An artist's exhibit featuring paintings of German Village's most coveted greenspaces will be the first of several events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Schiller Park.

An artists' reception for "Schiller Park Art: Celebrating 150 years" will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 23, in the German Village Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.

The work will be displayed through May 21.

Jeff Stahler, who's overseeing and curating the exhibit, said most of the 50 to 60 pieces on display were painted "en plein air" -- outdoors -- in the park.

Stahler organized two "paint-outs," one last year and another April 9, which drew artists from throughout the state who used various media, including pastels, cut paper and oil paint.

The park offers many artistic opportunities, from its open landscape to the statue of Friedrich Von Schiller, after whom the park was named.

"It's a great place to paint," said Stahler, who created his own piece for the exxhibit.

"All artists like to paint in the park," he said. "First off, they like the buildings, the old brick buildings, that surround the park."

Katharine Moore, chairwoman of the Friends of Schiller Park organization, said the exhibit is a fitting launch to the sesquicentennial celebrations to come this year.

"Everyone in the community touches Schiller Park in a slightly distinctive way -- some are there every day of the year with their dogs, others can't wait for the opening of Actors' Theatre's new season and then there are the gardeners who see the park from 24 inches off the ground," Moore said.

"The artists who paint in the park have those same varied viewpoints. They are awake, watchful and open to wonderment," she said.

"The exhibit promises to deliver a jolt of joy, much like what we have all experienced at one time or another in Schiller Park."

gsman@thisweeknews.com

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