Niles Art Stop 2018

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Bench Map2

Bench #1: A Starry Night in Niles

Artist Name: David Rzany
Bench Location: 8700 Dempster (Just West of Greenwood)
Artist Biography: David Rzany (Razz Art) is a semi-abstract artist from the Northwest side of Chicago.  He defines his current style as abstract impressionistic pop art, painting primarily with acrylic and aerosol and paints on a variety of surfaces including canvas, wood and glass.
Bench Inspiration: For this piece, A Starry Night In Niles, I wanted to do something vibrant and iconic. A Niles landmark becomes surreal and stylized in this post- impressionistic inspired piece.


Bench #2: Bliss

Artist Name: Kirsten Scott
Bench Location: SouthEast corner of Milwaukee/Ballard
Artist Biography:


Bench #3: Coneheads

Artist Name: Jeff Lee
Bench Location: Millbrook Shopping Center- 9355 N. Milwaukee
Artist Biography: Jeff Lee has been painting pictures since he was in kindergarten, a very long time ago, when he won a green ribbon.  He typically worked as a commercial artist and has tried his hand at a wide variety of art forms.  His most renowned artistic exploit was creating the classic arcade game "Q*bert." In recent years he has taken up painting again and produced a number of public art projects, notably a group of murals in Oak Park.
Bench Inspiration: "When alerted by my cousin of this opportunity in Niles, I thought about the horizontal format and then this vision of a string of happy ice cream cones popped into my head.  Everybody loves ice cream on a summer day."


Bench #4: Drying Roses

Artist Name: Victoria Elizabeth (Pelarenos)
Bench Location: NE Corner Golf /Western
Artist Biography: Victoria Elizabeth (Pelarenos) is a Chicago based watercolor fine artist. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Art with a BFA specializing in watercolor painting. Her current body of work draws inspiration from nature, specifically roses and how time changes them. Her paintings have been previously shown in the Bill L. Parks gallery and at the SEA juried show. To see more of her work, check out her website www.victoriaelizabethart.com.

Bench Inspiration: Roses are always on display while they are fresh and young, and once they start to wilt they are oftentimes discarded. I wanted to convey the act of preserving these precious roses by showing them in the process of drying by being hung upside down.



Bench #5: Eyes on Nile

Artist Name: Erick Ramos
Bench Location: Four Flags- 9449 N. Milwaukee
Artist Biography: Erick is a Chicago artist influenced by Vangoh - Picasso - Monet - Dondi -mad seen and the urban underground art culture. He uses graffiti - impressionism- modernism- repetitive patterns- stencils & anything that will allow him to create his vision on canvas or street walls. His mission is to paint larger than life murals on busy city walls that remind the everyday 9 to 5 worker that a life of color-imagination- & free thinking does exist.
Bench Inspiration: My bench piece is titled "Eyes On Niles" which signifies the awareness of current economical booming & modernization of the Niles neighborhood.



Bench #6: Flowers

Artist Name: Bogumila Grabarkiewicz
Bench Location: Village Hall- 1000 Civic Center Dr.
Artist Biography: My name is Bogumila Grabarkiewicz.  I live in Niles for the past 15 years with my three children and I am a proud grandmother of one.  I immigrated from Poland 20 years ago.  I am a self-taught artist in oil, acrylic, pencil, paper flowers, yarn animals and other arts and crafts.  One of my earliest memories with Art was in Poland I did a portrait of a family member and I was always making handmade birthday cards.   Many of my art works are no longer with me and are in the hands of family and friends.  I have many wonderful memories raising my children here in Niles and enjoy the great experience of community, peace and love that Niles provides to me and my family.  
Bench Inspiration: I have 2 entries for the Bench Project.  The First one is “Sunset.  When I think of sunsets, its like it goes into me and brings me calm and peace.  Personally, sunsets just make me feel happy.  My Second entry is called “Flowers”.  I enjoy the color of the flowers, they bring joy and happiness to everyone who sees them.

Bench #7: Galaxy So Close You Can Touch It
Artist Name: Debi Gajewski
Bench Location: Dempster/Shermer- 7107 W. Dempster
Artist Biography: Debi Gajewski/The Wonderful Wizard of Art is a self-taught artist who has been painting for over 35 years.  She is an Acrylic painter who also paints with watercolors, oils and enjoys Mixed Media.  A past member of the Decorative Art Society and officer of the Painting chapter Windy City. She teaches art for all ages.  www.thestoryspinners.com
Bench Inspiration: My inspiration for this piece was the idea that there is so much in this universe that we normally don’t see…a dream world…so close we could almost touch it.  

