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Bridging multiple media and dimensions at the Tall Grass Arts Association

Robert J. Johnson, Homage to Botticelli, wood, oil and gold leaf.
Robert J. Johnson, Homage to Botticelli, wood, oil and gold leaf.
J. Kronika

Working in mixed media, printmaking and sculpture, are the artists: Joe Pankowski, Micheal Weiss, Marcia Babler, Lynne L. Brozynski, Pam Eberlin, Bronwyn Elkuss, Margi Hafer, Dennis Jennings, Robert J. Johnson, Sylvia M. Koch, Tim McCue, Diane McGarel, Joseph McIlhany, Renee Klyczek Nordstrom, Kiet Pham, Donna Radcliffe, Nance Tucker, Faye Zalecki, and Barbara Jones Hogu. Selected for their evidence of artist focus and unique viewpoints, the following artist’s works were in the recent exhibit, Fabulously Focused, at Park Forest’s Tall Grass Arts Gallery.

Joe Pankowski is originally from Omaha, Nebraska and now lives in Park Forest, Illinois. Pankoski earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and an Associates of Occupational and Academic Studies in graphics and illustration from the Creative Center of Omaha in Nebraska. He has relocated to the Chicago area where he is studying for his Masters of Fine Arts in electronic visualization at the University of Illinois.

Joe's work depicts characters in “dream-like situations. [From a process that starts with pen and ink linear drawings], Joe develops a narrative. This [narrative] is captured in film incorporating hand-built props mirroring objects within the drawings.

Pankowski seeks to give the films ”the feel of a subconscious rendering with a story [based on cause and effect. Sometimes the artist] creates an installation that carries the same stylized vision that is found in the films.” Joe Pankowski exhibited one of his still works for this exhibit, titled Manual Animation. Pankowski plays with the divisions between animated and machine while incorporating a range of mixed media. His humourous animations, and the installations and video he utilizes them in, draw the viewer in to examine a created world wrought with a touch of the surreal.

Working with Pure Data, an open source programming software used to create interactive installations is Joe Pankowski’s current project. The piece, called Robotcide, consists of an animation of a robot projected the gallery wall. This robot attacks the viewer. Via a by a pitchfork that is part of the installation, the movements of the viewer are recorded. By picking up the pitchfork, the viewer activates the robot’s attack, and then the viewer is able to destroy the oncoming robot with the pitchfork. Resembling a live action videogame, this work is visible in a video on Pankowski’s website homepage.

Michael Weiss of Park Forest works in Raku. The distinctive glazes and subtle impact of the firing process are a pivotal part of the process for Weiss. He states: “the alterations of form and surface textures[in my work] strive for an amalgam of the natural and the manmade worlds. Clay has its own serendipitous needs and constraints, contributing its own spontaneity to the artistic process.” Weiss claims his “role as the artist is to lend [his] aesthetic while allowing the natural quality of the clay to emerge.” He says that “at [the] juncture of the natural and manmade, new forms and themes emerge.”

Weiss plays with metaphor in his curvaceous raku, while culling out the most beautiful finishes upon the surface. This work, titled after the Yiddish word for a beautiful curvy woman lures the eye with its iridescent glaze and invites the eye to travel the circumference. The work was mislabeled in the exhibit as Zafpig, rather than the artist’s intended Zaftig.

Micheal Weiss’s raku and ceramic works will be exhibited at upcoming events including the Penrod Arts Fair in Indianapolis Indiana; the 55th Annual Park Forest Art Fair presented by the Tall Grass Arts Association in Park Forest, Illinois; Common Ground’s 2010 Birmingham Street Art Fair (“Art in the Park”) on September 25th and 26TH, 2010, in Birmingham, Michigan; and By Hand on November 12th and 13th, 2010, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Marcia Bablerreceived her education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is a long time member of the Illinois Arts Council’s Arts-In-Education Artists roster, and a Ragdale Foundation Residency recipient. Babler is both a Juried Gallery Artist and a member of the Tall Grass Arts Association’s Program Committee. She is also a Juried Member of the National Association of Women Artists and the Illinois Artisans Program. Her involvement as a juror includes the CCT Gallery of the Visual Arts Committee at the Northwestern University Settlement Association and the Bloomingdale Park District Museum. Babler is also a member of the Chicago Artists’ Coalition.

