Artists Help Local Nonprofit Preserve Land

TLC's Art of the Land Benefit Art Show will take place September 21-22 at the Starline Gallery in Harvard. $20 will get you in both nights.

Just two blocks from the train station in Harvard, Ill., the Starline Art Gallery and Studios is home to established and emerging artists from the Northwest Chicago Metro region.

Many of the artists with studios in this restored, 100 year-old brick and wood-beamed manufacturing plant choose to live in this rural area of the region because of the remarkable natural beauty found here.

This shared interest in art and the local land led several of the resident artists to create a benefit art show in 2009 to help raise money for The Land Conservancy of McHenry County. TLC is the local nonprofit land conservation organization working with private landowners to preserve the rural character and natural beauty that draws so many creative people to the area.

The 2012 show, set for Sept. 21 and 22, is the fourth annual event that draws hundreds of art lovers – and land lovers.

Pre-sale admission to the event, good for both nights, is only $20 if purchased by 9/19. After that, the cost will be $30 at the door.

Admission includes appetizers, sweets and entertainment. A cash bar will serve cold beer, wine, and soft drinks. Tickets can be purchased on The Land Conservancy's webpage, or by calling 815-337-9502.

The artists participate because they love the beauty of the area, and that love is somehow reflected in their work. You can expect to find more than traditional landscape paintings at the show.

Art work will range from “wind-assisted” art, handmade baskets and birdhouses, wheel-thrown ceramics, found-object constructions, jewelry, hand-woven scarves, woodblock prints, fresh floral creations and more.

Sixty artists and artisans will have their work on display and for sale at the gallery, donating thirty percent of their sales to support The Land Conservancy’s land preservation work.

So passionate about this cause, these artists are also donating a special piece to help raise money through a silent auction.

The event will feature a display of photos taken by amateur photographers at many of the properties that TLC has preserved. The diversity and beauty of these photographs is a direct reflection of the work that TLC has done to make sure these properties remain undeveloped forever.

People’s Choice voting will take place on Saturday, and winning photographs will be announced.

The show opens on Friday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Join storyteller Jim May at the “Voices of the Land” Coffeehouse, and listen to a collection of spoken word, music and stories about the land from local people. You’re also welcome to enjoy some sweets donated by local bakeries and chocolatiers.

On Saturday, Sept. 22 from 6:30-10 p.m., TLC will offer delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by Crystal Lake’s with locally-grown ingredients. There will also be live music to celebrate the beauty of the art work and the local land.

TLC is a nonprofit organization that works with private landowners to preserve scenic, natural and agricultural lands in McHenry County. The group has worked with over 70 landowners to preserve nearly 2,000 acres across McHenry County. 

TLC’s work is funded by local members, charitable foundations and fundraising events such as Art of the Land.

For those interested in taking the Metra Union Pacific NW train to the Starline Gallery, 300 W. Front Street, Harvard:  Friday, there are trains arriving at 6:05, 7:19 and 8:06 p.m. and a train departing back towards Chicago at 8:35 p.m. Saturday, there are trains arriving at 5:20, 7:20 and 8:20 p.m. and a train departing back towards Chicago at 9:35 p.m.

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