Monday, January 28, 2019

Girl Boss Reyes Witt of Assembly Creators in Downtown Evanston

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Reyes Witt is curating a marketplace (Assembly Creators Market) in Downtown Evanston that offers experiential shopping and features merchandise by a select group of creators.

Witt’s packing more than 20 years experience as a fashion merchandising executive, and in the last year, she “took a break” and launched a diabetes line of accessories (Dropp Kitt), a brick and mortar storefront (Assembly Creators Market) and an accessory line (jerjerB. Jewelry & Accessories); That’s how girl bosses take “breaks”.

Evanston’s really cool and culturally diverse community drew Witt to Orrington Ave, where she’s hoping to “offer affordable luxury items” to the numerous shoppers Downtown Evanston draws every workday. Her store is merchandised with a masterful design eye, “We’re like Anthropologie but less Boho and a little more chic and modern,” says Witt.

This interview is the first in a series of interview with Girl Bosses/Boss Ladies, women who run their own shops or endeavors in a super creative and interesting way. Know of one? Email thelisadshow[at]

Contact Reyes at or 847.859.6031 and pay a visit to Assembly Creators at1642 Orrington Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

Reyes Witt’s Bio

Before launching Assembly Creators Market., Reyes Witt cut her teeth-- and learned to cut leather-- developing luxury goods for Coach and Ralph Lauren. At the helm of go-to market strategies for a number of national brands and private label lines Reyes hit the wall when the story about the product became more important than the product itself.
It was at a leather show in Milan, Italy, that Witt, inspired by the colors and textures that didn't have a place in the world of mass-produced accessories, first imagined jerjerB. Jewelry & Accessories, her first solo collection.
Understanding the physical stress and labor involved for makers to present at markets, Reyes decided to bring all of the talent under one roof providing a place for Makers and Creators to showcase their talents in a curated environment.
Her goal to bridge the gap in top-shelf goods by creating a destination to shop without the insane markup associated with luxury items.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Rebecca Dudley Does Her Great Work Now!

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Rebecca Dudley finds energy and time to manifest her passions in the most creative ways. Her love of DIY music culture led her to the role as Drummer for Chicago’s punk band Moto in the 90s, her work as an architect led her to build a tiny world for Hank (the plush monkey/bear) and launch two children’s books about his adventures and most recently as a politically engaged citizen, Rebecca is making buttons and temporary tattoos to build awareness for Getting Out The Vote on Nov. 6.

Dudley lives in Evanston, and if you are lucky enough to trick or treat at her house on Halloween, you’ll get some of her timely, fun political schwag!

In today’s interview we talk about developing the thru-line from interest to passion to production. Takeaway: “Do your great work now. Do not wait.”

Visit her blog that launched Hank at

Her co-creator Andrew Schachman on tattoos helped her launch: where you can purchase temporary tattoos to help raise awareness to get out the vote!

Her cheeky Mueller buttons can be purchased here

Check out Rebecca on the drums with M.O.T.O. (Masters Of The Obvious) on You Tube,

The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives in Evanston, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Jamie Lou Thome's Collages at Evanston Public Library this October

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Jamie Lou Thome celebrates an art exhibit this October at the Evanston Public Library branch in Downtown Evanston. In the newly expanded 3rd floor exhibiting space, Jamie has more than 20 works on display, collages created during a three week spurt of creative energy while teaching a summer art class. The work expresses the power and community of women, illustrating just how “much we can do together.” All work is for sale and priced under $100, 20% of all sales will go back to the library for youth programming.

In today’s interview we talk about the benefits of showing art in strange places, giving back to your community and making time to MAKE art!

Jamie’s show is up through the end of October.

The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives in Evanston, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Darren Oberto Cyanotypes at Saw Room Gallery in Evanston

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Artist Darren Oberto has explored and exploited the cyanotype medium to carry out a myriad of concepts that result in stimulating and beautiful images as part of his exhibit, Out of the Blue. on display thru October 27 at the Saw Room Gallery, 1712 Sherman Avenue in Downtown Evanston. The public is invited to the artist reception Saturday, October 6, 5-8pm.

In this conversation we talk about managing time and space as a maker and the benefits of being part of an artist collective, like the one he is part of at The Alley Gallery with artists Chris Greene, Ross Martens and Avram Eisen.

