Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 10 - Demonstration by Gerardo Valerio

Mr. Valerio's Artist Profile

Getting an early start at only 9 years old, Gerardo won an art contest in his school with his painting of a past Costa Rican President.  He developed an early interest in the rich flora and fauna of his rainforest homeland.  Having an eminent biologist grandfather helped Gerardo gain intimate knowledge of the many species of plants and animals in his country, Costa Rica, and the world at large.  The artist completed his University degree with studies concentrating in painting, drawing and sculpture skills.  As years progressed,  he perfected these skills in what is known as the hyper-realistic shcool of painting.


What is hyperrealism - from Louis K. Meisel, published in New York in 1980 - from Photorealsim

The hyperrealist style focuses much more of its emphasis on details and the subjects.  Hyperreal paintings and sculptures are not strict interpretations of photographs, nor are they literal illustrations of a particular scene or subject.  Instead, they utilize additional, often subtle, pictorial elements to create the illusion of a reality which in fact either does not exist or cannot be seen by the human eye.  Furthermore, they may incorporate emotional, social, cultural and political thematic elements as an extension of the painted visual illusion; a distinct departure from the older and considerably more literal school of Photorealism


With his expertise in both physiology and representation of light, Gerardo has become known as a modern pioneer in this style, bringing him acclaim both in his country and in the greater American hemisphere.


Gerardo's paintings permanently hang in the Presidential Palace, museums and public buildings of Costa Rica.  He won the First Latin American Duck Stamp Competiton, with the commemorative  issued in  1992.  He was chosen to represent his homeland at the Ibero-American Embassy Art Exhibition at the State Street Gallery of Robert Morris College last fall in Chicago.  He has had several one man art shows in Northern Illinois in the past year. 


In February of 2008 Gerardo presented an exhibit at the National Gallery in Costa Rica.  After which he was awarded an honorable mention at the Municipal Art League of Chicago, Bienniel Competition.  This last summer brought

him more awards; the best of painting at the Catigny Art Festival, the best of painting at the Joliet Masters Art Festival, and  the best of show at the Lincolnshire Art Show.


In addition to his teaching schedule, he continues to garner major commissions on a local and international scale.

Thursday, November 20, 2008



Sculptors with ties from DuPage County are invited to participate in Lombard's first-ever DuPage Invitational Sculpture and 3-D Art Show.
This event will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 9th, 2009 in the breathtaking setting of Lilacia Park during Lombard's Annual Lilac Time Celebration. Lilacia Park is located at 227 W. Parkside Ave. in Lombard, near Main Street and directly across from the Metra Station. Promotions for the sculpture show will be included in the Lilac Time Celebration brochures.
This project will be presented by the Lombard Arts Coalition in cooperation with various organizations from the Lombard community.
The show is open to sculptors who were born, reside, work, or go to school in DuPage County.  Show organizers invite not only established area sculptors, but outstanding emerging student sculptors from county area high schools and colleges, as well. Special participation fees are in place for student artists and Lombard Arts Coalition members.
Each design must be a minimum of  2 feet tall. All works must be finished, and be of original design. Delivery, removal, and safety of the sculptures will be the responsibility of the artist.
Sculptures will be judged and the following prize money will be awarded:  $1,000 first place; $500 second place; $250 third place.  The most outstanding student artists will be recognized with the following awards:  two $500 scholarships for high school artists, and two $1,000 scholarships for college artists under age 25.The Village of Lombard will take entries into consideration for its Public Art Program portfolio, which purchases art through a matching grant process.  Dignitaries from surrounding DuPage communities will also be invited to attend the event and may consider the art for purchase.
Detailed information about the event is included in the application and participation packet. To receive a packet, call (630) 415-3656, e-mail, or write the Lombard Arts Coalition at P.O. Box 506, Lombard, IL 60148-0506.  Visit to download a participation packet or for more information about the event.  APPLICATION DEADLINE:  March 1, 2009.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A new acrylic formulation - 04/15/2009

Posted By: kbetzchroma
Plainfield Art League Gallery & School
24114 West Chicago Street
Plainfield Illinois, 60544
United States

Email Contacts: - Atelier Interactive Professional Artists' Acrylics - Plainfield Art League  
Atelier Interactive Professional Artists' Acrylics offer a
truly unique and different acrylic formulation.  In 2003, by rethinking
the typical acrylic formulation methods, Jim Cobb - Artist, Educator and
Paintmaker - designed an acrylic paint so revolutionary it now has a patent
With Atelier Interactive Professional Artists' Acrylics, the
artist controls the open time.  Work can be done wet-in-wet by adding more
moisture with a fine mist spray.  Work can be done wet-over-dry by simply
not adding moisture.  One acrylic paint offers it all . . . .
the benefit of a longer open time, and the convenience of rapid
You can experience Atelier Interactive yourself and discover
how it can transform your painting process.  Be inspired by the ability to
double your techniques!
A Chroma artist will introduce the product, speak to its features and
benefits, and then get the attendees to begin painting. The Chroma artist
facilitating the event will be available for questions and comment. This event
is designed to be interactive and fun - giving us the opportunity to introduce
the product and get people excited. Support materials include presentation
boards and printed collateral. Chroma will supply the paint and mediums
necessary. The attendees will supply their own surfaces, brushes, and
associated materials.

modified by

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mike Besslers' Fine arts exhibit at Oakbrook Center over Labor Day weekend

By Ann Piccininni | Daily Herald Correspondent

A field of brilliant red and yellow tulips dazzles visitors' eyes as they trek across the concourse at Oakbrook Center this weekend.

The image, captured on film by Bolingbrook photographer Mike Bessler, is as striking as the beds of living flowers, fountains and gardens liberally sprinkled throughout the outdoor mall.

"That's 14 exposures that I stitched together," said Bessler. "That's why I can have it all in focus."

