Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lorraine Sack ~ Breaking Criminal Traditions on WBEZ

Lorraine Sack, Figure with Magenta Background, Oil on Linen, 56 x 32"

Friday afternoon, WBEZ's Worldview, aired an interview on Weekend Passport with Cheryl Jefferson, Executive Producer of The Art of Influence... Breaking Criminal Traditions. The interview focused on the genesis of the exhibition and the show's intent to raise awareness of the ongoing ancient rituals that kill or maim millions each year—yet aren’t considered crimes.

During the interview, Jefferson spoke of the amazing figurative paintings created by Indianapolis artist, Lorraine Sack. Her beautiful, classical representations of the human form are draped or veiled in two of the three works. Jefferson explains that the paintings allude to the issues surrounding women who choose to veil.

The third of Sack's paintings—shown at the onset of this blog post—Figure with Magenta Background, was selected for the exhibition, not as a representation of veiling, but as a symbol of empowerment. The subject is a powerful women, confronting the viewer. She's comfortable in her skin—wearing nothing but an extravagant bracelet. The vibrant red walls and the matching ottoman on which she sits, add to the power of the image. The warmth of the surrounding color reflects on to the mocha skin-tones of the subject. She is an expression of power and self-assured elegance.

Jefferson's Weekend Passport interview can be heard on WBEZ's Worldview. The Art of influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions is on display through February 3. The gallery is located on the 3rd floor of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, located at 565 West Adams Street in Chicago [the corner of Adams and Jefferson]. Street Parking is abundant.

The gallery hours are: Monday-Thursday 7:30am-11pm, Friday 7:30am-9:30pm, and Saturday 8:30am- 6pm. Most of the pieces included in the exhibition are available for purchase. Additional information can be found at

Painter Lorraine Sack studied at the apprenticed based art school Atelier Lack in her native Minnesota. The school, with linage back to the Boston School of Art and 19th century French Academy, focused on the fine art of seeing nature truthfully. The four year program incorporated the French academy’s ideas of drawing and seeing values with the impressionist idea of seeing true versus formulaic color. In addition to her formal training, Lorraine studied the Old Masters and Impressionists in Italy, Germany and France. She also studied anatomy extensively to better understand the human form.

Currently Lorraine works out of her studio in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work is represented by the G. C. Lucas Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana. Gallery 180, Chicago, Illinois featured her latest solo exhibition in 2011. Her paintings have been juried into a number of museum shows and selected for several group exhibitions nationally and internationally.

Lorraine is the recipient of many awards including: The Butler Institute of American Art, Honorable Mention in The 73rd National Midyear, The Lexington Art League, Second Place in The Nude Annual Juried Exhibition, The Hoosier Salon, Outstanding Oil in the Hoosier Salon Annual Exhibition, The American Artist Magazine, Emerging Artist Achievement Award, The California Art Club, Honorable Mention, The Art Calendar, Web Site Publication in November of 1997, The Pastel Society of the West Coast, Specialty Award, The John F. & Anna Stacey Scholarship and the Frances Hook Scholarship Fund. 

Lorraine has been included in publications such as the American Artist Learning from Today’s Art Masters and The Artist’s Magazine. 

Collections including Lorraine’s work are Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago, Kinsey Institute Art Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana, Kizu Senior Living Community in Kyoto, Japan, Rosemount Inc. in Denmark, and RTW Corporation in Bloomington, Minnesota. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jane Fulton Alt: The Burn