For anyone in Chicagoland, make a point to visit Alley Gallery not only to see this exhibit, or stop by for a tour of the artist studios on the premises. Learn more at

See more of Darren’s work at


The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Leo Segedin is Still Painting!

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Leopold Segedin (Leo) is one of the most prolific painters living and working in Evanston. He is celebrating an incredibly busy fall with a new book “Leo Segedin: A Habit of Art", and two shows at Rare Nest Gallery and at the Madron Gallery in October. This is an incredibly busy schedule for a 91-year-old artist.

This interview focuses on Leo’s early career, all the way back to painting Chicago buildings on a porch as a 15 yo. Our conversation goes from Chicago to Maine to the Korean War, it's an amazing journey for one man, who practices as a painter his entire life. At 91, Leo tells the listeners that he is “still here”, with much gusto.

We are grateful to Leo’s son Paul for publishing such an important book of his father’s career and for setting up this interview.

 Leopold Segedin Retrospective
Saturday, September 15th, Opening Reception, 5 – 9 pm
With a career spanning more than 70 years, Leo Segedin is Rare Nest’s “senior artist” and indeed, is a beloved senior artist in the whole Chicago region.  Still painting every day at 91 years old, Leo is a prolific visionary and community-builder.  Many of his works from the last 20 years contain auto-biographical elements and self-portraits (“I’m a cheap model”) in dual poses juxtaposing youth and honest age.  The dream-like settings of Leo’s work evoke vernacular Chicago architecture - streetscapes and train stations of Chicago’s west side from the 1930’s to the present. In this major exhibition, enjoy over 40 works spanning 7 decades.
Rare Nest Gallery, 3433 N Kedvale, Chicago, IL 60641

Artist Statement
I’ve always felt that my own paintings should speak for themselves. Words can point to what you should look at and create a context for what you see, but I don’t think that anyone can really communicate in words what works of art communicate any more than they can create in words the taste of a good wine. The experiences of – say - a painted, translucent red - of delicate lines and bold shapes - of dramatic, metaphoric images - are like - well - the tang of garlic in a good, kosher hot dog - if we can imagine such experiences as being more serious - more profound - than pleasurable. They have to be ‘tasted’ to be known. It is not an intellectual process, although some art critics have made their careers trying to describe and explain it. The meaning – the significance - of a painting is in the work itself - in the personal responses to the aesthetic and metaphoric qualities of the image. This does not mean that paintings don’t embody meanings beyond such intrinsic qualities of the paintings. Although paintings can be about any personal experience, I believe that important paintings should be about something important - about life - the human condition - about the world we live in, or, in my case, the world we used to live in – even about art itself. There is something unique about artists who create with passion, who write - or paint - or compose works of art that express the intensely human experiences they share with others – of love and hate - of beauty and ugliness – of nature and society - of divinity and belief – of the imaginings of our mind - of memory - of loss - of mortality and death - all those corny, clichéd sentiments which just happened to be meaningful to us. And it may be that those visions are more true and real to us than the objective truths of science; at least, they touch us in ways that science never can. I would like to think that this is true about me.        


The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Amy O. Woodbury Finds Connection and Community Through Painting

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For the past 18 years, artist Amy O. Woodbury has been hosting an Annual Front Yard Art Sale over a weekend. The idea started one morning in a yoga class, and she literally decided to “just do it” thanks to a nudge from a neighbor. This annual sale has become many things other than just a sale; the chance to connect with community, garner much-needed feedback, deadlines, income and more! Listeners in the Chicagoland area invited; 9/2 & 9/3, 9a-5p, 1931 Colfax Street. Rain date, 9/4.

In this conversation we cover where Amy discovered painting and how it became part of her everyday life, maintaining a daily schedule, regardless of mood or weather. 

The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Lea Basile Lazarus on her upcoming solo show "The Spirit of Community"

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Artist and teacher Lea Basile Lazarus talks about her journey as an artist starting in 7th grade all the way to earning an MFA at SAIC Chicago. She owns the title “artist”, identifying herself as such on her website at and is a prolific printmaker, making monoprints using her Conrad Press (which she was gifted by her husband for her 60th birthday).

In this conversation we cover where Lea finds the time and inspiration to make art, and the people she surrounds herself with to keep her creative.

Listeners in the Chicagoland area can meet Lea this September at 1100 Florence during her solo show “The Spirit of Community”, Sept. 7-17, click here for more info.

The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Jason Brown Invites Map Making to the 21st Century!

