Every year since 2016, the Homewood Business Association has partnered with the village for a public arts project. Art is created by community members and shown at the Artisans Street Fair in June before being displayed around town.
“They (the projects) stay up through the summer so people can look at them and see if they want to bid on them,” said Julie Lawton, president of HBA. This artwork is then auctioned off in September, usually at Fall Fest, with proceeds donated to a local non-profit in theme with the artwork.
For the first year, it was painted dog statues. The auction’s proceeds were donated to the South Suburban Humane Society. In 2017, there were pride flags. Donations went to Lighthouse LGBTQ, a local organization that according to its Facebook is about “providing free support for teens and young adults who are processing their sexual and gender identity and the parents and guardians who love them.”
This year, HBA is encouraging anyone who wishes to participate to paint birdhouses as part of a project called Home Tweet Homewood.
Birdhouses can be purchased for $50 from the Homewood Science Center. They can be purchased in person at the Science Center at 2018 Ridge Road from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday or anytime on the organization’s website.
After participants are finished painting the birdhouses, they can drop them off at Homewood Auto Body at 1518 175th St., East Hazel Crest to havea sealant applied to help them withstand the elements of public display.
The hand-painted birdhouses will be at Artisans Street Fair on June 4 and 5. On June 7, the HBA and the village will display the birdhouses throughout downtown Homewood.
On Sept. 24, they’ll be auctioned off online with 70% of proceeds benefitting the Homewood Science Center and the remaining “30% comes back to the Homewood business association so we can keep doing what we’re doing,” said Lawton.
“We’re a program-based center and our mission is to inspire scientific wonder and pursuit,” said Edie Dobrez, the executive director of the Homewood Science Center.
Dobrez said that the Science Center has a display about local birds that includes a QR code where you can hear the birds’ songs.
“During this pandemic, it’s been hard to do a lot of our normal programming, but we’re trying to show creative ways to engage the community in science. And one of them is learning more about birds,” said Dobrez. “You can become a citizen scientist, make observations of birds and turn in the data that you record on those observations to Cornell Lab of Ornithology.”
Dobrez said the center has pop-up “science at home” kits. She said they’ve been distributing these kits to schools but they’re also free to anyone who wants one. “It’s great for families who engage in science. It’s a way of translating the programs to a home setting,” she said.
“We’re so grateful to the Homewood Business Association for selecting us,” said Dobrez.
“We thought that it would be a nice idea for the Homewood Science Center. It would tie in with what they’re doing now,” said Lawton. “I think it’s fun for people to see art in our community. We have a lot of artists in this town and we want to showcase what people can do.”
- Peregrine falcon topic of Feb. 11 Homewood Science Center talk (Feb. 6, 2021)
- Migratory birds, wild turkeys topic of HSC presentation (Nov. 7, 2020)
- HSC Urban Birds project asks residents to observe birds for science (Oct. 5. 2020)
- Sick, injured animals will benefit from success of ‘Pets on Parade’ art auction (Sept. 26, 2017)
- Paint-your-own seating project supports agency’s ‘benchmark’ anniversary (March 10, 2020)