The fight against housing discrimination has made strides since the Fair Housing Act of 1968, but there's still a long way to go, advocates say.
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"Home is Where the Art Is" features a diverse group of artists from Elgin, Chicago, Waukegan and Canada.
Many of the pieces were created by residents of Artspace in Elgin and Waukegan, others by artists who belong to the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, said the center's executive director, Anne Houghtaling.
One artist decorated a chair, representing civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks being asked to give up her seat on a bus.
Another depicted three babies -- white, black and Hispanic -- looking at miniature houses.
"We're really pleased with the artists' diversity, and the diversity of their interpretation of what fair housing means to them," Houghtaling said.
A gala event Saturday night will feature guest speakers, including Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, and Sara Pratt, deputy assistant secretary for enforcement programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Attendees will judge the art, and prizes will be awarded to three artists. HOPE Fair Housing hopes to make enough of a profit to donate $500 to Elgin Artspace, Houghtaling said.
The initiative already has achieved its goal of spreading the message of fair housing, she said.
"It's been really successful, program-wise," she said. "We've had 12,000 visits to our website since we did our artists' call in January."
The gala takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Elgin Artspace Lofts, 51 South Spring St. There will be tours, food and beverages, and an auction of donated artwork and other items.
Tickets are $50. For information call (630) 690-6500 or email email@example.com, or visit [URL]hopefair.org;http://www.hopefair.org/Events/celebration.of.art.and.fair.housing.html[URL].
The exhibit is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.