Where art accessibility and community awareness meet: Project 1612 hosts the “yART” sale on Sunday


MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) – Civil unrest in the summer of 2020 inspired a local arts organization to hold a ‘yART’ sale and fundraiser for black-run businesses. Now they have decided to bring the event back and support another cause.

This year’s “yART” sale, located on E. Jefferson St. in Morton, raised funds for Lula peoria, a non-profit organization serving the homeless population of Peoria.

“They provide resources, food, sleeping bags, they defend the homeless community,” said Alexander Martin, co-founder of Project 1612, the organization responsible for the Sunday event.

Martin and Jessica Bingham started Project 1612, with Zach Ott, in 2015 as hopeful curators.

“The 1612 project is an alternative exhibition and performance space. We also do artist residencies, ”said Bingham.

Martin and Bingham said they wanted to make sure everyone can own original artwork, regardless of their origin. Therefore, all of the artwork was donated by local artists and the backyard sale was on a “pay what you can” basis.

“We really believe that people in the community should live with the art,” Bingham said. “And we don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t live with the art because of the cost.”

Martin said the goal is not how much money they can raise, but to improve the community.

“We’re very passionate about accessibility and providing it in spaces where people can access it,” they said. “So this is a ‘pay what you can’ ‘yART’ sale, so people can come in, browse the artwork and pay for what they think is right and whatever they can. . “

Artist Jaci Musec donated some of her works for sale.

“[I] I would say it’s very heartwarming as an artist to see people come and support this kind of project, ”she said.

Musec said his art was his contribution to the cause.

“Art heals. And being able to use our creative passion and our abilities to heal ourselves and help us heal each other, in different ways, that’s so important, ”she said. “Making art, for me, is a healing process. And then sharing art is a healing process. And it helps motivate others to create or think differently.

During the afternoon, Martin and Bingham raised over $ 2,000 for Lula Peoria.

“So art, in my opinion, the main thing it does is teach empathy. Because no matter what a work of art is about, it allows you to gain insight into it. someone else’s mind, someone else’s point of view, someone else’s worldview, ”Martin said.


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