HISTORY OF THE OPEN HOUSE
The first PilsenEast Artists Open House was conceived by Annelies Podmajersky and a small group of local artists who saw it as a viable avenue to meet potential patrons and display their work in the intimate and non-competitive atmosphere of their own studios. The Podmajersky family, the developer of artists’ live/work spaces in the Chicago Arts District, supported the artists in their efforts. And year after year, invited guests strolled from studio to studio, conversed with the artists, and experienced first-hand the creative energy of this unique community. Much of the credit for the continued success of the Annual Artists’ Open House goes to the Podmajersky family whose vision and dedication helped create the physical community itself.
The PilsenEast Artists’ Open House is a unique opportunity to view the works of professional artists in the intimate venue of their studios and homes. Every year, during the last weekend in September, the Chicago Arts District comes alive with people walking down the streets, filling the studios and galleries, and spilling out into the courtyard. This is also a chance for artists to network, meet the art-going public and speak to them about their work, get and give input or to simply catch up with friends and colleagues. It has always maintained a very informal air and everyone is welcome.
"The Open House attracts a cross-cut of people," says Annelies Podmajersky, "we get young adults who are just getting started as well as experienced art collectors looking for new discoveries. The intimate atmosphere of viewing art where the artists live and work can give you a special appreciation for their creativity." The Open House has grown in attendance from just a few hundred art lovers three decades ago to a few thousand in recent years.
The group of participating artists in the Annual Artists' Open House is a rich and diverse one of varying career stages and a plethora of styles, mediums and methods. The artists who live and work here give the term "working artist" a whole new meaning. Not only do they make art, but they are also devoted contributors to the arts and cultural community as teachers, administrators, gallery directors, students, designers, freelancers, writers, musicians, entrepreneurs, lecturers, curators, board members and the list goes on.
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