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]

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Erin Hayden's Art Installation and Career are worthy of an audience

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Erin Hayden creates a thoughtful and playful art installation with her husband Jeff Robinson at the Evanston Art Center side parking lot this June, Sell Me Direct.

Saturday, June 16 at 1p, at the Evanston Art Center, NOT FOR SALE a series of performances by Max Guy, Kandis Friesen, Shai-Lee Horodii, HyunJung Jun, Christopher Smith, David Sprecher, Titus Wonsey and Erin Hayden at the SIDE/LOT of Evanston Art Center.

Artist talk to follow with Jeff Robinson about their current installation Sell Me Direct, curated by Anne Hayden Stevens and Mat Rappaport.

In this conversation we cover everything that is occupying this young artist’s busy life and career; her current body of her, her very performative video work, her experience at Northwestern’s MFA program, why living in Evanston works at this stage of her career, her recent brush with fame being named one of the New City Breakout Artists 2018: Chicago’s Next Generation of Image Makers, her work in an upcoming group show at the MCA and Heaven Gallery and so much more.

Check out her body of work at

Project Background

Sell Me Direct presents a two-person outdoor installation at the Evanston Art Center by Erin Hayden and Jeff Robinson. The work engages the east side of the Evanston Art Center facing the entrance, and will be installed on the building facade and gravel area that separates the building from the parking lot. Based on systems of spending and navigating, Erin Hayden and Jeff Robinson propose to each install a set of 3 pairs of interrelated works. Hayden’s installation consists of 3 large banners that fill the height of the EAC wall. Each banner consists of digitally collaged images which playfully navigate transitional retail spaces; from car to shop. Robinson’s installation will be located in front of the banner wall on the gravel area that separates the building facade from the parking lot. This work will consist of 3 sculptures (approx. 6ft tall), containing imagery culled from highway, road, and parking signage. In contrast to Hayden’s flat hanging mesh ground, Robinson’s work will consist of sculptural material meant to be viewed straight on, like the way we watch television, ready to consume all its messages. Erin Hayden and Jeff Robinson both explore the colloquial language of our urban context in their work.

The exhibition is curated by Mat Rappaport and Anne Hayden Stevens, curators of the Terrain Biennial in Evanston, at the invitation of Paula Danoff of the Evanston Art Center. In this installation, designed specifically for Side/Lot at Evanston Made, the two artists exploit the liminal state of the parking lot. Robinson's sculptures point to the anxiety and heightened awareness we feel when in transition. Hayden's large banners explore the anticipation of acquisition: the excitement we feel when we walk into a place to make or buy something. As curators, we appreciate the way these two pieces enhance each other while having distinct visual language. The scale and visual vocabulary are harmonious with the outdoor site. The full installation is both whimsical and reflective, aesthetically powerful and gently humorous.

Erin’s Bio

Erin Hayden is an interdisciplinary artist predominantly working in painting, performance, poetry, video, and installation. Her work has been exhibited in various cities across the US and abroad including at Stony Island Arts Bank, and Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Torino. Solo exhibitions of her paintings and video work has been shown at Mana Contemporary Chicago, and Randy Alexander Gallery. She has been an artist resident at the Ragdale Foundation, the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity and is a Luminarts Fellow. She has been featured in reviews and publications such as, Frieze, Chicago Tribune, Lori Waxman's 60wrd/min art critic, and NewCity Art as a 2018 Breakout Artist. She received her MFA in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University and is currently living and working in Chicago.


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 7, 2018

Tim Kazurinsky Built His Career Around Saying Yes! (Thank you Second City)

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This week we are mixing things up and recording The Lisa D Show podcast in front of a live audience; we interview Tim Kazurinsky at the Evanston Art Center.

In this bright and funny conversation, we quickly follow comic actors Tim Kazurinksy's long career from newspaper reporting, to Second City Improv, to SNL, to Wicked and more. Tim stresses the importance of making active choices in life ... saying yes, showing up and just doing it.


Tim Kazurinsky is an American actor and screenwriter known for his tenure as both a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live (1981-1984) and for his role as Officer Sweetchuck in the Police Academy film series.

