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    Side Street Studio Arts Celebrates 7th Anniversary

    Side Street Studio Arts (SSSA), located at 15 Ziegler Ct., in the heart of downtown Elgin, is celebrating its seventh-year anniversary with a night of art making, visual art, live music, and more Friday, March 6 from 6-10pm. The event is all ages and open to the public. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

    Since opening March 1, 2013, SSSA has become a home for both fringe and mainstream performing and visual artists. During 2019 alone, SSSA hosted: 28 visual art exhibitions, 43 music performances, 59 $5 drop-in events for artists, 124 live performing arts events, 218 onsite registration required arts education events, over 416 hours of Community Moves arts education outreach programming, 9 arts internships, 2 artists-in-residence, weekly free gallery hours, 100 hours of SSSA activities per week, 80+ hours of discounted and donated space for fundraising events for area organizations, co-produced the Elgin Fringe Festival and Elgin Literary Festival with the City of Elgin, opened MADE – a one-of-a-kind arts retail collective in downtown Elgin, and featured a downtown Elgin Gallery, Lab, and Theater that were active 52 of 52 weeks during the year.

    The Year7 event is highlighted by an uncurated visual art exhibition, which features the work of area artists, including Maxwell Valle, Sheila Newenham, Sarah Ashby, Howard Schwartz, Neil Klemz, Lance Long, Jack Vonty, Carol Hamilton, Jill Nahrstedt, Cindy Lesperance, Mike Rende, Bruce Bachelder, Hannah Tidwell, Daniel Galvin, Sierra Tuazon, Caitlyn Morgan, Daniel Edward, Tim Galvin, Chris Block, Breanna Pontanini, Estrella Espindola, Becca Howe, Jane Erlandson, Chris Palm, SamTheJam, Jade Morem, Kristin Childs, JAMEIL AL-OBOUDI, Jamey Bouwmeester, Kathie Collinson, Krystalanne alanis, Jess Rocha, David Bremer, Horror Floral, Jess Rocha and Horror Floral, Ken Simonsen, and more.

    “For a third year, a panel of judges will adjudicate the works and a $500 prize will be awarded to a selected artist or artists,” said SSSA Co-Founder and Executive Director Tanner Melvin. “The prize is sponsored by our friends at Elgin Public House.”

    There will also be a crowd favorite vote, and the winner of that vote will receive a yearlong Lab membership and additional prizes from SSSA. The Year 7 judges are American Association of University Women of Elgin Member Julie Ford, Water Street Studios Executive Director Danielle Hollis, Artist Rachel Elizabeth Maley, and Elgin City Councilwoman Tish Powell. Judging and voting will take place from 6 to 8pm, and winners will be announced at 9pm.

    SSSA’s Lab space located at 11 S. Spring Street hosts an ever-expanding lineup of art classes for families and adults, and, in celebration of year 7, discounted membership prices for area artists to gain access to darkroom, printmaking, and screen printing tools. During the Year 7 celebration, the Lab will host live art-making demonstrations, featuring area artists, including Estrella Espindola, Natalie Pivoney, and more.

    Additionally, MADE, SSSA’s new curated retail experience, located at 13 S. Spring St., will have extended hours. The storefront features original artwork by area artists, including BaM!, Crighton Studios, Ivette De Santiago, Jane Erlandson, Christine Goetzy, Conor Goetz, Horror Floral, Karl Jahnke, Anna Lentz, Natalie Pivoney, Jess Rocha, Melina Scotte, and more.

    “MADE has allowed us to create a cooperative presentation platform to further support area artists,” said Melvin. “We have found that our community is looking for additional art sales opportunities and unique art buying experiences, and we are excited to be able to provide a platform for those opportunities.”

    The anniversary festivities kick off with SSSA’s monthly First Friday Drop-In Small Wonders in the Theater, located at 15 ½ Ziegler Ct., from 4:15-6:15pm. For a $5 fee, parents can drop their young artist for two hours of visual and performance art fun. This monthly event is first come, first served, and fills up fast.

    The evening will also include performances from area bands Camera Kids, Our Century In Pictures, Rushmore, and Sunday Cruise, free cake donated from Elgin’s Herb’s Bakery, and more. All SSSA spaces will be open to the public from 6-10pm.

    Side Street Studio Arts was founded by Elgin residents Melvin and Erin Rehberg in 2013 as an outlet for the Elgin arts scene. Side Street provides educational and creative resources and an inclusive space, run by artists. Side Street’s mission is to support the artist and artistic journey through collaboration. For more information on any of SSSA’s programs, visit www.sidestreetstudioarts.org, call 847-429-2276 or email info@sidestreetstudioarts.org.

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