The smell of fresh paint permeated the atmosphere of the new quarters of the Evanston Art Center at 1717 Central St. this weekend as staff and volunteers scurried to have the facility ready when classes resume on June 10.
Since Wednesday, all hands have been engaged in the move from the city-owned Harley Clarke Mansion at Lighthouse Beach on Sheridan Road just north of Central Street.
Started in October, 1929, in the wake of the stock market crash, the center’s first home was in the basement of the Evanston Public Library. It moved to the mansion in 1966, where it has been ever since.
In the 1980s, the Art Center rented additional studio space at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, and the activities at Noyes are being incorporated now into the new Central Street facility.
Executive Director Paula Danoff said the organization’s small staff and interns, augmented by dozens of volunteers, made huge deposits of sweat equity as they planned and executed the move to Central Street.
The new headquarters, located across the street from a large new apartment building and just a block from the Central Street Metra station, enjoys the benefits of a sizable volume of walk-by traffic that has generated new interest in the organization, according to Danoff.
It was all made possible as a result of a successful $2.5 million capital campaign.