Side Street Studio Arts (SSSA), located at 15 Ziegler Ct. in the heart of downtown Elgin, kicks off its 2018 visual art exhibition schedule Friday, January 5 with It’s Strange, a solo exhibition by SSSA Artist-Intern Kira Fox. Supported in part by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, It’s Strange, is Fox’s first solo exhibition, featuring an entirely new body of work inspired by Fox’s own weirdness and the weirdness of others. It’s Strange serves as the perfect opener to the 2018 exhibition calendar, as SSSA makes some turns into to new territory with both its curated and open call exhibitions, all of which are supported by SSSA’s first grant from the Illinois Arts Council. It’s Strange runs January 5 through February 21, with an artist reception Friday, January 5 at 7pm. The event and exhibition will be located in Side Street Theater and is free and open to the public.

“Our annual exhibitions, like Something Wicked, are always highly anticipated,” said SSSA Director of Exhibitions Roberto Martinez. “That said, the directors are always discussing and debating ways to bring new, interesting, and through-provoking outside work to our space. It is important for us to reflect our community, as well as the greater world around us.”

Mediums, an exhibit that has randomly partnered area artists to create and show work as a pair, opens Friday, January 12 in the Gallery. Featuring the work of Bruce Bachelder and Doug Hanson, Angelina Diana and Jane Erlandson, Lance Long and Chloe Topf, Martinez and Adrian Mesino, Julian Medriano and Mike Rende, David Metzger and Chris Palm, Stephen Schreiner and Zelda Vidal, and Dani Sposato and Lindsey Wiseman, Mediums has pushed these artists, who typically work in different styles and with varied materials, to collaborate and create a new body of work as a pair. The open reception will be held January 12 at 7pm, and the exhibit will run through Sunday, February 4.

Calls are currently open on SSSA’s website for May’s Cause/Effect, an exhibition reflecting the importance of preserving nature and the effect is has on our community; Line Work, June’s drawing exhibition; a Battle of the Bands exhibition; Concrete, a call for SSSA’s first-ever 3D only exhibition, and more.

Annual staples returning this year are Unidos IV (July), Re:PopVI (August), and Something Wicked (October). In April, SSSA brings back a favorite, Install, during which selected artists receive access to one SSSA space for a week to create site-specific work. Their process is open to the public, as is the final product, which kicks off with an opening reception Friday, April 13. For only the second time, the 8th annual Going Dutch Festival returns to downtown Elgin after moving successfully from Chicago 2017. Going Dutch is a celebration of the female voice in dance, music, theater, and the visual arts and annually showcases over 300 female artists. The call for Going Dutch goes live January 15.

SSSA was founded by Tanner Melvin and Erin Rehberg in 2013 as an outlet for the Elgin arts scene.  Currently under the direction of Amanda Harris, Martinez, Melvin, and Rehberg, Side Street provides educational and creative resources and an accessible space, run by artists.  Side Street’s mission is to support the artist and artistic journey through collaboration.

SSSA Winter Gallery Hours (through February):

Thursday and Friday – Noon to 6pm

Saturday 10am to 6pm

Sunday 11am to 3pm

or by appointment

*Full Calendar of Visual Art Events:

January 5 – 21 Kira Fox’s It’s Strange

January 12 – February 4 Mediums

March 2 – April 1 a celebration of five years of SSSA featuring a variety of area artists

April 13 – 29 Install

April 4 – 13 Cause/Effect

May 18 – 27 Spring Artist-Intern Exhibition

May 24 – 27 Going Dutch Festival

June 1 – 24 Line Work

June 29 – July 22 Unidos IV

July 27 – August 12 Battle of the Bands Exhibition

August 17 – September 2 Re:Pop VI

September 7 – 16 Elgin Fringe Festival Pop-Up Gallery

October 5 – 28 Something Wicked

November 30 –  December 16 Concrete

*additional exhibitions to be included, schedule subject to change

For more information contact Side Street Studio Arts at 847-429-2276, visit

Media Contact:
Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
77 Riverside Drive, Elgin, IL 60120
(800) 217-5362 or (847) 695-7540