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A & E

Artworks: The places where creative people go

Joliet area has resources for artistic fellowship and creative development

Holly Coop of Joliet, a member of the Romeoville Arts Society, enjoys expressing her creative side. Coop is the author of three books of inspirational poetry and creates and sells her original greeting cards on Etsy.
Holly Coop of Joliet, a member of the Romeoville Arts Society, enjoys expressing her creative side. Coop is the author of three books of inspirational poetry and creates and sells her original greeting cards on Etsy.

When I a child, back before the computer age, I loved to write stories, in longhand, on lined sheets of notebook.

I would make multiple copies and distribute them among my friends in case they would enjoy them. When they didn't share stories in return, I learned not everyone writes stories.

Fast forward to 2011 when a writer in her young 20s asked me to start a critique group with her. After refusing many times, I half-heartedly relented. Today that group has grown beyond anything I could have imagined at the time.

I've also since discovered the joy of camaraderie among others who also enjoy spending hours alone crafting words few people will probably ever read.

In the 20 years since I've been writing stories for The Herald-News about artists of all genres, as well as fellowshipping with other members of WriteOn Joliet, I've learned a couple things about artists.

They do sometimes enjoy the company of other artists.

And they do like people to view/read/listen to the creations, at least sometimes, even those artists who say they ultimately create for themselves. Sometimes they want feedback, sometimes appreciation for the attempt and/or the results, sometimes both.

But other than social media, where can artists find other artists? This partial list hope to answer the question.

Two upcoming events

One great resource are local libraries as they often offer special programming based around a creative activity.

For instance, the White Oak Library, Crest Hill branch, will host a creative writing workshop from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 27 at the library, located at 20670 Len Kubinski Drive in Crest Hill.

Adults and teens are both welcome to attend.

To register and for more information, visit whiteokalibrary.org or contact Nic Mitchel at 815-552-4285 or nmitchel@whiteoaklibrary.org.

Also for writers, the Plainfield Public Library District is hosting: "Find a Critique Partner," which will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 1 at the library, located at 15025 S. Illinois St. in Plainfield.

Writers and readers will be matched according to their interests. Writers prepare present a short summary of their work for prospective readers. Writers can participate as both a writer and a reader.

For more information call 815-436-6639 or visit plainfieldpubliclibrary.org.

Below is a listing of artist guilds and writer groups.

Artists guilds

• Arts Guild of Grundy County – Its Facebook page said this guild is a "is a marketing collaboration to inform the public of upcoming fine arts events." For more information, visit the Arts Guild of Grundy County on Facebook.

• Book and Bean Cafe – The cafe offers art classes and exhibit space for local artists. The cafe is located inside the Joliet Public Library at 3395 Black Road in Joliet. For more information, call 815-725-8859,

• Lemont Artists Guild – This group meets at the Homer Township Public Library and often hosts monthly demonstrations with guest artists. For more information, call president Liz Connelly at 815-341-1145 or visit lemontartistsguild.org.

• Morris Watercolor Guild – Meets Friday afternoons. Monthly workshops. Occasional field trips. New members welcome. Call Kathy Skoza at 815-685-1046.

• Romeoville Art Society – In addition to regular meetings, this society also hosts a monthly contest around a theme. For more information, call 224-216-2447 or visit romeovilleartsociety.org.

• The Artist Guild of Lockport – A traditional fine arts guild. Disciplines include digital art, drawing, painting and sculpture. For more information, call 815-991-7241 or visit theartistguildoflockport.com.

Writers groups

• Comic Book / Graphic Novel Creative Forum and Workshop – This group meets monthly at the Joliet Public Library, 150 N. Ottawa St. in Joliet. For more information, visit jolietlibrary.org or call 815-740-2660.

• Plainfield Writers Group – Meets the Plainfield Public Library District,15025 S. Illinois St. in Plainfield. Registration is not necessary and "new faces" are always welcome. For more information call 815-436-6639 or visit plainfieldpubliclibrary.org.

• WriteOn Joliet – Meets twice a month, usually at the Joliet Public Library, 3395 Black Road in Joliet. Any genre, any writing experience. For information, visit www.writeonjoliet.com or email writeonjoliet@gmail.com.

• Writers Group – Meets at the New Lenox Public Library, 120 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox. New members always welcome. For more information, call 815-485-2605 or visit newlenoxlibrary.org.

LocalLit newsletter

This Shaw Media newsletter gives writers connected to our readership area a chance to share their works through their original short stories (or novel excerpts) or reviews of their books.

For more information, contact Herald News Features Editor Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or dunland@shawmedia.com.

To sign up for the newsletter, visit theherald-news.com/newsletter/locallit.

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