Wauconda's painted benches to be auctioned Thursday

  • The 21 benches that comprised the Art on Main exhibition in Wauconda this summer will be auctioned Thursday. Organizers hope the sale generates $7,500 to benefit local beautification projects.

    The 21 benches that comprised the Art on Main exhibition in Wauconda this summer will be auctioned Thursday. Organizers hope the sale generates $7,500 to benefit local beautification projects. Courtesy of Maria Weisbruch

 
 
Updated 9/9/2015 12:31 PM

The hand-painted benches that have decorated downtown Wauconda this summer will be up for auction Thursday.

The sale marks the conclusion of the annual Art on Main installation. Proceeds will benefit local beautification projects coordinated by a group called Main Street Attraction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The auction is set for 6 p.m. during the farmers market on Main Street, north of Route 176.

"This year the benches were locally made and are incredibly well built, so we hope to raise at least $7,500," said event organizer and Wauconda-area resident Maria Weisbruch.

The project launched in 2012 and featured painted Adirondack chairs the first two years. Benches were used last year for the first time, providing artists a larger canvas for their creations.

Twenty-one benches were painted this year. Subjects include an old train, young athletes, dogs and Wauconda's Bangs Lake.

One even reproduces Vincent van Gogh's famous oil painting "The Starry Night." Another quotes pop singer Jimmy Buffett, telling passers-by, "If life gives you limes, make margaritas."

Most of the benches are sponsored by local businesses that pay $250 for the privilege. Sponsors include the Wauconda Lions Club, the Academy of Ballet, Wauconda Animal Hospital, Bliss Wine & Gifts and Middleton's on Main.

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Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner said he may bid on a bench.

"The Art on Main event does a wonderful job of creating interest in the Main Street downtown area," he said. "It's another reason for our residents and visitors to explore what our downtown businesses have to offer."

Mundelein, Lincolnshire, Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove are among the suburbs that have organized public art installations.

For more information about Art on Main, go to facebook.com/artonmainwauconda.

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