Working in the media of digital photography, three dimensional media, acrylic and oil painting, Babler has been featured in several one woman exhibits at the Oak Park Conservatory, the Bloomingdale Park District Museum, Studio 37 in Glenview, Illinois, the Gallery at Holy Covenant Methodist in Chicago, Illinois, the Morton Grove Public Library, and Blue Moon Studio and Art Gallery. To date this year, Babler has participated in fourteen group exhibits. Ongoing exhibits include A Time and a Place, a juried group exhibition at the Bloomingdale Park District Museum running through August 2010, and the Algonquin Public Art Program in Algonquin, Illinois running through the year(2009 - 2010). Babler’s artwork is held in corporate, university and private art collections in North America and Europe.

Babler claims that “Art is my voice and my artwork is both time and concept-oriented with ideas coming from day-to-day observations. She “[explores] different techniques and uses of materials. About the addition of digital technology to her oeuvre, she says it “has provided another way for me to explore visual expression. My archival pigment prints are carefully composed and developed like paintings and I approach the medium from the perspective of a painter.” Babler “strongly [believes] art must reflect and record the influences of our society for future generations.” Several themes re-occur in her work, including “observing people’s expressions and reactions, [and the presence of] color and movement.”

Babler’s art is influenced by four primary factors impacting life “--communication, relationships, technology and time.” She “[puts] a twist on these concepts … with humor or a retro look to create tension while setting a visual mood.” Using color to “enhance a mood and energize… a composition,” and “through repetition of shapes or movement” Babler “reinforces the message” she seeks to convey. Babler feels that an artist must be a communicator, sharing moods and feelings through visual expression. Of Art, she says: “Art makes us smile…remember…dream. Art is what remains.”

Babler “enjoys traveling and incorporates her observations from far away places [into] her work. [She is a] storyteller with a sketchbook or camera in hand…People and contemporary life are the focal point of her art.” The harmony of musical interests influences the colors and motion visible in Babler’s art work. She plays the harp as a hobby, and regularly listens to “Spanish guitar, French torch songs and Gregorian chants as she works.”

In Babler’s submission for Fabulously Focused, “Give It Up”, the artist selected a contemporary subject and used composition and lighting to dramatize the image and theme. Babler’s social statement utilizes a somewhat ironic twist. The amused expression of her smoker, and the cunning way that the photographer has captured character and emotion play well together at inviting closer examination of the image.

Lynne L. Brozynski is a digital artist with more than ten years experience in the prepress industry. Her extensive background in graphic design, photography and digital color correction informs her fine art process. She readily conceptualizes and creates refined designs. She has worked since 2000 at Atlantic Press, Inc. in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and as a photo imaging manager since 2005. Brozynski studied art and digital imaging at Governors State University, in University Park, Illinois. She attended the American Academy of Art, in Chicago, Illinois where she earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Advertising Design. In addition, Brozynski attended the Graphic Design Program at Eastern Illinois University, in Charleston, Illinois. She is a member of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), the Collaborative Arts Guild at Union Street Art Gallery, in Park Forest, Illinois and the Chicago Artist’s Coalition. She has exhibited her work at the Tall Grass Art Center in Park Forest, and the Union Street Art Gallery in Chicago Heights, both of Illinois.

Brozynski was introduced to Adobe Photoshop in college in 1991 where she was “intrigued by the versatility… of the program.” In 2000, she “started using Photoshop on a professional basis, retouching and manipulating photos for a printing company.” She began creating her own works in her free time and in 2002, submitted three works to Photoshop User magazine. In the September issue of that year, Photoshop User magazine published her works.

Starting with “one very powerful image,” Brozynski “[incorporates] additional images, colors and filter techniques [to] compliment [her] original image.] Most inspired by nature, primitive art and music, Brozynski “[uses] colors that embody a feeling” to imbue her work with resonance.

Brozynski employs a digital collage technique that takes the strength of a single image and multiplies its power to captivate. Working in bold hues, her butterfly immortalizes the idea of transformation.

