Monday, May 25, 2009

Laura LeinSvencer has been a member of the La Grange Art League for the past ten years. She originally joined the league for fellowship and a place to exhibit her work, but she quickly changed directions to become one of the art league framers and collage teacher.
Her background in arts is personal examination into tactile studies such as ceramics, printmaking, hand papermaking, metal smith and now collage. Laura is a member of many local art leagues in the DuPage County area, Naperville Art League, Depage Art League, as well as ours. She is a co-founder of the Midwest Collage Society, a member of the National Collage Society and the Chicago Arts Coalition.
Seven years ago Alla Jabolkow (the League school director at the time) asked Laura if she would like to teach. She was taken aback by the question as her only teaching experience had been working in her children’s elementary school district in an Art Awareness program. Alla told her that she only had to share what she knew. Laura’s been teaching ever since. Her classes are popular and the output of her students is impressive.
What amazes everyone is the simple, fun loving, creative spirit she shares with her students, encouraging them to go outside the box and see where their own abilities will take them. They receive assignments and task work to enable them to hone their design skills, leading to a better understanding of a good compositional layout. Basically, Laura wants all the participants in her workshops and classes to challenge themselves.
She showed me an amazing journal she’d made from an old book found at a resale shop. It’s cut, painted, sewn, gessoed, sanded. I loved it. It’s an excellent example of Laura’s approach. First, there’s a concept, the artist relates to it, understands it and finally executes it.
With summer coming, she’s taking time off to exhibit in the outdoor fine arts festivals. This year she’ll be at Hinsdale, Naperville Women’s Club, Geneva, Burr Ridge, Riverwalk and her own outdoor studio exhibit in September. She’ll have a One Person Show at the La Grange Art League in October 2009. In the meantime, you can see more of her work at or stay tuned daily to her blog at

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Connit Jaconetti

Connie Jaconetti is exhibiting at the Palos Park Library through the end of the month. She took second place and the painting was sold at the Addison Art guild.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Diane Nawrocki is having a one man show from June 1st to the 30th. It is called A Stitch in Time. There'll be a reception on Sunday the 14th from 2 to 4 P.M. Diane creates unique fabric arts as paintings. They are a wonder to see, full of joyous color using fiber and fabric. She has won numerous awards since her first which was hosted by Woolworths. An interesting coincidence since she had worked in one of their dime stores as a younster. Actually, it was in their notions department that her love of color and textiles began. This is going to be an interesting show, a departure from the traditional. Drop in, look around, enjoy, and then come again for the reception.

Diane received her education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Loyola University, Chicago and Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. Her professional experience is working as an Art Therapist at Schwab Rehabillitation Hospital, teaching Art Education at Triton and DuPage Community Colleges, Daley Community College and Kelley and Foreman High Schools in Chicago.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adult Student Show Reception

The adult student show reception last Saturday was a huge success. There was a really large attendance, bigger than anyone can remember. People wandered in, admired, chatted, had a snack and stayed around enjoying the wonderful stuff that was on view. It was fun to see who got ribbons. Laureen's painting was outstanding. She won first prize and deserved it. The window treatment was marvelous. I loved the new hanging backdrops. The food was delicious and Jacque was really grateful that so many of the teachers contributed homemade goodies.

I know it was a lot of hard work by some dedicated people. My only regret is that the show was only for one week. I think that next year it will be extended. I certainly hope so. All that art, all that work....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Student Show

The adult student show is up and looks great. It was judged and the winners are*******
Laureen Dunne
First Place Nantucket Seaside Oil

Linda O'Niel
Second Place Waves of Color Pastel

Sue Faust Compass Bearing

Honorable Mention

Barbara Boland Untitled Collage
V.B. Foskett Winter Shore oil
Sharon Jakubka Autumn Splendor Watercolor
Tara Walano Untitled Pastel
Denise Stehman the Architect pencil

It is a great looking show and if you have an opportunity between now an Saturday afternoon, do go see it. Don't forget, there's a reception on Saturday from 2pm to 4pm at the Gallery. It's great when friends and family show support for the artists.

