Sunday, September 17, 2017

National Collage Society Exhibit-Union Street Gallery

Mark the Calendar...September 29th, National Collage Society 33rd Annual Juried Exhibition. Information on the site will be posted soon...Union Street Gallery located in Chicago Heights IL. 

Wonderful News to Share~

This exhibit has been judged by Jeanine Coupe-Ryding 

Remnants and Remembrances
August 25 to October 20, 2017
Renaissance Court Gallery
Chicago Cultural Center

1st place
Mary Corrado Warner, Games We Played

2nd Place
Carol Kazwick, Voyager

Nancy Staszak, The Mystery of Other People’s Journeys

3rd Place
Frabra Di Paolo, Good Weather for Everything

MaryAnn Gradisher, Midway Plaisance

Leslie Lenz, Yellow Boat in Woods

Honorable Mention
Laura Lein-Svencner, Flashback

Cynthia J. Lee, Data Transfer

Jerry Reimann, Remembering the Forgotten

LuEllen Giera, Surviving Grace II

Juror's Comments...

Remnants and Remembrances
Chicago Cultural Center, 2017

Juror’s Observations

Making a collage means bringing scavenged paper, cloth, photos, and various 2 and 3 dimensional ephemera together to form a new composition. At the artist’s discretion the pieces are shifted and considered just as placing paint on a canvas would be considered to add to a work. Sometimes in collage, unlike painting, the individual elements are from the time and place that collage is describing or commemorating. Paint alone can’t do that. So both the items chosen and how they are arranged in a collage can affect how we feel about the work.

The craft of collage lies in how the pieces are pasted or attached to the surface; basically how the materials are handled. The art of collage lies in the choices the artist makes regarding the individual elements and composition and how they influence our feelings about the whole piece. I thought of these things as I looked at the work in the “Remnants and Remembrances” exhibition by the members of the Midwest Collage Society at the Chicago Cultural Center. Interpretations of the title of the exhibition spanned a variety of two and three dimensional media and approaches.

I looked for a balance between the art and craft and how the compositions drew me in inviting consideration. Some artists, such as Andrea Fox, MaryAnn Gradisher, Nancy Staszak and Joan Lucht used photos and ephemera from a time period as homage. Meg Guttman created a scrapbook of collaged photos, flowers and text to capture a spectrum of personal and social situations and Margi Hafer used photographs, writing and found text to direct the viewer to the specific person in her collage.

Some other artists, such as Mary Corrado Warner, Jerry Reimann, Carol Kazwick and Carol Weber take an indirect approach using three dimensional materials creating compelling assemblage/collages that create a feeling nostalgia and recognition.

Mary Corrado Warner’s “Games We Played” and Carol Kazwick’s “Voyager” 
are three dimensional collage/assemblages with innovative compositions. Game pieces come together in a rhythmic zig zag and in “Voyager” stacked envelopes invite a peek at a postcard, photo or letter from afar, suggesting a long journey. In Nancy Staszak’s
“The Mystery of Other People’s Journeys”, faces smile at us surrounded by pieces of patterned papers, a stamp and bits of letters as though they are looking at us from afar through the panes of a window. Fabra DiPaolo’s collage, “Good Weather for Everything” draws a face over squares of printed papers creating a strong abstract composition. MaryAnn Gradisher tears through an old newspaper to take us back to the Midway Plaisance at the turn of the 20th century. The scene opens a depth in the surface that seems to punch through the wall behind the collage. Lezlie Lenz takes us on a relaxing get away to the lake in the woods with her collages titled “Yellow Boat in the Woods” and “Northwoods Angel”.

The quality and variety of the work by members of the Midwest Collage Society is, once again, very high. Spending time at the show was a rewarding experience. Though 10 awards were given, there could have been awards for other categories. There were a number of fine collages that came close to receiving an award. I was glad to see the work of Barb Arntzen, Sylvia Koch and Donna Johnston in the exhibition. Though they are no longer living, however, their collages provide a wonderful memory of them through their art.

Thank you for the opportunity,

Jeanine Coupe Ryding

Photo's of the exhibit 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017



OCTOBER 1  Pam Eberlin, award winning assemblage artist, will present a cigar box assemblage workshop. Artists will create a small assemblage with their own supplies, including a small box of choice ( a cigar Box is suggested) and items from Pam Eberlin's stash of small things.
Artists should have a theme in mind; inspired by life, events, or their own supplies. Pam is sometimes inspired by objects which in turn suggest the theme. Pam Eberlin is a hopeless collector who creates art from found objects, especially vintage ones. She creates assemblages, sculpture, and jewelry, mostly from found objects. Pam is a Studio Artist at Union Street Gallery in Chicago heights. She teaches Art to 1st-8th grade students at St. Agnes School in Chicago Heights. Every year her 8th graders create a shrine for their Saint (Confirmation name) from cigar boxes and found objects. Some of the attached samples are similar to what the students created.
List of Supplies:
1-2 cigar boxes, collage papers, assemblage items, paint brushes, acrylic paint, water and paint containers, tacky glue (or similar) E6000 glue (or similar), "Modge Podge" or polymer medium, objects and supplies that fit your theme for your assemblage box.
Be sure to bring a plastic table cloth to protect the table.

