North on Western Ave in Lake Forest, we love thinking up events that keep the idea of using existing product and design top of mind. Not that every day isn't an event at a thrift store, along with an archeological dig and a treasure hunt, too. But in addition to the routine whirl at Forest & Found, once a month or so we like to give extra emphasis to creativity and recycling.
Since opening in March, we've featured a local artisan who turns old beads into modern new pieces. We've showed the works of a furniture painter who brings out the soul in old castoffs. And an artist who takes old wallpaper and found frames and creates a nuance--but happily not a whole room--of old-world chintz.
This month, we're telling the story of a Chicago illustrator whose works came our way from the basement of a Lake Forest home.
"Can Forest & Found do something with this art?" the basement owner stopped in the store to ask one day. We sat down together on the green love seat (sold!) and scrolled through Maynard's portfolio. With each new picture, the word awesome kept escaping my lips, a totally overworked descriptor these days but you'll understand once you see the body of work.
When the owner left, we did some digging to learn that our Barbara Maynard was born in 1900 on a Michigan farm. On completing studies at the Art Institute, she moved into an apartment across from the Lincoln Park Zoo and worked as an illustrator for Compton's Encyclopedia. She had a few friends who were children's book author, and through them she illustrated some classic picture books in the 40's and 50's.
We'll be exhibiting Maynard's paintings on loan from her great niece, Helen Maynard, who lives in the Chicago area. We'll also have high quality prints on hand to sell and custom order. These are made possible by Rich Foss, who donated his skillful photography expertise. Thanks, Rich! We're also grateful to the Maynard family for permission to reproduce the works. The sale will be part of our fundraising efforts for the charities we support.