Any given weekend in Chicago—between April and October, of course—you can find a street fair or art festival. The latest is Ravenswood Remix, which makes its debut September 3 and 4 from 12-10 p.m. with a line-up up of indie, intuitive, folk and craft art made from recycled and found materials. The event, held at 4100 North Ravenswood between Belle Plaine and Berteau, benefits the Hamilton School art program. Jen Gordon, one of the organizers, recently spoke with CBSChicago.com about the event.
CBSChicago.com: What gave you the idea to start Ravenswood Remix?
Jennifer Gordon: The idea originated in an organic way. Marketing and communications professional Jay Lyon has called the Ravenswood corridor his business home for the past 10 years and has witnessed the growth of a vibrant arts scene. A conversation with Jay’s colleague Tamara Grusin sparked a discussion on what is lacking in arts festivals and what kind of event would benefit the community. The idea to “remix” or “mash-up” arts with green living principles really flourished in subsequent conversations with me regarding the arts and environmental programs happening at a neighborhood school, Hamilton Elementary. The school truly integrates its environmental programs, composting, zero waste lunch and more with its arts efforts. From there momentum grew to create an entirely new festival that celebrates recycled art.
CBSChicago.com: Where did you find artists to participate?
JG: We’ve been reaching out to artists through arts groups that have an online presence and also soliciting on the grassroots level with postcards we pass out at arts related festivals.
CBSChicago.com: How did you decide which organization to benefit?
JG: Hamilton Elementary was a natural fit from the beginning. We all appreciate what a struggle Chicago Public Schools have budget-wise and want to support a neighborhood school that is doing really amazing things on limited resources. Their commitment to both greener living and arts education helped inspire the idea for the festival.
CBSChicago.com: What drew you to recycled art?
JG: The green aspects of recycled art notwithstanding, the creativity and thought that goes into creating an object or art piece from recycled goods is inspiring.
CBSChicago.com: Do you make art from recycled materials yourself?
JG: No, none of us are artists, but we are all admirers of what artists can create in this medium.
CBSChicago.com: What might people not know about recycled art that you hope they take away from the show?
JG: Recycled art challenges people to look at found objects from an entirely new perspective and people will definitely leave the festival with a newfound appreciation for the concept.
For more information on Ravenswood Remix, visit ravenswoodremix.com.