Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Gay Riseborough on Loving to Draw, Building an Art Career and more

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Evanston Artist, Public Art Advocate, Teacher and more, Gay Riseborough talks about loving drawing and making a life as an artist. Her upcoming exhibit at 1100 Florence Gallery, Go Home with a Nude features drawings & sketches done in the studio, priced to sell. Charcoal, conté crayon, graphite, watercolor, pastel on paper, ranging from (common) newsprint to Strathmore and watercolor paper. Join us for the Opening Party, 1100 Florence Ave, Jan. 4, 5-8p.

Artist Statement: For many years, Gay ran an Open Figure Studio for drop-in artists, both at 1121 and, then, 1123 Florence and, finally, at 1402 Greenleaf. Most of these works are studies from these sessions, both quick sketch and long pose. As a painter, primarily of figure and portrait, she felt it critical to keep up her observational, graphic skills. The sheer volume of displayable work here shows her passion for drawing.

An illustrator by training (Washington University in St. Louis,) then a teacher for 36 years at the Evanston Art Center, the School of the Art Institute, and finally in her own studio, Gay (Riseborough) has done hundreds of portrait commissions, many of which hang in prestigious university collections. Represented by Portraits Chicago and Wood St. Gallery, where her non-portrait work was shown. Best known for her “Dark Times”, autobiographical narrative painting series. In 1986, she moved into a building on Florence which was already the origin of the arts neighborhood there. Has served on the Public Art Committee and, now, the Evanston Arts Council, where she is Chair of Public Art. Retired from visual art-making now, learning to play the cello.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Anne Hayden Stevens on breaking the rules and her latest installation, The Philosopher Walks

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In this conversation we talk about Anne’s explorations in painting landscapes. At this stage in her career, she has found herself breaking all the rules she’s learned, playing with ideas like “what if gravity stopped working” and “where are all the women in landscape paintings” throughout time. 

In 2019, Anne and I shared numerous platforms to collaborate in the arts, like the Pitner Group Show for Evanston Made this past June. At the Pitner warehouse, Anne found the time and space to play with new mediums (spray paint) and size (a 360 degree prototype for The Philosopher Walks). These collaborations have been key in growing awareness for the thriving contemporary art scene in Evanston

Anne’s recent installation, The Philosopher Walks, has made its way from the Hyde Park Art Center in Hyde Park Chicago to One River School of Art + Design in Evanston, is yet another successful collaboration between us, I am currently the Director of the One River School of Art + Design Evanston, and curate the storefront gallery with area artist's works.

The “The Philosopher Walks” installation is 13’Hx15’, comprised of five panels, based on a yearlong study of Chinese landscape painting. Exhibition Dates: December 7, 2019 - December 13, 2019 • Opening Reception: Saturday, December 7, 2019, 5-8p.

Artist Statement

The Philosopher Walks, 2019
Archival prints with spray paint 2019
Five panels (L to R): Refuge, Waterfall, Mountains, Rockfall, Bridge

These pieces are archival prints built from painting fragments that have been touched with spray paint. They are based on a yearlong study of Chinese landscape painting. How things feel, versus how they appear, is a central concern of Chinese landscape painting, and has been for centuries. As I read and I studied I asked: How do these paintings work, both formally and emotionally? Who made them? What do the elements included in the paintings mean?

I have been able to answer most of my questions, but they led to more questions. Where are the women painters in this history? Where are the female scholars and philosophers? Does the art historical record even question the absence of women artists and thinkers in this tradition?

As I studied, I inserted a character into the paintings that was absent from the story I was reading. She is a female philosopher who walks the mountains, thinking and breathing, sweating and being scared: being human. I know she was there then, so I added her now.

Typically the landscape and the horizon reinforce our sense of order. Gravity reigns. Trees and rocks and water all fall in a set of predictable lines, drawn to the core of the earth. Our bodies are also dictated by the gravitational pull.

Our minds, meanwhile, are unconstrained by gravity. We think in giant leaps and bounds, across time, incessantly observing, ruminating, dreaming. Our mind is free to wander anywhere.

