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Guillermo Herrera plays on a miniature drum set he built. (Photo by Adina Keeling) 

Art Maker’s Outpost is an art studio cherished by artists and Earth-lovers alike.

The walls are lined with jars of glitter, bottle caps, buttons and other creative materials, which are sourced from the community and diverted from landfills. 

These materials are then used in art classes, children’s summer camps, adult BYOB (bring your own beverage) workshops and community events hosted by Art Maker’s Outpost, located at 609 South Boulevard.

Earth Month inspired the studio’s most recent community event. Between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, children and families stopped by to make art out of recycled materials, paint a large outdoor mural, join a drum circle and snack on some cookies. 

Community members could also drop off used art supplies, or participate in a plant exchange. 

Valerie Kahan, cofounder and Creative Director at the Art Maker’s Outpost, said that while the event provided a fun afternoon of art making, it also showed off the kinds of materials that the studio collects and how they can be repurposed. 

“Our space is really dedicated to helping people imagine how materials can be reused,” said Kahan. “We do collect arts and crafts materials that are gently used, but we collect so much more than that as well.” 

Local art enthusiast Lily Mcquarters, 11, attended the event with her mom, Rebecca Phend. She helped paint the outdoor mural and did some arts and crafts inside the studio.

“I like making art a lot,” said Lily. “Me and my mom, that’s our thing.”

Lily also participated in the drum circle, led by Tony Garrett, a prolific African drum teacher. On the weekends, he teaches drumming at Art Maker’s Outpost, and once a month on a Friday, he leads a drum circle for the community. 

Garrett taught Lily about various drumming techniques while she practiced, Lily said. “It was really fun,” she added.

The event also raised awareness for another upcoming Earth Month event: a 10-Second Film Festival hosted by local climate organizations District 65 Climate Action Teams and Citizens’ Greener Evanston.

The hosts invite community members to submit a short film on the festival’s website. The last day to submit a film is April 21, and films will be shown at the festival, to be held 6:30 p.m. on Earth Day Friday, April 22 in the Rotary International auditorium, 1560 Sherman Ave..

Marie Cabiya, a member of the District 65 Climate Action Teams, said this is the festival’s third year. 

Having just completed a short film of her own, Cabiya said even though 10 seconds is not a lot of time, directing and creating a short film is surprisingly time consuming. 

Kahan said she’s organizing more adult BYOB events, in addition to planning camps for the summer. The studio is also planning more print-making, painting, sculpting and mosaic-making, she added. 

“We’re just really excited for what’s coming up,” said Kahan.

Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...

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