Wauconda's annual Art on Main exhibition is nearly ready to launch

The folks behind Wauconda's annual Art on Main showcase aren't letting the COVID-19 pandemic stop their creative plans.

This year's exhibition will feature 17 metal chairs featuring various hand-painted designs. They'll be set up on sidewalks along Main Street during the next two weeks, starting Wednesday.

It's the first time in the event's nine-year history that the pieces on display aren't made of wood.

"(It's) very retro," said Maria Weisbruch, executive director of the Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce and an event organizer.

Art on Main is staged each summer by a community group called Main Street Attraction. Proceeds raised through sponsorship and subsequent auctions fund local beautification projects.

Previous exhibitions featured chairs, benches, cornhole platforms, planters and ice chests.

Local resident Beth Nolan sponsored and painted a chair for the latest event. Keeping the tradition alive during the pandemic is important, she said.

"(It) brings some sense of normalcy in these unprecedented times and is needed to keep our sense of community," Nolan said.

Weisbruch agreed. "Anything that makes people smile helps," she said.

Local businesses and residents such as Nolan ponied up $150 per chair to sponsor the exhibition. Sponsors include the village, Side Lot Brewery, Pets and Things Professional Grooming, the Honey Hill Coffee Co., Tremonte's Barber Shop, Threads Boutique, Edward Jones Investments, Bevel Salon, Foundations for Life, Vintage Art & Findings, Wauconda Animal Hospital, Lindy's Landing, Slyce Coal Fired Pizza, the Wauconda Area Youth Soccer Club and the Hawthorn Woods Elite Soccer Club.

A soccer player, fish and birds are just some of the images painted on the chairs. Nolan painted a queen bee motif on the chair she sponsored.

"I'm the only woman in a home of all men, my four boys and my husband, so I'm like the queen bee around my house," Nolan explained.

As in past years, the chairs will be put up for auction when the exhibition ends. This year's auction likely will be held online rather live, Weisbruch said.

For more information about Art on Main, visit

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"Queen Bee," painted by Beth Nolan, is one of the entries in the 2020 Art on Main exhibition in Wauconda. Courtesy of Main Street Attraction
"Let it Be" is one of the entries in the 2020 Art on Main exhibition in Wauconda. It was painted by Grace LaCrosse. Courtesy of Main Street Attraction
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