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A&E

Glowing work at Water Street's new gallery

Katie Allen of Batavia looks at a piece by artist Michelle Norman on display during the opening reception Friday night for “iLLUMINATE” at Water Street Studios.
Katie Allen of Batavia looks at a piece by artist Michelle Norman on display during the opening reception Friday night for “iLLUMINATE” at Water Street Studios.

BATAVIA – The newest gallery at Water Street Studios got off to a bang Friday night with a packed house that seemed to only get bigger as the night wore on.

“iLLUMINATE,” the studio’s first themed show, was really unlike any gallery opening at any studio I have attended in the past. All of the pieces fit uniquely into the gallery’s overall theme of light.

Even the ones not selected for honorable mention could have easily been in that group. It’s so nice to see a variety of art forms take center stage all at once. Although each time the gallery is open won’t look and feel like it did on Friday night, that shouldn’t be a reason to not check it out. With the additional space temporarily donated to Water Street exclusively for this gallery, it gives all of the pieces more room to breathe, which is something that many of the artists took to heart.

If you do plan on visiting, make sure to take your time at each work of art. There are a few that don’t necessarily scream “iLLUMINATE” or light right away. Read the descriptions of each piece and try to put together exactly what the artist was thinking when they created their pieces.

After talking with a good number of the artists in attendance Friday, I learned that many specifically made pieces for this show while others thought this was the perfect gallery to showcase a previous work that fit the light theme.

“The Light Miners,” a series of photographs by Chicago artist Sean Williams, was named best of show on Friday. They are spectacular pieces, extremely original, and fit the theme to perfection. You can see many of the photos in “The Light Miners” online at www.waterstreetstudios.com. But do yourself a favor and visit the brick and mortar studio –  you will definitely leave thoroughly impressed.

• Mike Van Der Harst is the features editor of the Kane County Chronicle. “The Second Row” will feature coverage of arts and entertainment events throughout the area. Contact him at 630-845-5233 or mvanderharst@shawmedia.com.

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