By Matt Helm
BELVIDERE ─ The Rockford Area Arts Council set up their annual Spring ArtScene on Friday, April 15 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, April 16 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. This year two Belvidere businesses joined in on the fun: the Boone County Historical Museum and the Locust Street Press.
“Local businesses like coffee shops, restaurants, and art galleries open their doors after hours for ArtScene and invite visitors in to check out the work of local artists,” Executive Director of the Boone County Historical Museum Anna Pivoras said.
The gallery at the museum was entitled “A Boone County Collective” and featured work by Tim Storm, Lindsey Powers, Aaron Powers, and Laura Easton Frazier. The museum provided free admission and refreshments.
“The artists have ties to the area so the subject matter will be specific to iconic locations in Boone County,” Pivoras said.
The museum also displayed their expansive collection of local art.
“We are putting up an exhibit from our local artist collection which is usually in storage,” Pivoras said. “We have art that dates back sixty years. This is a great opportunity to see some of our items that don’t go on display very often along with work from emerging, talented artists.”
The rest of the Boone County Historical Museum was open for tours as well. Across the street the Locust Street Press promised family oriented fun with their gallery entitled “Shenanigans.”
“We are calling it ‘Shenanigans’ because it’s going to be a crazy assortment of things to do,” Print Shop Manager Heather Steines said. “We will have art on display from friends of the Locust Street Press, a photo booth with dress up items for the kids and Big Bog the Balloon Man will be doing really cool balloon animals.”
Visitors had the opportunity to work with old world print shop machines, some of which are over 50-years-old.
“The allure is the press machines themselves and the kind of art that can come from them, including letter press and foil printing,” Steines said. “It’s fun for all ages. We look forward to bringing the community firsthand experience with old world printing.”
This was the second year Locust Street Press participated in the ArtScen
“The ArtScene in general is a really great event,” Steines said. “It brings the community together. It lets people sneak in after hours and get a glimpse of the art world. It will be an opportunity to see something interesting with your family and do something you normally don’t get to do.”
Families got to take home 5×7 manually printed pieces of displayable art from the Locust Street Press.
“We are excited to work in conjunction with the Boone County Historical Museum for the ArtScene,” Steines said. “It’s a great partnership. People can get a beautiful art gallery experience over there before walking across the street here for a more hands on experience.”