Yorkville Library silent auction raises funds for mural

By Erika Wurst for Chronicle Media

The one-of-a-kind piece of art up for auction in September is Literary Seahorse, comprised of pages from Treasure Island, pencils, and various other materials and donated by artist Sharyl Iwanski. Dimensions are 26-inches by 15-inches and starting bid is $55. ( Photo courtesy of Yorkville Library)

It’s Library Director Elisa Topper’s dream to see a sprawling mural someday grace the walls of the Yorkville Public Library.

In fact, she knows just the wall she wants to see colored. It’s right above the circulation desk, and it sits sad and blank.

“This is a great library, but it would really pack a punch to have one of (Joe Ortega’s) murals,” Topper said.

Ortega, who lives in Sandwich, is a much sought-after artist. He has painted hundreds of murals for commercial, public and private clients ranging from ABC’s Extreme Makeover, Cabelas Outdoor Outfitters, to courthouses, banks, schools, restaurants, wineries, and countless of residential murals.

He was commissioned to paint a what became a breathtaking mural in the foyer of the Kendall County Courthouse and has murals inside Sandwich and Kaneland high schools.

“I’ve met (Ortega) and seen the work he does. It’s exceptional,” Topper said. But, as much as she wants Ortega’s art on her wall, Topper realized it wasn’t likely to happen.

“We’re on a really tight budget and we have to concentrate on keeping the library running,” she said. “As a library, we can’t really fundraise. Anything extra we want, we have to look for outside support”

That’s where Circulation Manager Sharyl Iwanski-Goist comes into the picture.

Iwanski-Goist is a member of the Kendall Arts Guild, and they can indeed fundraise. The group raised enough money to commission Ortega’s Kendall County Courthouse mural, and is hoping to do the same for the Yorkville Public Library.

“I think inspiration, imagination, creativity and engaging your mind — whether through reading, creating, or just admiring a piece of art — is so important,” she said.

The library already has an art wall that exhibits local artist on an eight-week rotating basis. Both Topper and Iwanski-Goist think the mural will further highlight their commitment to the arts.

Colored pencil work, donated by artist Jan Essex, up for auction with a starting bid of $10 for each piece. Barnyard Fowl is 7.5-inches by 10.5-inches. ( Photo courtesy of Yorkville Library)

To raise funds for the mural, the Kendall Arts Guild will be hosting a monthly silent auction at the library featuring donated works from local artists. Bids can be taken all month, and Iwanski-Goist is working on a plan to allow people to bid via Facebook.

All local artists are welcome to donate pieces of their original work for the auction.

“All funds from the silent auctions will go directly to the mural,” Iwanski-Goist said. “There’s also a ‘donate’ button on our Facebook page that people can donate directly to.”

The Guild hopes to see the project finished up in about a year, which is how long it took them to see their courthouse mural come to life.

“It just all depends on how this fundraiser goes,” Iwanski-Goist said.

To donate, or learn more about the Kendall Arts Guild, visit https://www.facebook.com/KendallArtsGuildKag/







— Yorkville Library silent auction raises funds for mural —