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New Community Industrial Arts And Design Center Opens

art2It used to be the headquarters of a radio manufacturer that was founded in 1918. Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign almost a century later, the building located at 6433 N. Ravenswood Ave. will again manufacture products — and then some.

The Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center, which officially opened on Monday, will offer sculptors, artisans, makers and do-it-yourselfers on the north side of Chicago a new place to call home. The CIADC became a reality through a successful Indiegogo campaign that raised $10,795 in two months from almost 100 funders.

“CIADC will be a facility of convenience and community,” founder Matt Runfola said of the facility that is technically in Rogers Park but borders Edgewater. It’s located near the intersection of Ravenswood and Devon avenues. Roughly 75 people attended the open house on Monday.

“As a custom furniture maker and sculptor, it took me many years to amass the skills and tools necessary to perform my craft effectively and conveniently. I want to give back and make it easier for anybody wishing to make objects, to remove typical hurdles associated with creating in 3D.”

Runfola will be leading a team of three others that seeks to provide access, education and community to 3D object makers. Besides Runfola, whose title is fabricated metalworking and forging department manager, the other team members include Laura Miracle Tamarkin, the woodworking department manager; Dominic Sansone, the casting department manager; and Stuart Marsh, the integrated technology and design department manager.

All of the departments are housed under one roof, allowing makers “to work cross-department, cross-material and cross-process,” according to www.ciadc.org. “CIADC’s integrated approach toArt1 providing education and access to the general public in so many areas and in so much depth is unique in the Chicagoland area.”

The 10,500 square feet of industrial space includes three stories of poured concrete with a freight elevator and a number of windows that provide natural light. CIADC offers the shared space, tools and community of a makerspace with the structure of a continuing education center.

The CIADC will offer classes and workshops throughout the year on a quarter system. The winter, spring and summer terms will generally be 10 weeks each, and the fall quarter will be 12 weeks, the website said.

“We’re all very excited about it,” Tuke, a student who goes by his last name, said on Tuesday. The Evanston resident owns his own advertising agency called Combustion Point and designed the logo for the CIADC. He’s been studying metal sculpture and welding with Runfola for nine years at the Evanston Art Center.

“Not only does (the CIADC) open up an opportunity for a bigger and improved workspace, but it also opens up an opportunity to work in other mediums, such as wood, casting (both hot and cold), and the technology side, which will bring modern technology into our functional and sculptural creations.”

Tuke was one of Runfola’s many volunteers who helped build work surfaces such as new tables, bases and tops. The volunteers refinished many items that were bought at auctions. They also helped move the materials that were purchased at auction into the studio.

“(The CIADC) brings, I think, a new, broader concept of education to the area,” he added.

Meanwhile, the CIADC is a status-pending non-profit, public organization. It seeks to provide continuing education, working access and community to those wishing to create 3D objects with methods and materials requiring industrial workspace and shop equipment.


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