A creative environment where artists of all types can express themselves and produce their works is brewing in the minds of a small group that wants to see such a space in downtown Lombard.
Led by photographer Sharon Tinker, a few artists and writers are in the early stages of developing a community arts center, and many are hoping the center eventually will be located downtown.
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Tinker, of Willowbrook, said she wants to create a place where artists in all mediums can rent studio space, gather inspiration, host classes or display exhibits.
"I just want a space where I can go and create that's away from my home environment," Tinker said. "I didn't want to work out of my home, and I'm not in a position where I can go into a storefront."
Tinker said other area artists may be in a similar position, and those are the people she is hoping will get involved. She will be attending the DuPage Invitational Sculpture Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, allowing interested artists or art supporters to sign up for email updates as the arts center idea progresses.
Lombard residents Dawn Bertuca, a freelance writer and blogger, and Sean McMenemy, a video game artist, already are on board.
McMenemy said he is looking forward to connecting with area artists for urban sketching or photography events that can be held out of local coffee shops or cafes until an arts center location is established.
Bertuca said an arts center would help creative types and the community as a whole.
"What excites me about it is just to have a place for creative people to come and do their thing," Bertuca said. "It seems like something that could really spark the revitalization of the downtown as well and could be a great place for families to get their children involved in the arts."
Michelle Iwinski, executive director of Lombard Town Centre, said she would welcome a community arts center into one of the remaining vacant spaces downtown as she looks to recruit businesses and build the vibrancy of the area.