Jane Fulton Alt, Burn 55

Award-winning Fine Art Photographer, Jane Fulton Alt will discuss her recently published book, The Burn, at the Book Release Party hosted by the DePaul Art Museum, on Thursday, November 7th from 6-8pm. The work captures the beauty and violence of controlled prairie burns. The photographs are a mystical journey into the place between life, death and rebirth. Fulton Alt explains:
While observing controlled prairie burns, I was drawn to the ephemeral quality of the moment when life and death are not contradictory but are perceived as a single process to be embraced as a whole.
The beginning of this project coincided with my sister’s diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer, more than four years ago. The parallels between the burn and chemotherapy were immediately revealed to me. Just as the burning reduces invasive vegetation that crowds out native plants, chemotherapy destroys unwanted growth, allowing for new healthy cells to establish themselves. These images were created and inspired with this deeper awareness and understanding of the life cycle.
The Burn, book release party will take place on Thursday, November 7th from 6-8pm—Fulton Alt will speak at 7pm—at the DePaul Art Museum located at 935 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago. Admission is complimentary. This event is presented in cooperation with The Ragdale Foundation and the DePaul Art Museum.

Jane Fulton Alt, a Chicago native, received her BA from the University of Michigan and MA from the University of Chicago. She studied art at the Evanston Art Center, Columbia College and the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, New Orleans Museum of Art, De Paul University Art Museum, Southwest Museum of Photography, Beinecke Library at Yale University, Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Oaxaca, Mexico, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, and the collection of William Hunt. Alt is the recipient of the 2007 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award, the 2007-2009, 2011 Ragdale Foundation Fellowships and winner of Critical Mass for her Katrina and Burn portfolios in 2007, 2009 and 2011. She has authored Look and Leave: Photographs and Stories of New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward and her Crude Awakening portfolio was been picked up by multiple publications worldwide. Most recently she received the Photo District News 2011 Curators Choice Award. Jane Fulton Alt is represented by the Corden Potts Gallery in San Francisco.

Monday, October 21, 2013

ArtScene at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art: Meditative Surfaces

Deanna Krueger, "Otekaike", Mixed Media, 54x72"

In just a few weeks, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art will be hosting "Meditative Surfaces"—a three-person exhibition comprised of work by Deanna Krueger, Maggie Meiners and myself. The exhibition will be presented in the Contemporary Regional Gallery from November 9 through January 19. Meditative Surfaces presents work created with both traditional and experimental techniques—yet all of the pieces explore unique personal content. The diversity of inspiration includes: X-Ray and MRI diagnostic imagery, mixed-media, self-analysis through photographic childhood contemplations and the prehistoric megaliths of Great Britain.

Maggie Meiners, "Slick" C-Print, 40x40"

On Friday, November 15th, Krueger, Meiners and myself will be in Fort Wayne to take part in the ArtScene lecture series. ArtScene is a dynamic program featuring living artists and curators discussing their work in contemporary life through diverse topics such as motivations, struggles, influences, life experiences, and artistic inspirations.

ArtScene: Meditative Surfaces will be presented on November 15 at 6:30pm. The event is free to FWMoA Members. There is a $5 fee for non-members.

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is located in downtown Fort Wayne on Main Street next to the Arts United Center at the corner of Main and Lafayette. The Museum offers convenient parking behind the building, and is fully handicap accessible. The museum is open: Sunday, 12-5 pm, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am - 6pm, and Thursday 10am-8 pm.

 Charles Gniech "Wave Watching" acrylic on canvas, 40x60"


Born and raised in Michigan and currently living in Chicago, Deanna Krueger is an Instructor at Northeastern Illinois University, teaching courses in painting and design. Krueger holds a Master of Fine Art degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan. She has been a Visiting Artist at various Colleges and Universities around the mid-west, including The University of Michigan, Portland College in Champaign, Illinois, and Robert Morris College in Chicago. Krueger’s work has been exhibited nationally as well as internationally with exhibits in Berlin and Rome. A Solo exhibition of Krueger’s work will be presented at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, during the 2010 exhibition season.