On SNL, Kazurinsky played many recurring characters such as Dr. Jack Badofsky on Weekend Update, Madge the Chimp's husband in "I Married A Monkey", and Mr. Landlord opposite Eddie Murphy's "Mr. Robinson." His range of celebrity impersonations included everyone from Mahatma Gandhi and Adolf Hitler to Ozzy Osbourne and Billie Jean King.

Kazurinsky is a mainstay of the Chicago theatre scene, where he has twice been nominated for the prestegious Joseph Jefferson Award. In addition to his extensive work as a member of The Second City, Mr. Kazurinsky has appeared onstage in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, in Hairspray at Drury Lane Theatre, and in Northlight Theatre's The Odd Couple and Funnyman.

Kazurinsky's many television credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm,  Early Edition, According to Jim,  Faerie Tale Theatre,  The Moochie Kalala Detectives Show,
Still Standing,  What About Joan, Married...With Children, Easy, and Chicago Justice. He has appeared in many films such as Somewhere in Time,  Neighbors, Continental Divide,  My Bodyguard,  Shakes the Clown,  Hot to Trot and Scrooge and Marley. As a voiceover artist, Mr. Kazurinsky's voice has been heard in animation,  hundreds of commercials and episodes of The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas.

Kazurinsky has shared the stage and screen with such luminaries as John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Drew Barrymore, Larry David, Bill Murray, Christopher Reeve, Mary Gross, Danny DeVito, George Wendt, Liza Minnelli, Jim Belushi, Lauren Bacall, Dan Aykroyd, Jeff Garlin, Jane Seymour, Bobcat Goldthwait, Michael Winslow, Sharon Stone, Joe Piscopo and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Among his screenwriting credits are About Last Night...,  Billions for Boris,  For Keeps? and The Cherokee Kid. His screenplay for Strange Relations earned him a Writer's Guild of America Award nomination for Original Long Form as well as a BAFTA nomination for Best Single Drama.

Kazurinsky performed as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the First National Touring Company of Wicked. He made his Broadway debut opposite Jim Parsons and Christopher Fitzgerald in David Javerbaum's comedy, An Act Of God directed by Joe Mantello. He is married to actress Marcia Lynn Watkins, with whom he has two children. Kazurinsky currently resides outside of Chicago with his family.


The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

Friday, June 1, 2018

Tom Burtonwood Curates In Real Life at Platform

In this conversation we talk with curator and exhibiting artist Tom Burtonwood, about taking things from real life to digital formats and then back into real life in his upcoming show "In Real Life" at Platform in Evanston. The exhibiting artists include Aimée Beaubien, Nick Bontrager, Tom Burtonwood, Assaf Evron, Burton Isenstein, Christopher Meerdo, Rosalie Yu

This conversation goes in many places, walking through the art in the show, and talking about current challenges of how to know what is "real" and playing with what our minds and eyes think is real.


“In Real Life” is an exhibition of work made by artists concerned with the translation of the physical into the virtual and back again. They are invested in the production of art works and experiences to produce outcomes that probe and examine our relationship to the real and how we perceive it to be. While the pursuit and accordant unraveling of artifice is nothing new the current anxiety surrounding “fake news” and the malaise around what is presented to us as real opens up fertile ground to mine new modes of representation.

Volumetric image capture and reproduction represents an evolutionary moment for photography and other types of technical image making mediums. One that is tied inextricably to the history of the mechanical image but also points to many possible new futures in terms of interaction, and simulation. Central to this shift in types of representation is a set of technologies commonly referred to as 3D scanning.

Quietly and without great fanfare we are seeing image, object and time based media production collapse into singular streams of productive behavior. Scenes and surfaces are being generated from technical apparatus and fabricated without intervention from the hand of the artist. It is within this context that a new form of representation is evolving, a form of volumetric photography, that exists in many different versions congruently – as image, as form, as experience, as data, as transmission, all at once.

Saturday, June 2, 12-5 p
904 Sherman Ave.


 The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, low tech on purpose. Reach out to host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]