2022 Honorary Artist
John Lenting, also known as “Brabant" was born in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. He has shown professionally since 1976. He has been included in numerous private and corporate collections and has been represented by numerous galleries in Chicago, Indiana, Michigan and 13 years with A.I.R. Gallery in New York. Today, he is self-represented because Brabant's passion is authentic and no one understands his art more than him.
Brabant's art is described as “Mixed Media”/ Oil Acrylic utilizes various types of printmaking papers, canvas, and other papers, using several types of paint acrylic, industrial finishes, oil etc. Working in a subtractive method, making random/ gestural marks with paint, litho crayon, pastels etc., then eliminating the previous images/ marks leaving a ghost image. This is repeated over and over until reaching the desired effect. he does not work from preliminary sketches or pre-conceived ideas, it is mostly impulse; areas of interest are then developed to bring out the Composition/ Image.
Brabant is currently in Hospice care, but his passion for art is still alive. Click on his photo for a short video.
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Damen Mroczek designs and crafts silver jewelry through the age old process of 'lost wax casting', which he learned under the tutelage of his father, who has been designing jewelry for over 35 years. Each design is first hand-carved from wax and then cast into sterling silver. He uses only the best, AAA quality, gem stones and inlays to compliment his designs. Gathering inspiration from trees to leaves and wind to waves, the natural beauty of the World is Damen's source for creative expression. He is proud to carry on a 'family tradition' and hopes you will enjoy his work.
Don Widmer is a book and paper artist who uses hand paper making, relief printing, and bookbinding (separately or in combination) to create unique works of art. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago’s Interdisciplinary Arts program, Don launched his paper arts business, Lion of Bali, which exhibits at numerous arts and craft fairs throughout the Midwest. Much of his work is inspired by travel and his background in ethnomusicology. Don primarily uses a technique called pulp painting to create his handmade paper artworks, particularly his images of urban architecture.
George Ceffalio is an Award Winning Artist whose works have been displayed in several local, regional, and national exhibitions. He has received numerous awards including several Best of Show. George is best known for his rich vibrant colors and creative depiction of subject. Design is foremost and each painting is unique.
He has pursued an art education with Palette and Chisel Academy of Art and by participating in many workshops taught by nationally and internationally renowned artists throughout the United States.
Marcy Mitchell is a Southwestern Michigan native who is influenced by Lake Michigan, and the surrounding scenery of the local area. She also draws inspirations from the four years she spent living abroad in Perth, Scotland, and the other places she traveled.
Applying abstraction allows her to explore the range of possibilities through line, and color while pushing the boundaries of how the landscapes are usually perceived. Marcy often imagines there is much more beauty in this world than we are able to see with just our eyes. She believes beauty can be found in the midst of light and shadows. The spaces in between.
Kent Epler is a fourth generation Montanan with a degree in fine art and design. Including interior design and children's theater. Kent's background in scene and theater inspires him to create unique characters from discarded materials, he then creates character by adding accessories, hair and make-up to give each character a voice of it's own.
Kent has won numerous awards and featured in many art magazines.
Check out his feature story in Sunshine Artist by clicking on his picture.
Rebecca was born in Boulder, Colorado, and educated at Allegheny College (1968-1970) and Miami University (1970-1972, B.F.A.). She studied pewtersmithing in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (1972).
During her first twenty years, Rebecca focused on traditional themes, but in 1995 she began producing items with contemporary lines.
Rebecca's contemporary work has been well received, giving her entry to international competitions and displays and top national shows.
Sunday Mahaja is a metal sculpture and painter. He enjoys exploring every aspect of art. Welding allows Sunday to creating art in a various shapes and steel as well as aluminum. His sculptures reflect African culture and lifestyle.
Sunday works primarily with found metals and upcycled materials, for most part his work tends to hold beauty alongside humor and functionality.