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Today we talk with Community Artist and Organizer Jason Brown about his Artist in Residency, Mapping (in) Progress at 1100 Florence in Evanston.

June 26 - July 6, Jason is hoping to share collective discoveries through his Collective Cartography process with the broader public, and open up the conversation of what mapping can mean for us and our neighbors.

Photo from Art Encounter's YOUTime walking tour of Florence Avenue.



This family-friendly event will be for parents and kids of elementary age (1st-5th grade) to explore mapping home with a kids-eye view.
We'll have a time of learning, mapping, playing, and sharing.
Click here: FREE W RSVP on Facebook
Learn more at

SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 5:30-8:30 PM

Community is central to the Collective Cartography process.
Let's come together for an evening of conversation, observation and research! Jason Brown will be sharing from his experience leading Collective Cartography mapping sessions around Evanston. Participants will be led through observation and collective, qualitative research around a collection of large-scale, hand-drawn maps of our city and some of our neighborhoods.
Bring a dish to share, bring a friend and meet a new neighbor.
Click here to RSVP on Facebook
Learn more at

More about Jason:

In October 2016 I developed a 3 hour workshop called Collective Cartography for the arts festival Big Draw Evanston. It was an intentional time where Evanston artists, leaders, and activists showed up and we worked on mapping out our collective version of Evanston. Over the course of the workshop, we created a large-scale hand-drawn map of Evanston, and what we know about its geography, economy, resources, barriers, and what we could dream up as possible solutions. Images on the map were real and fantastic - inviting deeper sociological imagination for how we see the city we live and work in.

With that first workshop of around a dozen women being so successful, I've spent the last year and a half refining the workshop. With support from the Evanston Arts Council, I have continued this mapping with small groups from the public, local training programs, and community organizations, effectively asking the question: What does equity look like spatially?

Over this time, I've collected around a dozen maps from various group workshops. Participants have been executives, bureaucrats, baristas, artists, social workers - your everyday Evanston residents and workers. Instead of leaving mapping our city - remembering its past, examining its present, planning its future - in the hands of the traditional "powers," Collective Cartography has put this honor and responsibility into the hands of the People. Any people that show up. Yet, while this process has been about equity, I have to confess it's not been the most equitable in approach, and truly not that diverse in the cast of cartographers.


The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Thursday, June 21, 2018

David Gista Shows Painting Students that Madness is in the Method

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David Gista is an artist and teacher, living and working in Evanston. We met at his studio in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center to talk about the group show he is curating, opening this weekend at 1100 Florence Ave, “Madness in the Method”. The show features eight adults from Gista’s class“Going Abstract” at the Evanston Art Center to include Lee Oberlander, Stacey Foisy, John Manning, Veronica Sax, David Gista, Susan Keats, Karen Williams, Gale West and Harvey Choldin. Opening party Friday, June 22, 5-9p. Gallery Hours: 6/23 1-6p, 6/24 1-5p

In this interview we cover Gista’s teaching techniques to include art camp at his home in France, the practice of sharing and showing creative work and the group dynamic of creative work in group dynamics. 

See Gista’s body of work at


David Gista was born and raised in Paris, and now divides his time between France and the United States, having established his artistic career on both continents. Gista studied art at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and so combines his classical fine arts training with his keen-eyed examination of modernity, creating a running commentary on contemporary life expressed in a variety of media.

Having graduated in 1990 with the equivalent of a Masters Degree, Gista won a prestigious award at the graduate show. By 1993, Gista was exhibiting his work in his first one-man show in Paris. Discovered in 1995 by the internationally recognized Darthea Speyer Gallery, who also represents Ed Paschke and Leon Golub, Gista’s professional career was established. In 1995 he also received one of the most important awards for emerging painters, the Prix de Vitry, the Prize of Vitry
(Named for Vitry-sur-seine, France). His career continued to flourish in France where he participated in a variety of solo and group shows.

During his initial visit to Chicago in 1996, Gista met Gary Marks, and in 1997 held his first one-man show in the United States at the Gary Marks Gallery, receiving generous press coverage in the Chicago media. Gista participated in a group exposition at Chicago’s Zolla-Lieberman Gallery, and exhibited his work in Hamburg, Germany, where he established strong connections, expanding his international representation.
Through the Darthea Speyer Gallery connection, Gista was invited by
Ed Pashke to serve as a guest speaker/lecturer at Northwestern University. Since then Gista has been chosen as one of twelve featured artists for Chicago Artist’s Month and has had solo exhibitions at The University Club of Chicago as well as The Union League Club of Chicago.

