La Grange IL – May 19, 2021 – Business owners are creating a public art exhibit called “Come Sit, Stay & Play” which is designed to encourage summer visitors and increase foot traffic – and so far, enthusiasm for the project has been doggone good, says the La Grange Business Association.
Professional and amateur artists have quickly stepped up to design and paint over 35 life-sized dog houses and wooden lounge chairs for display on the sidewalks in front of local businesses. The whimsical pieces, with names like “Time to UnWined,” “Fido Lloyd Wright Modern Masterpiece,” “Barkington Palace” and “Scooby Doo’s Ride,” will be installed beginning June 1. The exhibit is organized by the La Grange Business Association (LGBA) and sponsored by the Park District of La Grange, Douglas Auto Body, Village of La Grange and dozens of independent businesses.
The doghouse and chair theme is a nod to the iconic La Grange Pet Parade, a beloved local tradition which celebrates 75 years when it steps off this fall.
The colorful art pieces will be displayed through Labor Day; afterwards, each piece will be auctioned from the West End Arts Festival on Saturday, September 11 to benefit local nonprofit groups.
This is the 15th year that the LGBA has organized a sidewalk art exhibit to draw attention to the Village’s lively business district.
“Public art generates excitement, it brings people together and inspires a feeling of community,” said Nancy Cummings, the LGBA’s executive director. “And that excitement has a very positive impact on surrounding businesses.”
Admirers can tour the art exhibit by following a walking map highlighting the location and sponsor of each piece plus the name of the artist and title of the artwork. It will be available at dozens of local businesses or online at.lagrangeevents.com or lgdelivers.com.
“We love the idea of sponsoring a walking art tour,” said Jenny Bechtold, the interim executive director of the Park District of La Grange. “It’s a great way for the whole family to stay active – and that includes Fido, too.”
A sign displayed with each piece of art will include a QR code that links to the park district’s playful summer calendar of events.
Snack & Stroll offers art lovers bites-to-go.
For the first time, several local restaurants will participate in a Snack & Stroll in conjunction with the art exhibit on Saturday, June 26 from 12pm – 5pm. Participating restaurants and food-service businesses will feature special bite-sized, to-go items priced from $5 to $8 for people to enjoy as they follow the walking map and tour the artwork. Participating locations will be identified on the walking map and menu items will be listed at lagrangeevents.com or through the La Grange mobile app, available for free in the Google and Apple Stores.
“The art exhibit is a much-loved tradition that helps to kick off a season of summer activities in our local businesses,” said Sarah Boyce, the president of the La Grange Business Association. “And this year’s theme invites everyone to come sit, stay and play in La Grange where there’s so much to do in our businesses and parks all summer long.”