Artists added daily
Brabant Lenting - Abstract Expressionism with figurative images
Janice Czerwinski - Impressionistic paintings capturing the essence of water and nature
Clare Hagan- Hand formed wire jewelry
Marcus Bautista- Hand-woven rugs, tapestries and bags
Woody Jacobs- Fine photography
Melvina Stemley - Hand-made eloquent hats and clutches
Don Widmer- Handmade
paper and book bindings
George Ceffalio- Classic realism/ oil/ Old Master's style
Ed Bratton- Hand twisted copper and aluminum sculptures
Carol Estes - Serial expression photography
William Nardin- Hardwood band saw jewelry boxes
Rebecca Hungerford- Contemporary pewter sculptures
Damen Mroczek- Silver jewelry with precious stones
Kent Epler - Whimsical fiber sculptures with character
Peggy Schuning - Mosaic wall sculptures
Ann Klem - Glass sculptures
Sue Rosengard - Contemporary, hand forged jewelry in silver and gold.
Diane reader Dorn - Contemporary acrylic paintings & porcelain vessels
Alli Farkas - Oil on canvas, semi-abstract water lily interpretations
Sandro Akhvlediani - Still life, cityscape, floral, and musical abstract compositions
Amy Butts - One - of - a kind nostalgic jewelry made from chandelier crystals and vintage finds.
Sunday Mahaja - Metal sculptures
Paul Hart - Folk Art- Sculptures made from reclaimed objects.
Patricia Heller - Leather and hand- woven handbags & woven rugs.
Kimberly Lichty - Whimsical paintings of animals, abstract cityscapes & faces
Marcy Mitchell - Bold, vibrant landscape paintings
Mark Herch - Altered historical photography of famous cities and places in America.
Lori Kammeraad - Paintings with patina edges & copper leaf resins on copper
Cindy Bella Cummings - Hand sewed patchwork tunics, dresses & wraps
Martha Winenger - Detailed nature painted on rocks
Lisa Kleppinger - Sterling silver jewelry with gemstones
Joy Lait - Flameworked glasss and wire sculptures and mobiles
Maranda Powers - Jewelry inspired by nature and science
Mark Daniels - Bright, colorful & energetic paintings of regional birds and flowers
Edd Johannmann - Glass sculptures created from stained glass, found objects, wood, and wire.
Jill Bontrager - Realistic watercolors of flowers, birds, and rural scenes
Danial Driggs- Watercolor of birds, wildlife, and people
Kandy Grady- Inspirational paintings celebrating life
Kandy Grady is an African-American artist known for her work in the medium of mixed media.
Her works are styled in the fashion of African-American Folk Art. The artist choice of bold colors and patterned backgrounds are used to convey her message along with much as the images she creates. Often times her subjects lack full facial details in hope that her audience can relate without the concern of race or skin color.
Kandy relishes the endless design and color combinations that mixed medium give artists. “There is a lot of freedom in mixed medium/media,” says Kandy. “Finding a good mixture of both is my desired effect.”
Determined to push boundaries and explore challenging subject matter, Grady has developed a unique style of collage and color. She mixes master techniques with unconventional media. She mono prints paper using acrylic, ink, water color and stencils to create passionate portrayals of faith, and God’s love of man.
Artist Kandy Grady creates her art in her home studio, located in her home town of Dowagiac, MI.
Ed Bratton joins us from Rogers, Arkansas. After 20 years of landscaping and created beautiful garden designs he turned to art.
During one slow season Ed picked up a roll of garden wire and made his first tree. His wife Andrea was impressed that she encouraged him to order more wire to experiment with. Over the next 8 years he gradually made more wire sculptures and landscaped less. This is now Ed's fulltime job, and his experience working with nature made trees a natural subject for him. Throughout the years he developed a unique process and style of his own.
Ed's sculptures can range from a couple inches to over six feet tall and up to 2,000 pieces of wire.
Ann Klem joins us from Fisherville, Kentucky.
Ann's art glass reveals her love of the design and creation process, the taste for technical challenges and the beauty of a well-finished piece. Strongly influenced by geometry, repeatable patterns, and phenomena such as crop circles, she designs her pieces for beautiful yet functional art.
Beginning with large sheet glass, Ann creates custom pieces, incorporating one into another, assembling and fusing them together. She then slices, grinds, sandblasts, or extensively shapes the resulting glass to enhance the visual impact of the piece.
Melvina Stemley is fiber artists at Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights and a juried artist at the Tall Grass Arts Association Gallery and Gift Shop in Park Forest. She is best known for her elaborate handmade hats.
Melvina stretches and manipulates fabric onto wood antique blocks of different shapes and sizes. After the hat is blocked with buckram and fabric, she hand sews wire into the base to stabilize the shape. The hat is decorated with feathers, beads, rhinestones, buttons, or handmade pins of different designs and materials. All hats are hand finished and decorated.
