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Evanston Made artists showcase 3D and fiber art in exploratory series Evanston Made artists showcase 3D and fiber art in exploratory series

Conversation flowed between artists and guests at 1100 Florence Ave. as they nestled sparkling wine in their hands. Upon first glance, one could have mistaken the art exhibition for a party.

Evanston Made’s 3D & Fiber group show opened Saturday, featuring pieces from ceramics to weaving that were created by artists from the local art collective.

Evanston Made executive director and founder Lisa Degliantoni said one of the organization’s goals is to foster authentic connections between Evanston makers and their growing population of patrons and fans.

“Evanston Made is an organization that advocates for people who make things,” Degliantoni said. “Our goal is to create events and programs that help all of those people create together.”

The organization’s First Saturday Evanston art events provide new ways to experience community art. The 3D & Fiber show will run until Jan. 29 and is part of a series of exhibitions, with each show highlighting a different artistic medium. Next month’s show centers on prints and printmaking.

Degliantoni said Evanston resident Joyce Elias’ work was a must-see for Northwestern students. Elias’ work, which features reused cigarette boxes, reflects artists’ increasing interest in creating art using found objects and upcycled materials.

Elias’ husband and event attendee Scott Steinman said he is a fan of Evanston Made because of the affordability and uniqueness of the organization’s pieces.

He pointed out exhibiting artist Josh Chernoff’s art as an example of the high level of excellence maintained by the organization. Chernoff’s woven jars made of rope fascinated Steinman because they are all crafted by hand — including creating and dying the rope.

“We tend to think of art as, ‘Let’s go to the museum,’ which is great,” Steinman said. “(But) there are some very talented and gifted people that are creative and are artistic in ways that they should (also) be in a museum.”

Degliantoni said the Evanston Made community is becoming more vibrant as the number of members and partnerships increase.

She said the collective has grown from about 100 to 450 members in the last eight years.

“That’s the cool thing about Northwestern: You live here for four years.” Degliantoni said. “If you make jewelry, if you make really cool stickers, if you make letterpress posters, you qualify for being somebody that we work with.”

Since living or working in the city is a requirement to join Evanston Made as an artist, Degliantoni said NU students are automatically eligible for membership. As emerging artists, interested students qualify for membership discounts, dropping the price from $75 to $25.

Steinman said Evanston Made enabled him to discover talented and gifted artists in the community beyond the mainstream art popularized in museums.

“If you’re in a community and you like art, I would always say go seek it out … because it’s not just what we hear through the media,” Steinman said. “It’s all around us all the time.”

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