Made in Evanstona non-profit organization that seeks to unite artists and art lovers in Evanston, has opened its second pop-up gallery, at 832 Dempster St.
The organization was started nearly a decade ago by executive director Lisa Degliantoni, self-proclaimed “Lisa D”, who moved to Evanston from El Paso, Texas, and began knocking on doors. to ask people if they were artists.
Evanston Made aims to empower and connect the large population of self-proclaimed creatives in Evanston. Degliantoni is not an artist herself, saying she has “no patience for it” or “the talent to do anything”, but rather that the former news producer likes to “move the things”.
Last winter, Evanston Made received the former Urban Outfitters retail space on Church Street for a holiday pop-up. In 27 days, it generated more than $85,000 in sales for the benefit of the organization’s member artists and future programming. After this great success, Degliantoni and co-director Liz Cramer began looking for a new space for a second pop-up store.
They have decided to rent the former computer repair shop on Dempster for six months, where they will alternate exhibitions depending on the medium, starting with paintings.
Until September 28, the gallery’s hours at 832 Dempster Street will be 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The gallery will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Friday, Degliantoni, Cramer and volunteers James Deb, a Participating Artist from Evanston Made, and Anne Wolff, a YWCA swim coach with a passion for organizing and selecting artist brains, kept busy arranging paintings while member artists contributed additional works. Deeb joined Evanston Made in his second year, and Wolff volunteered for several years after meeting Degliantoni at gallery events.
Cramer said the first batch of pieces consisted of “drawings, charcoal pastels, everything painting, and all original works,” which will be replenished as pieces sell out. Degliantoni and Cramer are optimistic that this pop-up will bring in as much revenue as last year’s pop-up, if not more. However, since space is not given, there will be higher operating expenses to run the store.
The pop-up gallery spotlights emerging and established artists, and submissions are non-juried, encouraging Evanston Made’s 450 members to participate. Degliantoni says the work should be “ready to hang” and inscribed in the Evanston Made Online Store to tie into its point-of-sale system and secure a commission, which covers overhead, rentals, and utilities.
Wolff connected former swimming student Aiden Dillon, an ETHS graduate, with Evanston Made, whose painting “(as)”, which brings Basquiat’s energy, will hang on the pop-up. Wolff said she enjoys volunteering because “it feels good”, not only to help promote the artists, but also to get to know them and their stories. She added, “I think you connect a lot more with a work of art when you know the story behind it.”
Deeb said joining Evanston Made has increased his sales and connected him to a community, making an artist’s often existential and sometimes depressing life less overwhelming. “It’s good to keep your sanity over the past two years,” he said.
In addition to volunteering, Deeb submitted an oil-on-panel painting, “Gilded Mountain”, which was being prepared for display. He said he was inspired by stories about mountains and the spirits connected to them. He added, “I’m interested in how people anthropomorphize objects. Yeah, rivers and stuff like that.
Degliantoni said the exhibit’s demographics attempt to reflect Evanston’s population, as part of the organization’s mission to be anti-racist, and will prioritize visibility and sales for artists of color.
She said she asks artists to “bring prints, extra work and your business card” to encourage relationships and possible sales. “Somebody might show up and say, ‘That’s super fun, but I don’t really feel good with red,'” she said, “but at least…they’re intrigued by the paint job. ‘Aiden; they want to go to his portfolio page and see more of his work.
She joked that the pop-up would ideally serve as a “gateway drug” to get locals and young people involved in their artist community. If curious pedestrians peering out the window were any indication, the pop-up is bound to achieve that goal.
Pop-up store days are Wednesday through Sunday, September 3 through September 28. Schedules are :
- 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday
- 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday
- noon – 5 p.m., Sunday