Art and Music Showcase Features Elmhurst Talent
Several Elmhurst residents will perform or display original works in Villa Park on Friday.
A slew of young talent from Elmhurst, including artists Renee Tranter, Becky Griffith and Elisabeth Hass, and the band Pisces at The Animal Fair, will be featured at an event this Friday, right next door in Villa Park.
The Villa Park Art & Music Showcase features talented artists from the western suburbs whose mediums range from melody and lyrics to the letterpress. Presented by Mathew Bongat and Limelite Entertainment, the showcase aims to bring exposure to local artists and musicians.
The showcase will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Iowa Community Center in Villa Park. The center will be equipped with two stages to ensure continuous music throughout the night. Bands will be selling merchandise, including CDs and T-shirts.
Pisces at The Animal Fair will perform at 5 p.m. To sample their latest album, Giraffe Conversation, visit pataf.bandcamp.com.
Hass, who recently earned a bachelor's degree in visual arts and philosophy at the New School in New York, takes inspiration from her use of the letterpress.
"It's a machine that mass produces and mass communicates. With this in mind, I see what words say when we say too much," she said.
Hass also works as an assistant at SimpleScott, a design studio headed by the design director of Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
Tranter, a 2007 York graduate, grew up in Elmhurst and found herself constantly surrounded by creativity. Tranter's father is a former cartoonist and potter, while her mother works in landscape design in addition to designing jewelry.
"I suppose I have creativity in my blood," Tranter said. "I remember being influenced heavily by my father at a very young age. Every single morning he'd wake me up early to draw at the kitchen table before school."
Tranter works mainly with ink and watercolors. She plans to attend Northern Illinois University in the spring to major in art and minor in psychology.
"It could be interesting to meet some other artists with goals similar to mine," Tranter said of the showcase.
Another York graduate, Griffith expresses herself through photography and acrylics. However, Griffith did not pursue art seriously until she was a junior in high school.
"I was always fascinated by art," Griffith said. "I don't know if I suddenly found courage inside of myself, but I tried out for advanced placement art and … made it. I was given so much feedback and was really able to explore my creative side to grow into the artist I see myself as today."
Like Tranter, Griffith hopes to make connections amongst her peers at the showcase.
"I feel that art is meant to be shared and Mat [Bongat] has presented an opportunity, not only for me, but also for other artists and musicians to do so," she said.
In addition to the various Elmhurst talents, Bongat enlisted graphic designers and T-shirt vendors, such as Jaime Radar of New Trigger Media, Vicious Apparel and Koala Art & Design. The showcase will also screen a film titled "Sick Ada: The Horror Movie about Cicadas" by a young filmmaker.
"I wanted [to include] the art show because I think there's a lot of unappreciated artists out there," Bongat said. He expects about 200 people to attend.
Once the final band plays, the last artist closes her booth and the lingering patrons are ushered out of the building, an after party will take place at Art's Tavern in Hillside. Bongat promises a good time for the 21-and-over crowd and a special set from an unannounced band. Those who attend the showcase will receive a discount at Art's with proof of paid entry to the showcase. Tickets to the showcase are $9 at the door.