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LT grads running monthly State of the Art Chicago gallery nights

Published: Monday, May 12, 2014 3:37 p.m. CDT

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LA GRANGE – Beginning in January, State of the Art Chicago (SOTA) and John Barleycorn River North have teamed up each month to host an art gallery night for the public to enjoy. The event is run by two Lyons Township High School graduates who are hoping to bring more suburban residents out to their events.

SOTA – headed by Keith Skogstrom, Julia Kepler, Lauryn Kardatzke and Rachel Clarke – began collaborating with the bar in an effort to bring a different demographic to the business, according to Kardatzke.

Beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at John Barleycorn River North, 149 W. Kinzie St., the exhibit will feature eight artists, each of whom will put a piece of art into a raffle drawing for that evening's event.

Kardatzke, a La Grange native, manages most of the "day of" event aspects for SOTA. And, although she now lives in Chicago, she said the group that runs SOTA hopes to bring more suburban residents out to its gallery nights.

"I don't live on Seventh Avenue any more [but] we want to reach out and try to spread into the suburbs," Kardatzke said. 

Past exhibits were well received, according to Kardatzke, who said the show gives attendees an opportunity to try out a new activity on a Thursday night.

"Whether you're 21 or 61, everyone who has attended has had a really nice time," Kardatzke said. "It really does appeal to every generation."

Western Springs native Rachel Clarke – who DJs the SOTA events with Kardatzke – said SOTA organizers hope to instill an interest in art though the night's causal and lively atmosphere. SOTA offers a chance for anyone to explore their artistic side.

"Everyone deserves to hang art at home," Clarke said.

With the next show quickly approaching, SOTA is trying to eliminate the belief that art galleries are out of reach and artists are unapproachable, Kardatzke said.

"We want people to know that there's fine art out there to be sold for a variety of prices and styles," Kardatzke said. "We're trying to make art more accessible and available to people from all walks of life."


If you go:

What: State of the Art Chicago presents a Pop-Up Art Gallery

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, May 15

Where: John Barleycorn River North, at 149 W. Kinzie St., 773-348-8899

Tickets: $5 per person at the door, which included one drink, one raffle ticket and light appetizers. Additional raffle tickets are available for purchase.

More Information: visit www.sotachicago.com

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