Sacred Art Trunk Show

Summer is here, and with it come leisurely strolls around neighborhoods to peruse art and beauty.  On June 10 I visited the bustling Lincoln Square Neighborhood for a Meet & Greet at Sacred Art.

I set up my wares in a lovely nook, and met wonderful customers.

Sacred Art hosts handmade creations by more than 100 artists. There are numerous gift items to cheer up friends, adorn your home and or a human with, or to use in your every day life.

Chicago lovers have a plethora of unique gifts to choose from as an alternative to mass-manufactured tourist tchotchkes.

The store is also a wonderful inspiration for decoration ideas.

I had a lovely afternoon absorbing the Lincoln Square vibe and seeing pieces adopted.


Sacred Art is located at 4619 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago and still has a selection of my pendants and pant stakes available.

Check out upcoming Sacred Art events on their Facebook page.


Evanston Made 2017 Tour

For 4 years in a row, Evanston Made has been held the first weekend of June.


Evanston-based artists open their private studios for one day only, so the public can see where they create. In addition, local businesses partner with artists to display their work all month long (if not on a more long-term basis, like Stumble & Relish).


The Evanston Art Center also hosts a pop-up shop, designed by Anomaly Productions, which features functional art by local artists, including me.


I have some of my swarm and angels in the shop this month, and helped with setting up other merchandise on June 1.


It was fun to peruse the other beautiful creations in the store, and help place them in the display Amy Amoroso had set up.


The art work includes assemblage vignettes, prints, booklets, keychains, leather bags, fiber fashion for kids and adults, ceramics, home decor, spark syrup, greeting cards, and jewelry.


My swarm had a whole new arrangement I would not have thought up myself.


On June 2, we had the Evanston Made opening party, and customers began perusing the store.


The Art Center’s Evanston Made Exhibit features numerous Evanston Artists with one piece each.


The art work is very vibrant this year.


Spark Syrup offered samplings in addition to the bar and nibbles.


3-D art is also welcomed.


Numerous people showed up to peruse the art work and support their artist friends.


Pantsuit Nation by Melanie Deal, which has a red dot, is one of my favorite pieces in the show.


Ben Blount’s framed print is already claimed, but you can pick up unframed prints in the pop-up shop.


Jason Brown had created location-specific installation art for the exhibit.


My Daisy Dots Constellation is on view as well.


I enjoyed the fabulous response on opening night, and loved watching people peruse all the items in the store.


Artists attend the pop-up on a rotating basis during Evanston Art Center’s Business Hours until June 30.


Meanwhile, the exhibit gave a sneak peek at the types of art to be featured during the Saturday Artist Tour.


One Dragonfly fluttered off to be gifted.


Spearheaded by Lisa Degliatoni, participating venues are plotted on a map by IDG, so Evanston residents can stroll their neighborhoods and get to know their creative neighbors.


I visited my friends Lauren and Rory Coyne first. With Rory’s venture into Coyne leather, the layout of their home studio had changed quite a bit.


Then I visited Ben Blount, who helped people create prints onsite.


A staged home became an artist coop showcase, with the dining room featuring Ellen Greene.


FUSEDChicago member Katsy Johnson was also represented.


Because of the tight schedule, I drove to the various clusters of artist studios. On Sherman, Platform had a wonderful new installation.


Then I visited Jason Brown and Yadi in a garage near her living quarters.


Then I needed lunch, which I got at Curt’s Cafe, which also has rotating exhibit, and is helping young ladies learn skills in the food industry to get their careers going.


Lea Pinsky and Dustin Harris showcased the murals they create in Chicagoland. Their work is on Church Street in Evanston, and they are assisting the Main-Dempster Mile in more beautification.


Then I headed over to Florence to peruse the vibrant artists street there, and discovered the Rembrandt Chamber Musicians, where singer Josefien Stoppelenburg had her music-themed paintings.


Ausrine’s Art Room is full of beauty.


I love doll houses so much, and Mill Creek Miniatures keeps making new ones.


I ended at 1100 Florence to observe the wonderful Nasty Women Fundraiser frenzy that evening.


You can peruse additional Evanston Made photos on my Facebook page. The Pop-up shop and the exhibit at Evanston Art Center are up through June 30.


