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Local

Geneva man's campaign aims to give artists an identity

Geneva resident kicks off T-shirt Kickstarter

Kiel Tredrea (from left) and Gil Hildebrand of Artist View, and Artist View founder and CEO Shea Villwock have launched a Kickstarter campaign "Artist View T-Shirts: Creating a Physical Artist Community." The goal of the campaign is to foster a greater connection for artists and fans at the local level.
Kiel Tredrea (from left) and Gil Hildebrand of Artist View, and Artist View founder and CEO Shea Villwock have launched a Kickstarter campaign "Artist View T-Shirts: Creating a Physical Artist Community." The goal of the campaign is to foster a greater connection for artists and fans at the local level.

GENEVA – Shea Villwock wants to give identity to artists and those who support the arts.

The Geneva resident is the founder and CEO of the website Artist View, www.artistview.com, which is hosting a new Kickstarter campaign, “Artist View T-Shirts: Creating A Physical Artist Community.”

“The idea behind the T-shirts was to give artists an identity,” Villwock said. “We wanted to showcase who they were.”

And even if you are not an artist, you can wear a T-shirt that says “i.support.Music” or “i.support.Film.”

The Kickstarter campaign is an outgrowth of the website, www.artistview.com, which launched in 2014. Villwock said for years, he was physically connecting different groups of people to each other. He thought it would be easier to connect them online on one website.

“When I was recording bands, I’d have filmmakers come in to do audio posts,” Villwock said. “I’d have bands asking for photographers to shoot their bands and then promoters to promote their bands. So it was like this whole group of different types of artists. And I just got to thinking, ‘Why wouldn’t we just put this into one place?’ ”

The T-shirts are a physical representation of the website.

“It’s just showing people who they are and all their work,” Villwock said.

The Kickstarter campaign, which runs through June 25, has the goal of raising $10,000. As of Thursday, more than $4,000 has been raised.

The website itself has been in the spotlight, having received several awards, including one for outstanding achievement in social networking by the Interactive Media Awards. Artist View also was named an honoree for best community website in the 19th annual Webby Awards, which honors excellence on the Internet.

His mother, Cathy Villwock, is supportive of the T-shirt idea. She owns Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn & More in Geneva and Naperville with her husband, Dann.

“They are trying to gear this to all the independent artists, like the independent filmmakers, and the independent authors and musicians,” she said. “These are people that never get recognized.”

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