Buffalo Grove Artists League shows off local talent
Sharon Borstein, who founded the Buffalo Grove Artists League, has her calligraphy on display with other local artists at the Indian Trails Library. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 25, 2013 8:10AM
The Buffalo Grove Artists League is hosting its third annual display at the Indian Trails Public Library.
Running until Feb. 27, the front room display features art in all media. The effort works to inspire, promote and appreciate the visual artists in the community.
Organizer Sharon Borstein spoke about the past and future of the group, which has grown to more than 30 active members.
Q: What is the league about?
A: The league is a group that I formed. Our mission statement is to provide knowledge and fraternity, and also to raise the visibility of the visual arts within the Buffalo Grove area. As an artist, when you work in a single-artist studio, it can be very isolating. That’s really the fraternity end of it, that we can share knowledge, and we can provide support to each other, and we can raise the visibility of the visual arts, so that people who live here can be aware of what their neighbors are up to. There is fabulous art to be seen, without having to drive into the city.
Q: Besides the winter show, what else does the league do?
A: We try to have a fall show as well. We have meetings, those are pretty much once a month. I bring in a speaker, and the speaker provides some kind of knowledge. We’ve had somebody come in and talk about paper, somebody talk about ink, somebody talk about Photoshop. The other part of the meeting is the social part. ... I tell them that they have to play nice.
Q: What range of artists are in the league?
A: We have painters, in different media, we have sculptors, we have jewelers, we have metalsmiths, we have digital artists, photographers. Some of our people do this full-time, some do it as a hobby — some, this is their second job.
Q: How did you become an artist?
A: I think I was always an artist. My mom liked to draw. My dad did beautiful, beautiful needlework, and still does. I grew up with that kind of activity, and it was encouraged. I grew up making things. And then I did a little detour: I did pre-med for three years. And then I decided that I did not love it. I really wanted to be making stuff. Ultimately, I decided I wanted to get a degree in graphic design, because the job field was a little more open at the time.
Q: How does digital art stack up to the traditional methods?
A: Art is all around us, and anybody can make art. My personal mantra is ‘Talent is nothing more than lack of fear.’ You can do anything, if you’re not afraid of it. You have to learn. It’s not like you’re born holding a paint brush. The perception of digital art is changing, as people are becoming more comfortable with the computer. It’s not the machine with the art — it’s a heart and a soul and a pair of hands behind it, trying to communicate something.
Q: How did you get the idea of putting artists of such different styles together?
A: The arts commission was doing a fundraiser, of making different birdhouses, and decorating them. I didn’t even know there was an arts commission. While I was on the phone with them, I told them that we have some amazing artists, but there was not a lot of art being put on display. I asked why not. Carol Berman said to me ‘Well, you know, that’s a good question.’ They told me to put out an announcement, and I got 20 people to say they were going to show up. We had more than 40 show up to that initial meeting. The need was there.