Bench #8: Grow With Us
Artist Name: Carol Luc
Bench Location: 9210 N. Milwaukee
Artist Biography: Carol Luc has exhibited nationally, and her artwork is in several public and private collections. She has an MFA from Northern Illinois University, and an MA from Wayne State University in Michigan. She has been teaching art and graphic design in higher education for over 20 years.
Bench Inspiration: As this is the inaugural public art project for the Village of Niles, I am aware of the goal to integrate and express art in its many forms into the cultural fabric of the community. Grow With Us is an open invitation for that community to participate and engage in the upcoming offerings they should see through future seasons, and to connect in a larger way with each other through that participation, even if it is just relaxing on a bus bench!

Bench #9: Harmony Of The Village
Artist Name: Michael A Abcede
Bench Location: Village Hall-1000 Civic Center Dr.
Artist Biography: Michael A Abcede is a visual artist aiming to depict the mysteries of human living with a playful and satirical eye. He chooses not to restrict himself to any one style or format or medium but rather take the resources at hand and make works that strike him at that moment. He has a varied background of living in Asia, Canada and the United States, bringing a wealth of cultural experience to his work. He is well versed in graphite, pen and ink, acrylic painting as well as digital visualization. He is also a singer, guitarist and songwriter.
Bench Inspiration:
I seek to depict a culture both emerging and at one with nature where people embrace the expanse of the world while making their home in a tight knit space. Life in all its iterations is seen as part of one unified and organic whole. Nature and modernity are all interwoven into a single fabric of life.

Bench #10: I Wish I Were a Fish
Artist Name: Jennifer Scott
Bench Location: SouthEast corner of Milwaukee and Dempster
Artist Biography: Jennifer Scott is a self-taught artist from the Northwest side of Chicago. She enjoys experimenting with new techniques and mediums to bring her ideas to life. Working primarily with acrylics, Jennifer's current pieces vary between abstract, realism, and the whimsical.
Bench Inspiration: The effortless wonder of aquarium life always seems to have a peaceful calming effect. In this fast-paced hurried world we live in, it is her hope that this bench will bring a feeling joy and tranquility to commuters’ busy days.


Bench #11: L.O.V.E. All Over
Artist Name: Gloria Rivera
Bench Location: Milwaukee/Harts- 7007 N. Milwaukee
Artist Biography: My art comes from a place of wanting everyone to respect, love and appreciate each other for who they are without passing judgment. The embodiment of my craft primarily focuses on growth, empowerment, self-love, and self-acceptance of women. It stems from a place of understanding that women can love themselves and be themselves and that people will love and respect them for who they are as they are. Just like the post-it-notes around a mirror, my pieces are full of affirmations intended to be a reminder of how one should live their life internally and how it should be shared externally.
Bench Inspiration: Way too often we surround ourselves internally and externally with the wrong types of energies. We become consumed by this heavy mound of negativity that we have created and allowed it to reside in our presence. We allow these energies to fester in our lives and also spread them around like dandelion seeds in a roaring wind. So, consciously and consistently practice surrounding yourself with the energy of love and other high vibrating energies. And allow them to infectiously spread like wild fire. Surround yourself with L.O.V.E. - Lots Of Valuable Energy. -GIR

Bench #12: Lucky Monarch
Artist Name: Janet N. Gonzalez.
Bench Location: Harlem/Dempster- 7201 W. Dempster
Artist Biography: My name is Janet N. Gonzalez.  I proudly live in Niles for the past 10 years with my Husband and three children and a devout Parishioner at St. Juliana Church.  My educational background is in Business Administration and Nursing Science and I currently work as a Registered Nurse.  One of my earliest happy memories in Art was a desire to color in coloring books.   I also enjoyed Art projects in school in any medium.  My paintings are on my walls at home and I have given some away to family and friends. I am a self-taught Artist with the occasional class participation in the community.  My art mediums range from charcoal drawings to painting mainly using acrylic.  Other loves are photography, gardening and interior decorating, with my most recent passion playing the violin.
Bench Inspiration: My bench title is called “Lucky Monarch.” The painting was done in acrylic outdoor paint, covered with Spar Varnish.   As mentioned earlier, I love to garden.  One of my greatest joys is watching, the almost mystical Monarch Butterflies, who come visit my garden each year, right here in Niles.  

Bench #13: Mirror
Artist Name: Colleen Martin
Bench Location: 8201 Golf Road
Artist Biography: Colleen Martin is an artist currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. She is a recent graduate from the American Academy of Art as of April 2018, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Watercolor. Colleen is an abstract artist; her work is heavily influenced by her obsessive compulsion to count. She creates designs and patterns that have become a way to cope with these urges. Most of her design work is done using acrylic and ink; she also specializes in watercolor and photography.
Bench Inspiration: I wanted to capture different textures in this piece while all being one-dimensional. I wanted to give the effect that the lower was mirroring the top half but having them flow into each other as a whole. Surround yourself with L.O.V.E. - Lots of Valuable Energy. -GIR

Bench #14: Niles Outlook
Artist Name: John Beck
Bench Location: Niles Library- 6960 W. Oakton
Artist Biography: I'm John Beck and I was born with a dash of autism--so I've always seen things from a different perspective.  I did professional wedding work for over twenty years, so my history of capturing artistic photos goes back to my roots from shooting weddings.  Artistically I'm also a street performing "Busker," and I bring classical guitar performances to parks locally.