In this work, the Philosopher walks as the world falls away around her. The mountains shear off the side of the path, tumbling against trees and rocks and water. Clouds of mist rear up and mask the mountains still intact in the distance. The world she feels is more infinite and intimate than the world she sees.

Artist Bio

Anne Hayden Stevens is a painter and printmaker living outside Chicago, IL. She has anMA in Visual Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BFA in Printmaking and Drawing from California College of the Arts.

Hayden Stevens’ work ranges across painting, drawing, printmaking and public art. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago at the Evanston Art Center, Governor's State University Art Gallery, The Koehnline Museum of Art, and at the Harold Washington Library Center during Chicago Artists Month. Public art pieces are located on Rainier Avenue South in Seattle, the Seattle Municipal Tower, and the University of Washington.


The Lisa D Show podcast features interviews and conversations with creatives living and working in Evanston, IL. Recordings typically happen in the 1100 Florence Gallery. Learn more about host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow.blogspot.com

Friday, November 8, 2019

Artist Rose Camastro-Pritchett lands back in Evanston

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Rose Camastro-Pritchett is a visual and performance-art artist whose work is informed by her experiences living in Saudi Arabia, Europe, North Wales and China. After many decades, she has returned to Evanston where she grew up. (I am thrilled she has returned to Evanston!)

It’s my great pleasure to interview Rose; we are working together to bring several projects of her projects to Evanston. Part of Terrain Biennial Evanston, Rose’s Cocoons are installed at my live/work space, 1100 Florence Gallery, thru Nov. 11. The cocoons in the installation are the result of performances where individuals were wrapped and sewn into yards of sheer cloth, forming a cocoon; at the end of each performance, they were cut out. Rose reworked these cocoons – the remains of the passage- into fiber sculptures that hold their stories. 

We also discuss Rose’s “Comfort Women” project, coming to 1100 Florence in October 2020. ("Comfort Women" refers to the more than 2,000 women kidnapped by the Japanese military and housed at “comfort stations” (brothels) all over China after the Nanking Massacre in 1940.) The exhibit, first show, at Menlo College, CA, includes art made using pulp painting, hand stitching, and silk thread on handmade paper. “I used stitching because that’s considered women’s work. What I really worked hard on was the imaging. I wanted to illustrate the horror of the comfort women story in a way that the audience could engage with rather than be shocked.” Click here to read more about this exhibit.

Learn more about Rose’s body of work www.rosecamastropritchett.com and visit 1100florence.com to see images of the Cocoons on display thru Nov. 17, make an appointment to see the installation evanstonmade[at]gmail.com. 

Terrain Biennial Evanston is a temporary public art exhibition running in Evanston for six weeks, October 01-November 15, 2019. Click here to see a map of installations in Evanston.


The Lisa D Show podcast features interviews and conversations with creatives living and working in Evanston, IL. Recordings typically happen in the 1100 Florence Gallery. Learn more about host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Artist Ellen Greene’s Midwestern! Punk! Mom! Retrospective

Artist Ellen Greene’s Midwestern! Punk! Mom! Retrospective! is on exhibit this September at 1100 Florence Gallery. The opening party is tonight, 6p-late, it will go late, there is a lot to see.

Ellen’s maximalist approach to her installation takes viewers through endless narratives and objects, with floor to ceiling art & objects. In this interview, we talk about giving permission to artists to exhibit work the way it works for the work, which this show has done in spades.  

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 6-8p
Artist Talk, Sunday, September 15, 3-5p
Closing Party, September 19, 6-8p

1100 Florence Gallery is located at 1100 Florence Avenue in Evanston, IL 60202. Gallery hours are Sunday 12-5p, Wednesday 6-8p and Friday 6-8p. View art by appointment by emailing 1100florencegallery[at]gmail.com. Visit 1100florence.com for more information.

The Lisa D Show Podcast features 20-minute, unedited interviews with creatives living and working in Evanston. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

David and Carolyn Hinske on building creative lives and community, again!