In 2001, Gista submitted a proposal to Accor, the parent company of the Hotel Sofitel, to create 274 large-sized digital paintings for their newest hotel built in downtown Chicago. The concept was accepted, and Gista worked for almost a year to complete the project in which he combined his drawing, painting, and photographic expertise with the use of digital technology. His work can be seen at the Hotel Sofitel Chicago Watertower.
In 2004, the Mornea Gallery of Evanston, Illinois held a one-man show of Gista’s work entitled “Presidents, etc.” Known for his “soul bags,” a form of painting on cloth that verges on sculpture, Gista displayed oversized bags featuring presidential candidates John Kerry and George Bush in recognition of the recent election. Other featured “soul bags” and paintings included former Presidents Clinton, Reagan, Washington, Jackson and Lincoln. Images were chosen for their powerful iconic resonance.

Gista followed “Presidents, etc.” with two one-man shows. The first, in October 2004, was held at The University of Illinois in Chicago and featured a variety of canvases. The second show, in November 2004, was held at the Galerie Friedland Rivault located in the Marais District of Paris, France. The show was entitled “Serie Noire,” and was inspired by film noir and the universe of fictional crime stories. In March of 2005, Gista was part of a group show called “Aparté”, which featured the work of several artists from Europe and Chicago, including Joan Miro and Zoran Music. The event was sponsored by Chicago’s ThinkART and Galerie Friedland Rivault.
“Aparté” was followed by a group show at Galerie Friedland Rivault entitled, “Silence on Rêve” in May of 2005. The work shown was inspired by the relationship between film and painting. In the summer of 2005, as part of Chicago Mayor Dailey’s effort to beautify the City of Chicago for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Gista designed, with the assistance of area high school students, a 22-foot by 7-foot mural of Chicago’s service industry workforce. The mural was painted on the floor of Terminal 2 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The multi-colored mural was painted in acrylic and the installation will remain during the reconstruction of the terminal.

In December of 2005, Gista was part of “Blue Show” at The Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago, which featured 29 artists from around the world. In February of 2006, Gista was featured as part of a group show called “Go” at Galerie Friedland Rivault. November of 2006 brought Gista’s first one man show in the United States, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” at the Thomas Masters Gallery. The exhibition received a very enthusiastic response, and the following year Thomas Masters hosted a new one-man show of Gista’s work, “Chance Meeting,” which enjoyed the same kind of success.

Gista’s life and work have been featured on WTTW-TV’s Art Beat, WGN-TV’s Chicago’s Very Own with Jane Boal, a WBEZ-FM interview by Victoria Lautman, as well as articles in The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Reader, the Pioneer Press, and The Daily Northwestern. In France Gista was featured in Telerama by Laurent Boudier.

In 2006 Gista began to work with a blow torch. a dangerous process at the border of drawing and painting with a very strong conceptual resonance for the artist. “I started at a moment of my life where I was ‘burnt-out’, Gista says, “and I used that feeling literally in my work.” The resulting work was extremely well-received, and in June of 2008 was featured in “Flames and Flamenco,” a one-man show at the legendary Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago.

Gista maintains his global exposure and continues to be represented by the Thomas Masters Gallery and ThinkART in Chicago, the “Envie d’art” galleries in France, and the Cynthia Corbett Gallery in London. For the last two years his work has been shown in many international art fairs by several galleries. In the fall of 2008 Gista’s work was featured in two one-man shows at the Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago and the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, as well as at The SLICK Art Fair in Paris, France.

Since 2009 Gista has regularly taken part in “Art Chicago” with the Thomas Masters Gallery and AAF/New York with the “Envie d’art” gallery of Paris. In December 2009 Gista opened his own art school and art gallery in Glencoe, Illinois, on Chicago’s North Shore. “The Art School & Gallery G” offered a variety of classes and workshops, and exhibited painting, photography, sculpture and prints by emerging artists and students.

