Lake County Art League’s 90th anniversary spring art show opens May 1

Since 1934, the Lake County Art League, or LCAL, has been a space for local artists to showcase their work, grow their craft and talk about art with like-minded aficionados.

This year, the league is hosting its 90th anniversary spring art show at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, May 1-29. Artwork by league members will be on display in the lower level of the Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art, open for free public viewing from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

According to 90th anniversary committee chair Deb Edmunds, the show is intended “to promote education and to promote people’s artwork.” She said it serves as an opportunity for artists who may not be able to display their work elsewhere, due to costs or space restrictions at other shows.

On May 20, LCAL will welcome Frances Vail, a painter and teacher at the North Shore League, into the gallery to critique the works. Anniversary committee co-chair Chris Tanner said the critique is a chance for members to get honest feedback on their pieces.

“You get a really good understanding of how good you are and what your growth is since the last time you did a critique,” Tanner said.

When the league was established in Waukegan in the midst of the Great Depression, yearly dues were $2.50. In commemoration of that history, new member dues for this year have returned to that cost, said Tanner adding, 18 people have joined the league so far this year — an increase from the average of five new members by springtime.

Edmunds said LCAL hopes to promote membership to younger generations. It awards scholarships to two College of Lake County students each year, and Edmunds said, CLC students were encouraged this year to become members.

The league offers members the chance to attend monthly demonstrations and events and to submit their artwork to any of its shows. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, LCAL will hold six shows, culminating with a fall membership show and critique in November. Nonmembers are welcome to attend LCAL’s monthly meetings as well as any of the shows.

Tanner emphasized appreciation and involvement with art beyond the league.

“Don’t just join one art league, join more than one,” Tanner said. “You learn from these things, and you develop these relationships … It’s not just about the LCAL, it’s about art leagues everywhere.”

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