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New interview on The Lisa D Show podcast: Carolyn and David Hinske just moved to Evanston, IL, from Taos, NM, and are building a new creative life ... again.
Carolyn is a fiber artist and knitter who recently sold her wares at the Evanston Made Pop Up Shop at the Evanston Art Center.
David is a singer and painter with a solo show at 1100 Florence Gallery July 20 & 21, 2-5p, and he'll roll out the "pay what you like" model on Sunday.
Listen to our conversation about maintaining a creative life, building new community and trusting that people will honor your work.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Victoria Loeb Artist Talk at 1100 Florence Gallery

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We're hosting Friday morning artist talks at the gallery and providing a recording for anyone who cannot attend.

This record is of Victoria Loeb discussing her exhibit Phases on display at 1100 Florence Gallery through May 19, 2019. Photo of Victoria taken by Joerg Metzner at the opening reception of Phases.

Gallery hours; Wednesdays 5-8p, Fridays 5-8p and Sundays 12-5p. Learn more at 1100florence.com

The Lisa D Show podcast features interviews and conversations with creatives living and working in Evanston, IL. Recordings typically happen in the 1100 Florence Gallery. Learn more about host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow.blogspot.com


1100 Florence Gallery exhibits artist Victoria Loeb this May. Join us for an opening reception May 4, 6-8p, as part of First Saturday Evanston Art Events.

Artist Talk: Friday, May 17, 10-11a

Gallery Hours; Sundays 12-5p, Wednesdays 5-8p, Fridays 5-8p OR by appointment, call 847-544-8205

Artist Statement for the show:
A distinct period or stage in a series of events, or a process of change or development. Exhibiting works made using acrylic, oil, charcoal, latex/enamel

Artist Bio: Victoria Loeb was born in 1980 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1992 she met Argentine Artist Alicia Maffei and began studying with her. In 1996 she became her Drawing Assistant and worked with her through 1999. During that time, she was accepted at the Fine Arts Institute Prilidiano Pueyrredon, where she studied until 2002.

She also studied under Argentine Artist Miguel Ángel Bengochea, and later attended the studio of contemporary Artist Eduardo Medici.

She moved to Chicago in 2003. After being represented by several galleries in the Chicago area, she moved her Studio to downtown Evanston and has worked on her Art since.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Kathy Halper Exhibit, What A Day It's Been

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April 6, 5-8p, Kathy Halper’s solo exhibit "What a Day it's Been" oepns at 1100 Florence in Evanston. Halper will be showing work created over the past two years, as well as some embroidered pieces.

A series of six paintings explore the angst and absurdity of our political climate. Embracing Russia's recent influence in our lives, Halper used the culture's beautiful folk art for my inspiration in creating these narratives.

Other new works use discarded Amazon boxes as my primary material. Painting, gluing, printmaking and carving work together to create unique stories of my life.

The show runs thru April 22. There is an artist talk scheduled for Sunday, April 14 from 3-5 pm. Visit 1100florence.com

Artist Statement

What a Day It’s Been

Russia, If You're Listening

After the 2016 election I was frozen. For a year I could not find a direction to make art. When I finally gave myself permission to use my feelings of insanity and anxiety in my artmaking, these paintings poured out. Using Russian folk art as a visual guidepost and an inside joke, I set about capturing my angst. My goal is not to tell the viewer a story they already know, but to exorcise my personal discomfort, and hope that others may recognize their own feelings.

Amazon Tales

Discarded Amazon boxes are the starting point to tell personal narratives that are both ephemeral and tactile, ridiculous and poignant. Is it possible to make art from stories that are not born out of tragedy or remarkable fortune? As I seek out memories of a relatively uneventful life, I explore these questions with rule-free approach to materials and technique, a sense a absurdity and a growing stack of cardboard, looking for the magic in the everyday.


“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”― Margaret Mitchell
In this series, I express my thoughts on aging by sitting with each image for months on end pondering my dreams and losses with each stitch. I watch them disappear from the top and fall to the ground. I watch them melt out of my life. And in doing so I gain some closure, some peace and the joy that comes from the process of creating the work.

See more works by Kathy Halper at kathyhalper.com

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]gmail.com

Contact Reyes at info@assemblycreators.com 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.