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Artists interpret Shakespeare in Elmhurst art show

Issued November 2014"Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare: As They Like It," an ambitious exhibit featuring more than 40 well-known Chicago artists who have based their works on selections from the plays and poetry of Shakespeare, is appearing as an Elmhurst Artists' Guild invitational show opening November 16 and running through January 2, 2015 in the EAG gallery at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst.

An opening reception, to which the public is invited, will be held in the gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 20. Admission is free on Fridays to both the EAG gallery and the Elmhurst Art Museum.

This very large exhibit has previously been shown in Wisconsin, Ohio, and several Illinois locations and features work of high drama, elaborate fantasy and a surprising amount of sophisticated humor, all of which can be enjoyed by anyone, even those not familiar with the work of Shakespeare. According to Stephanie Gearhardt, Shakespeare scholar at Bowling Green University, "William Shakespeare's genius does not spring from his originality but rather from his extraordinarily creative responses to works that came before him." For visual artists, the works of Shakespeare are a mother lode to inspire ideas and images which can take them into new areas of interpretation and creativity that go beyond mere illustration into realms of contemporary experience.

The exhibit includes work by painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers and mixed media artists from the Chicago area. Among the works being shown is Christine O'Connor's "Cleopatra and Antony." Antony in the painting looks surprisingly like Paul Newman, and Cleopartra appears to be a clone of Elizabeth Taylor. The work is drawn with a Prismacolor pencil technique that creates a glowing stained glass effect.

Betty Ann Mocek's "Coriolanus Riot" features a very modern looking mob in contemporary Rome, seen confronting policemen with truncheons in front of the Coliseum. It is a tableau that reflects all the violence of the mob scenes in the play, but also alludes to contemporary social conflicts.

Nancy Carrigan's etching "Titania, 2014" is a portrait of the Fairy Queen from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," portrayed as an ethereal flower seeming to dance to words of the Bard before a shimmering cobweb.

Kathy Weaver's "Tasmanian Koppe" changes the pair of comic twins from "A Comedy of Errors: into half man and half fantastic machine, who are in turn watched on the Serengeti plains by a pair of monkeys, who seem perplexed by their surreal quasi-human counterparts.

The exhibit is curated by Anne Farley Gaines, Robert Kameczura and Maureen Warren, working in cooperation with EAG curator Frank Tumino. It can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5. On days other than Fridays, Museum admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Public invited to Elmhurst garden and art show

Issued September 2014
Celebrating the beginning of the fall season, the Elmhurst Garden Club and the Elmhurst Artists' Guild are inviting the public to join them at the reception for Autumn Magic, a combination of an autumn-themed EAG members' art show and an EGC autumn woodland garden display, Friday, October 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the EAG gallery at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst.

The gallery will feature a special installation that includes elaborate woodland structures through and around which visitors will move to view the artwork. Many organic materials will be used in combination with pieces that depict a magical forest, designed and built by Garden Club members, assisted by Microsoft volunteers.

The Autumn Magic reception, sponsored by Microsoft, is free. Family, friends and children are invited. Refreshments, including fall beer, wine and cheese, will be served.

The art exhibition runs from October 7 to November 14 in the EAG gallery. The members' artwork, noted for greatly varying styles, form and media, includes oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, collages, sculptures and photographs, all recently completed by EAG members. Prizes are awarded during the reception. Admission to the gallery and the museum is free all day Fridays.

Planning for the Autumn Magic reception has been a committee consisting of Heather Jones-Pryor, president of the Elmhurst Artists' Guild; Georgia Dolan, president of the Elmhurst Garden Club; Teri Litavsky, EAG member and owner of the Wild Bird Pottery Studio, and Karen Exiner of the Exiner Art Studio, who is a member of both organizations. She can be contacted for more information on the event, at karenexiner@gmail.com.

The exhibition can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5. On days other than Fridays, Museum admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Most of the items entered into the show are for sale, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Guild and the Elmhurst Art Museum.

