Mural unveiled in downtown Aurora during Fox River Arts Ramble on April 21...

The first piece of public art to go through Aurora’s new public art  ordinance is being unveiled this Saturday. The mural will be unveiled behind Aurora Fastprint, 54 E. Galena Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the inaugural Fox River Arts Ramble. Aurora Fastprint owner Kim Granholm commissioned artist Cheryl Holz to create a piece of art for the back of building that is adjacent to the Fox River and faces New York Street in downtown Aurora. Holz, of Aurora, is a longtime collage artist working upstairs in Aurora Art Studios, so it was a natural collaboration. “This will not be a mural in the traditional sense, painted directly onto a wall,” Holz said. “Kim wanted to employ some of the newest printing technology to wrap the back of the building,” she added. Holz said she was originally daunted by the challenge of trying to create a beautiful piece of art on a wall covered with pipes of every material, vents, a fire escape, etc., but Holz, whose mixed media work is often sculptural, came up with a concept of making another layer of panels and sculpture to cover a majority of the chaos. Granholm was on board to try it out and the work began. The completion of the mural took many local resources including the Paramount Theatre’s set shop, Aurora Sign Company and Lite Construction. Holz describes the mural as a contemporary piece of art that incorporates references to Aurora’s rich cultural artistic, musical, and literary history, and the beautiful river that runs through it. Painterly splatters and washes represent the art-making happening inside the building, and all throughout Aurora. There are nods to the blues history, and the text running through the center is a poem called “Aurora” by...

River’s Edge Cafe to close; Tredwell Coffee to open in downtown Aurora...

Amy Petit is saying goodbye; Chad Dawes in saying hello. Petit, the current owner of River’s Edge Cafe is shuttering River’s Edge Cafe in March after selling the business to Chad Dawes, of Montgomery. Petit was looking to sell the cafe for the last few months, and after receiving serious interest from a few candidates, she accepted Dawes’ offer in mid-February. Dawes, of Montgomery, plans to reopen the cafe as Tredwell Coffee with business partner Dana Wyatt. The opening depends on sale and renovations, Dawes said. He said it will “still (be) an amazing cafe with artisan coffee and great breakfast and lunch options. We will focus on the coffee and work to increase speed of service.” “The biggest goal is to be a bigger presence in the community. We want to focus on the people that make Aurora special. My mission statement is “Enriching people’s lives with artisan coffee and a place to belong.” “Our plans are to be a craft coffee house. Serving multiple roasters and having a rotating option. Our main roaster is a wonderful company out of Addison called Tugboat Coffee.” Dawes said he’d like to expand the coffee shop’s hours, but will first need to “see what kind of traffic I can get later in the day.” Meanwhile, Petit looks forward to more time as a wife and mother. She also wants to pursue her current passion of health and wellness as a nutritional products consultant. Petit can be reached at livehealthy5@icloud.com.  ...

Artist Spotlight: Vincenzo Valenziano...

Artist spotlight: Vincenzo Valenziano By Brendon Kolodziej and Victoria Alexander It isn’t surprising that Aurora is a city that breeds artists. Its vibrant architecture, history, people, and culture ensures the continuance of creative inspiration. Downtown Aurora is home to numerous talents and imaginative seers, non-linear thinkers, and poets. One such artist calling downtown Aurora home is Vincenzo Valenziano, whose Repertoire Reservoir Studios, located at 14 W. Downer Pl., brings a colorful, retro pop element to the art scene.  Valenziano houses and produces his work in his downtown studios on the second floor of the Metropolitan Business College building. They are a collection of rooms overlooking the Fox River, wherein a person is welcomed by a great wave of phantasmagoria and visually fantastic images. His oftentimes large scale, vivid prints beckon the viewer to come see through the artist’s eyes. Images ranging from photo-collages, city-scenes and architecture, snapshots of real life, to those of bright abstractness and subjectivity, tend to stir the senses and flood the mind with stunning shapes and saturations and electric colors whose boldness and vivacity continue to paint the lidded darkness even after the viewer shuts their eyes. Much of Valenziano’s art is based around the medium of photography, which, through secret, custom-made editing software, he is able to apply a seemingly infinite array of effects and exciting manipulations of color to scenes captured through the lens of his cameras, of which he has many. In one room, between hanging paintings, stand bookshelves lined with rows of vintage and rare cameras: miniature ones used by spies in the 1930s, ones with large protruding lenses, and ones of sentimental value that he had once used himself as a kid. The collection leaves one to wonder about all the different moments, places, and lives...

Cubs Trophy Coming to Downtown Aurora...

The Cubs Trophy Tour, presented by State Farm, is coming to the City of Lights on April 3! The City of Aurora, the Aurora Area Sports Alliance and the Paramount Theatre will host the trophy in the Grand Gallery of the Paramount Theatre. “IT IS AN HONOR TO HOST THE 2016 WORLD SERIES TROPHY IN AURORA, ESPECIALLY ON THE OFFICIAL OPENING DAY OF THE 2017 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON.” –Aurora Mayor Robert J. O’Connor FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC The first 500 fans in line will receive a wristband and are guaranteed an opportunity to view and take a photo with the trophy. Bring your own camera or camera phone. Due to time limitations, anyone without a wristband is not guaranteed admittance. Viewing will be begin at 1 p.m., and the trophy must leave promptly at 2 p.m. LINE UP STARTING AT 7 A.M. Fans may start lining up at 7 a.m. on the morning of the event near the old lobby entrance near the east side of the theatre along the riverwalk. Sleeping overnight or lining up before 7 a.m. is not allowed. PARKING Parking is available in the Stolp Avenue Parking Deck on the corner of Downer Place and Stolp Avenue and at public parking lots throughout downtown Aurora. QUESTIONS For questions, please call Aurora’s Customer Service Center at 630.256.INFO. More info:...

First Fridays: February...

It’s the Year of the Horse – get your social fix! Visit our First Friday venues on Friday, Feb. 7 and get your art on! This month, six venues open their doors for a night of art, music, food, drink and community. First Fridays in Downtown Aurora is Feb. 7. Enjoy art, music, food, drink and more! All venues are open to the public. The ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse, Pin Up Show, 6 to midnight, 205 N. Broadway If These Walls Could Talk, Ian Mitchell Wallace, 7 to 11 p.m., 32 S. Stolp Ave. David L. Pierce Art & History Center, “30 Years a Historian: Special reception for John Jaros”, 5 to 8 p.m., 20 E. Downer Pl. Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery, NCC Student Art Show, 7 to 8:30 p.m., 23 E. Galena Blvd. Allen + Pepa, Janet Lewis, 5 to 9 p.m., 121 W. Benton St. The Light of the Heart, Art and Love Comes Home, 6 to 8 p.m., 14 W. Downer Pl. Don’t miss March’s First Fridays in Downtown Aurora when at least 5 venues open their...

City Life

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