Each hat she sews are made from patterns she creates with fabric copy paper. She uses different textiles such as cotton, denim, silk, fur, leather, and polyester. A sewing machine is used for all stitched hats. The hats are finished and decorated with accents such as embroidery flowers, ribbons, beads, buttons, or great finds from recycled garments found at thrift stores.
Maranda Power's jewelry tells a story about the world and about the women who wear it. Women who love science, science fiction, and the natural world, who are confident in their style, who value hand made things and seek quality over quantity.
Maranda began metalsmithing in college, where She earned a BA in Art. She worked as a bench jeweler for five years before starting her own business. Now she spend her days creating art that connects with other women who share her enthusiasm for all things science. From scientists and fossil hunters, to Sci-Fi fans, dinosaur lovers, and all the people who dreamed of going to space as kids. She loves meeting people who celebrate her passion for Science.
Maranda also is a volunteer at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. She is currently in the invertebrate fossils department, working on photographing and cataloging fossils.
Edd Johannemann is a member of the Louisville Artisans Guild and lives in La Grange, KY where he lives on a lake with the love of his life and muse.
Edd choreographs light to create sculptures of kaleidoscopic color and motion. His work is frequently philosophical, exploring the boundaries of faith, beliefs, values, facts and assumptions. He is largely self-taught; his sculptures combine his love of photography, woodworking, and stained glass.
Marcos Bautista is originally from the Central Valley of Oaxaco, Mexico where he started weaving at age 9.
Marcos and his family are masters of traditional Zapotec Weaving and the creative skills associated with their fine art. They are descended from centuries of weavers, who began passing down the art of weaving in Pre-Columbian times. They are inspired by ancient images as well as more modern designs, to imagine, create, and produce fine, natural wool products such as rugs, bags, pillows, and more.
Marcos and his wife Katherine live in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jill Bontrager lives in rural northern Indiana. Watercolor painting has been a passion of hers for most of her life. She infused that passion into her professional life as an elementary art educator in her community for 35 years. She has instilled an appreciation for the arts and the different cultures from around the world while teaching three generations of students. Throughout her career, she was the recipient of several awards, the closest to her heart being the Margaret Ann Keegan Excellence in Education Award in 1999 in recognition for her program development for creating a visual arts high ability program and a student run art gallery within the school. She was also the 2005 recipient of the Lily Endowment Creative Teacher Fellowship that allowed her to travel to Paris, France. This experience not only allowed for professional growth, but also rejuvenated her passion for her own work.
After experiencing Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny in 2005, she created extensive flower gardens around her home. Those gardens have now become one of her greatest sources of inspiration.
Janice Czerwinski travels to destinations near and far for inspiration that bring richness and adventure to painting the landscape in oil. Chasing light and movement in scenes that captivate her through plein air studies which many develop into larger studio paintings. She is passionate about painting and finds great joy in creating works of art that become experiences, remind us of happy places, elevate our senses, encourage us to think and feel through works of art.
Her love of nature and the artistic process began in her youth with sketchbook in hand, fueled by frequent camping, fishing and beach excursions with her family. It was being awarded "Best in Show" along with many other awards in high school that encouraged her to pursue an art career. A degree in graphic design followed then over 30 years experience as a graphic designer and secondary art teacher. During this time, continually pursing her passion for painting through many professional painting workshops and mentoring by master painters Kenn Backhaus and Colley Whisson. Her paintings have received awards at the regional and national levels.
Amy Butts has a BFA in metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.
Amy's work is wearable, whimsical nostalgia. She creates new life out of old items including chandelier crystals; several decades' worth of autograph books, diaries and recipe books; vintage rosaries and other yard sale and flea market finds. In addition to her own scavenging, she works with clients to refashion everything from inherited jewelry, photographs, handwritten notes and obsolete wedding rings into contemporary pieces that have meaning for today.
Working in her Chicago studio overflowing with found objects, crystals and jewelry vending machines, Amy finds inspiration in the ways that jewelry can spark memory and play the role of souvenir. She hand crafts each piece in her collection and can spend hours just arranging various items until they feel irreplaceably right. Amy says it's a good day in her studio when she is able to look at beautiful little objects that have lost their present usefulness and bring out their beauty again.
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