Bessler, exhibiting at the 46th Annual Invitational Fine Art Exhibition, a show where he won Best of Show honors in 2005, said he prints many of his digital photos directly onto canvas.

"I have a printer the size of a queen-sized bed," he said.

Several of his works feature fine, detailed close-ups that invite the viewer to see the subject in novel ways. There's an eagle's face, a pink flower, a pond's shoreline turned upside-down, the image suspended inside a raindrop clinging to a dogwood branch.

The vertical motion of a waterfall is juxtaposed with the craggy lines of a cliff and the horizontal sweep of water current below in a photo taken at Starved Rock State Park.

Sometimes, Bessler said, he embellishes his photos.

"I paint on texture," he said, pointing to the purposely broad brush strokes layered onto a photograph.

An artist who also teaches his craft, Bessler said he exhibits at only one show each year.

"This is the only show I do. I like this show. It's local for me," he said.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Plainfield Art League members painted windows for a baseball-themed event to be held downtown Aug. 30.

Sheryl Jones, president of Plainfield Art League, paints an image of Harry Caray on the window of Wine & Cheese by TCC on the north side of Lockport Street in downtown Plainfield.

Robyn Sheldon / Special to The Sun

Monday, August 11, 2008

PAL Board Meeting 08/06/08

Treasurer's report 

Sheryl reported that there are only enough funds left to pay the rent for September.  She will finish the business plan and present it to the Village Board.  She is concerned about asking the Village for more money without any membership interest, involvement or support.  The board agreed that there needs to be more membership involvement because most of the responsibilities have been falling on the shoulders of the same 2 or 3 people and those individuals do not wish to keep up with all the demands themselves.  Tina suggested sending out an email to all the members and explain that unless more members volunteer, the art league may not survive.  The most important thing the art league needs help with is community events.  

General committee news / planning 

Tina and Sam will work together to organize the exhibits and discuss better ways to do them.  

Wednesday the 13th the current exhibits art needs to be picked up by the members between 8 & 9 pm.  Sheryl will ask Nancy D'Agostino to judge the exhibit on Wednesday.  Nancy will be asked to arrive at 6:00 and the meeting will start at 7:00.  Tina will get some ribbons or print out certificates to hand out as awards.   

Saturday the 16th will be the drop off date for the new exhibit which will consist of all students work.  Sheryl suggested changing the student exhibits title to "Favorite Project" because some parents have expressed concerns about finding art that their children have done in class that fits with the specific exhibits titles.

Student's exhibits will be hung according to age groups.

Cheryl, Marge, Tina and Sam will hang the art on Saturday the 16th. 

Mindy will be stepping down from her position as Secretary.  The board discussed a couple names to fill in until a permanent Secretary could be found.  Mindy will continue to handle the membership until someone can be found to take that over. 

Saturday the 23rd Mainstreet has asked the art league to do window painting in downtown Plainfield again from 9:00 am to noon.  The theme is baseball.  Sheryl said Mainstreet will give PAL sponsorship.  

There are five people signed up so far for the William Band watercolor workshop. 

Calls are coming in about September classes and about after school classes. 

Sheryl said she will get an email out to the members about the William Band workshop, September classes, the upcoming demo, student's exhibit and the window painting. 

Mindy Marge and Tina will call all the members that do not have email addresses and inform them of the important points for Sheryl's email. 

Business was concluded.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

PAL Board Meeting 06/04/08

General committee news / planning


Sheryl has volunteered to do the June demo.  She will demonstrate how to work with fuzzed glass.


The park district is having a public meeting Wednesday June, 11th at 6:00 regarding the park across the street from the gallery.  Sheryl asked if anyone would be interested in attending the meeting to learn about what the park district has in mind for the park.  Colleen volunteered to go.


Cruise nights have started up again this summer.  They are held every Tuesday night.  The board discussed the possibility of having the gallery open during that time, but agreed that we need to see if there is anyone interested in being in the gallery at that time first so we will have a sign up sheet at the June demo to see if there is any interest.


The member's exhibit will be called "In the heat of the art".  The exhibit will run from June 15th thru August 12th.  Drop off will be on Saturday June 14th from 11 to 1:00 at the gallery.  All members are welcome and can bring up to two pieces. Pick up will be at the Wednesday demo in August.  Our July 9th program will be a member's picnic and pot luck with judging, a critique of the members work and awards handed out. Sheryl will put out an email to all the members about the July 9th picnic.  Tina will update the forms that members will have to fill out for exhibiting in the gallery and she will send the forms out with a reminder of the demo before Wednesday.


The next exhibit that will go up in August will be a student exhibit.  Anyone who has taken a class at PAL can exhibit their work in this show. District 202 summer students and JJC students may also be invited.  August 16th will be the drop off day and it will be on display until Sept 10th.  The show will be called "Hazy lazy days of summer student art exhibit".  The board agreed that the non-member fee will be waved for the first student show.


Future shows will be: 

Fall exhibit, Sep. thru Oct. – members exhibit titled "Fall Forward"

Holiday exhibit, Nov. thru Dec. – members exhibit titled "Celebrate Art"

Winter exhibit, Jan thru Feb. – members exhibit to get ready for AFA Best of Best show titled "PAL Best of Best" This show will consist of all the award winning art from all the previous shows and 10 pieces will be selected by judges to represent PAL in the AFA  show.