Born in Chicago, IL, Maggie Meiners had a suburban upbringing, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from University of Colorado-Boulder, and a Master of Education degree from De Paul University in Chicago, Illinois. She now resides outside of Chicago. Although Meiners is primarily a self-taught photographer, she devours books on art and photography, has taken workshops with Diane Kittle, Lauren Henkin, and Norman Mauskopf, and relies on a number of mentors to help her hone her creative and photographic skills. Meiners tends to find interest in objects that most people would overlook… and presents those subjects in her photography. It doesn’t necessarily matter what the subject is, but whether or not it is open for interpretation. Her compositions are direct, to the point of appearing minimal, while her subject matter, conversely discloses significant complexity. Meiner’s work appears in numerous private and public collections, including: The Illinois Institute of Art, Harrison Street Lofts, and Wheaton College. Additionally, she has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the 2009 Ragdale Prize. Among other bodies of work, Meiners continues to produce pieces for her large scale “Childhood Contemplations” imagery. This abstract work—comprised of random color patterns—invites the viewer to enter into a meditative environment. This series was exhibited at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, in September 2008 and is currently touring with the work of Deanna Krueger and Charles Gniech.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Charles Gniech is a Professor of Art at The Illinois Institute of Art- Chicago. He holds a Master of Fine Art degree with an emphasis in painting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in illustration, both from Northern Illinois University. While teaching, curating, consulting and freelancing, Gniech continues to paint and exhibits at the national level. His paintings focus on the meditative qualities of the stone circles found throughout Great Britain. Having explored many megalithic sites over the past twenty years, Gniech embraces the peaceful serenity of the mystical structures—a serenity that is reflected in his work. Images of his paintings may be seen on the web site: The paintings of Charles Gniech have been included into various gallery and museum exhibitions. His work has been exhibited at The Rockford Art Museum, The Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and The Quincy Art Center. Represented by ZIA Gallery [Winnetka, IL] and Gallery H [Three Oaks, MI], Gniech’s paintings have been acquired for numerous public and private collections.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Breaking Criminal Traditions ~ the opening reception

Richard Laurent
photo by: Deborah Adams Doering

Last Thursday's Opening Reception of the "Breaking Criminal Traditions" exhibition at IIT Chicago - Kent College of Law, was energizing. Many of the artists were on hand—discussing their work and the global issues that inspired the exhibition.

The exhibition's co-producer, Richard Laurent, spent the evening mingling with guests while conveying the importance of the issues at hand. Working in a variety of styles, Laurent's imagery subtlety explores the not-so-subtle topics of acid violence, female genital mutilation and forced child marriage, among others. The intensity of the subject matter is somewhat upstaged by the creative artistry of this modern master. The viewer is memorized by the aptitude of the techniques used to create these beautiful works of fine art.

The Art of influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions will be on display through February 3. The gallery is located on the 3rd floor of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, located at 565 West Adams Street in Chicago [the corner of Adams and Jefferson]. Street Parking is abundant.

The exhibition includes work by:  James Deeb, Sheila Ganch, Andrea Harris, Paula Kloczkowski Luberda, Richard Laurent, Zoriah Miller, Nancy Rosen, Lorraine Sack, Valerie Schiff, Barbara Simcoe, and Anne Smith Stephan

The gallery is open Monday-Thursday 7:30am-11pm, Friday 7:30am-9:30pm, and Saturday 8:30am- 6pm. Most of the pieces included in the exhibition are available for purchase. Additional information can be found at

photo by: Deborah Adams Doering

Co-producer Richard Laurent is an award-winning painter who exhibits in galleries and shows nationwide. Oil Painters of America has honored him with the prestigious national Blick Prize and he is the recipient of numerous other awards as well. Laurent teaches throughout the Chicago area. 