NOVEMBER 5  Tammy Deck, fabric artist, will present a program on felted collage. More details in October.

DECEMBER 3  Christmas Holiday Party/potluck /gift exchange

There is still room to come to the retreat on September 20.  Please rush your registration fee to Tania Blanco.
Questions: contact TANIA BLANCO  630-464-3749 or e-mail  


Remnants and Remembrances is now open at the Renaissance Court Gallery of  the Chicago Cultural Center.  
Enter at Randolph Street off Michigan Avenue  across from the north end of Millennium Park.
Our show runs August 25th to October 20th with pick up on October 23rd.
More information about the Thursday October 5th 4:00--6:30PM reception and pick up plans will be coming soon.
Thank you to everyone who entered or helped  hang the show or just wished us all good luck!

Nancy Staszak has more of the Cultural Center postcards that Turkan designed.
She will bring them on the retreat and to the October 1st meeting.

Open Spaces at If These Walls Could Talk Gallery in Aurora
This show is for the month of November----You will receive a prospectus (entry form) and drop off dates soon.

“Open” Fine Art Show
October 5th – December 5th, 2017
The National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) Art Gallery, managed by Lombard Arts Coalition (LAC), will be hosting their annual “open” fine art show October 4th through December 4th.  LAC invites you to participate.  This show is juried and judged with cash awards going to the top artists.  In addition, those artists will be eligible to enter their winning piece in the Alliance of Fine Art’s “Best of the Best” Show in the spring.
The artist application is attached.  If you prefer to receive a packet in the mail, e-mail
Application E-mail/Postmark Deadline:  Friday, Sept. 15th, 2017
 Artwork Drop-off:  Monday, October 2nd from 7 to 9 p.m.
 Artwork Pick-up:  Monday, December 4th from 7 to 9 p.m.
 Reception & “Meet the Artist:”  Sunday, October 15th from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information about this event, please e-mail Lombard Arts Coalition at or call (331) 645-3992.

9th Annual Outdoor Studio Exhibit-Studio Picks
September 8th and 9th, Weather permitting, 9:30-4:00pm each day. 
Laura Lein-Svencner's Home, 6718 Dale Road Darien IL 60561
Flier is attached. 

Laura has many classes starting up in October. See on

Tania Blanco and Pat Pope have a two person show: 
Alternative Narratives at National University of Health Sciences
200 E roosevelt Rd., Lombard, IL  (the corner of Highland and Roosevelt Rd).

ARTIST RECEPTION is on Sunday, September 17, 2017  1-3 pm.
If you are unable to attend the reception, the artwork can be viewed during clinic hours:
Monday - Friday :   Monday – Friday  7 am – 7pm
Saturday 7:30 to 2 pm.  
Please support our members' exhibit and contact them when you have seen it.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Midwest Collage Society-Chicago Cultural Center-Remnants & Remembrances

"Remnants and Remembrances" is up at the Renaissance Court Gallery at the Chicago Cultural Center!

Please thank Tania Blanco and Margaret Swedzikowski, Margi Hafer and Andrea Fox, Nancy Savaiano Rosenberg and Elaine Rath who braved the traffic and brought carloads of art into the alley and loading dock.  We also had energetic help (arranging, measuring, hammering) from them and the  following people: Lezlie Lenz, Sandie Bacon, Georgia Velisaris,  Jerri Reimann and me (Nancy Staszak).  It was a long day, but worth it----the show looks GREAT!

Our show officially opens tomorrow Augusts 25th, and runs through October 20th.
 (Pick up will be Monday the 23rd)
The Renaissance Court Gallery is on the Randolph Street side of the Cultural Center at Michigan Avenue across from the north end of Millennium Park.
It is an easy walk from the Art Institute if you are coming into town.
I believe hours there are from 9:00AM until early evening----or at least 4:30+

Our reception is Thursday, October 5th from 4:00 to 6:30 PM.

A view of the Exhibit....