Business was concluded.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Winners of the Alliance of Fine Art 16th Annual “Best of the Best” Fine Art Exhibit

Alliance of Fine Art
16th Annual "Best of the Best" Fine Art Exhibit
Mayslake Peabody Estate
1717 W. 31st Street, Oak Brook, IL
March 16 - May 18, 2008
Reception, Critique, and Award Presentations, May 18, 2–4 p.m.
Best of the Best Show Judge
Rolf Achilles
Mr. Rolf Achilles, an Art Historian and the Curator of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier in Chicago, is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He organizes symposia, special exhibits and lectures for many agencies and educational institutions, some of which include: the Newberry Library, the Mayor's Office (Chicago), the British Society of Decorative Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, a number of architectural organizations, and several German museums.
He lectures on art, architecture, preservation, and stained glass windows nationally and internationally, and organizes exhibitions and coordinates symposia relating to historical art movements, as well as on painters and printmakers  He has written a number of books, pamphlets, and articles including: "Chicago's Architectural Impact on Vienna, Budapest and Berlin," "Pride of Place – The Streeterville Story," and the ongoing Catalogue for "Smith Museum of Stained Glass."  Mr. Achilles earned his PhD in ABD from the University of Chicago, with additional studies abroad in Germany, Rome and the Netherlands.
Congratulations to our
Award Winners
Best of Show     Gaylord Walter              DPAL
1st Place            Dick Shipley                NAL
2nd Place           Tony Armediz              EAG
3rd Place           Diana Nawrocki            WSAG
1st H.M.             Connie Nestler             MCS
2nd H.M.            Jacque France             LGAL
3rd H.M.             Leah Tait                     AAG
4th H.M.             Mike Bessler                PAL       ****
Merit Recognition
Honorable Mentions
Maggie Kruser                           NAL
Carol Baumrucker                         PAL       ****
Mike Thompson                         LAG
Bruce Peterson                         AAG
Heide Parks                              NAL
Helen McLuckie                         PAL       ****
Valerie Lorimre                          NAL
Laura Lein0Svencner                  MCS
Yvonne Thompson                      DPAL
Helen Roeder                             LGAL
Joe Hadamik                              PAL       ****
Gregor Maksyhmiw                    AAG
Marianne McKoveck                   EAG
Darlene Hoekstra                       EAG
Our thanks to all who made this show so outstanding.
Nancy D'Agostino, Chairman
Zaki Knapen, Graphic Design, Exhibit Layout & Installation
Lee Anderson
Stephanie and Matt Bieniek
Carol Carls
Abhi Ghanju
LuEllen Joy Giera
Sheryl Jones
Karen Magin
Dianne Martia
Lois Martin
Therese Mildice
Mona and Bob Parry
Laura Rivas
Dennis Salaty
Jeanne Sellergren
Nancy and Bill Uznanski
Alice and Gary Wick
Kim and Jon Wilcox
And to the AFA Officers
Zaki Knapen, Executive Director
Bill Uznanski, Ex-officio Emeritus
Diana Nawrocki, Vice Director
Abhi Ganju. Treasurer
Kim Wilcox. Secretary
Therese Mildice. Retiring Secretary
Therese Mildice

Friday, May 16, 2008


JoAnn Deck's art quilts are not the heirlooms family members pass down through generations, but brightly colored abstract fiber collages.

"I'm not a person to work on a quilt for years. I like immediate results, to put my colors together and get the thing up on the wall," said Deck, 67, of Plainfield.

"Color excites me, big, bright swashes of color, not little prints and little designs. I'm more into futuristic stuff. I'm not into history and I think it carries over into art."

Having once owned a Harvard, Ill., fabric store, where Deck also taught quilting classes, Deck was familiar with fabrics when she discovered art quilts on the Internet.

Already a collage artist, Deck was excited about the possibilities of creating art on fabric, art that also did not require framing. Deck took a class and was instantly pleased with the results.

"I can create different lines and shapes just by the way I apply the dyes and the paints to the fabric and the way it travels through the fibers," Deck said. "Then there's the tactile nature. If you have a quilt hanging, people want to touch it. But if too many people touch it, they leave oil from their hands on the surface and that's not good for a piece of art."

Deck says she works intuitively, rarely sketching a first design before she begins. Nor is she afraid of experimenting with either color or fabric. She will often just throw paint on cloth just to see what happens. The paint that is available for fabric work is better than ever, she said.

"There are new and wonderful textile paints that do not change the hand of the fabric significantly," Deck said. "The cloth created with these paints, when used according to manufacturers directions, is so soft that you can easily hand-quilt it. For many years, acrylic paints were applied to fabric and, even though marketed specifically for fabric, left it stiff and rubbery."

Although she sometimes melts polyesters using a special gun, Deck nearly always prefers working with 100 percent cotton fabrics. To ensure just the right colors for her projects, she hand dyes and hand paints her work.

"I don't want to limit my choices," Deck said. "I love being able to have the right color I want on hand and not having to run out to the store to find it. I believe God has blessed me with a keen sensitivity to color harmonies, along with the ability to combine many diverse and unusual elements and techniques. My art pieces are built layer upon layer, technique upon technique, with intuitive and spontaneous development fueled by the colors and diversity of materials."

The art experience for Deck does not stop with creating art. Teaching it to others, she said, is a natural consequence of experiencing it.

For the last six years, Deck has taught a number of art-related courses at TLD Designs in Westmont, owned by her daughter and textile artist Tammy Deck.

Deck also accepts commission work; her pieces hang as part of many private and corporate collections, she said. Nearly everything Deck owns is or can be for sale if the right buyer comes along. There is, however, one piece she will not sell.

"It's a collage I did many years ago as a tribute to my stepmother when she died. It helped me get through the grieving," Deck said. "It's not a fabric collage, but a dimensional collage from things that were hers: a piece of her watch, the mirror from inside her lipstick container and her Washburn School graduation paper.

"I've exhibited it on occasion and for awhile I taught classes on how to make one.

"I told people, 'You bring your important stuff and I'll show you how to make a piece of art out of it.' But people want results that are vintage-looking and vintage isn't my thing."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mike Bessler ARTWORKS

May 9, 2008
By Denise M. Baran-Unland Special to the Herald News
Full article:
To fully grasp the immensity of the art pieces fine art photographer Mike Bessler fabricates, click twice on the red and yellow tulips image on his home page online at  There, Bessler, 57, of Bolingbrook, stands proudly before the 16-by-6-foot tulips photograph that permanently resides at Naperville's Edward Hospital outpatient center in Plainfield.  "This is my favorite image right now," Bessler said. "I like to keep going back and looking at it and I bring other people to look at it, too."

