Because the Homer Township Public Library not too long ago hosted a bunch of artists showcasing a room filled with artwork, one of the eye catching displays concerned a big, five-panel horizontal sequence of colourful photos framed and resting in entrance of Michael Preski and Gina Rende.
“It was a labor of affection,” Preski mentioned.
Preski, of Chicago, and Rende, of Orland Park, began courting in 2016, and he or she shortly launched him to the Lemont Artists Guild. Now, they had been showcasing what they created collectively on the Guild’s annual Present and Inform on the library earlier this month.
Rende had a stroke in 2002, her actions had been restricted and grownup coloring books shortly turned a ardour. Preski started creating coloring pages for the 2 of them. He would ink the photographs and Rende would colour them.
Through the pandemic, the household began gathering for weekly dinners at Rende’s mom’s home. Preski mentioned it’s a “massive Italian household, naturally massive Italian dinners.” And as he sat on the desk, the thought for this yr’s showpiece got here to him, providing the totally different views from every chair — what every individual would see.
“Every one represents one member of the household, myself included,” Preski mentioned. “Whenever you line them up collectively, it tells the story of the Wednesday dinner.”
This was not the primary Present and Inform for Preski and Rende. The couple mentioned they love the best way the dialog round artwork flows on the conferences of the Lemont Artists Guild, the place inventive discussions and the change of concepts are inspired.
“What’s good is we now have range,” Preski mentioned. “We have now pictures, watercolor, oils, acrylics, all the pieces.”
That creative range was on show over the course of the two-hour assembly, which gave everybody an opportunity to point out a few of their work, talk about strategies, provide one another suggestions and encouragement, and even clarify a few of their “failures.”
Betty Burian Kirk, a fiber artist and trainer, led issues off by passing round some decorative works she created. Barbara Kelly defined among the coloring methods she used to create a fairy over a lily pad. Cheryl Ferber highlighted the methods she used to create the distinctive textures of her work, in addition to a portray of her husband standing subsequent to an outdated pickup truck.
Kathy Birch beamed with pleasure after somebody identified they acknowledged the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, in one among her portraits. Whereas she talked of trial and error in her work, others provided encouragement.
John R. Gildroy mentioned among the debate over pinup works and displayed a photograph of a lady wielding a sword.
David Opon famous most of his latest work as a comparatively new artist was nonetheless too “moist” to convey for Present and Inform, however he mentioned he tries to make it to Lemont Artists Guild conferences as a result of they’re all the time helpful.
“It’s actually nice to return in and see different individuals’s work, since you study a lot, even when it’s a unique medium,” Opon mentioned.
Jackie Uznanski handed round some sketches she drew, and with a pill showcased digital artwork she is attempting along with what she does by hand. Nancy Uznanski introduced drawings she created whereas imagining how they is likely to be utilized in a youngsters’s e-book about pirates. The trick has been getting a cannonball to appear like it’s coming proper on the reader.
“It’s all the time been a dream,” she mentioned of the e-book.
Mary Fronczak Grochocinski talked about her efforts to create life like photos from picture references. She additionally defined how she creates composites of photos when she doesn’t like a sure ingredient of 1 picture, such because the background or the flames of a fireplace up entrance.
“I’m probably not good at Photoshop, so I take my footage, I resize them, then I tape them,” Grochocinski mentioned.
Mona Parry showcased a picture of a waterfall she created. And Lynn Rozycki shared a quilt, jewellery and a few “failures” she deliberate to redo. She additionally talked about becoming a member of an upcoming artwork class on the library.
“I assumed: I’m horrible at origami; this might be a fantastic alternative,” Rozycki mentioned. “Properly, it was drawing cranes. It was not doing origami. I loved it.”
Guild President Liz Connelly additionally shared a wide range of actions she discovered to attempt new issues to maintain busy and work out the right way to brainstorm higher.
“Your mind will do all the pieces to distract you from working,” she mentioned. “This made me sit and do it.”
The Guild’s annual Present and Inform has been operating for practically three a long time. Whereas members all the time share their work, the Guild sometimes contains a lecturer or speaker at its conferences. Holding the Present and Inform in January additionally marks a brand new yr with new concepts, Connelly mentioned.
“This assembly is particularly to point out what you do together with your artwork,” she added. “We welcome artists of all types. It’s a really form group. It’s quite a bit about sharing and simply serving to.”
The Guild, established in 1992, began in Lemont and nonetheless carries the title. However with members coming from throughout, the artists moved their conferences to the central Homer Township Public Library location roughly 10 years in the past, when the library erected its first addition.
Heather Colby, the library’s grownup and teenage companies supervisor, mentioned the Guild is an effective accomplice in providing a variety of inventive and revolutionary packages, corresponding to comedian artwork, oil portray methods and forensic artwork evaluation. Attendees shouldn’t have to be members of the Guild to attend conferences.
“Lemont Artists Guild is devoted to sharing each artwork and knowledge, which is vital for any public library,” Colby mentioned. “We like to construct partnerships with group organizations, and they’re a fantastic match.”
Invoice Jones is a contract reporter for the Every day Southtown.