Portraits of "50 over 50" premier in EAG solo art show

Issued August 2014
For several years, Bob Proce has been creating painting studies of the people around him, friends and acquaintances, all people over the age of 50. Now, 50 or more of his profile portraits of seniors are being shown for the first time in a solo exhibition in the Elmhurst Artists' Guild gallery. Entitled "The Art of R. M. Proce: 35 Years," the show, which includes other works by the artist, can be seen from August 26 through October 3 in the gallery located at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. An artist's reception, free and open to the public, is set for Friday, August 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the gallery.

The retrospective exhibit showcases 80 works of art, including paintings, drawings, and some sculptures. The entire series of 50 Over Fifty: Profiling The Art Of Aging In America paintings is included. He used a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to frame the paintings.

"An important thing for me about the (50 over 50) series is that all these people I painted are not famous," Proce explains. "They are known to their families, co-workers, neighbors, but they aren't in the news, or on YouTube. When they leave this life, how long will they remain in the memories of others? One lifetime? Two lifetimes? That hardly seems enough when I think of what they gave to their world and their families. What I've tried to do is give them a public visage for all to see, a presence for all time, as if to say 'I was here!'"

Proce, who lives in Oak Park, works as a portrait artist, art director and lettering artist and has taught at the Institute of Lettering and Design, as well as giving private drawing instruction. His work has been shown extensively in the Chicagoland area and is represented in private and public collections throughout the Midwest. Media that he has used include acrylic, graphite, oil, plaster, plastic, wood, decorative stones, sculpted cloth, and papier-mâché. He has studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, American Academy of Art and Institute of Lettering and Design.

The Proce exhibit can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm; Friday from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Friday is the Museum's free admission day. At other times, admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Diversity of styles and media in Elmhurst art exhibit

Issued June 2014
Elmhurst Artists' Guild members from many western suburbs are exhibiting recent works in the Guild's Summer Member Show being held in the EAG gallery from July 8 through August 15. More than 50 entries, displaying greatly varying styles, form and media, are included. The gallery is located at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst.

Prizes are awarded during an artists' reception, free and open to the public, in the gallery, Friday, July 11, from 7 to 9 pm. Admission to the gallery and the museum is free all day Fridays.

Judging the show's entries is Didier Nolet, Paris-educated Chicago artist and art instructor, who received his Diplome Superieur d'Art Plastique (master's degree) from École Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts. Nolet's work has been exhibited extensively throughout Northern Illinois, including a one-man show "Nature's Renderings" at the Elmhurst Art Museum in 2005. Included in many public and private collections, his art has received numerous awards.

Works being exhibited in the show are oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, collages, sculptures and photographs recently completed by EAG members, each displaying their interpretations and approaches to art with new and, often, unique perspectives.

The exhibition can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5. On days other than Fridays, Museum admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Most of the items entered into the show are for sale, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Guild and the Elmhurst Art Museum.

York students win EAG scholarships

(Issued June 2014)
Two talented York High School seniors have been awarded $500 scholarships by the Elmhurst Artists' Guild. This year's recipients are Parker Smart for a self-portrait, executed as a "visual photograph," and Emily Fry for her colored pencil work, entitled "Mother and Child." Winners were chosen by EAG artists Adrienne Jaroscak and Nick Sgarioto, and awards were presented at a recent EAG meeting.

Smart plans on attending the University of Iowa to study art. Her interest in art started around the age of seven, while taking classes at the Elmhurst Art Museum. She studied art all four years at York. Her current emphasis is on photography, although she is also taking a watercolor class.

Fry plans to attend Illinois Southern University in the fall, majoring in studio art, with a minor in either psychology or education. She hopes to work in art education or art therapy after college. She also studied art all four years at York, showing particular interest in Native American culture, which she represents in her art.

The not-for-profit Elmhurst Artists' Guild operates a gallery open to the public at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. The EAG gallery, featuring original contemporary artworks in a variety of styles and media, currently is exhibiting "Triplicity," a three-person collaborative effort that will run through July 3. Fridays is a free day at the Museum; admission at other times is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors. More information is available at www.elmhurstartistsguild.org.