Pam Eberlin creates whimsical works that utilize found materials. She says that her “inspiration comes from collections of glass, metal, wire, found and vintage objects [that form the] textures, surfaces, color interaction, and shape juxtaposition” in her work. An artist who defies labels, Eberlin explained that her “art evolves in many directions blurring the lines between fine art and craft.” Since 2002, she has had a studio at Union Street Gallery and Studio Complex. Eberlin holds a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in metal smithing and jewelry from Southern Illinois University, and an Associates of Arts in Art from Triton College.

About her process, Eberlin explains in her statement about a found object collage titled Escaping Secrets that she “usually starts with the found objects. An extensive collection of objects, “frequently vintage ones” give Eberlin her ideas. She builds her constructions by combining or adding “objects that may relate to the first ones by color, type, size, or material and [arranging] them...” Eberlin “frequently [uses] patterns [and zippers] in [her] work,” drawn to these materials by “the domestic overtones [of sewing and the]… nice brown softening and aging [the patterns lend] to items.”

Eberlin shares two works in this gallery display. Fortuitous is a tiny figure clothed in garter zippers and found phrases. Suggesting the artist’s dialogue with all things woman and the paradox of the domestic, this work invites audience exploration, providing numerous fortune’s to read along its laces. All the World Needs to Laugh recreates Paris’ Eiffel tower from the found “junk” that fascinates this found object artist. Employing a master’s sense of placement the objects in this sculpture which dominates the front corner of the gallery, evoke our laughter once we realize it is looming there.

Bronwyn Elkuss “uses fabric and thread to create her art.” Bronwyn grew up in the Chicago area during the 1950’s and 60’s. She attended youth classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, local art centers, art programs within the public school system. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Midwestern universities. When Elkus attended these programs, her study of sculpture involved “[immersion] in both Constructivism and Minimalist theory.” Meanwhile Bronwyn was influenced by a variety of art movements, ethnic cultures, and social issues that led her to make art that embraces variety. During this time, the woman’s movement within the art world began showcasing fiber works as a fine art medium. Elkus has tried her hand at teaching, illustrating, display designing and gallery consulting.

Bronwyn Elkuss now works full time as an artist. Using fiber, Elkus hand stitches her compositions. She has a fiber piece hanging in the exhibit, titled "A Close Look." While Elkuss feels that “Fabulously Focused does not describe [her] whole portfolio, she selected a work that inspires viewer focus. Of her process, Elkuss says: “I am a pack rat of disparate ideas, causes and influences. My mind and my art reflect a tangled web of wonder and concern.” With her composition titled A Closer Look, she “purposely centered the motion and the detail…in an attempt to focus…” Elkuss explains that “A Closer Lookis embroidered and appliquéd entirely by hand - techniques that actually require a lot of focusing…[she] also added some acrylic paint.

Elkuss handles fiber with a deft hand and sense of placement. This work employs the frame within a frame format of composition to draw the viewer into examine its tiny scale and exquisite details.

Margi Hafer received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois and her Master of Arts in Sculpture at Governors State University, in University Park, Illinois. During her Master of Arts studies she worked in mixed media with an emphasis on clay. She is a member of the Tall Grass Arts Association, in Park Forest, Illinois, the Midwest Collage Society , a guild member of Union Street Gallery, in Chicago Heights, Illinois, on the Advisory Board of the McCord Gallery, in Palos Park, Illinois. Hafer currently works as a freelance artist, specializing in mixed media, murals, portraits, and sculpture. From 1999 to 2005, she was the gallery owner of and an exhibitor at The Creative Experience Art Studio and Gallery, in Frankfort, Illinois. She has worked in direction with the Fine and Performing Arts Center and the Cultural and Community Programs, at Moraine Valley Community College, in Palos Hills, Illinois. Hafer has taught art at Rich East High School, in Park Forest, Governors State University, in University Park, South Suburban College, in South Holland, and at Barrington High School, in Barrington, all of Illinois.

