Celebrating the arts in St. Charles

Wrap party celebrates installation of community art project, 10-year anniversary of St. Charles Arts Council

It’s a wrap.

To celebrate the recent installation of a community art project as well as 10 years of the St. Charles Arts Council advocating and celebrating the arts in St. Charles, a wrap party was held Saturday at the Arcada Theatre complex in downtown St. Charles.

On Friday morning, a fabric art piece sewn together by community members was draped over the southeast wall of the St. Charles Municipal Building. The fabric art pieces that comprise the project – called “Our City Sunshine” – were donated and sewn together by community members.

Along those attending the installation was longtime St. Charles resident Shawn Campbell, who was streaming a live video of the event on Facebook. Campbell and her husband sell artistic charcuterie boards through their company, Campbell Creations.

“I think it brings the arts together,” said Campbell, who has lived in St. Charles for more than 30 years, in talking about the project. “I think St. Charles is really focusing on art, food and entertainment. That’s what we do here in St. Charles.”

Brooklyn, New York-based artist Amanda Browder, who oversaw the project, thanked those who worked on the project.

“It’s such a great thing to see all the people who I’ve actually been hanging out with for the last like 2 1/2 weeks sewing together the project and building this space called ‘Our City Sunshine,’ ‘’ Browder said. “It was such a collective effort and a lot of you guys are here, so thank you, for sure.”

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.

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 be held Sept. 9-12 in downtown St. Charles. Browder talked about the importance of art being visible.

“The one thing that I love is that it’s right on the Municipal Building,” Browder said. “It’s not in a gallery, it’s not in a museum, it’s outside.”

She also spoke about the efforts of the St. Charles Arts Council.

“It’s really important for us to support creativity everywhere in the city,” Browder said.

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.