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


AUGUST 6   9am-3pm
 Fabra DiPaolo will present her workshop on Suminagashi, a Japanese form of marbling that floats ink on water to create beautiful concentric patterns. These patterns are then transferred to paper or uncoated cotton and used for collage another paper arts. Bring 2 small round Japanese brushes and scissors. All other materials for Suminagashi will be supplied. Members are also encouraged to bring materials to work on their current projects and a  plastic tablecloth. Although there are always snacks you may want to bring a sack lunch.

OCTOBER 8  Pam Eberlin, award winning assemblage artist, will present a cigar box assemblage workshop. Start collecting the materials you may want to use...including a cigar box. You may want to start thinking about a theme for your box too. Pam will also have some items from her stash to supplement what you bring. More details in the next newsletter.

NOVEMBER 5  Tammy Deck, fabric artist, will present a program on felted collage. More details in October.

DECEMBER 3  Christmas Holiday Party/pot luck /gift exchange

Final payment for retreat is now due.  Please check your records and mail in your checks at your earliest convenience. Thanks and let's get ready to create in Indiana. We have several new participants this year and one from as far as Miami who will join us. Attached is the packet in case you are still on the fence about joining us.
Questions: contact TANIA BLANCO  630-464-3749 or e-mail  

Visual Music in Our Souls at the Vogt Art Center (July 5th--29th)
was an outstanding success! We received so many compliments on our work. 

Some of our members also sold work there. 
Our judge, Claudia Craemer had wonderful things to say about our show.  (Judge form is attached)
Please also thank Margi Hafer, who helped arrange this show through her acquaintance with Julie Dekker and the gallery itself.
Anyone who has not picked up their work needs to call the Gallery  (708 614-6503)

Forty-seven people are participating.  The final list is attached and is being sent to Crystal Warren. Does anyone object to having their email addresses added so buyers can contact us? 

You may bring your work to the August 6th workday along with $20.00 check payable to Midwest Collage Society since it is to pay our judge, cash awards etcEither Tania Blanco, Margi Hafer or Nancy Savaiano Rosenberg will take it from there. If you cannot bring your work then, you may call any of them and arrange with them to drop your work at their homes. Otherwise, you need to bring it downtown yourself.
Tania Blanco  (Naperville---west) 630-355-6148
Margi Hafer  (Frankfort----south) 815-469-4677
Nancy S-R (Burr Ridge---central) 630-325-9211  NSRdesign3@gmail.comTurkan finished designing and ordering the post cards and has them at her house---and will bring them to the August 6th Work Day.  THANK YOU TURKAN!

We hope to have the show hung by early afternoon
The reception will be Thursday, October 5th,  4PM to 6:30PM ---so mark your calendars!

Finally, those of you who wish may write an artist's statement or bio to be included in a binder at the Cultural Center.  This is not required, but people often like to read about us and our work.
Attached is Donna Johnston's bio which Margi shared. It is lovely reading and may inspire you to write one too!
Aurora----November 2017   This is prime gift buying season and so a great time to show!

More information and an entry form upcoming.

Elaine Rath will be the featured artist at the LaGrange Art League, 122 Calendar Court, LaGrange, from July 31 - August 24th.  Everyone is invited to "Collective Curiosities" Artist's Reception on Sunday, August 13th from 2pm - 4pm.  Refreshments will be served, with music by granddaughter, Jessica Rath and friend.

Joan Lucht received the Peoples Choice Award for A Tree Whispers in the Visual Music In Our Souls exhibit at the Vogt Art Center.

Nancy Staszak  received Best of Theme Award at the Naperville Art League Illuminations Exhibit for her Trappist World II

Laura Lein-Svencner was selected as a finalist in the 34th Annual Artist Magazine competition in the Abstract/Experiment category with Collage, Blue Feathers, 30 x 30 wood panel and will be listed in the Jan / Feb 2018 issue.

Check out Laura's upcoming classes at Mayslake Peabody Estate  
Mind, Body and Creative Spirit Day Retreat, Collage and Spirit Animals, Artists Way, Creative Vision Boards, Winter Art Journaling.

Studio Picks- Create an Art Bundle
9th Annual Outdoor Studio Exhibit, Original Art, Prints and Misc.Materials
September 8th and 9th9:30-4:00 each day -weather permitting
6718 Dale Road Darien IL 60561

Elaine Rath wants to sell a beautiful antique walnut wood portfolio stand in perfect condition for $150.  Paid $1500 originally at a high end antique show, but just wants to find it a good home where someone who can use it and will  appreciate it. Can't take it to Florida.  Call or text her at 630-536-4404
BIG resale of artwork, jewelry, pottery, frames, books and art supplies
Addison Center for the Arts Gallery. 213 N Lombard Road Addison, IL 60101 
Wed. Aug 2 through Sat. Aug 5 10-4. 


