Niles West Junior Opens Lincoln Ave. Art Center

By Teodora Simic , Staff Writer

While most teenagers are stressing over standardized tests and homework overloads, junior Paige Garland is working hard to open her own art center in Morton Grove. The Lincoln Ave. Art Center held its first “soft opening” gallery this past Sunday, Aug. 27, which showcased a variety of artwork.

Garland’s life has revolved around art since she was a child.

“My mom was an artist, so I grew up around it. I want to open a space where artists can come to learn different things, work on their art, and even hold their own art galleries. The reason behind the opening was to just get the space known,” Garland said.

Garland reached out to some of her artist friends to give them the opportunity to participate and help bring her idea to life. Students from Lane Tech, Niles West, Evanston High School, and Woodstock High School all showcased their art at the gallery this weekend, including drawings, paintings, and photographs. Each piece of work expressed who each artist was as a person, and the artists were all excited to be a part of of their friend’s dream.

“Coming here is so cool because we motivate each other and compliment each other’s art work. We get inspiration from each piece,” sophomore Sonja Bozic of Woodstock High School said.

The art center focuses on the foundation of artwork. Paige said the art center is the perfect place for students to discover artists their own age, hopefully inspiring them to experiment with art on their own.

“Honestly, I’ve been involved with art for less than a year. I’ve known Paige since kindergarten, but we just recently reconnected. I was really inspired with the art that’s on her Instagram, so I decided to get back into art. I’ve been teaching myself and making mistakes, but that’s bound to happen,” Lane Tech junior Madeleine Udelhofen said.

Garland has been working hard with all the micromanaging that has to happen in order for everything to work. She’s been busy finding artists, finding teachers, and finding people to come to her center for everything it offers.

“It’s been a lot of scheduling this year. It’s really hard to get started up and to find other people to teach classes. I’m really happy that this opening was successful and that people have been coming,” Garland said. “I’m excited for what’s going to happen in the future.”