“As a small child [Hafer] would spend hours drawing and creating fanciful objects of art…[and she enjoys] exploring and reinterpreting the forms, colors and composition as [her] work develops.” The creative journey allows this artist’s “inner spirit [to] take flight and capture the fantasies that are aroused in [her] through music, and meditative contemplation of the art materials.” The spiritual quality of Hafer’s work relates to her “inner feelings as a woman with the roles of daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother…” Most of Hafer’s more recent work is in paint and mixed media, including watercolor studies, mixed media collage, large acrylic murals and oil paintings.

Hafer incorporates the sleeping muse in this delicately balanced mixed media work. The visionary aspect of the artist is evidenced in her merging of collage and watercolor as well as the resulting visual play of patterns and forms.

Dennis Jennings received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale, Illinois. His work has been in exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry, Isobel Neal Gallery, and Clark Gallery, in Chicago, at Freedom Hall, Tall Grass Gallery, and Salon Artist Gallery, in Park Forest, Illinois, the Northern Indiana Arts Association and the Art Barn Gallery, in Indiana. Of his lively collage and portrait works, Jennings says: “I like to paint musicians, mainly Jazz and Blues. I try to capture the beat, the color, the energy.”

Jennings draws attention to the plight of youth with his collage and text. This work blends found objects and images with a variety of textural paint marks. The accompanying text reminds us that there are other methods to solving disputes besides violence and that youth are a gift worth protecting.

Robert J. Johnson taught for thirty years and was director for five years at the Bureau of Art, both branches of the Chicago Public Schools. Prior to working in Chicago, Johnson taught at Bremen Community High School in Midlothian. He also taught figure drawing, printmaking and teacher’s education at the School of the Art Institute. He earned his Bachelor of Art education at the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Master of Science in Art Education at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design. Upon retirement, he continued creating and exhibiting art. His work has been exhibited at the Tall Grass Gallery, the Chicago Artist’s Coalition, and Union Street Gallery, in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

Johnson combines sculptural framing and oil painting in realist and cubist styles to present this work. His framing shows classic architectural influences, while his figures call to mind Nude descending a staircase. The seamless interaction of these influences results in a beautiful work that invites close scrutiny of its delicately rendered panels.

Sylvia M. Koch earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textile Design from the Art Institute of Chicago, in Illinois. She has attended workshops in oriental papermaking at Penland Arts and Crafts School, in Penland, North Carolina; in advanced papermaking at Sievers School of Fiber Arts, in Washington Island, Wisconson; and various watercolor classes at the American Academy of Art, in Chicago, Illinois. Koch worked as a textile designer for home furnishings, for Sears Roebuck and Company. Of her process, Koch said: “I am a [hand paper] maker as well a multi-media collage artist. My travels have influenced much of my work. Having worked as a textile designer it pleases me to have found new "fabric" to work with.” For this exhibit, Koch submitted "Six Degrees of Separation".

Koch explores the connections of known personages in this colorful work. Her grid of bright tones includes a collection of faces in sepia tones who look out at the viewer. Including the faces of Ben Franklin and historical muses from art history and literature, this work poses interesting intersections between history and society.

Tim McCue is a primarily self taught artist working in mixed media. He has taken a few art classes at Joliet Junior College. He has participated in the following art fairs for several years: Skokie, Long Grove, Libertyville, Itasca, Downers Grove, Oak Park, Park Forest, Saint Charles, Naperville, and the 57th Street Community Art Fair. His work has been displayed at the Vale Craft Galley in Chicago and Tall Grass Gallery in Park Forest.

His work with photography began with “using black and white film and printing enlargements in my dark room at home.” McCue got some special training in proper exposure, composition, and dark room techniques from Time-Life photographer Bernie Hoffman. He then worked a couple years in a professional photo lab doing all the black and white enlargements.

McCue says: “working with earthenware gave me my first experience with three dimensional art.” He loved working with his hands and from clay he branched into metal work. His yard and garden sculptures made of copper and steel were influenced by Alexander Calder's work. The dimensional quality of McCue’s mixed media work reflects this experience in sculpture.
Today McCue works in digital photography “because the creative possibilities are unlimited in 2-D, 3-D, movies and animation.” He continues to experiment with different materials and processes.

