstrup, one of the participating artists and an art faculty member at Northern Illinois University, said he participated in the event last year and he wanted to do his part to make sure art is shared within the community. He said his main objective as an artist is to make sure he contributes more works into the community.

“I think Sycamore would be surprised of how much artwork comes from this town,” Woodstrup said.

Weberpal said she met people she’s never crossed paths with before during last year’s event. She said she’s been in art for a long time and has traveled for her work as an artist, but nobody knew who she was in Sycamore.

“There are working artists in Sycamore and they should be supported,” Weberpal said.

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