La Grange artist highlights village's artisan shops with art league

SUBURBAN LIFE MEDIA – Why compete when you can collaborate?

That was the thinking Chrissy Albano had when she thought up the Art & Leisure League of La Grange (A.L.L.), a new organization that will cross-promote downtown La Grange's artisan shops.

Albano, a graphic designer and artist, works at Painted Rubbish, 20 W. Harris Avenue, but the organization is not affiliated with any one shop. Albano is designing, printing and distributing promotional posters on her own, but will accept future donations to help offset costs.

La Grange is already known for its dining, Albano said, but not necessarily for its shopping.

"The whole point of the [advertisement] is to get La Grange to be not only a restaurant town but also a shopping town," she said. "If we combine all these shops, La Grange by itself is a destination. Nobody knows it yet."

A.L.L. will start with eight members: Painted Rubbish, Blue-Eyed Jack, Vino e Birra, Simple Treasure, The Art Shop, Veni Vida Val, Consign and Redesign and Scarlett's Tara. Albano said the league is open to adding new members as long as they qualify as artisan, meaning they sell something that is homemade.

"I love the area because I live in the business district," Albano said. "I'm friends with a few of the shop owners and it's always been [difficult because] nobody ever has the time to communicate with each other. I've kind of been the olive branch in between."