Keep on supporting local art!

Creativity at Creative Coworking

My last pop-up in May was a set-up for Evanston Made Month at Creative Coworking.

The May-June Art & Wine Night featured macro photography art by Ross Martens and vibrant paintings by Laura Engel.

I set up a booth in a conference room, complemented by artwork created by Greg Palmer.

As usual, art appreciators came to converse about the work.

Laura showed off one of my favorite pendants, which she bought before the reception began. 🙂

Who doesn’t love rainbow druzy?

I chatted with wonderful Evanstonians throughout the evening.

It was fun to try out the new vases created by Everlasting Fire Studio just for me.

The Creative Coworking Art & Wine Nights always feature nibbles.

I liked the shadow games my pieces were playing.

It is always good to have extra product shots for the webshop (which is undergoing repair).

A few pieces found new homes.

And in time for pride month I was able to give Angela her rainbow safety pin commission.

It was a lovely evening, and I look forward to the next rotation of art in the front lobby.

My butterflies have moved to the third floor of Creative Coworking to make room for Virginia Kondziolka’s beautiful pieces downstairs.

This is my favorite Engel.

You can view this exhibit until the end of the month as part of Evanston Made.

People photos courtesy Creative Coworking

Nasty Women Raising Funds

Oh my goodness, the Nasty Women Exhibit was an amazing experience. Shortly after the Evanston Made Studio Walks ended, people started lining up at 1100 Florence to ensure they got first dibs on the art work.

112 women from Evanston and near the North Shore donated artwork to be sold at $100 a piece. All proceeds went to Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

We were able to peruse the walls during the Evanston Made Artwalk, but sales were not made until 6 pm sharp.

The art work submitted was vibrant, humorous, and rebellious.

I enjoyed seeing everyone’s overt, cheeky or subtle take on the Nasty Women theme.

While Donald Trump used the phrase “nasty woman” to belittle and disrespect Hillary Clinton in a presidential debate, millions around the world have used it as a powerful rallying cry against the current administration.

At 5:40 pm the line to the gallery was one block long.

Between 6 and 6:30, numerous red dots were distributed within minutes of the doors opening.

Those dots marked that a piece had been claimed.

Once the piece was officially purchased, it was taken off the wall and went home with the happy recipient.

The space was packed, but the system worked well.

The traffic flow continued until 7:15, after which the sales slowed down a little bit.

The art show raised more than $10,000 for Planned Parenthood.

I didn’t get to see my piece earn a red dot before I had to leave for another engagement, but what didn’t sell Saturday can be viewed by appointment at 1100 Florence for the next 30 days.

Some custom commemorative posters by Diana Sudyka are also available. A gallery of all the art work and the event will be available online at NastyWomenEvanston.


Nasty Women Evanston is inspired by the Nasty Women Exhibition in NYC and the growing number of sister shows all over the world supporting women’s causes.

Check out 1100 Florence for upcoming events and exhibits. They will definitely showcase more thought-provoking and fun art in the future.

Here’s a thank you from organizers Lisa Degliatoni and Kathy Halper:

“We’ve been screaming “THANK YOU!” since Saturday night. Can you hear us? You made this happen beyond our wildest hopes! We will be back in a few days with hard numbers but we know we exceeded our ‘dream goal’ of $10,000! And while we expected to sell a lot of art we did not expect to sell SO much!

We have a hand full of pieces left. There are still a few very nice works that somehow got overlooked in the frenzy. If you’d like to see them, Lisa will be showing them at 1100 Florence. 

THANK YOU to the Evanston community and all who attended for embracing the spirit of the night, as well as the beautiful weather, and being so patient and good natured and generous and loving. Nothing made us happier than seeing the party atmosphere outside while the crowds shopped inside!

You are all wonderful! Maybe we can accomplish anything.”

Sacred Art Pop Up Saturday

Part of the fun of being a maker is discovering all the boutiques that support artisans in Chicago. Last November Sacred Art had my Angels in the shop, and in late May I took some pendants and plant stakes there.

On Saturday, June 10 from 11 am to 3 pm I will have a Pop Up Shop at Sacred Art Chicago.  I love this specially curated gift shop of local art.

