Nearly 30 colorful wheeled carts that rolled out in front of La Grange businesses in an annual outdoor art exhibit have been auctioned off to find new homes on porches, patios and playrooms in the community.
The customized hand-painted carts were designed around the theme “La Grange Rolls with It” and decorated the sidewalks of the business district from May into September.
Organized by the La Grange Business Association (LGBA) and presented by the Park District of La Grange, the exhibit showcased local artists and attracted attention to the shops, restaurants, businesses and organizations in the Village. The party carts were taken off display earlier this month and sold at auction to benefit several local nonprofit groups, including the La Grange Pet Parade.
In previous years, the auction is a highlight of the West End Arts Festival and held in front of the Stone Avenue train station. This year, due to safety considerations related to COVID-19, the festival has been cancelled and the art auction brought online.
This is the 14th year that the La Grange Business Association has organized a public art exhibit, which each year features a different custom-designed item like rocking chairs, giant clocks, little libraries, peace pole birdhouses, beverage coolers and loveseats. A walking map is produced to guide admirers to each piece.
Sponsoring the artwork for the second year, the Park District of La Grange appreciated the fact that the display encouraged families to get outside and walk. “Like all of our programming, this is an initiative that was designed to help everyone in the family stay active, no matter their age or ability,” said Dean Bissias, the executive director.
Each year, the art is installed with the support of the Village of La Grange and Douglas Auto Body.
Dozens of professional and amateur artists designed the unique carts on behalf of local businesses and organizations. Fire Chief Terry Vavra was the artist for “Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes” for the La Grange Fire Department and adorned his cart with real fire-hoses and bloom-filled flowerpots. Paula Horvath and Julie Serrano’s cart, titled “Enjoy the Ride” for the La Grange Area Historical Society, was a tribute to the timeless pleasures of bicycling. Their party cart received the highest auction bid.
The online art auction was the highlight of a month-long series of arts activities in La Grange, both virtual and in-person, that included live artists painting in store windows, live and virtual art classes and online culinary demonstrations called The Art of Food, sponsored by Baird & Warner in La Grange. “Our goal is to create excitement surrounding local businesses and get people talking about what’s happening in La Grange,” said Joe Kroc, board president of the LGBA.
In October, the organization will coordinate another seasonal walking exhibit, this one featuring friendly life-sized skeletons, in a month-long celebration called Skeletober.
About the La Grange Business Association
The La Grange Business Association is a group of over 300 businesses, services and non-profit organizations that strive to energize and enhance the local economy through events, networking and advocacy. Information on upcoming events can be found at LaGrangeEvents.com.