Stars now on display in Winnetka
Two stars celebrating the Winnetka Community House centennial greet visitors to Station Park on the northeast corner of Linden and Oak streets. | Kimberly Fornek~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:28PM
The stars are out tonight, and all day tomorrow, too.
They are on street corners, in parks and in front of village buildings and businesses.
The Winnetka Community House had the stars celebrating their centennial year installed throughout the village last week.
Bratschi Plumbing’s star is in front of the family business, at 801 Oak St. Marty Youngberg, brother of Phil Hoza, who is president of the plumbing company, painted the star as a tribute to the business, and to the Community House, both of which reached milestones this year. Bratschi marked its 75th year in business in April. Youngberg, a New Trier graduate with a degree in fine arts from the University of Kansas, has a personal connection with the Community House, and the Winnetka Congregational Church, which founded it. In addition to enjoying many activities at the Community House, Youngberg and his wife Janet were married in the church’s children’s chapel.
Nancy Behles of Winnetka painted a star with “a fairly detailed” abstract design meant to suggest movement and celestial beings. The design wraps around from one side of the star to another. It took Behles 26 hours to paint the entire surface.
“There are 12 sides,” Behles said. “Every time I would finish one, I’d see, ‘Oh my god, there’s another.’”
Behles admires how other stars were decorated, such as one featuring New Trier Township High School’s color and activities.
“That was very deftly done,” said Behles, an artist and art instructor with the North Shore Art League.
At least 85 percent of the 56 stars that were decorated were done by artists from the art league.
“Our artists just jumped on the chance,” said Linda Nelson, the league’s executive director.
“I was pleasantly surprised by how many artists, who don’t even live in Winnetka, volunteered their time and (decorated) a star,” Behles said. “It’s fabulous.”
In return for donating their services, the artists get exposure because a sign with the sponsor, artist and title accompanies every decorated star.
The husband and wife team Jerry and Lorna Galich of Evanston painted portions of well-known artworks on the star sponsored by the art league.
Jerry Galich recreated the work of the Old Masters, such as Botticelli, Toulouse Lautrec and Renoir.
“Some are newer masters, but they are not modern,” Jerry said. He left the modern masterpieces to his wife. She recreated the artwork of Matisse, Mondrian and Motherwell.
“It shows art through the ages,” Nelson said. “Every time I look at it, I see something new.”
The stars will remain on display through the summer.
Some of the stars are not exhibited outdoors because they are not weather-resistant, such as the star sponsored by the Hadley School for the Blind. People interested in seeing the star, however, or even touching it, are welcome to enter the school, at 700 Elm St.
Artist Alexis Lee Ortiz incorporated the school logo, an idea suggested by school staff member Maki Wiering, with his intent to make the star a tactile artwork.
Ortiz covered the fiberglass star with burlap and attached clay spikes, yarn, zipper parts and other objects that make the star as interesting to feel, as to see, which is appropriate for Hadley’s visually impaired students and employees.