McCue works with a variety of effects to create a space that appears to dissolve the boundaries of time and space. His subjects loom in and fade out of space simultaneously. He suggests the divisions of traditional film with strong black verticals between the panels of this large multimedia work.

Diane McGarel received her Master of Arts in communication and training and her Bachelor of Arts inArt History from GovernorsState University, University Park, Illinois. She earned an Associate of Arts from Prairie State University, Chicago Heights, Illinois. She is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate at GovernorsState University, University Park, Illinois, and is scheduled to complete her degree in 2014.

McGarel’s work has been shown this year in Between Fragmentation a solo exhibition, at the Frankfort Library, in Frankfort, Illinois and in the exhibit, Image Attitude Impression, a national juried event at Union Street Gallery, in Chicago Heights, Illinois.McGarel is currently a member of the Tall Grass Arts Association in Park Forest, the Illiana Artists Group of Munster, Indiana and the Union Street Artists Guild in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

Diane McGarel was born on the far Southside of Chicago Illinois and later lived in Chicago Heights, Illinois. McGarel says that “her father, a sexton for the Catholic Cemeteries, instilled in her a beauty for the various cemeteries’ art treasuries such as [stained] glass, headstones and mausoleums. From her mother, McGarel has gained the courage to redefine her career and follow her first love—art.”

She combines painting with computer graphics in her mixed media artworks. McGarel “defines art as a way of expressing her spirituality… combining various artistic mediums as a way of gaining insight and perceptive into her own as well as [other’s psyches].” She describes “art [as] an expression of the self, intended to communicate the artist’s emotions, development, and thought processes to the viewer [in an] ever changing [cycle], metaphorical to life’s continuous changes.” About her process, McGarel says: “I begin each of my digital works ofart by drawing, painting, or tossing dye onto canvas. [She] then [scans] the image onto [her] computer, altering it with a variety of computer programs. McGarel’s mixed-media works evolve through the restructuring of the digital image where she uses acrylic paints, torn or ripped paper or canvas, metal, and various other objects. She creates an abstract art with consistently present grids and fragmentation. Her technique “symbolizes the circle of life: birth, death and rebirth.”

McGarel’s work is influenced by the brothers, Doug and Mike Starn, “the first to introduce… the notion that photography like paint should have a tactile component.” She also favors the attitudes of Chuck Close and Henri Mattise, “who when faced with human frailty did not let their handicaps cripple them…[but instead] creatively [endured] and even [strove] to overcome adversity, …in the process [enhancing] their art works.”

McGarel creates works that exist as both abstraction and detailed collages. From a distance the serene hues ranging from soft violets to rich royal purple to indigo undulate upon the surface of her canvas. As the viewer draws closer, small forms and delicate brushstrokes bring out the details of a small hand and other collaged elements.

McGarel and Cousandra Armstrong, Diane Dubois, Holly Johnson, Jonah Ortiz, Michele Owens, Renee Nordstrom, and Steve Reyes are currently showing at the Glenwood Public Library, 19901 Stony Island Ave, Lynwood, IL 60411, which opened on September 17th, 2010.

Joseph McIlhany was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1958. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western Illinois University, in 1980. Over the years he has shown his work at the Barrington Area Arts Council, in Barrington, Illinois, at the Cambridge Art Association, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the Center for the Visual Arts, in Wausau, Wisconsin, at the Quincy Art Center, in Quincy, Illinois, at the Union Street Gallery, in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and at the New Visions Gallery, for the Mighty Midwest Biennial in 2003, Marshfield, Wisconsin.

McIlhany makes sculpture using steel rods, copper wire, steel wire or plastic shapes. The rods and wire “define an outline in space giving this silhouette its’ own presence by sculpting the height, width and depth of the sculpture with-out that object actually being present.”

McIlhaney’s sculpture suggests the form of a human, the angles of bones, the location of inner organs, and remains open and airy. His use of shaped metal and bound cord and thread draws the eye into and through the forms.

Renee Klyczek Nordstrom is an artist working among a community of artists with Union Street Gallery at 1527 Otto Boulevard in Chicago Heights, Illinois. She exhibits widely throughout the Midwest. She participated in these fine art exhibitions during 2010: A Whole New Mind 2010 Brainstorm at Governors State University, in University Park, Gallery 2010 at Moraine Valley Community College, in Palos Hills, and Synergy a group exhibition, at the Christopher Art Gallery, at Prairie State College, in Chicago Heights, all in Illinois.