Sacred Art is an art gallery and gift boutique located in Chicago’s charming Lincoln Square neighborhood. This lovely area along 4619 N Lincoln Avenue is filled with small businesses and lovely places to eat, drink and be merry.

Owner Kate Merena features new artists every month. Last month we popped in to peruse the new origami collection that Prairie Kate had brought in.

My friend Chai, with whom I hung out in April, also has lovely art work on display.

I made a special Chicago Flag Ladybug stake for the store.

The collection I dropped off includes these pendants.

Since Kate also teaches meditation workshops at various satellite locations, I felt the Kyanite stone is particularly appropriate for her store, so I left this Kyanite Square with her.

I will have all my wares at Sacred Art on Saturday and look forward to meeting new people from the neighborhood. Founded in 2006, Sacred Art has more than a decade of experience connecting makers and clients, with an eye for quality and style and a focus on community. Owner Kate Merena’s goal is twofold: to support independent artists in the Chicago area and beyond, and to provide you with an inviting environment in which to browse and buy original artwork.

Sacred Art’s hours are Monday: closed or by appointment, Tuesday – Friday: noon – 7pm, Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm. Metered street parking is available and there are two metered parking lots nearby. The shop is steps from the CTA Brown Line Western Avenue stop. You can also take the 49 Western bus to Wilson Ave stop, the 50 Damen bus to Eastwood/Brown Line stop, and 81 Lawrence bus to Western Ave stop. I also spotted some bike racks along the street.

Lincoln Square also has lovely eateries and drinkeries to peruse, so grab some frozen yogurt in the cheerful shop nearby.

I’m looking forward to taking a Flirty Cupcake home.

It will be hard for me not to shop while I am hanging out at this lovely store, but I already have some uplifting art gracing my fireplace mantel. So come buy things from me so I can pay that money forward to other artisans.

Making Plant Stake Critters

I have distributed plant stakes at 3 locations this week, which means a lot of stake-making happened over the past month.

Staying focused to pick up more wire was indeed a danger zone during my hardware store trip.

Something compelled me to make stakes late last year, but then winter happened and ornament production kicked in. With spring/summer finally emerging, I decided to make more dragonflies and also play with ladybug designs.

I had to allocate enough pieces for Evanston Made, my own Pop-ups, a Sacred Art Consignment, and the new Hip Circle Empowerment Center Retail Zone.

There are popular colors, and then I keep finding scraps I want to play with, so it required some focus to get it all done. Shopping sprees also provide more fun colors.

I created a design on my Now That’s A Jig for the dragonfly. The ladybug is just two rounds and then I hand-bend the wings and the dots.

Then I cut out the patterns and place them on my palette to be waxed.

I fuse the paper layers onto the wire.

After that, I cut the paper or fabric to size.

It is easy to poke my eye out in the process, but so far so good. I also keep discovering new scratches on my arms…

Some stakes are embellished with alcohol inks, and I have one dragonfly hanging out on my porch to test all that for weather-fastness.

Rain causes a little bit of rust, and we’ll see what the sun does in terms of heat and fading.

Stakes are hard to photograph, so I need to figure out the setup for that if I load them to the shop.

Bouquets need a better backdrop as well.

I also wasn’t thrilled with the old bottles to use as a display.

So I scoped out Everlasting Fire Studio’s new glass vase designs that they debuted at a recent trunk show.

Based on my stake height they created two larger versions for me, and I love this much more than the recycled pieces.

I will still use the bottles as ‘car seats’ for my critters.

On Tuesday I dropped off my pieces at the former Hip Circle Studio.

Tonight the Hip Circle Empowerment Center makes its debut (changing Hip Circle from for-profit to not-for-profit) and the Women-Powered Retail Zone will be open for business.

I made special pieces for the occasion.

Class-goers have already admired all the gorgeous goodies by The Collage Cafe, Rita Shimelfarb, Golden Sapphire, See Jane Sparkle, Strait Jacket, Maike’s Marvels, Chai Wolfman, and Rock These Socks. We’ll be up for a month or two until the retail Zone features other woman makers, so you’d better shop during their new business hours.