To create this wide-angle image, Bessler took 14 different shots of the tulips, cut them into 10 36-inch square images and stitched them together.

He then printed them on canvas and created visible brush strokes on the flowers by painting them with clear acrylic. Because the photograph has so much detail, Bessler said he can print it again in any desired size.

"To me, this brings out the richness of the picture and makes it look more three-dimensional," Bessler said. "Some day -- maybe a long time from now -- I'll be able to print 3-D, but the best I can do right now is to add my texture on the outside."

For other photographs, Bessler "sculpts" them, by photographing many separate pictures of the same object and assembling them into one photograph by layering them. He used this technique with the images he took of his new pink rosebush.

"Sculpture has more depth, more shadows," he said. "Your eye just puts it all together and you don't see the spaces at all."

Bessler has shown his work at the Oak Brook Invitational and he has sold his pieces to both individuals and to corporations. Each year, he teaches photograph workshops at Starved Rock State Park in Utica.

Although both Bessler's father and uncle loved photography, Bessler said his call to the craft came at Lockport West High School (now Romeoville HS) when someone put a camera in his hands and told him to go take pictures.

"I didn't have a clue what I was doing, so I had to learn," Bessler said. "There weren't all those photography classes then." He apparently caught on fairly quickly. "I was the photographer for the 1968 yearbook. Almost all the photographs in there are mine and my friend's and we did all the layouts."

A full-time programmer and a part-time wedding photographer, the nature-loving Bessler evolved into a fine art photographer after he visited and took pictures of the Grand Canyon. He couldn't wait to get those images developed and relive that visual experience. But the resulting pictures disappointed him.

"The awe was just not there and that is when I resolved to learn how to bring home the awe," Bessler said.

He experimented first with enhancing the colors of his realistic pieces and later by creating impressionistic renderings of his images to give the feel of the original scene. Many of those images are quite large and have a sculpted feeling. Bessler now prints those images on either fine art paper or canvas.

Since he retired two years ago, Bessler has limited the number of weddings he will shoot each year to concentrate more on his fine art work. These are mostly nature pieces, especially flowers and waterfalls. The process of creating them gives Bessler immense satisfaction.

"My images are mine from the first look through the viewfinder of my camera, through the enhancing process and the printing," Bessler said. "Now I am feeling the awe."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Naperville Art League Award Winners for “MEMORIES OF THE PAST”

Best of Show:
Kirk Kerndl —"Portrait of Juan Morales"

Best Theme:
Pat Young —"Past Vacation Memories"

Merit Awards:
Mike Bessler —"Mayan Monkey Pot 400 AD"

Susan R. Wilson — "Iris Gardens"

Marilyn Polivka — "Isabella in the Garden"

Bill Baykan — "Charlie"

Ed Massart — "Mom's Bike"

Judged by George Liebert

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PAL Board Meeting 04/30/08

Treasures Report


The current checking balance is $3,228.79.  Dick Splant memorial donations totaled $1,145.00 and Tod Schnowske's Art X2 fundraiser brought in $400.00 for the art league.  Tina asked that the board agree on an amount that the board can spend without prior approval.  The board agreed on the amount of $50.00.  A receipt is required for reimbursement no matter what the amount is. 

The board discussed whether a board member could get reimbursed for expenses if that member had to travel far or spend the majority of a day away from home to represent the league.  The board agreed that under very unique circumstances and with board approval first they may be able to receive reimbursement for expenses such as gas or lunch.


General committee news / planning


Majorie O'Dowd from Markym Interior Designs was in attendance at the meeting to inform the league about the Cavalcade of Homes that will take place this year in Plainfield June 28th through July 30th.  There will be 6 builders doing 8 homes.  The home that Majorie will be working on will have a casual family feel and they would like original art from the PAL to showcase in the home.  Installation of the work will take place in June.  Sheryl will put info in the newsletter to let members know about the opportunity.  Marjorie will also be able to view some of the members work at the gallery when the first "member's exhibit" goes up in May.  Sheryl also told her to look at our website to get an idea of some of the members work.


Tuesday night May 6th PAL will host the AFA's board meeting.  Sheryl invited anyone who is interested in coming to join them.  She also mentioned that PAL is still in need of a delegate for the AFA and if anyone is interested in the position they should come Tuesday night to see what their meetings are like and learn more about them.


May 7th Cindy Egizio's elementary students will be at the gallery for a field trip.  The field trip is to introduce them to art in the real world.


Leona Kelly will cover the May 8th "open gallery".  The board agreed to keep promoting the open gallery a few more months to help it get more interest.


May 15th Sheryl will be meeting with Amy DeBoni and Alex Harris to review PAL's business plan and presentation to the Village Board of Trustees.  Sheryl will relay more information later on what time and where.


The current exhibit of instructor's art will be removed some time between the 12th and the 14th so that the PNHS student exhibit can be hung and ready for the show opening on the 16th. 


Plainfield Spring Fest starts Friday May 16th at 5:00 in the evening.


On May 20th Sheryl will be heading a meeting with Mainstreet Plainfield called "Merchant's Collaboration Meeting".  It's about ideas on how to become a better buyer.  It will be from 8:30 am to 9:30 am and everyone is invited to attend.


Plainfield Park District is planning an event called "chalk it up" on July 5th from 5pm to 8pm in the PCHS parking lot.  It will be set up for 48 entrants and they would like PAL to provide 3 judges.  It is not approved by the high school yet, but plans are in the works.  Sheryl will put a note in the newsletter for Volunteers.


Settler's Part Art Fair has been cancelled for this year.  Sheryl recommends that we prepare a proposal for what our involvement will be for next year.  She plans to meet with the organizers again soon.


