Colorful fabric art piece to put St. Charles Municipal Center in a new light

  • St. Charles Arts Council Executive Director Kathy Hill, left, and artist Amanda Browder, right, hold up fabric pieces together that will be part of a large scale fabric art piece at Baker Memorial Church in St. Charles. The piece will be installed over the south wall of the St. Charles Municipal Building on Aug. 20.

    St. Charles Arts Council Executive Director Kathy Hill, left, and artist Amanda Browder, right, hold up fabric pieces together that will be part of a large scale fabric art piece at Baker Memorial Church in St. Charles. The piece will be installed over the south wall of the St. Charles Municipal Building on Aug. 20. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • Volunteers Rachel Natale, left, Karen Porter and Kathy Hill, executive director of the St. Charles Arts Council, sew fabric pieces together that will be part of a large scale fabric art piece at Baker Memorial Church in St. Charles. The piece will be installed over the south wall of the St. Charles Municipal Building on Aug. 20.

    Volunteers Rachel Natale, left, Karen Porter and Kathy Hill, executive director of the St. Charles Arts Council, sew fabric pieces together that will be part of a large scale fabric art piece at Baker Memorial Church in St. Charles. The piece will be installed over the south wall of the St. Charles Municipal Building on Aug. 20. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

 
 
Updated 8/13/2021 10:07 AM

The large scale fabric art piece that will be installed over the south wall of the St. Charles Municipal Building in downtown St. Charles on Aug. 20 is a community project in every sense of the word.

The fabric art pieces that comprise the project are donated and sewn together by community members.

 

"It's a celebration of our collective efforts," said Amanda Browder, a Brooklyn, New York-based artist who is overseeing the project.

She is known for her large scale fabric installations. The St. Charles Arts Council received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that allowed Browder to come to St. Charles and coordinate the community fabric art project, called "Our City Sunshine."

The Kane County Chronicle is a sponsor of the project. Browder was set to coordinate the project last summer, but it was postponed because of COVID-19.

The temporary art piece will stay up through St. Charles Jazz Weekend, which will take place Sept. 9-12 in downtown St. Charles. Browder will be working with the St. Charles Public Works Department to ensure the piece is installed securely.

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"We will be mounting it on the top and bottom with different kinds of weights and plates to make sure it stays in place," she said.

They plan to start installing the piece by 6 a.m. Aug. 20. The installation is expected to be done by 3 p.m. that day.

If weather conditions are not favorable that day, the fabric art piece will be installed on another day, Browder said.

"We're going to keep an eye on the weather," she said. "If we do it early, we will do it on Aug. 19 and if we do it later, it will be during the morning of Aug. 21. But that's just a guess."

The piece is comprised of cotton fabric pieces donated by the community. Browder was overwhelmed by the amount of donations that were received.

"We're actually done taking donations," she said. "It's been an outpouring of support. It's probably one of the best donations I've ever had on a project that I've done."

The sewing is being done through Aug. 18 at the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Charles. To register for a time, go to the St. Charles Art Council's website at stcharlesartscouncil.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Browder is a big proponent of public art.

"Public art and community based art and contemporary art is important in our everyday city that shouldn't just be sequestered to museums and galleries, but rather, be available for everybody, 24/7," Browder said.

After being on public display, the art piece will be preserved and archived.

"It's too important," she said in talking about the fabric art piece.

There will be a chance to meet Browder during an art wrap party at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Arcada Theatre complex. The party will also feature food, entertainment and a live auction.

Tickets are $110 per person and can be purchased at the St. Charles Art Council's website at stcharlesartscouncil.org.

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