Three Artists, Three Styles Merge in New EAG Art Show

(Issued May 2014)
"Triplicity," featuring a selection of individual and collaborative works by Wes Baker of Elmhurst, Peter Steeves of Valparaiso, and Randal Stringer of Glen Ellyn, are on exhibit in the Elmhurst Artists' Guild Gallery at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, from May 25 through July 3. The public is welcome at a reception on Friday, May 30, from 7-9 pm.

It was a dark and stormy night in an empty parking lot in Elmhurst when these three artists from the Elmhurst Artists' Guild conceptualized Triplicity. Baker, Steeves and Stringer, already accomplished, award-winning artists, spanning multiple states and generations, were friends and admirers of each other's distinctively different style.

"The concept was simple," said Steeves, "3 artists, 3 styles, 1 canvas. It began as an experiment in collaboration with no rules." Each would begin a painting, then pass it on to another, with the expectation that whatever existed would change. The Triplicity project became a lesson in the temporal nature of art, that art exists in the moment. Some canvases made the rounds of the 3 artists several times, with prior work being almost completely obliterated, and then reconstituted in the final iteration, or resulting in a painting far beyond the original artistic starting point. Other canvases were declared finished after the second artist's contribution, because the triumvirate determined that further contributions would not be an improvement. The lesson also taught these independent artists to cede control of the brush, releasing their talented contribution to the fleeting artistic moment.

Baker, the senior citizen of the trio, is a representational abstract painter who has created a body of work designed to share the sense of motion, freedom and emotional impact of motorcycle riding. Four of Baker's paintings are currently on display in the "2 Wheels + Motor: A Fine Art Exhibition" at the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, OH. Recently, Baker's art has taken on social issues in artworks inspired by Native Americans, the Civil War, and slavery.

Steeves is a surrealistic painter whose works bring out the imagery of forgotten dreams, that plane where imagination is allowed to run free. Steeves' artwork captures the fragments of remembered dreams and challenges viewers to hear, see, feel and explore their own sub-conscience minds. Steeves' ethereal subject matter features elements of landscapes, portraiture, sea turtles, and other fleeting subject matter, imbued with colorful pointillist waves.

Randal Stringer, the youngest member, describes his unique style as "tradigitalism," in which traditional art techniques are merged with digital applications. "I utilize a multi-level process to create edgy images, working with pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic, photography, and digital mixed media to produce intensely colored, heavily manipulated concepts that reveal the creative force of the natural and digital world."

"The exhibition includes a sampling of our own individual paintings so that viewers can see how each of us influenced the collaborative works," said Baker. "We've had a lot of fun, been challenged, and have produced work that truly none of us could have done alone, so the experiment was a success."

The exhibition can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5. Friday is the Museum's free admission day. At other times, admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Abstract and realistic, artists compete in EAG member show

(Issued Apr. 2014)
Elmhurst Artists' Guild members are exhibiting their newest works and competing for prizes in the Guild's Spring Member Show being held in the EAG gallery from April 15 through May 23. The gallery is located at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst.

Prizes are awarded during an artists' reception, free and open to the public, in the gallery, Friday, April 18, from 7 to 9 pm. Admission to the gallery and the museum is free all day Fridays.

Judging the show's entries is Gregg Hertzlieb, director and curator of the Brauer Museum of Art, home to a nationally recognized collection of 19th- and 20th-century American art, world religious art, and Midwestern regional art, on the campus of Valparaiso University. Hertzlieb, instructor in Museum Studies at Valpo, has a master's degree in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master's degree in education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Among the entries are two different nature-related acrylic paintings. Using a contrast between organic textures and man-made forms, Michael Klaus-Schmidt's piece, "Twisted Oak," provides engaging patterns in a muted palette, creating almost a nocturnal mood. In a different approach, the soft palette of Marlene Vitek's "Spring Woods" evokes the lighter nature of sunshine on a spring day.

