Kane County History: Calling All Artists! ... For a Cobblestone Reflection in Elgin

Kane County History: Calling All Artists! … For a Cobblestone Reflection in Elgin

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a weekly series on Kane County’s amazing history. Today’s article was submitted by Elizabeth Marston of the Elgin History Museum.

Calling all Elgin-area artists! Help the Nancy Kimball cause by participating in the Cobblestone Reflections Community Art Project.

The project, in support of the Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House Project, is looking for interested area artists to participate in a juried art exhibit.

The theme of “Cobblestone Reflections” will showcase what the home’s cobblestones have seen throughout the years.

Using the home’s vantage point from 302 W. Chicago St. (at the corner of Crystal and Chicago Streets), what are the things the house may have seen?

The reflection could be looking toward downtown Elgin and the bridge, or looking west into the historic Near West Neighborhood. It could also be an image of the Nancy Kimball Cobblestone house at any time period since it was built in 1846. Cobblestones must be featured in some way in your finished piece.

Once renovation of the Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House is complete, it will become a community center.

Combine your imagination and the location of the Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House to show a unique perspective of a piece of Elgin’s history.

Historic images of the cobblestone house are available on the museum’s website at www.elginhistory.org for further reference.

The artwork may be of any medium and any size. All artwork must fit the theme and be submitted by Saturday, Oct. 13, to the Elgin History Museum, 360 Park St. in Elgin.

The cost of some of your art supplies may be reimbursed. Upon delivery of your finished, acceptable piece, the artist will receive $25 toward the cost of supplies.

The Elgin History Museum will open the art exhibit with an artist’s reception on Thursday evening, Oct. 24.

All art will be placed for sale. Pricing will be set by the Elgin History Museum.

Artists will receive 40 percent of the sale price of their piece with the remaining funds going to benefit the Elgin History Museum and the Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House. The museum is also planning to showcase the exhibit at other venues. Any submitted pieces that are not purchased will become the property of the Elgin History Museum and Nancy Kimball House.

The jury will award monetary prizes to the top three pieces: first place, $300; second place, $200; and third place, $100.

The 1846 home was built for Nancy Kimball by her two sons, Samuel and William Kimball, both successful businessmen and mayors of Elgin. Nancy’s husband, Joseph, was an early Elgin settler, but died of cholera on his way back to New Hampshire to bring Nancy and their daughter, Ruth, to Elgin.

The house is one of six cobblestone structures in Elgin and anchors the historic near west neighborhood. When constructed it overlooked the Chicago Street bridge, an important crossing point along the Fox River.

The Elgin History Museum is working to repair and re-construct the home owned by the city of Elgin to be used as a satellite museum and community space. The goal of saving the cobblestone house is to build up the old neighborhood by creating a distinctive entryway landmark, encouraging neighborhood pride and identity, and demonstrating architectural preservation and adaptive re-use.

Exhibits, classes, programs, workshops, meetings and small receptions are planned for the building space when complete in 2020. The Cobblestone Reflections Art Project is an example of a community art project that could be exhibited at the Kimball House.

Read The Kane County History Series!