floral

I am an artist and jeweler creating abstract botanical works rooted in line and storytelling. Growing up behind the jeweler’s bench at Durango Silver Company, I began sculpturally carving wax and studying the human for around age 7. I studied Printmaking focused on Intaglio Etching at the University of Colorado at Boulde where I received a UROP grant to study Femininity in Argentina. After receiving my BFA, I filmed skateboarding for Null Skateboards in Barcelona and the Canary Islands, Spain and exhibited video installations, one was featured in the exhibition United BAC! at the CCCB, Center for Contemporary Culture Barcelona. I lived in Chiang Mai Thailand and studied cultural craft -natural dyes, batik, and grafiti, I carried these textures back to the United States and into watercolor that made me a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society, receiving the Merwin Altfeld Memorial Award for Storytelling in the Arts. Back home in Durango, I founded and directed Durango Open Studio, an event celebrating and sharing lifestyles and process in the arts and began digging into my roots in adornment.
I create sculptural jewelry inspired by storytelling and nature. It has been featured in Art Jewelry Magazine and included in exhibitions such as TOP Jewels: International Jewelry Exhibition at the Durango Arts Center and Earthly Delights: Metalsmiths Inspired by Nature at the Lillstreet Gallery, Chicago, IL. To balance carving miniature sculptures in wax, I illustrate and paint, often in large scale, creating canvases and scrolls shown at small galleries, DIY spaces and locations such as The National Palace of Culture, Sofia Bulgaria, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Colorado USA. I maintain a studio creating sculptural adornment, illustrating and painting in Southwest Colorado and am currently studying sound and light in Champaign Illinois.

I have a degree in Materials Engineering and had a successful career in product development and project management. In my 30’s, my husband and I relocated from the East Coast to rural central Illinois. Needless to say, job prospects in my field were minimal, especially at the level my career had reached. During that next phase of my life, my husband and I bought a major fixer upper and did the work ourselves.
When we were upgrading the electric system that was originally from the time of Illinois’s “Rural Electrification Act” (circa 19305 - 1945) I found myself surrounded by so much copper wire. It was breathtaking! I absentmindedly created a bracelet and a ring with some of the wire that was sitting on the floor. That was the moment I discovered my new calling.

My foray into metalsmithing was a continued series of happy accidents that lead me to where I am now. I began making items for friends and family, who spread the word to others. Soon I was having strangers commission my to make special items from scraps of wire from their homes to keep or give as mementos. With all of this success I decided to venture out into a bigger audience and eventually entered a contest. that I won, with Uncommon Goods focused on making items with recycled or reclaimed materials. That win lead to a contract with the catalog and it kept growing from there as I moved into wholesale.

It all happened so fast and was very exciting at first. Orders came in, bulk product went out. Then I realized that I was missing out on doing what I loved, making one of a kind items that were as special and unique as the person who will wear it. So once again, at the height of my second career, I found myself pivoting direction and returning to the roots of my passion. Taking materials that are unique with a history all their own, and transforming them into one of a kind heirlooms to be treasured for generations to come, just like that old house my husband and I renovated.

Now I am happily in this next phase of life where I am motivated by my own internal passions and choose uniqueness and quality over quantity. I enjoy meeting the person who chooses one of my items and hearing what moves them about a piece. I love connecting on social media with them and seeing how that piece brings them joy after it leaves my hands. People don’t need jewelry in their life, but it sure brings them happiness. I am proud and honored to be someone who added a piece of happiness of so many peoples lives.

Born and raised on a farm near White Heath, IL, I was blessed with lots of creativity, but not lots of money. I spent many days out in the country with my Grandma, where I learned crafting, gardening, basic homemaking skills, and how to make something out of nothing. Those skills and memories are some of my most valued to this day.
I've always been able to draw and paint and was often the kid in class that got called out to do great things in art. At first, it made me happy, but then soon realized the kids that didn't get picked were good at art too, they just did it different than everyone else. I think that it's this time on my life that I started to value the differences in us, as a way of learning and growing.
After Graduating from the University of Illinois with a BFA in Graphic Design, I set out for the big city of Chicago to start my adult life. I have been a graphic designer, window display artist, retail manager, floral shop owner and winery tour and experience manager in Texas.
I recently moved back to Urbana (with my husband, 2 dogs and cat) to be near my family and am happy to be working full-time at Japan House at the University of Illinois as well as part time at Prairie Fruits Farm.
I hope to continue to explore making things...I don't invent things...I imvent them!