Other works in the show are oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, collages, sculptures and photographs recently completed by EAG members, each displaying their interpretations and approaches to art with new and, often, unique perspectives.

The exhibition can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5. On days other than Fridays, Museum admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Steinhaus watercolors featured in EAG solo show

(Issued Feb. 2014)
A Midwestern impressionist watercolor artist, now residing in Woodridge, is the featured artist in a new solo show in the Elmhurst Artists' Guild gallery. Bret Steinhaus' exhibit, "Glimpses-Expressions in Color," runs from March 4 through April 11, with an artist's reception open to the public on Friday, March 7, from 7 to 9 pm. The EAG gallery is located at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst.

Formal art training began for Steinhaus at the age of 7 and bloomed under the tutelage of his Libertyville High School art teacher. During that time, he won a National Honorable Mention from the Wieblot's Scholastic Awards, and his winning oil painting was displayed in the Wieblot's National Art Show in Washington, DC.

He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design from Northern Illinois University. Concentrating on watercolors, his art was then and still is greatly influenced by the Midwestern everyday scenes found in Illinois and surrounding states. About six years ago, he made the decision to make art a top priority in life. "I released my passion for art, and I am inspired by it daily," he said, "In the past, I was lucky to paint one or two paintings a year. Now that I am devoting time to my art, despite a full-time job and a busy family life, I am happy to do almost one painting a month."

Steinhaus has evolved from a realist to an impressionist painter over the last three years. Based on his own photography, his watercolors capture the ambiance, vistas, and details of cityscapes, landscapes and portraits. He is a frequent exhibitor and prizewinner at art shows in the Midwest.

The Steinhaus exhibit can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm; Friday from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Friday is the Museum's free admission day. At other times, admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

The EAG gallery is not-for-profit, operated by the Elmhurst Artists' Guild. It features original contemporary artworks in a variety of styles and media. Each year it hosts several group shows featuring the artwork of Guild members, an invitational show for a significant local artist, and the National Art Premiere, a nationwide juried group show. Exhibits are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. More information is available at elmhurstartistsguild.org,

Variety of new art on exhibit at EAG gallery

(Issued Jan. 2014)
More than 50 artists are exhibiting their latest works in the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild Winter Member Show, running from January 21 through March 1 in the EAG Gallery at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, Illinois. A reception open to the public will be held in the gallery Friday, January 24, from 7 to 9 pm. Admission to the gallery and the museum is free all day Fridays.

Oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, collages, sculptures and photographs are included among the works, and each entry tends to show a new perspective and a different approach to art. Leon Oks’ oil-on-canvas “White Rhapsody,” for example, reminds us that beauty can be found in nearby winter scenes where our reality usually only shows us miserably cold, snowy weather.

Another entry, the oil painting “Morningstar” by Mary Phelan realistically depicts an ordinary urban setting of a beauty salon on an early morning in spring, while Eve Ozer’s “Until We Find Each Other We Are Lost,” a mixed-media piece inspired by Rich’s poem “Hunger,” uses a combination of color and texture to try to communicate in an abstract manner the “spiritual hunger that drives us to ask questions that have no answer.”

The exhibition can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5. Friday is the Museum’s free admission day. At other times, admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Most of the items entered into the show are for sale, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Guild and the Elmhurst Art Museum.

Lowbrow art hits Elmhurst

(Issued Nov. 2013)
"Deviant Pop," an invitational show of pop surrealism, or "underground" lowbrow art, is being exhibited in the Elmhurst Artists' Guild Gallery from December 1 through January 17. The unusual, often humorous and cartoon-like art is the product of five talented Chicago artists associated with OhNo!Doom, a Chicago artist collective made up of designers, illustrators and plush artists, all of whom work creative jobs during the week.

The opening reception is Friday, December 6, from 7pm to 9pm. It is free and open to the public. The EAG Gallery is located at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, Illinois.