Gladys Fox Museum will hold its annual event June 16th from 1 to 9pm.  It will only be a 1 day event this year instead of the 2 days it was held for in the past.  Sheryl will follow up on that and get the info in the next newsletter.


The PAL will soon start selling the members art that is on display at the gallery.  Each artist would need to complete a W-9 along with a release of liability.  We will also need a 3 part receipt book.  Joe may have one to donate, and if not, Sheryl will purchase one.  15% of the sale plus sales tax will go to PAL and 85% will go to the artist.  Only checks and cash will be accepted.  If the check is bad the board agreed that the artist incurs the loss and not the league.  All instructors will also be required to fill out a W-9.  Marge expressed concern about where the W-9's will be stored.  The board agreed to purchase a safety deposit box.   A motion was made and seconded to approve the selling of art and the requirement for all artists that have work for sale and all teachers to fill out a W-9.


The board approved the spending of $320.00 for the purchase of a storage unit and a water dispenser.


Sheryl announced that there are 5 people interested in teaching youth art classes.  Sheryl and Marge will set up an instructors meeting.


Business was concluded.

Friday, April 25, 2008

In search of beauty

Published in the Naperville Sun
April 24, 2008

Love at first sight may not always go the distance in a relationship, but it could be a great way to choose a work of art.

The good news is art lovers don't have to look far to find galleries and exhibits in the Western suburbs. In addition to those that sell reproductions of well-known art, local communities often spotlight the creative talents of both professional artists and home-grown amateurs. Organizations like the DuPage, Naperville and Plainfield art leagues operate their own galleries featuring rotating exhibits of members' work. Others, including the Aurora Art League, display their pieces locally in buildings open to the public.

Establishing a showcase for local, original art brings a sense of pride to a community, said artist Fredericka Howard, of West Chicago. She saw that happen in recent years when West Chicago bought and restored the historic Ripley House Hotel, located in the city's downtown, and converted the first floor into an art gallery. Now in its third year of operation, Gallery 200 features the work of some 30 local artists as well as jewelry made by clients of The People's Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that assists DuPage County residents living in poverty.

"I've always thought it was important that neighbors know about (the gallery), that they know what could be done and could be proud of their town because of it," said Howard, a member of West Chicago's cultural arts commission. "For so many years we've been sort of a backwater community of the western suburbs. Now I think people are taking a bit of pride in the idea that we can afford a gallery."

Many local schools have galleries and exhibit areas that showcase visual and cultural arts including College of DuPage, Aurora University, Elmhurst College, Wheaton College, Benedictine University and Marmion Academy. In addition to the gallery at its Oesterle Library, North Central College is including the Gus and Connie Schoenherr Art Gallery as part of its new concert hall and fine arts center currently under construction.

Debbie Egizio, a former designer for decorating magazines and Home and Garden TV, opened The Beat of My Art in August. The Naperville gallery and gift shop features her own artwork as well as that of 20 local artists. Art, she said, does more than decorate a room. It makes life a little bit brighter.

"Design and art and anything creative is important to us psychologically, too," said Egizio, who teaches classes at College of DuPage. "I think it's important for us to have galleries and to be able to appreciate and share (art) with every generation." While Egizio offers a variety of works including paintings, jewelry, soaps, purses and three-dimensional pieces, other galleries have found a niche specializing in a specific type of art. Janet Smith, owner of the Hozhoni Gallery in Naperville, deals exclusively in Native American pieces. A judge for American Indian art shows, she is active in Indian charities and donates a portion of her sales to the Indian community. She travels frequently to the American Southwest and the Northern Plains to hand-select her inventory, which includes carvings, pottery, baskets, drums and her biggest seller - jewelry. Smith said these pieces, especially the jewelry, are more than objects of beauty. Like most art, they have a story to tell.

"More people appreciate the handmade quality of jewelry," she said. "There's not really anything like it. It stands alone in history and design. Many people embrace it as being part of our country's history."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Exhibit at Peabody Estate showcases art guilds’ ‘Best of Best’

Oak Brook Suburban Life

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Oak Brook, IL -

The Alliance of Fine Art presents "The 16th Annual Best of the Best" fine art exhibition at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook, from now through May 18.

It highlights notable local artists who have been recognized for their excellence. The exhibit will close with a public reception and award presentation from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 18.

Established in 1962 in Oak Brook, the Alliance of Fine Art is a nonprofit professional association comprised of art organizations, leagues and guilds. Member organizations include the Addison Art Guild, Downers Grove Artists' Guild, Elmhurst Artists' Guild, LaGrange Art League, Lemont Artists Guild, Midwest Collage Society, Naperville Art League, Plainfield Art League, Ridge Art Association, Town and Country Art League and the West Suburban Artists Guild.

"This is the first year that the 'Best of the Best' will be held at Mayslake, and having 100 works of fine art featured in (its) elegant setting will be a memorable experience," said Nancy D'Agostino, who chairs the exhibit. Visit for more information.

Bolingbrook Reporter, 1101 W. 31st St., Suite 100, Downers Grove, IL 60515

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

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Click on the Free Download above and Install CutePDF.  To use it, create your document in any software you already use like MS Word.  Then print, but instead of choosing your epson or canon printer, choose "CutePDF Writer" and the dialog boxes lead you through where to save your new pdf.

The only issue I've had with it is that if you try to save a second time to the same name, the save says it worked, but doesn't work.  You should delete the PDF file before saving a second time.
Mike Bessler

Monday, April 14, 2008

Press release for the Plainfield Art League Gallery & School ribbon cutting to be held at 11:30am April 15, 2008.