She regularly presents seminars in tandem with fine art exhibitions, in her ongoing advocacy of healing childhood sexual abuse. Some locations where these exhibits, workshops and lectures have been presented include: Union Street Gallery, the Chicago Heights Police Department, Aunt Martha’s south suburban Social Service Agency and in the Psychology Department and the South Suburban Family Shelter, atPrairie State College, all of Chicago Heights, Illinois, the Williamson County Advocacy Center, in Herrin Illinois, Vanderbilt University, in Nashville Tennessee, Victory Memorial Hospital, in Waukegan, Illinois, the AEYC Annual Conference, Enid Okla Homa Gallery, Columbia College, The Peace Museum, and The Women’s Center at DePaul University, all of Chicago, Illinois. Nordstrom is the author and illustrator of three books for children. All-ee, All-ee in Free (1996 1st ed.) is a children’s book on healing from child sexual abuse. All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Menis a children’s book on the grief process. Eenie, Meenie, Minie Mois a children’s book on conflict resolution. Nordstrom has curated numerous juried and invitational exhibitions at the Union Street Gallery and Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

In addition, Nordstrom has worked as a gallery administrator at Union Street Gallery, in Chicago Heights, Illinois and as the school director of the Tall Grass Art School, in Park Forest Illinois. She is the founder and president of Klyczek Graphic Design, Incorporated of Chicago Heights, Illinois. Nordstrom received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois and her Associates Degree from Prairie State College, in Chicago Heights, Illinois. She has attended workshops at the Grand Marais Art Colony, in Grand Marais Minnesota and studied portrait with Mohamed Drisi, of Glenwood, Illinois. She attended drawing studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago, both located in Chicago, Illinois.

Renee Klyzek Nordstrom’s work often “includes referential images from [her] personal experience and appropriated images from mass media.” Reading about spiritual practices and meditation, also inform her work. She is influenced by art and artists throughout history including especially, Georgia O'Keefe, Kathe Kollwitz, Frida Kahlo, and Francesca Goya. Nordstrom explains that “throughout [her] adult life [her] work has centered on investigating themes of healing and wholeness.” She finds the experience of making art to be “engaging, both visually and intellectually, as well as curative.”

Klyzek Nordstrom’s unique silk screen monoprint combines recognizable, abstract and geometric forms built up on the page in a dimensional arrangement. Intimately scaled, this work creates a tableau for visual examination.

Pham gives us subtle details and lavish suface texture in this mixed media work. The suit wearing figure looks neither into nor out of the frame, but along it. The landscape is anywhere, and the viewer palpably feels the detachment within this glimpse.

Donna Radcliffe’s “work uses different mediums to suit the topic… to reflect the spirit and notion at hand.” She believes “each subject has a story to tell and is best represented by a particular medium.” She says: “I have always found my spiritual balance while creating. Whether through music or painting, the rules are similar and the outcome is sure…Peace.”

Using layers of color and texture, Radcliff represents the variable moods and revelations she encounters. Her work reflects an appreciation of nature, spirituality, culture and history. Radcliff explains her process as “inspired by [the] pure breath of vision, [using] art to feel the words, tell the story and sometimes to ...just breathe.”

Donna Radcliffe is a professional artist in Chicago. Her work has a national audience and can be seen in both public and private collections around the country.

Radcliffe evokes the southwest with her character work. This mixed media collage is produced with subtle gradations of value. The resulting figure looks alertly from the brow of his hat, a focused sentinel.

Nance Tucker received an Associates of Arts in Graphic Design and Lettering, from the American Academy of Art, an Associates of Arts in Illustration, from Prairie State College, and she is a self-acclaimed “Graduate, Magna cum Laude, [of the] School of Hard Knocks.” She has studied with artists Nanc McCabe, Bob and Josh Guge, Maureen Hubbard-Cribbs, Juanda Sims, and Marion Moran. Her work is currently exhibited in Ellison Bay in Door County Wisconsin’s The Clearing Speaks exhibit, and she regularly exhibits in the Tall Grass Gallery & Gift shop, and at the upcoming Park Forest Art Fair.