The Women-Powered Retail Zone is open: 3 to 6 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,  1 to 4 pm Fridays, 15 minutes before & after all classes/workshops, and during the Custer Fair June 17 & 18. Here’s to my creatures flying off to new homes.

I also tagged a bunch for the Evanston Made pop-up shop at the Evanston Art Center, which opens tomorrow evening to the public.

All that spread-sheeting and number tracking has me looking forward to making more fabric versions next.

Nasty Women of Evanston

The Nasty Women Exhibits are making their rounds, and Evanston is participating this week. On June 3, the women of Evanston will present their artistic take on the political climate.  Through art we can raise awareness, raise money, raise our voices and raise hell!

Nasty Women Evanston is inspired by the Nasty Women Exhibition in NYC and the growing number of sister shows all over the world supporting women’s causes. On Saturday, June 3 from 6 to 9 pm this one night only special event takes place at 1100 Florence in Evanston. 100% of the profits from the sale of artwork will benefit Planned Parenthood of Illinois. All artists have donated their art work for this purpose.


Per the Nasty Women site: “While Donald Trump used the phrase “nasty woman” to belittle and disrespect Hillary Clinton in a presidential debate, millions around the world have used it as a powerful rallying cry against the current administration. We join Nasty Women and their allies in the mission to challenge increasing threats to reproductive freedom, women and minorities, the LGBTQ community, and human rights of immigrants through mobilization and artistic expression.”

While pondering my submission in March, I came across an old photo that is perfect for the challenge. When I was a reporter at The Baytown Sun the Baytown police took us to a shooting range. While that event had been in my calendar, I forgot about it that day, and wore a girly flower dress. This made for quite the juxtaposition with the dark gun belt. I kept the target for a while, but cannot find it now.

As always, I infused the background with words, in this case all the words associated with women.

Then I printed the photo and waxed the paper to give it the translucence it needed.

I fused it onto the canvas with encaustic medium. My toner had a pink hue, which was appropriate for this work, so I kept that and mimicked the toner color with Enkaustikos Rose paint. Then I needed to let the canvas sit for a while.

I thought about adding wire symbols to the canvas, but couldn’t find one I really resonated with that is also easy to recreate in a single piece of wire. There are lots of ideas percolating though.

Then a few days before the final submission deadline I decided to fiddle with the wire and see what happened. I had dreamt up a vision of the canvas being framed by a wire flower, but that wasn’t nasty enough. Instead I went with swirls and the hint of an infinity symbol, to signify the curves, well-roundedness and lifecycle energy women are associated with.

Initially the wire came out of the center of the canvas, but it didn’t quite work. So I re-jiggered the wire to come out of the gun, and this pleases me far more. So come and see the final work in person while it is up on the wall (buyers leave with their pieces). The show is Saturday from 6 to 9 pm at 1100 Florence in Evanston. Street parking is easy to find, and a brand-new bike rack awaits the sporty ones enjoying Spring weather.

Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. Planned Parenthood also works with partner organizations worldwide to improve the sexual health and well-being of individuals and families everywhere.

  • 75% of its patients are Medicaid recipients who depend on preventive healthcare services.
  • Planned Parenthood provides more than 270,000 Pap tests & more than 360,000 breast exams in a single year.
  • Planned Parenthood provides more than 4.2 million tests & treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including more than 650,000 HIV tests.
  • ONLY three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services, and these are not funded by the government.

Evanston Made 2017

I love the Evanston Made initiative, and this year I’ll actually be part of the pop-up at the Evanston Art Center. Evanston Made is an annual celebration focusing on Evanston creatives. Throughout June, studios, galleries and businesses open their doors to showcase works (artistic, artisanal, etc.) by Evanston creatives.

The month-long event kicks off with an artist reception on Friday, June 2, from 6 to 9 p.m at the Evanston Art Center. The Art Center will host the exhibit Evanston Made, featuring works by Evanston creatives (including me) from June 2- through June 30.  The Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street in Evanston.

From 12 to 5 pm on Saturday, June 3, artists will host open studios to the public. Maps for the studio tour are available online and at Evanston Art Center. The list of artist studios is extensive.


