Painted planters decorating downtown Wauconda

Wauconda's latest public art exhibition has added splashes of color - and more plant life - to Main Street.

Fifteen wooden planters featuring a variety of imaginative designs and assorted flora have been on display in front of the businesses that call downtown Wauconda home.

They're part of the annual Art on Main exhibition, which is staged each summer by a community group called Main Street Attraction.

The exhibition culminates with an auction to be held during next week's farmers market. Proceeds will fund local beautification projects.

Launched in 2012, Art on Main featured painted wooden Adirondack chairs that summer and again in 2013. Benches were the focus in 2014 and 2015, and last year cornhole platforms decorated Main Street.

"Main Street Attraction always tries to have something different, and the idea of planters fit right in with their beautification efforts," said Maria Weisbruch, executive director of the Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce.

The planters were hand-built by Island Lake resident and woodworking enthusiast Steve Stiller. A former Island Lake trustee, Stiller also built last year's cornhole platforms and the benches that comprised the 2015 Art on Main show.

Each planter has a unique artistic theme, typically tied to its sponsor.

For example, the Bliss Wine & Gifts shop decorated a planter with corks from wine bottles. Likewise, the planter at Lindy's Landing Restaurant & Marina is adorned with an anchor.

The entry near the front door at Bulldogs Grill features paintings of a juicy cheeseburger on one side and a hot dog on the other.

"If I had to pick anything that exemplifies Bulldogs, that's it," general manager Tony Vazquez said of the piece, painted by local artist Heidi Lynch.

Fittingly, Bulldogs' box also contains edible plants, including rosemary and chocolate mint.

For folks who aren't keen on gardening, Weisbruch said the planters can be filled with ice and used as outdoor coolers.

The planters will be sold at an outdoor public auction set for 6 p.m. Sept. 7 at Main and Bang streets.

Last year's auction raised $5,200, Weisbruch said, and the goal for this year's sale is $5,000.

Art exhibition brings colorful benches to Wauconda

Wauconda's painted benches to be auctioned Thursday

Public art gets playful

  Fifteen planters decorate Main Street as part of an annual public art exhibition in Wauconda. The one in front of village hall has a U.S. flag motif. Russell Lissau/
  A mustache and a butterfly adorn the planter in front of Tremonte's Barber Shop in downtown Wauconda. Fifteen planters decorate Main Street as part of an annual public art exhibition. Russell Lissau/
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