WEST TOWN — The West Town Art Walk is returning for in-person gallery visits and other events Friday and Saturday.
Founded in 2011, the annual self-guided tour includes dozens of stops around the greater West Town area, ranging from gallery shows to music performances.
Attendees can pick up a map of participating sites at the West Town Chamber office, 1819 W. Chicago Ave., or use their online guide. The event runs 5-8 p.m. Friday and noon-8 p.m. Saturday.
“Local businesses host artists and offer special free events that celebrates art in all forms,” said Erin Ludwig, economic development consultant at the West Town Chamber of Commerce, which is organizing the event. “So it could be visual, it could be performance art; really, there’s no specific art that we ask for.”
This is the first year the Art Walk will include stops throughout the chamber’s full boundaries, running from Division to Hubbard streets and Kedzie Avenue to Halsted Street.
Events include an electronic music concert at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, a print show at Spudnik Press Cooperative and a DIY paper crafting project at the West Town library.
Two free pedicabs will be in the area. Attendees can flag them down to travel from site to site.
The Art Walk will also feature live mural paintings from two local artists, overseen by Sara Dulkin of Chicago Truborn Gallery.
“We’ve really always tried to have some type of public art being created during the event because it’s just so fun for people to see take place,” Dulkin said. “We know that West Town and people in this community love the public art that’s being painted and created on the regular, but it’s especially exciting to see it take place.”
Dulkin said work on the murals will begin Friday evening and be completed Saturday.
Art Walk organizers said the event is a needed attraction for the neighborhood after COVID-19 closures and uncertainty over the pandemic.
“I think that’s especially important this year since local businesses and artists were impacted so much in 2020,” Ludwig said. “I’m really excited about the mix of artists that we have, because it’s important to show that we still have that thriving arts and local business sector in the neighborhood.”
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