Nourish the artist in you 

Members and ambassadors of the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Plainfield Art League Gallery & School (PAL), a non-profit educational charity dedicated to inspiring and maintaining a common interest in the Arts throughout Plainfield and surrounding communities.  Our current membership includes residents of Plainfield, Naperville, Joliet, Bolingbrook, Lockport, Shorewood, Bridgeview, Romeoville, and Minooka.  PAL offers classes in pencil portraits, watercolor, pastel and colored pencil.  The current exhibit is comprised of work by all of our current instructors to illustrate their technique.  There is a general meeting for the board and committee volunteers the first Wednesday of each month and a demonstration the second Wednesday of each month open to the public.  The Gallery is open each Thursday from 1pm to 9pm for Member's Open Studio.  The next exhibit will be the PNHS Senior Studio Show.  The PNHS exhibit will be open to the public throughout Spring Fest.  All exhibits and events are held at 24114 W. Chicago Street, on the north side of the Village Green.  For more information on our classes and coming events, please visit our web site at, send an email to or call us at 815-436-4351.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Exhibit at Peabody Estate showcases art guilds’ ‘Best of Best’

Oak Brook Suburban Life

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Oak Brook, IL -

The Alliance of Fine Art presents "The 16th Annual Best of the Best" fine art exhibition at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook, from now through May 18.

It highlights notable local artists who have been recognized for their excellence. The exhibit will close with a public reception and award presentation from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 18.

Established in 1962 in Oak Brook, the Alliance of Fine Art is a nonprofit professional association comprised of art organizations, leagues and guilds. Member organizations include the Addison Art Guild, Downers Grove Artists' Guild, Elmhurst Artists' Guild, LaGrange Art League, Lemont Artists Guild, Midwest Collage Society, Naperville Art League, Plainfield Art League, Ridge Art Association, Town and Country Art League and the West Suburban Artists Guild.

"This is the first year that the 'Best of the Best' will be held at Mayslake, and having 100 works of fine art featured in (its) elegant setting will be a memorable experience," said Nancy D'Agostino, who chairs the exhibit. Visit for more information.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Minutes of the Committee of the Whole Workshop of the President and the Board of Trustees held on Monday, February 25, 2008 at Village Hall

Mayor Waldorf called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Present were: Mayor Waldorf, Trustee
Racich, Trustee Vaupel, Trustee Dement, Trustee Fay, Trustee Lamb, and Trustee Manning. Also
present were: Chris Minick, Administrator; Jim Harvey, Attorney; Michelle Gibas, Village Clerk;
Allen Persons, Public Works Director; Jim Testin, Community Development Director; Traci
Pleckham, Management Services Director; Valerie Hastings, GIS Manager; Joan Meyers, Attorney;
and Don Bennett, Chief of Police. There were approximately 7 persons in the audience.
Trustee Fay requested a moment of silence in honor of the NIU shooting victims.
Trustee Fay moved to approve the Minutes of the Committee of the Whole Workshop held on
January 28, 2008. Seconded by Trustee Lamb. Voice Vote. All in favor, 0 opposed. Motion

Mayor Waldorf congratulated the planners of the C.W. Avery YMCA Extravaganza that was on

Trustee Lamb commented on the Plainfield Art League's open house.
Trustee Vaupel:
• Asked for a timeline for the Boulevard Project.
• Stated that at the last Committee of the Whole Workshop there was some discussion on
sending the School District a letter regarding the Village's position on a transportation facility
at 143rd and Route 59, and asked if a letter was sent. Administrator Minick stated that he was
not clear that he was supposed to send a letter. Trustee Manning indicated that he too was
under the impression that the Administrator was to send a letter.
Trustee Racich
• Stated that he recently returned from a trip to Slidell, LA, our Sister City. He delivered gift
cards from Target and Walmart. Trustee Racich thanked the Plainfield Quilting Bees for their
generous donation of 25 quilts to help the citizens of Slidell.
• Asked for an update on PEP.
• Stated that he recently asked to have a meeting with the School District. He would like to
have Trustee Vaupel and Administrator Minick meet with some representatives of the School
Board to come up with an agenda for a full board meeting, and asked the Village Attorney for
an interpretation on whether or not that is in violation of the Open Meetings Act. Attorney
Harvey indicated that if it was considered a subcommittee of the Village Board, it would then
be subject to the Open Meetings Act. Mayor Waldorf stated that he would prefer a meeting of
both Boards as a whole and that he has been in communication with Dr. Harper.
• Stated that the Plainfield Art League's Open House was wonderful.
full article: Minutes Committee of the Whole Workshop – February 25, 2008 Page 2 ...
both Boards as a whole and that he has been in communication with Dr. Harper. • Stated that the Plainfield Art League's Open House was wonderful. ...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Plainfield principal's art show to benefit students, Art League

April 4, 2008

Plainfield Academy principal and artist Tod Schnowske will show his newest work of art at 4 p.m. April 4 as part of a special event benefiting District 202 students and the Plainfield Art League.

Schnowske will unveil a 120-square-foot painting at the Edward Hospital Medical Office Building, 24600 W. 127th St. The work will be permanently displayed at the facility, which is owned by BremnerDuke Healthcare Real Estate.

In addition, 10 similar pieces, each about 16 inches by 20 inches, will be available for purchase for $100 each. The community is invited to attend the event, called "Public Arts, and Community Service ART x 2." The event will include entertainment and refreshments.

From the proceeds of the sale of the 10 pieces, the Kiwanis Club will receive $500 to be given to District 202 graduating students. The other $500 will go to the Plainfield Art League, which promotes art education and community participation in the fine arts.

After searching for five years for an "ambitious public art opportunity," Schnowske said he settled on Edward Hospital because art is therapeutic.

"Edward Hospital believes in displaying visually therapeutic elements such as fine art and large fish aquariums," Schnowske said. "Art is a healer, and it can be very motivational, inspiring and even act as a catalyst for socialization."

Schnowske joined District 202 in 2001 as a service learning coordinator. In 2004, he was named principal of Plainfield Academy, the district's alternative school.

He has a bachelor's degree in fine art from Northern Illinois University and worked for two years for a Chicago architectural firm before returning to school to pursue a degree in education.