The Art Center will also house the Evanston Made Pop Up Shop, at which I will have a few of my ornaments. The pop-up is coordinated by Amy Amoroso of AnoMaly Productions. The hours of the pop up shop are the same as the Evanston Art Center hours of operation, when the Art Center is open the Pop Up is open.

Evanston Made Kids! is June 17, 12-4 p.m., at Evanston Art Center, and celebrates young Evanston artists and their families with a day of free fun and creativity. This event also features a pop up shop of kid’s wares.

Throughout Evanston, participating businesses will also showcase works by Evanston Artists through June, turning the city of Evanston into an Art Gallery. It is a great month to discover the numerous pockets of artistic creativity in Evanston, and to get to know artists you didn’t know were your neighbors.

Maybe I’ll see you around town as we explore the various venues! Thank you to Lisa Degliatoni of 1100 Florence for being a driving force in organizing this event. Be sure to check out the sister event, Nasty Women Evanston, Saturday evening!

Art & Wine Night Pop-up

On Friday evening I’ll have an Evanston pop-up. Creative Coworking is hosting Art & Wine Night Friday, May 26th, from 5 to 8pm. This month showcases work by Laura Engel and Ross Martens.

I will have a pop-up table with my jewelry and ornaments and brand-new plant stakes in the exhibit area. Creative Coworking is located at 922 Davis Street in Evanston.

These evenings are always fun and full of new discoveries.

I also have my butterfly collages on a wall in the coworking space, and numerous other artists grace the three floors.

Ongoing exhibitions inlcude: Liz Albertson, Laura Allen-Simpson, Jerry Alt, Raissa Bailey Eirich, Ann Baker, David Bender, Michael Berns, Betty Butler, Melanie Deal, Mark DeBernardi, Michael Birnbaum, Vanessa Filley, Angela Garbot, Larry Geni, Ted Glasoe, Liberis Golfinopoulos, Heather Hancock, Jill Hejl, Chris Heisinger, Jason Kaiser, Sarah Kaiser, Bonnie Katz, Bridgette Kelling, Ian Lantz, ITALA, Edyta Legiec, Elisa Lindstrom, Patrick Linehan, Stephen Lloyd, LP Lundy, Michelle Mallin, Christine McClure, Katherine Nemanich, Kristen Neveu, Darren Oberto, Greg Palmer, Annette Patko, Brian Peterson, Ron Rutkowski, Don Seeley, Barbara Seyfried, Sorcha, Rich Sparks, Nina Ulana, Amy Woodbury, Jerry Woods, Monica Zanetti, and Benita Zarling.

Come on out and enjoy wine, nibbles, and excellent company!

You can take the CTA to Davis Street, or park nearby in Sherman Garage or on side streets. I’m sure there’s a bike rack closeby as well!

 

Agápē Commission

When I started adding wire to my encaustic collages, a friend asked me to make a piece for her. She bartered for massage services, which I couldn’t refuse!

So her Agape piece has been marinating in my head for a while. I started by writing good words on the cradled board and then layered encaustic paint representing water and greenery for her.

I received a partial anatomy book from a friend that had hands and hips, which were quite appropriate for this lady. I also gathered other snippets of words and images that would fit her profession and personality.

Agape (Ancient Greek ἀγάπη, agápē) is a Greco-Christian term referring to “love: the highest form of love, charity”, and “the love of God for man and of man for God”. Per wikipedia, “agape embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances. The noun form first occurs in the Septuagint, but the verb form goes as far back as Homer, translated literally as affection, as in ‘greet with affection’ and ‘show affection for the dead’.”

Since the words would be obscured, I also made a small stab-stitch journal for my friend to allow her to read the content of the collage.

It was fun to play in a different artistic arena for an afternoon.

Then I wrangled the word ‘agape’ out of wire.

I embedded the steel into the wax layer, which is harder than it seems. The metal heats up while the wood stays the same, and it is a challenge to get continuous pieces of wire to stay on the board as they cool.

After that, I forgot I had not yet added hardware to the back, so making sure I wouldn’t make the steel bounce off the front was interesting, but the challenge was mastered.

Last week I sent this piece on to its journey to a new state, where it will reside in Rebecca’s new office.

If you’re in Louisville, Kentucky and need a massage therapist, check out Rebecca!

She truly has healing hands.