New Paschke Art Center set to open at former Knobe site


by BRIAN NADIG

The new Ed Paschke Art Center at 5415 W. Higgins Ave. will hold its grand opening Sunday, June 22, which would have been the late Chicago artist’s 75th birthday.

"Throughout this process of building the Ed Paschke Art Center, which is to honor Paschke’s life and legacy, his spirit and character have been our shining light," Vesna Stelcer of the Ed Paschke Foundation said.

The "Paschke in the Park" grand opening celebration will include a free festival which the Jefferson Park Advisory Council will hold the same day in the park at Higgins and Long avenues. Free food items, featuring some of Paschke’s Chicago favorites, entertainment and coloring books for children will be offered.

The center is being constructed inside the former Knobe the Stationer building near Milwaukee and Higgins avenues, where the Knobe sign was removed last week. The center, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, will feature a 2,800-square-feet gallery and 1,700 square feet of educational space.

It was announced last fall that the center was planned for the Jefferson Park commercial district, but the location was not made public until recently. Upcoming events at the center will include a display of photography by Paul Natkin and an exhibit by Steve Schapiro titled "Andy Warhol, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground."

The center is being funded through the Rabb Family Foundation, and it has partnerships with the 3M Company, the School of the Art Institute and the Block Museum of Art.

"Ed Paschke was not only a great artist but also was a great person who contributed and supported the communities in which he lived and worked," Rabb Foundation trustee Lionel Rabb said.

The son of Polish immigrants, the Chicago-born Paschke spent grew up on the Northwest Side, and according to the center, his art featured intricate patterns and vibrant colors. Paschke became a nationally known artist who belonged to a group known as the imagists and who painted in a style that was influenced by the abstract and expressionist art and the pop movement of the 1960s.

Paschke once said of his art, "They either love it or hate it, but rarely are they indifferent to it." Last year a mural which features digital reproductions of Paschke works that were transferred to a film wrap was installed on the walls of the railroad viaduct in the 5100 block of West Lawrence Avenue.

The center will offer free admission.

For more information on the center, call 312-533-4911 or visit www.edpaschke.org.

The sign on the former Knobe the Stationer building, 5415 W. Higgins Ave., is removed as part of the preparation for opening the Ed Paschke Art Center in the building.
The grand opening of the art center is planned for Sunday, June 22, which would have been the late Chicago artist’s 75th birthday.
The center will feature a 2,800-square-foot gallery and 1,700 square feet of educational space.


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