"I have been passionately in love with the visual arts for as long as I can remember. Art is my salvation," Schnowske said.

Schnowske enjoys mixing mediums such as photography, projected light, graphic art, oil paints and found objects. His work features flowing colors and unique textures of paint.

"I paint in a free style that reminds me of flowing water," Schnowske said.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stop pre-approved credit and insurance offers

You can stop the pre-approved credit and insurance offers by calling 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688). Or
you can do this online at This will stop most of the offers, the ones
that go through the credit bureaus. It's good for five years or you can make it permanent.

Friday, March 21, 2008

PAL Submissions for Best of Best Show

The following PAL artists are featured in the prestigious 16th Annual Best of the Best Fine Art Exhibit, a show sponsored by the Alliance of Fine Art for the creme de la creme of local artists guilds and leagues.  The exhibit is now showing at the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook  It runs from Friday, March 21, through Sunday, May 18, when it will culminate with a reception and award presentation.

Name of the Piece
Carol Baumrucker
"Snowy Dune"
38 x 28 inches
Helen McLuckie
"Spring Lilies"
17 x 20 inches
Marge Schlekeway
"Pink Horizon"
15 x 39 inches
Amy Turner
"Alight On Her Toes"
Colored Pencil
16 x 20 inches
Joe Hadamik
Clay and Wood
13" diameter*
Tita Brady
"Yes to Four"
29" diameter
Mike Bessler
"Glowing Forest"
22 x 62 inches
Courtney Weed
"Beach Fun"
18 x 24 inches
Mindy Donahue
21 x 30 inches
John Plucinski
"Giant Dahlia"
Fused Stained Glass
12" diameter

For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Art Projectors

I was talking to someone at the March PAL meeting and they wanted a reasonable priced art projector so they could use existing art as the basis for their new art.  They didn't want to have to draw the existing art.  Well I was at Hobby Lobby yesterday and found that they have many art projectors.  They start at $20 and go up through $250.

Mike Bessler
630-667-5174 cell

Monday, March 3, 2008

Alliance of Fine Art Best of the Best 2008

Art exhibit showcases local talent

By Submitted photo
More than 100 pieces of local watercolor, oil, photography, pottery, jewelry and mixed media will be showcased during the Alliance of Fine Art's Best of the Best Fine Art Exhibit.
By Jessica Young,
Suburban Life

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Western suburbs, IL -

Dianne Martia has found herself mesmerized with exhumation lately.

"I'm not sure why. I've only been on archeological digs in my dreams, but it has been occupying my imagination," the Darien resident said. "I'm fascinated with finding things that belonged to another era or culture."


Local artists featured...

• Bill Baykan for the watercolor "Illusion"
• Corrie Tameling for the oil "Looking at You"
• Abhi Ganju for the photograph "Sugary Snow Shadows"
• Zaki Knapen for the acrylic "Summer Breeze"
• Maggie Kruser for wool-needle felt "Ugandan Couple"
• Valerie Lorimer for the graphite "The Witch Wore Hightops"
• Laura Lein-Svencer for the collage "My Darling Doris"
• Dianne Martia for the mixed media "Exhumation of the Ring"
• Dennis Salaty for the mixed media "The Prize"
• Dick Shipley for the watercolor "Splintered Light"



Martia has done a series of mixed-media canvasses exploring the intersection of past and present. And the gamble paid off with her piece "Exhumation of the Ring." Her work will be featured in the prestigious 16th Annual Best of the Best Fine Art Exhibit, a show sponsored by the Alliance of Fine Art for the creme de la creme of local artists guilds and leagues.

The exhibit, which will appear at the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, will run from Friday, March 21, through Sunday, May 18, when it will culminate with a reception and award presentation. Artists, special guests and local dignitaries are invited to a special sneak preview gala Thursday, March 20.

The Alliance of Fine Art is a nonprofit professional association comprised of local artists groups including the Downers Grove Artists' Guild, Elmhurst Artists' Guild, Addison Art Guild, LaGrange Art League, Lemont Artists' Guild, Naperville Art League, West Suburban Artists' Guild and Midwest Collage Society. More than 100 pieces of watercolor, oil, photography, pottery, jewelry and mixed media will be showcased. Entries were chosen among award winners at the guild or league level, so organizers call the selections stellar.

"My piece is a composite mixed media collage," Martia said. "There's a combination of images that represent artifacts that might be found during an exhumation. There's a picture of a ring, a landscape that shows where the site might have been and a partial writing from a notebook that describes what a person found."

The ring is displayed against a ruler to appear like a specimen being measured.
"Exhumation of the Ring" received recognition at the Naperville Art League show, and a second piece, a mixed media waterscape called "The Passage," won second place at the Downers Grove Artists' Guild contest.

"None of my pieces are very literal, and I try to allow the viewer to come to their own conclusion," Martia said. "I use symbolism and ambiguity to evoke a sense of timelessness. It often raises more questions than it answers."

Nancy D'Agostino, "Best of the Best" chairperson, said the show highlights prominent notable local artists and promotes art in the suburbs.

"Generally you'd have to go to Chicago for something of this quality, so there's quite a buzz," she said. "The caliber of artists out here is phenomenal, and exhibits like this show people how much talent is in their own backyard. I think the public will really enjoy this, and all the artwork will be for sale, so it's a good chance to get something more unique than a mass-produced print."

The Alliance of Fine Art has secured Rolf Achilles, curator of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier and art history and theory professor, to judge the show.

"He's top-notch," D'Agostino said. "Critique for an artist is an important thing, and it'll be nice to have feedback from someone at his level."

According to Martia, the exhibit is a huge honor for featured artists.

"This is a big deal. It's such an opportunity," she said. "And the chances for networking are endless."

The Alliance of Fine Art supports cultural events which stress awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of quality art and contribute to community enrichment. The organization is staffed entirely of volunteer artists.