Monday, July 24, 2017

Vogt Art Center, Tinley Park, IL Midwest Collage Society Exhibit

Vogt Art Center 17420 67th Ct, Tinley Park, IL 60477
Judge’s Bio:  Claudia Craemer -Artist and art educator, involved with Tall Grass Arts Association for over 12 years and also with Union Street Gallery for 10 years.  Has exhibited and received honors and awards in many regional shows and has curated or judged nearly 30 exhibits for Tall Grass, Union Street, The Victorian House Gallery, Prairie State College's Christopher Gallery, and others.

JUDGING: (one 1st place, two 2nd place, three 3rd place, four honorable mentions)

1st Place (artist)   CAROL WEBER
Title:                      Bits and Pieces of Us
Comments:   Delightful piece, full of information and a complex mix of images and materials wonderfully arranged.
Lots of “tid bits', mementos, that suggest through the linear movement within the composition and the collection of specific objects, a journey, passage, a reflective moment, harkening back to an earlier shared time.
Title:                       Finding One's Own Voice
Comments:   Beautiful, classy, stately, regal.  A powerful piece that doesn't scream.
Fluid and elegant movement and repetition of shapes, forms, patterns. A refreshing place to linger. A calming voice to listen to.

2nd Place (artist)   ELAINE RATH
Title:                       Crescendo
Comments:   Bold, operatic; an engineered, carefully crafted work. A kind of fanfare through precise shapes that rush across the space, that fill, fold back, explode outward.  Visual sound, blasts and beats as color and form.

3rd Place (artist)   JOAN LUCHT
Title:                      Ohmm
Comments:   Restrained. Strength in subtle edges, glimpses, impressions, tiny whispered phrases of color peeking through, marking time.  A meditation, prayer, chant.  An introvert's poem.

3rd Place (artist)    NANCY STASZAK
Title:                        Quartet
Comments:   A vibrant and complex grid work, demonstrating mastery of color
and texture, pattern and movement. These are the elements that command our attention at first, and also keep us returning to discover more interesting areas
with repeated viewings.

3rd Place (artist)     JERRI REIMANN
Title:                         Stream of Consciousness
Comments:   The flow of ideas, energy, confidence, exuberance, through intense color and surface marks. A landscape of thought and emotion, fluid and moving within never-static, ever-changing moments.

Honorable Mention (artist)   RACHELLE BARMANN
Title:                                       Music of My Soul
Comments:   Visual music: meter, rhythm, repetition, punctuation. A kind of steadiness and resolve. Pristine. Such great care in selection and placement of hundreds of elements. Attention given to harmony. Unity. The silent chimes that interrupt the stillness.

Honorable Mention (artist)   ANNETTE PLETTAU
Title:                                        Kentucky Farm, Winter
Comments:   An actual landscape as well as a lush collection of papers and textures. Serene and welcoming, drawing us in to a peaceful hideaway.

Honorable Mention (artist)    CAROL KAZWICK
Title:                                        Homage to Kurt
Comments:   One of the more orderly, compositionally strict pieces. Implies a setting of limits and abiding by principles. A very satisfying work of variations on a theme, repetition of colors and shapes, concern for filled and empty spaces.

Honorable Mention (artist)    VIRGINIA GUZIOR
Title:                                        Birdsong I
Comments:   A departure from many of the other works in the show through its use of surprising fabrics, stitches, applique, the somewhat oddness of colors and texture choices.  The world within the elaborate frame seems of another time,
where brocade and harpsichords might be part of the room just beyond the birds.

Overall Comments on Exhibit: 
The Visual Music in Our Souls Exhibit is a large, diverse, and impressive show of
dozens of approaches to collage. From images that are created primarily from cut and paste papers and pictures, to works that incorporate painting, glazing, textural surfaces and even 3D objects, the range of styles and formats is exciting. The artists demonstrate experienced handling of media, a sensitivity to color and pattern, an attention to contrasts between textures and forms.
Many of the works invite us to keep coming back to explore and enjoy intricate areas of dense detail up close, and some of the works read as bold statements of color and composition from far across the room.

So many of the pieces in the show are worthy of receiving applause and appreciation, and it was extremely hard to determine levels of honors to be
given. Many more works could have received an award.  The exhibit as a whole
is full of joyful and energetic compositions and daring pairings of delicate and powerful, subtle and assertive visual statements.

It was a pleasure to spend time studying all the collage pieces, to see new directions appearing in the works of some familiar artists, as well as to discover
some new artists that are now part of the group.  The MCA is definitely an
organization that continues to grow and improve each year. Congratulations on
another great show!

Claudia Craemer