Great meeting of the board last night. I'm particularly excited as I've been given a budget for advertising. We'll be in the June 4th Doings, Trib Local and the Suburban Live. There's going to be an open house for prospective students as well as anyone else who's interested on the 6th and 7th of June. The faculty will be showing what they teach. It's a very good introduction for anyone who is considering taking classes this summer.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Teacher's meeting

Despite the absolutely gorgeous weather 18 people showed up last Sunday for the teacher's meeting. After introducing us all (I'm not a teacher but since I'm publicity chairman, I was asked to sit in and observe), Jacque went down her list for the order of the day.

First, we discussed the Adult Student Show. Any volunteers who would like to help set up the paintings on Saturday the 9th at 9:30am will be more than welcome. Also, if you're interested in contributing munchies for the reception on the 16th (2-4pm), please add your name to the list on the wall in the classroom. I'm planning to bring cookies....anyone else can do the same or contribute hors d"oeuvres, whatever. People do like to munch while the admire the paintings.
I didn't know it was a judged show. There'll be ribbons for 1st, 2nd, 3rd as well as 5 honorable nice. I hope all the students make the effort to participate. There's a real satisfaction in seeing your work on the wall.

Sarah Rehmer showed us a sample of the new summer studio brochure...a new size, and a few other changes. We've got 24 classes to offer. There has been a lot of requests for more variety in what we're offerring. Well, we're doing it. Now......Everyone.....invite your friends, your acquaintances, their kids, anyone you know who would really enjoy doing something look at our brochure and sign up for a class. It's not enough to offer things, we have to encourage people to come.

There's a binder at the desk with faculty bios and pictures of their work. So, when people come in to ask about our classes, we can give them a better idea of their nature.

It was a lively group with a lot of discussion. I was impressed with the enthusiasm of all the participants. Even Gary Wick had something to say.

Much else was discussed.....but blogs shouldn't be too long...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Alla Jablokow

Alla says that she has learned a lot about water color painting from her teaching. When first asked to be on the faculty, she didn't think she would know how to teach. So, her students said, "Paint and we'll watch". As she progaressed, they would ask her why and she would explain why. She was forced to look and think more carefully about what she was doing in order to do that explaining. It was a learning process for her as well.

This method has remained in large part how she has handled her classes during the years. Her classes are not for beginners. She feels they are more of a critique. Her favorite subjects are plants, forests, water, rocks. She loves to examine thier shapes and different colors...feeling that you must paint only what speaks to you. One of the great privileges of painting is learning how to look and the longer you paint, the more you discover.

Alla's background is not art school. She has a master's degree in Biology from the University of Chicago. But like most artists, she has always drawn. throoughout her school years, all her papers were illustrated whether they needed to be or not.

Originally from Leningrad, Russia, she moved to Germany with her doctor mother and engineer father in 1943. She lived through the horrors of the second world war(her father was killed in an air raid). After finishing at the Gymnasium (the German equivalent of high school but more advanced), she moved to the United States and setlled with a lovely Quaker lady in Philadelphia in 1951. Her mother, under a different quota, followed in 1953. She soon met her husband and they moved to Illinois.

After the last of her childtren left for kindegarten, Alla decided to become serious about art. She took evening classes at Lyons Township with a teacher from the Academy of Fine Arts. She tried oils and ceramics but found her joy in watercolor. Her favorite teachers were the books she read and the workshops she attended. Her favorites were Zoltan Szabo, Frank Webb, Barbara Nechis and Jeanne Dobie. She also bought their books and still finds them useful.

Alla has been active with the League ever since she joined many years ago. She has been president, gallery chairman, recording secretary, director of classes, and was instrumental in the League's purchase of our building in the early eighties. Her paintings are beautifully distinctive and are much loved by the many people who have purchased them over the years. She says that her colors have become darker over the years. They're still marvelous and we're proud they hang on our walls at the Gallery.