Yesterday Sky Pads 11 pretty much literally “sailed” into the Old Courthouse in Woodstock, Illinois (it was a very windy day, and the 4′ x 5′ painting really felt as if it would enjoy going wind-surfing). It will be on display in the “Women’s Works 2018” show at the Old Courthouse Arts Center from March 1 through April 14.
The Old Courthouse and the historic town square it sits in have been a focal point of Woodstock for well over a century.
I cribbed the following information from the city’s website:
The Old McHenry County Courthouse, the majestic anchor of the bustling Historic Woodstock Square, was designed by John Mills Van Osdel, chief architect of the Palmer House in Chicago, and erected in 1857. Located in the exact center of McHenry County, the building was joined by the accompanying Sheriff’s House & Jail in 1887, and issued landmark status by the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. For over a century, the Old Courthouse served thousands of residents from throughout McHenry County until a new government center was built in 1972. Local residents purchased the historic buildings in 1973 and established an art gallery, studios, restaurant and museum space. The Old Courthouse Arts Center gallery space is in use and managed by Northwest Area Arts Council, a volunteer arts agency that showcases this area’s abundant artistic talent through a continuous series of public exhibitions offered at no charge to the public, as well as a sales shop with custom jewelry, pottery, and artworks.
The center of Woodstock Square is a lovely little park, complete with gazebos for entertainment in warmer months. Even in February, the area beckons passers-by to wander in.
Around the corner from the Courthouse, also facing Woodstock Square, is the Opera House.
Lazy writer that I am, I cribbed some interesting Opera House trivia from Wikipedia:
It was built in 1889 and is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the country. It is mainly a Victorian style architecture, oddly combining some Early American, Midwestern, Gothic, and even Moorish elements. The interior is modeled after the showboats of the time, with dimensions and decorations that imitate many of those grand floating theaters. Perhaps the most notable performer to grace the stage was Orson Welles, who grew up in Woodstock and to whom the stage was dedicated in 2013.
So, if I get lucky (hah!) Sky Pads 11 will encounter a gallery patron who can’t resist taking it to its forever home and I won’t have to return to Woodstock to pick it up. Although I have to say, I really do enjoy the ambiance of this old-fashioned Midwestern town.