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Side Street Studio Arts Celebrates 4th Anniversary with the Grand Opening of Two New Spaces

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Side Street Studio Arts Celebrates 4th Anniversary with the Grand Opening of Two New Spaces

Side Street Studio Arts (SSSA), located at 15 Ziegler Ct., in the heart of downtown Elgin, is celebrating its four-year anniversary and the grand opening of its two new expansion spaces with a night of visual art, live music, performances, and more Friday, March 4 from 6-11pm. The event is all ages and open to the public. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

SSSA opened March 1, 2013 and quickly become a home for both fringe and mainstream performing and visual artists. During 2016, SSSA and its Theater hosted: 20 visual art exhibitions, 27 dance productions, 35 music performances, 180 art instruction events, 26 free arts events, 4 artist-internships, 1 artist-in-residence, 2 Judson Business School Service Learning Internships, weekly free gallery hours, almost 800 hours of discounted rental space for area artists, acted as Fringe Central and donated the Theater for the Elgin Fringe Festival, co-produced the Elgin Literary Festival with the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, and featured a gallery and theater  that were active 52 of 52 weeks during the year.

For 2017, SSSA is expanding to include their new Lab and Supply spaces located at 11 and 13 S. Spring Street. Supply intends to support the area's artistic community by fulfilling the specific needs of both organizations and individual artists, will feature an affordable and diverse stock of art materials, and will be a destination for mentorship and art education. Lab is a shared artist space designed to support the artistic process through the housing of equipment, storage, and proximity to supply and exhibition resources. Lab will allow artists the space and time to create, and be available via membership and hourly rental, with access to dark room, pottery, screen-printing, and printmaking equipment, as well as a variety of mentorship and visual artist resources. In celebration of the grand opening, SSSA is currently holding a Lab Membership Drive, which will provide five one-year memberships to the Lab space at a discounted rate.

“When the SSSA crew reached out to me about their idea for the Lab, I was thrilled,” said Elgin-based artist and Supply and Lab Volunteer Manager Jane Erlandson. “So often the creative process happens in a vacuum, which can be a difficult place to find encouragement. Bringing the new equipment and supply resources to the energy of the Side Street community will bring artists of all calibers out of the woodwork and into the light and allow art-loving audiences more opportunity to enjoy work and interact with a vibrant artist community.”

“We are proud that, as a non-profit organization,” continued Erlandson, “our sales from Supply will go right back into the support of the organization’s programs, including our education and outreach arm Community Moves, Art Battle, Battle of the Bands, and more.”

The grand opening festivities include a visual art exhibition entitled Four for Four, performances from area musicians The Jades and Lettering, roving magic from Kentucky-based Elgin Fringe Festival artist Cody Clark, belly dance from La Groove Fatale of Elgin’s Eastern Groove Dance Studio, live painting, hands-on demonstrations on screen printing and printmaking with area artists Freddrick Wimms and Jim Lloyd, cake from Elgin’s Herb’s Bakery, and much more. All four SSSA spaces will be open to the public from 6-11pm.

“Jeff Kim, owner of the spaces on Spring Street, reached out to us when his storefronts became available,” said Founder/Director Tanner Melvin. “As with our Ziegler Court spaces, we found a building owner who believes in our organization, downtown Elgin, and the economic impact the arts can have on a community. As we near our fourth anniversary, we have been host and witness to a variety of artistic breakthroughs thanks to these supportive individuals. We continue to be surprised and inspired by the depth of talent located in Elgin and the Fox Valley Area.”


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