Focusing on works in fused and carved glass, hand-built ceramics, wood, acrylic paint and airbrush, drawing, digital photography, wood- and lino cut printing, this mixed media artist delves into the specificity of her subject with the materials that have the most affinity with its form and texture.

Tucker portrays these diminutive birds with wit and gifts them with the appearance of conversation. Her sympathetic handling of the earthenware media gives the sparrows and the bough they rest upon with realistic details that bring us into the captured moment.

Faye Zalecki creates computer generated art which she prints in archival gallery quality editions. Zalecki explores the fractal in her computer graphic Universe 2. The ranging scale of spheres in varying tones and gradations evokes the spinning stars of galaxies. The viewer is drawn into the eddies and spiraling motion suggested in this frozen moment.

Barbara Jones Hogu earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Howard University, in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelors of Fine Art in painting, drawing and printmaking, from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds a Master of Science in design, with a concentration in printmaking, from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology, in Chicago. Currently, Hogu is working on a Master of Fine Arts in independent filmmaking and digital imaging at Governors State University, in University Park, Illinois. Hogu has exhibited her work at the South Side Community Art Center and Malcolm X College, in Chicago, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, at Cornell University, and the African American Museum of Philadelphia.

Working in a variety of media including painting, printmaking, sculpture, and various crafts, Hogu’s artwork has “messages for the viewers in words and visual statements.” Today she creates images with filmmaking and photography, documenting “artists and their works” and photographic still lives and “panoramic landscapes.”

Hogu’s wee refugee holds a bowl up to sip. This tiny graphite drawing recalls the field sketches of explorers and scientists while it draws us into the plight of refugees across the world.

Barbara Jones Hogu is a long time painter and printmaker. After a period of artistic inactivity for many years, she has returned to school to study Independent Filmmaking and Photography. She was “a founding member of AFRICOBRA, a collective of artists who worked on visual images that raised “Black Consciousness,” during the Civil Rights Movement.” Working in printmaking, she collaboratively produced many of the group’s silkscreen prints in her studio. The theatre section of the Wall of Respect, which once stood at 43rd and Langley in Chicago, Illinois was painted by Hogu in the late 1960s. This work was the first wall mural of the Black Arts Movement.

Hogu captures a moment of movement in this photo on canvas. The closed eyes and dynamic poses of her dancers floating in a filament of richest gauze. The heightened color palette and dramatic flow of costumes lend strength to the viewers sense of movement.

The Tall Grass Gallery is located at 367 Artists Walk, adjacent to Village Hall in Downtown Park Forest, between South Orchard Drive and Western Avenue, north of Indianwood Boulevard. The gallery and gift shop are open to the public, free of charge. The Association also offers a variety of art classes for children and adults. Gallery hours are 11:00 am. through 4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

For additional information or directions, call the gallery at (708) 748-3377 or check the Tall Grass website at

Joe Pankowski’s work can be viewed at:

Michael Weiss’s work can be viewed at:,_Raku,_stoneware,_Sculpture/Weiss_Ceramics.html

For information about Micheal Weiss’s upcoming events please visit the following websites:

Common Ground's 2010 Birmingham Street Art Fair ("Art in the Park") on September 25TH-26TH, 2010, in BirminghamMichigan:

and By Hand on November 12th-13th, 2010, in Cleveland, Ohio:

Marcia Babler’s work can be viewed at:

Lynne L. Brozynski’s work can be viewed at:

Pam Eberlin’s work can be viewed at:

Bronwyn Elkuss’s work can be viewed at:

Margi Hafer’s work can be viewed at:

Robert J. Johnson’s work can be viewed at: sons_web_site/Resume.html&

Diane McGarel’s work can be viewed at:;; &

Diane McGarel’s personal blog can be viewed at:

Renee Klyzek Nordstrom’s work can be viewed at:

Kiet Pham ’s work can be viewed at:

Donna Radcliffe’s work can be viewed at:

Faye Zalecki’s work can be viewed at:


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