Richard Benoit, from Kankakee, Illinois, is a self-taught artist with a degree in photography. He works in a full complement of subjects using pastel, charcoal acrylic paint and mixed media. He has been pursuing a career in art as a means of self-expression.
Richard has been exhibiting his artwork, including his photography, for many years. Originally he got into photography when using that medium to take visual notes for his paintings and drawings but now he concentrates almost exclusively on that latter mode of expression. His work has been described as wonderfully intense, powerful and original and is included in the Illinois Institute of Art and Governors State University’s permanent collections, the Bourbonnais and Bradley Public Libraries, Aventis Pharmaceutical, Riverside Medical Center and many private and public collections throughout the U S.
Richard is a Guild member of the Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights, IL. and is an artist member of Tall Grass Arts Association in Park Forest, IL.

Self taught metal sculpture using only Harley and American motorcycle parts to create unique sculptures. Started from his own bike build in 2006 using left over parts good enough to go on a bike but now worth selling, I decided to have some fun and create a statue towards donating to a childrens benefit, to this day this piece still comes back every year and has raised over $9000. With overwhelming responses towards my first piece, I decided to set some goals.... first to raise $50,000 for Veteran and Children benefits, second to see how long it would take and third to make something so beautfull it would make an entire benefit cry. Reached all these goals last October in 2012, $64,000 raised, took 6 1/2 years to do so as well as made a piece that teary-eyed everyone.. The Orndorff Cross! Since October have been published world wide by Easyriders magazine as well as V-Twin, so with I accomplishing my goals, I set new ones..... out to do this for a living as well as creating bigger and better pieces. I just recently came back from my first major show down in Daytona Florida at bike week where I sold Internationally as well as had 14 different magazines shoot my work with all magazines telling me they had never seen anything like it, the crowds response was overwhelming with nothing but positive comments and I was an incredible draw the entire event. I am in the process of working on LIVE performances where I go into Motorcycle dealerships and turn their garbage into one of a kind creations towards the charities of their choice figuring the GO GREEN aspect would be a plus as well as not leaving behind what got me to this point, the charaties. NEVER wanting to stop putting my good foot forward, just wanting to do it on a larger scale... if my art can raise $64,000 locally, I wonder what it could do world wide! I am also doing commision pieces towards companies, weddings and whatever else comes my way in hopes that one day... I will accomplish my new goals.

Joseph Gallo has been an artist/experimental print maker for over 35 years.

Early on, collaborations with other artists during his nearly three decade involvement with father and co-founder of Editions in Cast Paper, started Joseph on a life long involvement with all that is intrinsic to paper.
The list of artists during the rise of this fine arts publishing house that specialized in hand paper making include, Victor Vasarely, Agam, Hanna Barbara, Peter Max, Rene Gruau, and Stan Lee, to name a few. (Examples available for viewing at "Joseph Gallo art" on Facebook.com). Joseph is a life long artist.

'What truly drives me is the endless path of discovery that takes place through experimentation and collaboration.
Gallo's current works involve a series of preparations to pre-print papers for Giclee. 'Realizing I could create Photoshop-like effects chemically was a huge breakthrough for me' Gallo adds while discussing his processes.
As far as subject matter, Gallo is motivated by human expression. I recently created works of art for the Jimi Hendrix foundation.
This project involved coupling 35 mm black and white, never before seen prints with Hubble deep space digital imagery. The end result, is a moving graphic depiction of Jimi's sonic inflection (available through, Dan Jaffe(805) 497 7300). Also see, http://gunnarnordstrom.com/

From print making to createing drawings, paintings and to digital imagery one thing stays the same for me. I am determined to employ the tools best suited to convey the feeling I want to express by what moves me originally. As a result, I feel my initial personal experience inspired from the source of the moment is imparted into the work forever.

Regarding specific mediums, I feel at ease with pen and ink, graphite, charcoal, fabric dyes, colored pencil, and oil pastels for rendering. I have worked with oils, acrylics, and water color. As well, I have been employing digital art (17 yrs) and its output for the last four years . I believe in Giclee printing enough so to have acquired a 42" HP 800 that I generate all of my distressed photo works and digital art onto canvas and pre-print, chemically manipulated water color paper with.

Aside from creating fine art, I have always relished the opportunities I have had come along to do graphics for musicians (C.D. covers and albums) The last Gentlemen's "Something to someone" or "cousin of the blues" for Keith Harden, or the promo posters for the Laurence Hobgood Quartet just this last summer. I am always happy to work up promotional material for "Go Retro" the everything vintage shop as well. There has been quit a bit of this activity for me over the years. Numerous examples of my electronic art and chemically altered Giclees can be seen at Fineartamerica.com (search "Joseph Gallo"). Also see, numerouse works at "Pinterest" again, Joseph Gallo.

This artist is available for the generation of custom and site specific installations. Joseph Gallo is also available for corporate/commercial design as well as decorative design. Years of hands on experience with plastics casting, mold making, paper making, silk screening, industrial painting/surface design, fiberglass, epoxy and plaster molding make this artist, designer a solid addition to any artistic, industrial or craft production setting

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