Lowbrow art, according to Wikipedia, describes an underground visual art movement that arose in the Los Angeles area in the late 1970s. It is a populist art movement with its cultural roots in underground comix, punk music, and hot-rod cultures of the street. It has a sense of humor, often being gleeful, impish, or sarcastic.

Four of the exhibitors are OhNo!Doom members. For Lana Crooks, plush has become her main focus, with her Octoplush series based on her attraction to cephalopods. Max Bare, who says he was brain-fed in Savannah, makes narrative mixed-media pieces filled with "paint, tapirs, bears, wood and love."

Joey Potts works with a wide variety of media to create illustrations, animations, graphic prints and collage. With 13 years of design experience, seven of them designing mobiles, Andrew Thompson now designs fulltime for Roundarch Isobar in Chicago.

Shawn Smith, the fifth exhibitor, is the originator of "Shawnimals," a line of character-branded simple handmade plush toys, based on designs from Smith's own sketchbooks,

The EAG gallery is open to the public during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5. Friday is the Museum's free admission day. At other times, admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Elmhurst Artists’ Guild showcases members’ unique talents

(Issued Oct. 2013)
More than 50 artists are exhibiting their latest works in the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild Fall Member Show, running from October 22 through November 29 in the EAG Gallery at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, Illinois.

A reception open to the public will be held in the gallery Friday, October 25, from 7 to 9 pm. Admission to the gallery and the museum is free all day Fridays.

The show features unusual artwork such as Laliberte’s acrylic on Ugandan tree bark cloth; Lee’s oil, cold wax, sand on wood panel mixed media; Loane’s acrylic on board butterfly-series painting, and Lucietto’s ceramic and polychrome sculpture of St. John the Baptist.

EAG members are exhibiting landscapes, portraits and abstract works, most of which are for sale. “Many of our members work in the arts professionally, and the artwork included in this show is equal to that found in many commercial galleries,” according to Heather Jones-Pryor, EAG President. Entries show different approaches to art, using watercolors, ceramics, oils, acrylics, collages and photographs. A portion of the proceeds from sales benefits the Guild and the Elmhurst Art Museum.

Judging the show is Cristy Corso, an award winning multi-disciplinary contemporary artist, who has studied at The American Academy of Art in Chicago and the Parsons School of Design in New York City. She is owner of Corso Studio Premieres and has a gallery in Chicago.

The exhibition can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Friday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5. Friday is the Museum’s free admission day. At other times, admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

Tribune artwork displayed in EAG retrospective

(Issued Sep. 2013)
With 20 years as illustrator and Editorial Art Manager for the Chicago Tribune behind her, Judie Anderson is still constantly re-inventing her skills in the visual arts.
A retrospective of over 55 years of her art, old and new, is on display in the Elmhurst Artists' Guild Gallery at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, from September 10 through October 18.

An artist's reception, open to the public, will be held in the Gallery, on Friday, September 13, from 7 to 9 pm.

Examples of her diverse styles as fashion illustrator, children's educational designer and artist, free-lance illustrator, Chicago Tribune art director, graphic designer, editorial artist and, now, fine-arts painter are included in the show. Her work has appeared in publications throughout the U.S. Anderson has a BFA in Advertising Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

According to the SAIC alumni publication, Anderson devoted her first year at SAIC studying design, drawing and painting before spending the summer at Ox-Bow, where she developed a friendship with well-known artist LeRoy Neiman. She recalls, "LeRoy was one of the first people who exposed me to the business side of art and inspired me to focus my studies on fashion illustration and art advertising."

Anderson's "Phases…Coming Full Circle" exhibit can be viewed during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm; Friday from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Friday is the Museum's free admission day. At other times, admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.

The EAG gallery is not-for-profit, operated by the Elmhurst Artists' Guild. It features original contemporary artworks in a variety of styles and media. Each year it hosts several group shows featuring the artwork of Guild members, an invitational show for a significant local artist, and the National Art Premiere, a nationwide juried group show. Exhibits are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.