Laurent has exhibited at the International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art and has shown his paintings at Oil Painters of America national exhibitions since 2004. In 2006, he was awarded the Dick Blick Prize by OPA. He mounted a solo show at the Fine Arts Building Gallery in Chicago under the title, "Heavy Petting-The Painted Animal" in 2004. That same year at the National "Animal in Art" Exhibition, juror Ed Paschke awarded his painting "Best of Show in Oil Media." He mounted another solo exhibition in 2006 at the Fine Arts Building Gallery entitled "Beauty & Beast." In May of that same year, in a visual essay exploring definitions of classical beauty, reviewed the exhibition. In 2008, his painting "Swimming" was purchased by The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago for the school's permanent collection. He has also been a participant at two Chicago and Vicinity exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Breaking Criminal Traditions ~ Installed

"Venus", a bronze sculpture by Valerie Schiff, welcomes patrons to
The Art of Influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions

The Art of Influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions was installed this past weekend. The exhibition—including both two-and-three dimensional works—opened yesterday for preview. The public Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, October 10th from 5:15-8:15. The exhibition is presented in the 3rd floor gallery of IIT Chicago - Kent College of Law, located at 565 West Adams Street, in Chicago.

Already receiving enthusiastic reviews, "Breaking Criminal Traditions" was compiled to raise awareness of global criminal traditions... traditions that continue today. The pieces included, were selected to elude to the issues without being overtly obvious. The content of the show walks a blurred line between the horrifying reality of the world in which we live—and the intense beauty of empowerment and freedom.

Patrons who explored the show during previews, defined the work as inspirational and empowering. One viewer was even moved to tears.

Left: Paula Kloczkowski Luberda, "Connected", Stoneware, 12" diameter
Right: Zoriah Miller, "The Weapons Cache, Archival Photograph 1/8, 24 x 24"

The exhibiting artists are: James Deeb (Evanston, IL), Sheila Ganch (Chicago, IL), Andrea Harris (Chicago, IL), Paula Kloczkowski Luberda (Naperville, IL), Richard Laurent (Chicago, IL), Zoriah Miller (New York, NY, Paris, France), Nancy Rosen (Chicago, IL), Lorraine Sack (Indianapolis, IN), Valerie Schiff (Chicago, IL), Barbara Simcoe (Omaha, NE), and Anne Smith Stephan (Wilmette, IL)

The Art of influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions will be on display through February 3. A public Opening Reception will take place on Thursday, October10 from 5:15-8:15pm. The gallery is located on the 3rd floor of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, located at 565 West Adams Street in Chicago [the corner of Adams and Jefferson]. Street Parking is abundant and there are a number of lots within a single block.

The gallery is open Monday-Thursday 7:30am-11pm, Friday 7:30am-9:30pm, and Saturday 8:30am- 6pm. Most of the pieces included in the exhibition are available for purchase. Additional information can be found at

Valerie Schiff has studied with a variety of talented teachers including: Lynn Borst, Alan Gavin, Richard Halsted, and Gay Riseborough. Seeking to learn more about human anatomy, Valerie was fortunate to study with Sheila Oettinger. Working with Oettinger helped her to work larger and to subtly infuse power and emotion into her sculpture. Schiff’s accolades include numerous awards including multiple "Best in Show" prizes.

Paula Kloczkowski Luberda
is an established and widely exhibited artist. Her work has been presented in regional, national and international exhibitions for more than two decades. Her extensive award list includes: A Purchase Award from The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, A Merit Award from Salisbury State University; Best of Show from Nicolet College, Wisconsin; 3rd Place Indiana University; Merit Award Quincy Art Center; Honorable Mention from Rockford Art Museum, and an Award of Excellence from the Norris Cultural Center of St. Charles. Paula Kloczkowski Luberda—and her work—has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times and the Daily Herald News Paper, as well as other print media. Her work was also featured on NBC Channel 5 news. Luberda’s education includes a BA in Studio Art, an Associate’s degree in Design and Illustration, specialized instruction in ceramic sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago, fiber sculpture from Concordia University, Montreal Canada, Mold making from San Antonio Institute of Art, San Antonio, Texas, and Patination at Cleveland University, Cleveland Ohio.

Zoriah Miller
is a world renowned photojournalist known for his prolific work documenting conflict, crisis and disasters. His award winning photography has appeared in major motion pictures, on television, book covers and in publications such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Elle, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan and countless others. His work is exhibited around the world and permanently archived in the United States Library of Congress.