Monday, June 27, 2011

little art center on the prairie

Chicago arts center

This weekend, my old + dear friend (and bridesmaid!) Cheri kidnapped me, and we headed out to Fine Line, a nonprofit creative arts center located in the Chicago suburbs.  She'd given her boyfriend a day-long metal smith class for his birthday, and was shocked that I'd never been there, so we decided to pay it a visit.

Located on a restored farm on several acres of breathtaking land, the oasis-like center opened it's doors in 1979 with a mission to teach weaving, knitting and painting to locals hoping to explore their creative spirits. Eventually it outgrew its original location, relocated to its current one, and now teaches over 200 classes a year to students from all over the midwest. It is one of only a few regional art centers in the United States.

classroom and gallery

We made an adventure out of exploring the grounds and various buildings. The center has all sorts of classrooms for different media, a supply and art shop, and a beautiful gallery.  Artists from all over the world come here to teach (on a mostly volunteer basis - which is amazingly cool). 

weaving and metal smith classes

It was really wonderful to see a place so full of creativity and vision outside of the city; I almost felt like I was on an art retreat. We had such a fun day in all of our art-nerd glory, and now I'm hoping to take a workshop out there sometime this summer.  I'm not sure what, but I'm thinking something unique that I've never tried. 

Have you ever been to a little art center on the prairie, or a creative retreat away from the city?

Happy Monday! 

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  1. WOW! That place looks amazing! I am four hours from Chicago but I would LOVE to take a course there. Definitely going to look into it. Amazing post. :D :D

  2. sounds like a lovely place!


  3. Wow, this place looks so cool!! I would have been in heaven!! I love that your friend gave her bf a metal smithing class for his birthday :-)


  4. Man, I feel so uninformed! I've lived in the 'burbs for almost 7 years and I had no idea about this place. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Awesome place! I'm definitely going to check it out. Thanks!

  6. Um hi, is that a place of dreams? My inner creative monster is aching to be there immediately.

  7. This place looks so charming! I want to go!

  8. What a great post! Sounds like you had a wonderful outing.

  9. I grew up with the 577 foundation in my town, Perrysburg, Ohio. Sounds simliar to this - love it.

  10. That's totally my kind of place! Would love to see updates if you decide to take a workshop or class.

  11. whoa whoa whoa! this is awesome. i love all the photos but my favorite one are the yellow flowers just because... yes... i agree they are vibrant.

    so did you friend's husband enjoy the class?

    -robots in trouble

  12. yeah melissa! glad your girl dragged you outta the house.

  13. I'm definitely going to have to put this on my to-do list for the next time I'm in Chicago... it sounds and looks absolutely amazing!

  14. That looks like a beautiful place to visit and take a break from the real world. Using the floor loom as a castle sounds like something I would have done as a kid :)

    Speaking of prairie, when I was younger, my cousin and I would dress up and pretend we lived out on the prairie like Little House on the Prairie. Now it's my dream to live somewhere like that.


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