"We're running around making badges and tags, measuring the room and figuring out how to hang the show," D'Agostino said. "It's a really exciting time backstage to see this all come together."

For more information, visit

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Creativity has a new home

March 1, 2008

As art lovers gathered at a reception celebrating the opening of a new gallery and workshop for the Plainfield Art League, artists mused over what it is that drives them to paint.

Their secret pleasures can be hard to put into words, some said.

Others know exactly what drives their desire to create. A blank canvas seems to beg to be transformed with colors and shapes, the artists said.

At the Feb. 22 reception at the new gallery at 24114 W. Chicago St. in downtown Plainfield, Marjorie Schlekeway demonstrated her artistic talents. Using watercolors, she created three different views of the Chicago skyline. Other artists in attendance at the opening understood the drive to put paint on canvas.

Art League member Cheryl Carman said she paints because the activity brings a great sense of satisfaction.

"It makes you feel better about yourself and to be able to express what you are feeling," she said.

Carman, who paints with oils, said she joined the Art League to be with other artists who understand her passion.

"I haven't sold anything yet, but I am looking forward to it," she said.

New gallery praised

Stained glass artist John Plucinski Jr. said the Art League's new gallery, with its wide windows, is an excellent place to create and display art.

He said his inspiration for his works comes from just looking around. If an artist doesn't stop to look at the world, they may never truly see what is out there, he said.

"You are more aware of that stuff if you look for it," he said. "It's hard to explain. You see it. You've got an idea, and you are off to the races."

Plucinski also makes decorative stained glass pieces to reflect the designs his wife, Colleen, has developed for the many quilts and comforters she makes. The method is an artistic collaboration that enhances their marriage, she said.

A true calling

Tina Storey, a homemaker, said she feels blessed to have the time to create works of art.

"I can stay home and paint," she said.

She often gives her graphite drawings and watercolors to family members as birthday gifts.

"The last picture I did I probably spent four hours on," she said. "It was a watercolor of my sister's guinea pigs for her birthday."

Former Bolingbrook teacher Tita Recometa-Brady said painting is her life. She will be exhibiting about 20 paintings at the Philippine embassy in Washington, D.C., this spring. She creates large abstract paintings on round canvases, filling them with colorful, swirling shapes.

After retiring from Jane Addams Middle School in Bolingbrook in 2002, she set up a studio in her Joliet home.

"A lot inspires me," she said. "You can't describe the feeling of accomplishment."

Judi Deszed, an illustrator and librarian, uses a rare, old technique of drawing with rods of silver.

"It's kind of what they used before graphite pencils," she said.

Belonging to the Plainfield Art League means she can make all sorts of connections with other artists, she said.

The group offers demonstrations on a regular basis and sponsors special workshops as well. On the walls of the new gallery are dozens of paintings and drawings by Art League members. Included are pieces of art created by students who have won scholarships from the group.

Being a painter and belonging to a league means having friendships with others who understand the burning desire to create art, she said. It means sharing a common goal with others in the pursuit of something noble.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the artists, and the people of Plainfield, to have this type of gallery," she said.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Despite road construction, Plainfield fests to take place

February 22, 2008 - By JANET LUNDQUIST The Herald News

Two things are certain this summer: There will be downtown road construction in Plainfield and there will be downtown festivals.

Despite, and also because of, planned construction on Lockport Street that's scheduled to last all summer, MainStreet Plainfield is looking to hold its annual events as usual, including Spring Fest.

The festival is planned from 10 a.m. to midnight May 17 and noon to 6 p.m. May 18 in downtown Plainfield, and will include vendor booths, rides and food.

Village officials have approved closing portions of Lockport, Des Plaines and Chicago streets from Friday night, May 16, through Sunday evening, May 18.

Since half of Lockport Street will be under construction at a time, the festival will be set up on the other half, as well as in parking lots off Lockport Street.

MainStreet officials have said they want to maintain the organization's schedule of events, including summertime Cruise Nights and Hawg Nights.

"We are not sad (the Lockport Streetscape project) is happening; we are excited," said Jen Protrawski, MainStreet Plainfield's vice president. "It does take a lot of coordination. But it's possible."

Artists, food and entertainment will fill Settlers Park, located near Village Hall, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 7 and 8 during an art fair planned by the Plainfield Art League and Kiwanis Club.

Plainfield Park District officials are planning to replace the district's annual weekend Plainfield Fest with a one-day family-oriented event this year. The traditional festival set-up wouldn't fit on Lockport Street while it's under construction.

Park staff members are planning the event in Village Green park and have reached out to area nonprofit organizations, hoping some will agree to be joint sponsors.

Local organizations that regularly hold events downtown had been looking for ways to avoid closing Lockport Street, which can snarl traffic and hurt some downtown businesses, the owners say.

Last fall MainStreet Plainfield changed its annual Harvest Fest from a weekend event to a one-day promotion that did not close Lockport Street.

But village officials are looking for ways to draw people downtown during the construction project and have encouraged groups to continue planning their events as usual.

MainStreet is also planning two shopping events this month, including "Girls Night Out" from 4 to 9 p.m. Feb. 23 and a Leap Day Sale on Feb. 29.

For more information about the Lockport Streetscape project, visit www.plainfield

Sun-Times News Group

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mike Bessler appointed as webmaster for Plainfield Art League

Mike is succeeding Sandy Shuck as webmaster.  Sandy found a free hosting site from a friend for the past few years.  That really helped the Plainfield Art League.  She diligently kept the site up to date and recently created a new look.  Thanks Sandy.
The URL has now been changed to and any previous blog entries will have to be updated.  The previous URL will have a "please change your favorite's" message added after the new site has gone thru it's riggers.

Plainfield Art League's grand opening

PAL - February 22, 2008 is the grand opening of the Plainfield Art League at their new location at 24114 W Chicago St, Plainfield, Illinois, on the Village Green Park, in downtown Plainfield.