In 2010 and 2011 Gista took part in several group shows, among them “Art at the Top” at the Empire State Building in New York City, an exhibition organized by the Cynthia Corbett Gallery, and “War and Peace” a show with a strong political accent for which he created a specific series of burnt drawings. The Illinois Library System invited Gista to have a one-man show at their Wheeling location in September, 2010, and Gista’s most recent one-man show was held at the Thomas Masters Gallery in April of 2011. Called “Stairways to Heaven,” the exhibit presented a series of new paintings dealing with the theme of stairs and people’s ascent and descent on them. This body of work represents a new turn in Gista’s technique with more textured and abstracted visuals, but always speaking to Gista’s favorite subjects: alienation and the human condition.

Since 2012 Gista organized painting workshops in the Loire Valley of France and has staged a mini retrospective of his work at his gallery in Glencoe. In October 2013 he exhibited his latest work at the Thomas Masters Gallery during a one-man show called “Mysterious islands.”

In March/April 2014 Galerie “Envie d’art” Paris organized, at the initiative of David Gista, a group-show titled “Biblioteques imaginaires”.
This exhibition featured works by artists interested in the themes of books and libraries, and featured some of Gista’s more recent pieces.

In 2015 Gista had several solo exhibitions, starting with the first edition of “Startup Art Fair ” in San Francisco, an event featuring artists with no gallery representation in the Bay Area and organized by art entrepreneurs, Steve Zavatero and Ray Beldner.

In June Gista had an exhibition at the Carla Milivinti Gallery in Blois, and at The “Museum of Mechanical Music Instruments” in Dollon, both located in the Loire Valley region of France.
Still in the Loire Valley, Gista created an exhibition with sculptor Francois Weil in the 12th Century Romanesque Saint-Etienne Church in Beaugency along the Loire River. This show will featured monumental pieces by the two artists.
Also in 2015, Gista co-founded the artist group “Babel.” The group is engaged in organizing exhibitions worldwide, allowing artists to encounter and network on a planetary scale. The inaugural show was held at the Vendome Castle (France) and the first event will took place at the Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago. Future projects are planned in Quebec City, Oslo, Norway), Chile, Sweden etc.

In October 2015 the Thomas Masters Gallery (Chicago) presented a one man show of Gista’s library paintings: “ Rendez-vous yesterday”.

In August 2015 the first “Babel” exhibition took place in Chicago, at the Thomas Masters Gallery, exhibiting a panel of 10 artists from France and the US. The second exhibition of the group was in Chavignol, France at the “galerie Garnier-Delaporte”, in June 2016, with the work of nine artists.

In the fall of 2017, Gista will have two major one-man shows:
at the Vendome Museum in September and at the Thomas Masters Gallery in October.

He’ll also show his ceramics and drawings at the fine art jeweler boutique Laurent Potier in Vendome, France.


The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Doug Haight's Cuba Photos & Adventures at Perspective Gallery

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Doug Haight has turned his camera lens to Cuba numerous times over the years, producing a must-see exhibit on display this June at Perspective Photo Gallery in Evanston. This conversation covers why Haight finds Cuba captivating, just what a Wandering Yuma is and where he plans to photograph next. Visit to see his online portfolio.


Wandering Yuma | Doug Haight

In the streets of Havana, 'Yuma' is the word locals use to refer to American visitors. Photographer Doug Haight found it to be the perfect title for his upcoming exhibit.

“In Havana, I’ve roamed the streets from before dawn to past dusk,” Haight says. “I’ve been invited into strangers’ homes and made good friends.”

In Havana, Haight also finds a study in contradictions.

“I’m entranced by Havana’s crumbling beauty and taken in by its open and welcoming people. At the same time, I’m saddened by its isolation, disheartened by its apathy and worried about its changes.”

To Haight, Cuba’s contradictions provide a compelling, if unsolvable, puzzle.

“I cannot resist picking up another piece to see where it fits,” he says. “Exploration leads to encounter, and encounter leads to understanding.”

To convey that puzzle, “Wandering Yuma” presents images from crosscurrents of everyday life in Cuba, from young ballet dancers to butchers, from offerings to the sea to street parties; all displayed in a salon-style exhibit of more than 50 images created from multiple visits to the island.

For over 20 years, Doug Haight has been a photographer and video producer. His work has been featured in festivals, gallery shows, and publications including the New York Times. He is the owner of Evanston-based Fortune Fish Films.

The exhibit will be on display at Perspective Gallery, 1310 Chicago Avenue, May 31 - July 1. The public is invited to an artists' reception on Saturday, June 2, 5-7 p,m. There will be an artist talk on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. All events are free of charge.


The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]