Gallery walk kicks off in Brookfield

Two-week event will feature silent auction

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By LISA WIECZOREK

The Grand Prairie Crossing Business District will be holding its second annual gallery walk on the 3700 block of Grand Boulevard in Brookfield starting Aug. 29. Ten businesses will be opening their storefronts and displaying artwork by 24 local and out-of-town artists during regular business hours for two weeks.

A silent auction will also be taking place during the two weeks, where passersby and customers can place bids on the artworks displayed.

On Sept. 12, businesses will stay open from 6 to 9 p.m. for the gallery walk's closing receptions. There will be refreshments and artist appearances at each participating business. The silent auction bids will close at 9 p.m. sharp.

"The closing receptions are a big hit," says Abby Brennan, owner of Brennan Massage and Spa. "The purpose is to bring arts into the community and generate foot traffic to the businesses."

Business owners organized the street's first gallery walk last year. According to Brennan, the Grand Prairie Crossing Business District, whose members are business owners in and around Brookfield's traditional downtown district in the 3700 block of Grand Boulevard, wants to make it an annual event.

The gallery walk will showcase art in a variety of media, including photography, painting, drawing, infused glass and illustration. One business, To Do or Dye Salon, will be participating, but rather than showcasing art, the salon will be showing off different hair styles.

One artist being showcased in the storefront of Zoo City Frame Up, Riverside resident Charley Krebs, is a cartoonist for Chicago Jazz Magazine. He started out drawing for his school newspapers at Morton East High School and Morton College in Cicero.

He then became a regular cartoonist at a suburban newspaper right out of college. He has won 17 awards for his cartoons, including one from the Illinois Press Association.

Krebs is excited to have his cartoons displayed in the gallery walk.

"I like the gallery walk, because all the people are so nice to work with," says Krebs. "Secondly, I like it because it's so unique. They have a little wine, a little music and some really good artwork."

The work he will be displaying will have an appeal to the community of Brookfield, which according to Krebs, will focus on baseball, jazz and education.

"To see people study and bid on [my] work ... it's very personal and gratifying," says Krebs. "It beats any sale to meet the people who look at the art."

His cartoons are also posted in the Chicago Jazz Magazine's online store for purchase. Krebs also contributes weekly cartoons to The Urban Coaster, which is an online news site for neighborhoods on Chicago's far North Side, such as Rogers Park and Edgewater.

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