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  • Writer's pictureLynne Kornecki

Optometrist Artist Offers a Clear Vision for a New Arts Center in Oak Lawn, IL; One-year Anniversary Fund-raiser on Friday, 2/23/24, 7-10 PM

From Acorn to Oak art studios celebrates its one-year anniversary providing creative activities and instruction in art and music for all ages with a fund-raiser – “An Evening in the Gallery” on 2/23/24 – details below...

One of the founders, Sandy Bury, notes, “Our area has many well-established sports programs from which to choose. However, our facility offers another choice for those seeking art and music education. We serve youth and adults – from preschool to age 80 and beyond. It’s a great way to foster connection for the creatives in our community who might typically just be working home alone.”

Acorn to Oak Studios opened its doors adjacent to the Pilgrim Faith Church, 9411 S. 51st Avenue – North Wing, in Oak Lawn, IL roughly one year ago. Sandy, who can easily be described as a Renaissance woman has had this dream for an independent arts community in her hometown for decades.

Although Sandy's undergraduate degree is in fine art, she returned to school to become a Doctor of Optometry. She owns a thriving local practice with 18 employees. Later, while serving an elected 8-years as Oak Lawn’s mayor, she nurtured the arts community as best she could. Now, with a designated brick-and-mortar location, along with its not-for-profit status, she hopes her vision finally takes root bolstered by the organization's dedicated board of directors.

“The creative arts offer an essential tool to help individuals sort through emotions and feelings,” Sandy explains. “They help us organize our thoughts and provide a way of thinking and looking at the world around us in ways that shouldn’t be lost. Our society today slights creative outlets in favor of athletics, but not everyone is an athlete which is where Acorn to Oak can fill that gap.”

Sandy draws the comparison of artists to an orchestra. “You can play your instrument alone well, but playing in an orchestra enhances your artistry where you can learn from one another. You can’t do your best work in a vacuum.”   

Acorn to Oak focuses on traditional art education along with music classes. The music and movement program introduces the youngest age group to music through rhythm activities. Art classes are geared to children as young as age 3 with creative play stations and artistic adventures for ages 7 through 12. Open studio times encourage area creatives to bring in their own projects and work in community while getting to know like-minded individuals. Piano, flute and voice lessons are also available.

Instructors are highly experienced and even well known in their respective mediums such as Clayton J. Beck III and Linda Vorderer who teach art.

Instructor, Clayton J. Beck III, poses with a recent model from a "live" sitting studio session.

“An Evening in the Gallery” is the organization’s first fund-raiser coming up Friday, 2/23/24 from 7-10 PM. Sandy says that more importantly she hopes it will also be a “friend raiser”. The suggested donation of $20 will be put toward building renovations and programming.

The event includes food, drinks and music demonstrations reflecting the vibrancy of the studios and spotlighting participating artists. There will even be a live portrait demo by Clayton J. Beck III.   

Mark your calendars, and don’t miss this memorable evening to support the arts!



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