Art Commission celebrates 20 years of student art at The Pierce Center in downtown Aurora...

The Aurora Public Art Commission will host the Opening Reception of the 20th annual Winter Garden of Youth Art exhibit on Friday, December 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place.   On display through January 20, 2018, the Winter Garden of Youth Art is a dynamic exhibit of works of art by Aurora students in kindergarten through 12th grade from 31 schools. All of the works of art are chosen by art teachers or other faculty members from each school.   Participating schools include: Allen, Aurora Christian, Bardwell, Beaupre, Brady, Benavides, Dieterich, East High , Fred Rodgers, Freeman, Gates, Greenman, Hall, Herget, Hermes, Hill, Hope Wall, IMSA, Jewel, Johnson, Krug, McCleery, Nicholson, Oak Park, O’Donnell, Rollins, St. Rita, Simmons, Smith, Studio Nafisa and West High.   In this year’s exhibit, a variety of mediums will be on display, including paintings in acrylic, tempera, oil and watercolor; drawings in charcoal, pastel and pencil; printmaking, photography, sculptures, computer arts, jewelry, ceramics and 2D and 3D collages.   Visitors can view the exhibit for free during the opening reception and every Wednesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. until January 20,...

Aurora Film Society looks for members...

A local group is aiming to bring more films to downtown Aurora. The group of Aurora residents formed Aurora Film Society (AFS) this September to accomplish that goal. AFS was formed to serve as an educational, social, and local resource that provides a shared cinematic cultural experience based in the city center. The film society will offer monthly screenings of curated films as well as special events such as single screenings and festivals that focus on genres such as documentaries, animation, children’s film, and music. Karl Nicholas is the board president. Board members include Jeanne Norris, Kyle Reeves, Vicki McCoy, Karen Nicholas, and Helen Ratzlow. The group seeks to hold screenings in 2018 at the movie loft at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway. The loft seats approximately 60. “These screenings will be held downtown so as to avail ourselves of local restaurants, pubs, and bars for post-screening discussion. Our special events and film festivals will draw patrons from the wider region, with the likely result of more patronage to downtown businesses,” Norris said. AFS is holding their first fundraiser and membership drive on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St. Tickets can be purchased here. The evening will include a silent auction and live jazz by Dan Pierson Trio. To vote on movie screenings for 2018, visit AFS’s website...

First Place window design goes to …...

Tim Frederick and Jen Rauch teamed up to get creative with their downtown window display this year. The business partners and owners of If These Walls Could Talk at 32 S. Stolp Ave. have installed clever displays in years past, but they never were able to snag the coveted glass Winter Lights award for outstanding window design. This year, Frederick made sure to take the extra steps needed to polish the frame shop’s window design. Naturally, a frame maker and woodworker, Frederick utilized his skills to craft the Ball Stacker 3000, a snowball-making machine. Frederick even made it appear that the machine connects from one window to another via clear plastic pneumatic tubing. No detail was spared and Rauch added her own ideas and suggestions, as well. In one window, it appears that snowmen are dressing behind opaque glass dividers. Judges for the Winter Lights window decorating contest awarded Frederick and Rauch first place for their creativity. The annual contest encourages downtown businesses to decorate their storefronts for the holidays in time for the Winter Lights event held on the Friday before Thanksgiving. View several storefronts in downtown Aurora that are decorated for the holidays including AKA Dance, All Spoked Up, River’s Edge Cafe, SciTech Hands On Museum, Pure Skin Solutions, Do or Dye Designs, and...

First Fridays on Dec. 1: ‘Tis the season to be merry with art and cocoa...

First Fridays aims to bring some holiday cheer on December 1. For the fifth year, If These Walls Could Talk is hosting “Pack the Pantry,” their annual art auction that benefits the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry. Visit the frame shop and gallery from 6 to 10 p.m. at 32 S. Stolp Ave. and bid on a piece of art handcrafted by local artists out of paper grocery bags. Also on First Fridays, two venues celebrate anniversaries. Gremlen Recording Studios, 130 W. Downer Pl. celebrates 20 years. Tour the studios and listen to live music from 5 to 9 p.m. Culture Stock, a used bookstore and community center at 43 E. Galena Blvd. celebrates its fifth anniversary from 6 to 9 p.m. Get into the holiday spirit as Dan Becker and the Tourists “Rock Around the Christmas Tree” from 6 to 9 p.m. at Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St. Aurora Fastprint, 54 E. Galena Blvd. is celebrating its 34th year of hosting the popular Wagon Wheel Party starting at 5 p.m. Visit pop up shops at Metropolitan Coworking, River’s Edge Cafe, and Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Art openings, live music, and more are featured at First Fridays on Dec. 1 at several locations throughout downtown including: Gillerson’s Grubbery, 33 W. New York St., hosts “Mind Your Christmas” book release and signing by author and Yorkville Alderman Joel Frieders. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 2 Fools Cider tasting starts at 6 p.m. Fox Art Studio, 9 S. Stolp Ave., hosts a Jewelry Show with three designers. 6 to 9 p.m. Artist Cheryl Holz is hosting her annual open studio night at Aurora Artists Studios, 50 E. Galena Blvd. See Holz’ new Eco-prints, small works, and holiday ornaments. 5:30 to 8pm The ArtBar presents Deepayan Bose...

Santa on Broadway: Dec. 2, Dec. 9, Dec. 16...

Come see Santa on Broadway in downtown Aurora this December. Santa is stopping by shops along Broadway on the first three Saturdays of the month. Children can enjoy a visit and pictures with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A variety of activities will also be offered at the different locations that Santa will be visiting. On Saturday, Dec. 2, Santa will visit the old tavern at 24 N. Broadway. Children can complete holiday coloring pages, and enjoy light refreshments courtesy of La Quinta de Los Reyes. On Saturday, Dec. 9, Santa will stop by PME Cake Decorating, 35 N. Broadway. Visit Santa at the corner of New York St. and Broadway for a cookie decorating party. Each child gets one free cookie donated by La France Bakery and La Central. While supplies last. On Saturday, Dec. 16, Santa will be at SeguroMex Insurance, 31 S. Broadway. An optional make and take ornament for $7 per child will be offered. The event is free. It is sponsored by Broadway business owners with assistance from Aurora alderpersons and Aurora Downtown, a non profit organization of business and property owners in downtown. Families are encouraged to bring their camera or phone for photos with Santa. Children will also receive a free candy...