New gallery hopes to catch downtown Evanston users’ eyes
Owner Steven Bialer (center) of Evanston arranges oil paintings at Hevanston Gallery in Evanston which opened in December. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:04AM
Given the attrition rate in Evanston galleries these days, Steve Bialer, owner of Hevanston Gallery at 529 Davis St., could be forgiven if he had second thoughts about opening his shop at a few months ago.
Urban Totem on Central closed its doors. The Things We Love and Crafts Gallery decided, for whatever reason, that they couldn’t make a go of it in Evanston.
It takes a certain mindset to appreciate a gallery such as Heevanston with its eclectic mix of items – mosaic glass bead tables, wall clocks with cat faces and artisan windows fashioned from shipping pallets.
“It’s hard when you’re selling items when you don’t have 40 of the exact same thing in a back room stacked in boxes,’’ said Bialer. “I mean a lot of these things are one of a kind.”
Bialer was formerly the designer for the Chicago Tribune’s once stylish Sunday magazine, and produced some spinoff books for the Tribune on the Bulls and Cubs.
He loves visual arts, and has fun finding stuff, all good attributes in building a gallery
The gallery right now, is a project in the making, he said.
A random survey:
• Wall clocks, with cat faces or in the form of a robot. They are made out of recycled materials - including spoons, dominoes and Altoid mint dispensers.
• A photograph, handsomely framed, of President Teddy Roosevelt stopping in Evanston as part of his Western tour. (Who knew?)
• Framed reproductions of Otis Shepard, onetime art director for Wrigley Gum.
• Oil paintings by Joshua Klegerman, who studied in Florence, Italy, learning the methods of the Old Masters.
Bialer’s own glass bead tables play up an equestrian theme, using horseshoes in the insert.
The laid back gallery owner eventually hopes to bring in some of the featured artists to talk about their work and lead classes.
He’s hoping galleries like his find an audience. Right now the winning combination in the Davis Street neighborhood and downtown appear to be restaurants and cafes.
To that, “I make good coffee,’’ Bialer said.