Lisa Stefaniak’s work centers around portraiture and continually explores the dualities of identity and the connection of Self to nature. Her work contains and references surrealism elements and dreamlike imagery. She experiments with traditional and digital photographic manipulation, often intertwining the two.
Stefaniak was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She graduated from Moraine Valley Community College in a south suburb of Chicago with an Associate in Arts. In December 2014, she graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a BA in Studio Arts with a concentration in Photography. Since April 2015, Stefaniak has been the Art Gallery Manager and Curator at Studio Oh! located in Chicago’s Pilsen community.
Jane Barthès was born in Nigeria to a fiery and passionate Catalan, French father and a reserved English mother. This inherited duality has strongly impacted her work as an artist as she grapples with the concept of relationships between all things; the ebb and flow between matter and energy, the clash between chaos and order and the struggle to find clarity and harmony in a world filled with uncertainty. Moreover, Barthès has always been fascinated by the concept of space, carving into it and taming it to find order.
Barthès has traveled and lived many lives around the globe. After graduating in 1994 from Wimbledon School of Art at the University of London, she left the UK to spend a decade living and working in the South of France where she established herself as an abstract artist in London and France while also teaching life drawing and designing sets for the theater.
In 2005, curiosity and a desire for change lead her to travel to New Mexico, US, where the extremes of the desert inspired her work for a few years before the recession set in. Barthès then moved to Chicago in 2009 where she is currently in her studio full time, working on her exploration of what she calls her “molecules” of energy now deeply informed and inspired by the architectural beauty of the city she now calls home.
Indiana-based artist Ellen Byrnes is currently exploring multi-paneled composite paintings as an ongoing evolving format. Ellen is a traditionally trained artist receiving a BFA in Painting from the Portland School of Art, in Portland, ME in 1982, and an MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, in San Francisco, CA in 1990. Although she has been working and exhibiting her large-scale paintings in San Francisco since 1985, she recently re-located to her hometown of West Lafayette, IN. Her work has appeared in movies, television commercials and murals in the city of San Francisco. Since moving to Indiana she received the Best of Show award at the “Indiana Now 2013” competition in Lafayette, IN.
Ellen’s work has always straddled a fine line between dream imagery and recognizable forms based on observation of the natural world. By juxtaposing the natural observable world with the inner dream world an unusual tension is created as different forces inhabit the same two-dimensional space. Her recent work concerns the emotional effect of light and water, and this is self-evident in her latest large-scale eighty-panel construction “Chandeliers & Fountains”. It is an alternating display of repetitive forms of the chandelier and the fountain bathed in light and water.
Katie Meuser completed a BFA at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2009. She works as a painter, predominantly with watercolor, acrylic, and ink to make large scale abstracts both, non- objective and expressionist. Katie uses a free flowing technique she developed while attending university. This process is her unique approach to feeling her works as opposed to just seeing it.
These pieces show her progress of controlling large amounts of water with acrylic and ink. Katie’s style is the classic struggle between following the rules and breaking free from control. She has learned in order to control these mediums she has to let go.
Katie was recently commissioned to paint a mural at the Capital One Cafe in Lakeview 2017, was the featured artist for Beauty & Brawn at Chicago Ideas Week and participated in Activate Chicago, 2016. Katie has had solo shows at The Gallery, Lake Forest, IL, 2017 and Positive Space, Chicago, IL, 2017.
David Alan Sisk
David Alan Sisk is a practicing psychotherapist and self-taught visual artist who has been actively creating and exhibiting in Chicago since 2000. David is best known for his intricate and obsessive abstract paintings in ink and watercolor. These works present fluid and representational shapes and lines interspersed with harmonious colors, language and symbols within a narrative structure. They are intended to depict a sense of unconscious meandering, wrestling and playing with internal states and external events, and a persistent effort to create an atmosphere of curiosity and contemplation.