Better Makers: Artists Set Up Interactive Pop-Up Studios in Support of Lake County

Lake County: Marrett Taylor, Alicia Cressey, Sarah Back

The warehouse at Bernie’s Book Bank in Lake Bluff was transformed Nov. 10 for stART Something Lake County, an interactive evening of art and philanthropy. The warehouse art party marked The Lake County Community Foundation’s (LCCF) 15th anniversary and continued efforts to raise awareness of local needs and funding for the Robert F. Reusché Operating Endowment — Lake County’s Forever Fund. To date, $150,000 has been raised for the fund.

A group of 12 artists of different mediums set up pop-up studios in the warehouse, where guests enjoyed live demonstrations from painters, street artists, muralists, sculptors, a mosaic artist, and more. The pieces were then auctioned off in support of the Reusché Operating Endowment, which supports the local work of LCCF.

World-renowned watercolorist Mark McMahon of Lake Forest headlined the event, which drew 300 people. McMahon showcased a brand-new piece specifically commissioned for the exhibition. In the spirit of the organization’s mission of improving the lives of the people of Lake County, all artists created works around the inspiration of the local area. McMahon’s piece was a colorful representation of Lake County.

Additional local artists who joined the exhibition included Sandie Bacon, Lake Bluff, Golden Artist Colors teacher, acrylics; Jason Michael BentleyArt Center Highland Park, portrait painter; David E. Dallison, Waukegan, watercolor artist; Mary Haas, Waukegan, painter; Ahmed Ibrahim, Art Center Highland Park, mosaic designs for residential and commercial use; Shelly “RUIN” Johnson, Waukegan and Chicago, mixed media; Carolyn McMahon, Lake Forest, two and three dimensions, ceramics, painting, bronze casting, metal, neon, and slumped glass; Everett Reynolds, Waukegan, oil painting and mural; Matt Specht, Kenosha, abstract expressionist, acrylic and ink on canvas; and Skip Wiese, Waukegan, illustration, abstract, landscape, cartoon, and mural.

“We were so pleased to have a chance to celebrate The Lake County Community Foundation’s regional impact, and look forward to inspiring even more collective philanthropy among a new generation of Lake County donors, partners, and friends,” says Executive Director Miah Armour.

Each table featured a centerpiece with a work of art commissioned from artists of Zion’s NorthPointe Resources Art 360 Program, which provides opportunities for artists with disabilities and mental illness.

The evening featured local fare from CAP Catering, a social enterprise of Waukegan-based Community Action Partnership of Lake County. Members of the Lake County Libation Trail, including Copper Fiddle Distillery, Tighthead Brewery, and Wild Onion Brewery, provided the beverage selection for the evening. Guests also enjoyed tunes courtesy of the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory and the White Stallions.

Event sponsors included William Blair, Winston & Strawn LLP, Atturo TireBMO, College of Lake County, Grainger, Pro Data Solutions, Razny Jewelers, Housing Headquarters, and Uhlmann Price Securities. Media sponsors were Make It Better and Yelp.

The Lake County Community Foundation: Mark McMahon
Artist Mark McMahon with the Start Something Lake County map, commissioned for The Lake County Community Foundation’s 15th Anniversary.
The Lake County Community Foundation: Everett Reynolds
Artist Everett Reynolds in his pop-up studio.
The Lake County Community Foundation: Matt Specht
Kathleen and John Wasik observe while artist Matt Specht begins his painting.
The Lake County Community Foundation: Gale Strenger Wayne, Martha Hinchman, Kris Hoult, Dr. Laura Brown Hoult
Gale Strenger Wayne, LCCF vice chair, and Martha Hinchman, LCCF board chair, with Kris Hoult and LCCF board member Dr. Laura Brown Hoult.
The Lake County Community Foundation: David Motley, Anne Reusché, Maggie Morales, Danny Burton, Miah Armour
David Motley; Anne Reusché; Maggie Morales, LCCF director of community leadership; Danny Burton, LCCF marketing intern; and Miah Armour, executive director.
The Lake County Community Foundation: David E. Dallison
Artist David E. Dallison with Amy and Rob Heinrich and Ellen Winick.

Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.



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