Awakenings Project: Visual Arts

Visual Arts

The Awakenings Project Studio

In 1999, having a studio/gallery space was a distant dream. But we held on to it nonetheless. Helped by initial grants received from the DuPage Foundation for 1999-2001, and through the generosity of artist Trish Evers, we opened a "Working Studio" in Glen Ellyn, and the dream became a reality. We were fortunate again in 2006/2007 to receive another grant from the DuPage Foundation. This grant was used to help with studio rent and for art supplies to lead art projects at Wheaton Care Center.

The studio space moved to a new location in July, 2008, 164 Division St., #415, Elgin, and is currently serving artists with mental illnesses as both a studio and a gallery. It may be used for writing groups devoted to the literary arts, and rehearsing plays. The space is available for classes, supplies, and workshops for both writing and visual art, interaction and camaraderie. There has been and will be exposure and therefore interaction with and education of the public, and sales. There have been poetry therapy workshops, classes, and in-service trainings for artists. We've even had Second City come out to our new location and do an improv workshop with us.

We would like to further develop sales opportunities for our artists, and form a permanent collection of Awakenings artwork, thereby eliminating the need to contact individual artists and arrange for collection and transportation of artwork, even for small showings. Therefore, having a permanent collection, with a permanent location to display it would be very advantageous. In our current studio, we have a display wall with a limited number of artworks by a variety of artists. We also have many art supplies, some left to us by Trish Evers, and others, which have been purchased by Awakenings for use by anyone using the studio who does not bring their own supplies.

Open Studio/Gallery


Bring a friend or family member if you'd like.

Please call ahead.

Instructor-led classes by Julie Hough may start again if enough people interested. Please Contact Us if you are interested.

164 Division Street, #415 Elgin, Illinois 60120
For more information, call (630)606-8732.

Art Exhibits

Please see our Events page for any upcoming art exhibits, and Contact Us if you are interested in participating in or hosting an exhibit of Awakenings artwork.

Special Projects

For the first time, in 2008, The Awakenings Project received a grant from Hinsdale Center for the Arts, (see below). This grant allowed The Awakenings Project to expand our Arts in Nursing Homes Project to include both Wheaton Care Center and DuPage County Convalescent Center in 2008, and to have a wonderful opening reception for residents and their families and friends.

HINSDALE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, acting as a regranting agency of the Illinois Arts Council, made a grant to help The Awakenings Project expand its Arts in Nursing Homes Project to include both Wheaton Care Center and DuPage County Convalescent Center in 2008. The Hinsdale Center for the Arts—a certified local arts agency, an “Established Regional Arts Institution” designated by the Illinois Arts Council, and winner of the 1999 Governor’s Award for the Arts— is a not-for-profit organization committed to encouraging and facilitating appreciation of and participation in the arts. Once again, in 2011, we received another grant from Hinsdale Center for the Arts.

Several members of The Awakenings Project are currently leading "Imagery Journaling" at Larkin Center in Elgin, and West Chicago Terrace nursing home. In the past, Awakenings members led art-making groups at Wheaton Care Center and theDuPage Convalescent Center. The groups were project-oriented, and each member of the group created a functional and beautiful piece of artwork with a little help from Awakenings. All of these programs have been partially supported by a grant from the Community Arts Access Program, which is funded by The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and Hinsdale Center for the Arts.

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