Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Wonderful Event ~ The Art of Human Rights

Last night’s “The Art of Human Rights” event, was wonderful. The event was packed with Artists as well as Collectors supporting Heartland Alliance. This annual event helps Heartland Alliance to provide housing, healthcare, economic security, and legal protections services to more than 200,000 people whose lives are threatened by poverty and danger, including those living with HIV and AIDS. The after work cocktail party and art auction—both live and silent—was produced by the Junior Board headed by Stephanie Scherra and Kristin Weiss… both amazing women.

The event provided me with an opportunity to connect with the array of Artists that I’ve worked with over the years. This generous group of painters, photographers and sculptors are the people who offered their talents to generate the financial donations. Without the support of these Artists, the Collectors would not have anything to collect—and this Heartland Alliance event would not exist.

The above image is a painting donated by Indianapolis Artist, Lorraine Sack. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Sack for—roughly—the past ten years. I first came across her work when I produced a show titled “Naked or Nude” for the Fine Arts Building Gallery. Not only does Sack produce beautiful still life imagery, she is also an amazing figure painter. If memory serves, I believe that two of her pieces were included in that Fine Arts Building Gallery exhibition ...and both sold.

A Master Painter, Sack has developed a technique of painting with oil paint on linen, without turpentine or mediums, creating a pure and vibrant painting [paraphrased from her web site]. The paint is applied in layers—weaving together colors and values. The works are amazing. And yes—last night—I purchased the wonderful painting shown above, during the live auction.

If you're still interested in purchasing work to support Heartland Alliance, you can do so by visiting the photo ’11 exhibition at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. All commissions from the sale of work will be donated directly to Heartland Alliance for their Art of Human Rights benefit. All of the imagery from the exhibiting photographers can be seen at The exhibition closes March 3rd.

Above: Just one section of the crowd from last night’s Heartland Alliance event at Gruen Gallery, Chicago.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Art of Human Rights: Friday, February 25th

Join me on Friday, February 25th for "The Art of Human Rights" [formerly Art Against AIDS], hosted by the Junior Board of Heartland Alliance. This charitable event features live and silent fine art auctions with a variety of work created by local and national artists. Donating artists include: Frances Cox, Ted Preuss, Maggie Meiners, Audry Cramblit, Paula Kloczkowshi Luberda, Sheila Ganch, and Carol Luc. This is just a partial list of the generous and wonderfully talented participating artists. Follow this link to review the available work.

This after-work cocktail party and fine art auction will benefit Heartland Alliance in providing housing, healthcare, economic security, and legal protections services to more than 200,000 people whose lives are threatened by poverty and danger, including those living with HIV/AIDS.

This year's event will take place at Gruen Galleries located at 226 West Superior Street in Chicago. The festivities begin at 6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased online at starting at $125.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sheridan Road ~ ZIA Gallery

It’s always nice to receive recognition for the work you create as an artist. About a month ago, Maggie Meiners, Deanna Krueger and myself met with writer, Laura M. Browning and photographer, Jim Prisching at the ZIA gallery to discus our upcoming exhibition. Browning and Prisching work for Sheridan Road Magazine and were meeting with us to learn about “Reflections” the three-person exhibition presented at ZIA Gallery through March 19th.

The wonderfully written single-page article—complete with color images—gives a little insight into our individual bodies of work and concludes by pointing out that each of us is actually just attempting to find peace within the chaos of modern life. Browning concludes the article by pointing out, “…Each artist’s work is about fragmentation and about reflection, about giving something back to its audience.” The article is beautifully written and the portrait by Prisching is wonderful. Images from the exhibition are available at

Saturday, February 12, 2011

ZIA Gallery ~ The Missed Reception

It’s highly unusual that I don’t make it to the opening reception of a local exhibition that includes my own work. In fact, I think that this was a first.

Last Friday, ZIA Gallery in Winnetka, opened a three-person exhibition titled “Reflections”, which presented my acrylic paintings along side of the photographic imagery of Maggie Meiners and the mixed media pieces of Deanna Krueger. Painfully, a respiratory infection kept me in bed. Feeling miserable, I knew that there was no way to attend the event. Waiting until the last minute—hoping that I might feel better, I made a call to the gallery and my apologetic words came out sounding a bit like a toad… they understood.

The following day, I received a few calls from supporters concerned at my absence. I was told that the reception was well attended and that the exhibition looked great. So today—a week later and feeling a bit better—I headed up to ZIA Gallery to experience the show for myself. I was pleased. Anne Hough, the Gallery Manager, did a wonderful job presenting the work. We chatted for a bit and discussed the variety of press that the show received. I’ll be sharing some of that in future posts.

If you have an opportunity to head up to the north shore of Chicago, visit ZIA Gallery at 548 Chestnut. The show continues through March 19th.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gina Randazzo ~ photo '11

Gina Randazzo is another of the artists who's work is currently being presented in the "photo '11" exhibition at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. The simplistic beauty of Randazzo's repetitive patterns emerging from darkness, are used to comment on a society focused on acquisitions. Randazzo elaborates:
This series of images is an expression of my feelings about living in a society where so much emphasis is placed on shopping. Sometimes it seems to me that consumerism is the main component of American culture, now exported around the world. (I photographed malls in India that look like Sherman Oaks, CA.) While I am extremely thankful that I am able to procure the goods and services I need to live comfortably, I aim to question the constant pressure I feel to enter and engage in the commercial marketplace.

I photographed consumer environments with an eye towards examining the architecture and design that invite consumption. I depict my psycho-physical reactions to the surroundings by removing the mid-tones from the photographs, causing the environment to disintegrate. My framing highlights the disorientation caused by visual overload. I attempt to display the subtexts of sexual desire and religious awe that the consumer is subliminally exposed to. The resulting images explore the emotions evoked by my experience of consumerism.

Gina Randazzo is one of ten artist exhibiting in photo '11 at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. Commissions from sales will benefit Heartland Alliance in their Human Rights efforts. The entire exhibition can be seen at The exhibition continues through March 3rd.

Shopping 2 [top] Archival Pigment Print, open edition, 12.5 x 18.5, framed at 17" x 23", 2010, $600.
Shopping 4 [above] Archival Pigment Print, open edition, 12.5 x 18.5, framed at 17" x 23", 2010, $600.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reflections: Opening This Friday at ZIA Gallery

Opening, this Friday at Zia Gallery in Winnetka, Illinois, is a three-person exhibition titled "Reflections". The show is the culmination of work by Maggie Meiners, Deanna Krueger and myself. From the press release, Anne Hughes [Gallery Manager] defines the exhibition...

Each artist employs a different process and medium to develop bodies of work, which involve reflection. The photographic imagery of Maggie Meiners depicts direct, symbolic constructs of self, while Gniech uses both the process of painting and his abstracted interpretations of previously human-interpreted natural forms to evoke meditation. Deanna Krueger combines a high-tech, medical diagnostic film with a hands-on, seemingly crude manipulation of materials to arrive at a sophisticated, shimmering reconstruction.

“Reflections” will be presented at ZIA Gallery through March 19. The Opening Reception will take place on Friday, February 4, from 5-7:30pm. Zia Gallery is located at 548 Chestnut Street in the village of Winnetka — just seventeen miles north of Chicago with easy access from the Winnetka Metra Station.

ZIA Gallery specializes in contemporary American photography, painting and works on paper. The gallery represents established and emerging artists in a range of styles and media with eight exhibitions annually. For additional information, contact Anne Hughes, Gallery Manager, at 847.446.3970 or via