Bench Inspiration: I call my "art-bench" piece: "NilesOutlook".  I captured it in "giant-panoramic360" photo mode.  It's a very dramatic photo that looks out over 100 miles from the west, to the Chicago skyline in the east.  I hope you like my perspective of getting the "big picture" from Niles, and my vision of Niles Outlook.

Bench #15:  The Space Swim
Artist Name: Mallory Rentsch
Bench Location: The Bradford Exchange- 9301 N. Milwaukee
Artist Biography: Mallory Rentsch graduated from the American Academy of Art with a BFA in Illustration. Through her exposure to the creative world and publications such as The New Yorker, she developed a simple style that focuses on concept, color, and depth of idea. Although she predominantly creates her work digitally, she also enjoys using traditional mediums such as acrylic paint. Residing in Chicago, Mallory is currently an art teacher and accepts freelance work in both illustration and graphic design.
Bench Inspiration: My bench, The Space Swim, represents the idea that space and the sea possess similarities as they are both great expanses that are unknown and quite incomprehensible to the human mind. Through the study of planets and animals, this has given individuals a better understanding of the universe. In my painting, I bring together these concepts and similarities by rendering turtles swimming in space with planets for their shells.

Bench #16: Sunset
Artist Name: Bogumila Grabarkiewicz
Bench Location: Costco-Touhy & Melvina
Artist Biography: My name is Bogumila Grabarkiewicz.  I live in Niles for the past 15 years with my three children and I am a proud grandmother of one.  I immigrated from Poland 20 years ago.  I am a self-taught artist in oil, acrylic, pencil, paper flowers, yarn animals and other arts and crafts.  One of my earliest memories with Art was in Poland I did a portrait of a family member and I was always making handmade birthday cards.   Many of my art works are no longer with me and are in the hands of family and friends.  I have many wonderful memories raising my children here in Niles and enjoy the great experience of community, peace and love that Niles provides to me and my family.  
Bench Inspiration: I have 2 entries for the Bench Project.  The First one is “Sunset.  When I think of sunsets, its like it goes into me and brings me calm and peace.  Personally, sunsets just make me feel happy.  My Second entry is called “Flowers”.  I enjoy the color of the flowers, they bring joy and happiness to everyone who sees them.

Bench #17: Village of a Future Community
Artist Name: Michael A Abcede
Bench Location: Village Hall-1000 Civic Center Dr.
Artist Biography: Michael A Abcede is a visual artist aiming to depict the mysteries of human living with a playful and satirical eye. He chooses not to restrict himself to any one style or format or medium but rather take the resources at hand and make works that strike him at that moment. He has a varied background of living in Asia, Canada and the United States, bringing a wealth of cultural experience to his work. He is well versed in graphite, pen and ink, acrylic painting as well as digital visualization. He is also a singer, guitarist and songwriter.
Bench Inspiration: With an eye looking to kitsch-y 1950s science fiction, this piece depicts a playful idealized future. The tight knit family unit boldly and fearlessly moves out into the dark vacuum of space. Humans stretch their earthbound living out into the far reaches of infinity!

Bench #18: Rockin’ Niles
Artist Name: Jeff Anderson
Bench Location: Greenwood/Gregory NW- 9616 W. Greenwood
Artist Biography: Jeff attended De Paul University and graduated with a Bachelors in Art Education. While there, he studied painting under William Conger. He is a member of the Oak Park Art League and the Elmhurst Artists Guild. He has exhibited in the past 12 months @ Oak Park AL, Elmhurst AG, Des Plaines Arts Council, Prairie Title Co - ‘One Man Show’, Arts of Life (Glenview) & Morpho Gallery (Chicago), 12 Notes. (Chicago)
Bench Inspiration: Jeff’s inspiration has been Monet, Degas and the Post-Impressionists.  He has gradually grown into combining Impressionism and Post-Impressionism with Abstraction. Currently, he is concerned with color and composition. Mountains, water, trees and sky are reoccurring themes in his work.  He varies his approach to the blank canvas with everything from a concrete idea of what he wants, to a vague impression of what he hopes to accomplish. He uses a variety of things in the application of paint to canvas: brushes, squeegees, wood blocks, fingers, etc. He approaches the canvas as a jazz musician does an improvisational piece. Creating on the fly. He paints on the cutting edge of his creativity, constantly challenging himself and is willing to make mistakes, reevaluate, and go into an unknown place to continue to grow and complete the painting. His paintings are a reflection of this journey.