Friday, July 13, 2012
Merger will put Oak Park Art League teachers, classes into Expressions Graphics space in the Arts District.
I recently met with Oak Park Art League's Executive Director Faith Humphrey-Hill to discuss the group's involvement with Expressions Graphics on Harrison Street. This is great opportunity for Oak Park Art League to further their mission and serve the community. Ken Reif: Can you give me a little background on the Oak Park Art League and it's mission. Faith Humphrey-Hill: The Oak Park Art League was founded in 1921. It is a gallery and art school in a historic converted carriage house designed by E. E. Roberts in 1902. What we do is have monthly exhibitions and classes for adults and kids, at our Chicago Avenue location, which we call the Carriage House Gallery. We now have two distinct gallery spaces, our current Carriage House Gallery …
Friday, July 6, 2012
The Oak Park artist talks with Patch about his artistic upbringing, building a small business and how glass tends to show up on his doorstep.
As former president of Oak Park Art League I have had the privilege of working with Bryan Northup. Bryan's artistic and marketing skills have been a great resource for OPAL. Bryan's eco-friendly glass creations continue to amaze. It's not surprising that Bryan's artworks are gaining in popularity. Let's learn a little more about him. Ken Reif: Who are you? Bryan Northup: My name is Bryan Northup, I have been working as a professional glass artist since 1999. I grew up in California and lived there until 2008 when I moved to Oak Park. I love the process of creating and have worked with many art mediums including photography, painting, ceramics and sculpture. My mom is very creative, sewing and making quilts, my grandmother and aunts were …
Friday, June 22, 2012
Jimbo Parks talks daydreams, life questions, Duane Allman and "The Fever."
This week's interview is with Jim Parks of Jimbo-Delta. I've decided to mix it up a bit and go to the musical side of the art world. I have known Jim for over 10 years and accompany him on bass guitar. Jim has played at the Oak Park Art League on several occasions and most recently at the Open Door Repertory Theater. Jim's style is heartfelt Americana roots music. I guess you would call it blues music but you always leave his performance feeling good. Jim is a consummate professional and will not compromise his musical integrity. This dude rocks! Who are you? Where are you from? I'm James Parks...known as Jim or Jimmy by my late Mom and Jimbo by a few over the years...born and raised in Quincy Illinois. Quincy is a Mississippi River town …
Friday, June 15, 2012
The art of Tony Armendariz.
I first met Tony at the Oak Park Art League where he was asked to judge one of our monthly exhibits. His expertise was recommended to me by the folks at the Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, Illinois. I knew very little about him at the time, since then have learned Tony is not only a great watercolorist but is also the President of the Illinois Watercolor Society. My association with Tony was one of the perks of being President of OPAL. Who are you? I am Tony Armendariz, a contemporary realist painter, born and raised in Chicago. I was raised in a graphic arts family and have been studying art formally since majoring in art while attending Lane Tech High School. I then attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago where I obtained my …
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Jesse Howard portrays the disenfranchised through his artwork.
This week's interview is with Jesse Howard. Jesse's subject matter is the homeless and disenfranchised, he uses charcoal and watercolors to convey his feelings of social issues. He states on the website Art World Chicago, "I'm reminded that art should be a celebration of life, which includes the good of man and the contradictions that he has placed on himself and his total environment." Jesse's work is very bold and evokes strong emotion, which is what great art should do. His work puts a human face on this often ignored part of our society. See this exciting artist's work and become more aware of this social issue. We caught up with him for just a few questions. Who are you? I'm Jesse Howard and I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois…
Friday, May 18, 2012
In this week's installment of "It's All Art," Patch's art critic at-large Ken Reif discusses impressionism, inspiration and Lou Reed.
This week, we turn the tables. While Ken is out on his first "Life of Ray" celebration, his wife conducts the interview. Her subject? Ken Reif. Rebecca Reif: Who are you? Ken Reif: My name is Ken Reif, I am an artist, actor in the improv group Antigravity Experiment, musician and Art Critic At Large. Tell me about your first experience with the world of art. I started drawing by copying the drawings from Mad Magazine and my parents sent me to a local painting studio in South Holland, where I learned the basics. Where did you study after that? I became very interested in art during high cchool and also was very interested in music. so i began to draw portraits of my favorite musicians. Who did you receive encouragement from to continue on …
Friday, May 4, 2012
Ted Strandt, Stenhugger.
This week's interview is with sculptor Ted Strandt, a self-taught artist, board member at the Oak Park Art League and the owner of Strandt Monuments in Justice, Illinois. Strandt not only provides monuments for dearly departed humans, but a lot of his work is also about creating monuments for dearly departed pets. He's a straight shooter and pulls no punches, a "tell it like it is" kind of guy who's proud of his heritage. Ken Reif: Who are you? Ted Strandt: My name is Ted Strandt, 54 years old, I grew up in Elmwood Park. I started work in the monument business, that's a big part of my identity. When I started in this business in 1979, my grandmother liked that because her father was a stone cutter and on a recent trip to Denmark I was …
Friday, April 20, 2012
Getting spiritual at the Flavor City Studio.
Walking into what local artist Steve Smith calls the "Flavor City Studios" at 45 Harrison Street, you realize this place is the real deal. The place smells like art. Artwork covers the walls. Canvasses are stacked at least 20 deep waiting for the art lover's eyes. Steve is very involved in several Oak Park art organizations. He's a director of Oak Park Arts District and also serves on the board of directors at the Oak Park Art League. Previously, he attended the American Academy of Art and was also a full-time student at the Village Art School in Skokie. Some works from that time are on displayed at Flavor City. When I visited, he was working on a large dragonfly, a 3-D sculpture piece for the Highland Park Art Center for a program …
Friday, April 13, 2012
The inspiration of Faith Humphrey-Hill.
Friday, April 13, 2012
What do I mean by "It's all Art?" Art is all around us, everything we use, everything we do has at one time or another involved a creative process. I believe we are all artists, some of us just don't know it yet. I am a working artist and moved to this area almost 20 years ago to be close to a more culturally vibrant scene, which Oak Park and River Forest certainly are. Shameless self promotion — you can see my artwork at www.kenreif.com, also exhibiting at Trattoria 225 in Oak Park and at Culver's in Berwyn. I also have two murals along the CTA Green Line embankment in Oak Park (the Tree and the Dog). This is my first article here at Patch, and I'm honored to bring you art news and art people from around the area. Please feel free to drop…
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Expanded offerings include youth classes exploring the intersection of art and science.