ROSCOE VILLAGE — Art installations created by local women artists have gone up at vacant stores along a stretch of Belmont Avenue in Roscoe Village thanks to a city grant.
The Lakeview Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce received a share of a $2 million grant from the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to decorate 55 vacant storefronts to drive foot traffic through the quieter winter months, chamber leaders said.
The money paid for installations at 2300 W. Belmont Ave. and 1931 W. Belmont Ave. through March, according to the chamber.
“As a recipient of this storefront grant, the [chamber] is taking this opportunity to highlight the vacant retail spaces in our neighborhood to showcase local women artists and entrepreneurs and their bold and bright creativity,” said Nicole McLellan, community development director for the chamber.
- Nez, a Latina artist who specializes in painting, murals and illustration.
- Heather Gentile Collins, perhaps best known locally as the artist behind the 150-foot, double-sided “Welcome to Roscoe Village” bridge mural.
- Mary Fedorowski, a painter and muralist.
- Sara Renae Holloway, a contemporary painter, mixed-medium artist, curator and educator.
- Amanda Shell, the creator behind pOptimist Art.
“As we head into the holidays and the cold winter months following, our retailers and restaurants need a steady drumbeat of neighborhood traffic,” McLellan said. “The hope is that these new art activations will draw a crowd and shed some light on the future retail opportunities that our neighborhood can offer as well as invite consumers to shop and dine at other Roscoe Village businesses.”
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