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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

DeKalb’s art scene finds home in local consignment

Joseph Howerton
A gallery inside Jubilee Artisans features framed artwork from local DeKalb county artists. Jubilee Artisans lets local artists display their art and features paintings, handmade jewelry, photographs and stationary items for sale. (Joseph Howerton | Northern Star)

DeKALB – After unveiling two new murals in the past year and local programs like Paint-a-Plug, DeKalb’s art palette continues to grow for local artisans.

Jubilee Artisans, 128 E. Lincoln Highway, is a new retail shop offering original artwork by local artisans in DeKalb County. The shop offers a variety of paintings, handmade jewelry, photographs and stationary items in different art styles.

All of the artwork sold at Jubilee comes from local artisans in and around the DeKalb county area. Their art styles include punk, pop-up, realism, abstract, dreamscapes and environmental art in various mediums.

Each month, Jubilee will feature one of its artists, having a collection of their pieces displayed toward the front of the store. Every third Saturday of the month, a featured artist will also give a live demonstration of their craft by creating an art piece at the store.

The owner of Jubilee Artisans, Christy Andrews, has been working since the summer of last year searching for artists for Jubilee. Andrews went to several markets and social media platforms looking for local artists who would be interested in selling their art at her store. Some artists even reached out to Andrews to be part of Jubilee.

Michael Day, a local wildlife photographer, approached Andrews about selling his art, which she agreed to.

Day’s portfolio includes prints, cards and calendars of the wildlife around DeKalb he has photographed. Proceeds from the calendars Day sells go to the Friends of the Founders Memorial Library, Day said.

Day’s work includes candid snapshots of the wildlife found during his walks around the NIU campus, the Kishwaukee River and local prairies. In addition to scenic environmental pictures, Day’s portfolio focuses on native animals including various birds, insects, minks, muskrats, foxes, coyotes and more.

“My philosophy is that we live in a town not only with people but with other beings, plants and animals,” Day said. “We should all be aware of who we share this space with and take time to hang out with them and see what they’re up to.”

Pieces in Jubilee are sold on consignment. When a piece is sold at Jubilee, a portion of the profit is given to the store and the rest back to the artist. 

Items are kept on the shelves for a predetermined time set by Andrews and the artist. If an item does not sell during that time, it is returned to the artist and swapped for a different art piece by the same artist.

Prices vary from piece to piece.

“I’ve got stickers for $3 to $4 apiece, all the way up to you know $1,100 to $1,500 large-scale original paintings that are going to be available here,” Andrew said. “So everything in between those two numbers, something for everybody, every price point.”

In addition to offering artwork, studio spaces are available to be rented by artists. Cost of renting a space is $10 an hour, but the overall price would be discounted the longer a patron rents a space, Andrews said.

Several studio spaces are available which include two large-scale easels, a drafting table, photography studio and digital art studio. 

The photography studio comes with lights, light diffusers and different backgrounds. 

Printing services are also available for a nominal fee in the digital studio area with standard paper, high quality photo paper and sticker paper.

Andrews plans to have basic art supplies for drawing and painting available for resale once she finds a wholesale art supplier.

Andrews is a longtime resident of DeKalb County, having lived in Waterman for 23 years before buying a home in DeKalb in 2022. Upon seeing the recent improvements made in downtown DeKalb, the walking spaces and new mural, Andrews wanted to be a part of the growing art scene in the area.

“I also hope to start forming relationships with the area schools,” Andrews said. “I would love to have an elementary school age art show for the kids; middle school and high school. Also, I’m trying to form relationships with Kishwaukee (College), their art department and also NIU. Just to get the entire community involved and have fun and exciting things happening here at Jubilee.”

Jubilee Artisans is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Hours will be extended between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, Andrews said.

Jubilee will also feature regular scene collections throughout the year featuring an open reception of pieces surrounding a specific theme. 

Jubilee’s upcoming scene collection, “Our Wonderful Pine Tree,” will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and will include refreshments and entertainment.

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