Allie Klawitter and Alexandria Dravillas are two De Paul University digital photography students with serious vision when it comes to capturing the natural world. Striking, ambitious and highly intelligent in their separate executions, both of these young artists are unafraid to bring “the wild” into their work. Their opening show, South by Midwest, opens on April 21st at 7:00pm at The Frame Shop in Bridgeport. We asked each artist a few questions about what they love to photograph and how nature fits into their visual storytelling.
Allie Klawitter is a young photographer currently studying at DePaul University, where she is pursuing a Major in Art, Media, & Design with a specialization in Digital Photography along with a Minor in Graphic Design. As a high school student in Oklahoma, she was an active participant in the photography program at Booker T. Washington, where she earned a prestigious Silver Medal in the 2014 Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition for her photograph “Life”. Allie’s photography is varied in subject matter, but her passion for animals is a dominant theme that is exposed through her portraits. Having worked as a Veterinary Technician, as well as owning many pets, she is able to share her passion for animals through photography.
Allie, what can you tell us about where you are from and how does this place inform or inspire your work? Were you a naturally born photographer?
Allie: I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Which happens to be one of Oklahoma’s “big cities” but I also have a family farm in a small town 45 minutes away from the city, called Avant. I think it was my country experience that made me gravitate to animals and gave me an innate ability to connect with them in an uncommon way. I also had the opportunity to have access to a 3-year photography class at my high school, the only of its kind in the state, which got me leaning more towards the arts. It gave me the opportunity to pursue many advanced facets of photography, both analog and digital, as well as the use of digital tools, like Photoshop. Rather than coming from the art world into photography, my path began with photography and has led me into the world of art.
I have always been fascinated by the arts, especially the camera. From a young age I would borrow my sister’s point and shoot or grab control of the disposable cameras on road trips. I did not always intend to become an artist. In the beginning, I wanted to go to veterinary school. I went so far as to work at a veterinary hospital though all of high school as a technician/assistant. The combination of the farm and the love for animals has truly made an impact on my work.
What occurs in photographing animals and nature that doesn’t with other subjects? How is this process unique or the similar? Is it easier or more difficult than photographing stationary or inanimate objects?
Allie: Animals are certainly more unpredictable, but, at the same time, they are probably less prone to mood swings, which can be helpful in getting quality shots. If I have enough time with an animal to make a real one-on-one connection with them, I am able to get almost human-like poses from them, which is always fun to capture, but I can also follow the animal around, get down at their level, and capture more random shots, which can be the best ones. Probably my most memorable animal photo is one I titled “Life” and I took of my dog, Oliver, from ground view as licked a puddle of water in a crack of my driveway. In this photo, I focused up close so all that was visible was his nose and his tongue making contact with the water. The way the photo came out, one could not be certain that it was a dog, much less what kind of dog it was. I know some have commented that they thought it was a bear. Within photographing nature and animals, I attempt to capture the spirit and the subtle details that people do not normally notice.
There are other types of subjects in nature I would love to have the opportunity to photograph, but they can require special equipment that I don’t yet have; things like zoom lenses or even digital binocular/camera hybrids. Up until this point, I have to be able to get fairly close up, so that does limit me. But, at the same time, there are many beautiful things in nature that I can easily get close up on that make excellent subjects. It’s kind of the same thing with athletic photos. I don’t have problems with capturing the action, but getting close enough to the action can be problematic.
What is it that resonates most with you? Animalistic nature? The serenity and/or solitude of nature?
Allie: I probably lean more towards the serenity of nature resonating with me. I guess I do enjoy some solitude, but my preference is to have a companion, whether that is a person or my dog Oliver. I have fond memories of sitting alone in a field with just my dog. I always feel that he has the same sense of enjoyment in that setting as I do.
How has your approach changed since moving to Chicago? How has your education helped or hindered your development?
Allie: I probably retain the same approaches and tendencies as a photographer, since coming to Chicago, but there is no question that both town and education have expanded my view and my arsenal of techniques. Just the other night, I set out to do some night-time HDR and long-exposure photos. The Chicago Skyline is a great subject, but in and of itself, can be a bit overused. Which every newcomer to the city and or photographer needs to get out of there system. The trick is to find interesting perspectives and angles that somehow accentuate it’s beauty in an unfamiliar way. One HDR I took used an icy swim ladder as the real focal point, looking at the Skyline from the Lake Michigan shore, with the Skyline, itself, taking on the icy appearance of the swim ladder. On the other hand, a view down Lakeshore Drive at night was the perfect subject for a time-delayed shot that I titled, “Headlight, Taillight”, because the effect was a continuous stream of neon light in each lane of traffic. It would be very difficult to get a similar shot batch in Oklahoma. This is but a couple of examples, but the location definitely provides almost an endless array of subject matter and as much as the education has helped already, I’m just beginning to get into the meat of my curriculum that I find to be very exciting.
What do you hope to photograph in the future? What or who inspires you most currently?
Allie: I hope to travel and expand my subject matter of the natural world, including social/environmental critiques that are presented before me along the way. The current photographer who I look up to and grab inspiration from is Hunter Lawrence and Keith Ladzinski.
Alexandria Dravillas is a portrait, landscape, and concert photographer. She currently studies at DePaul University, where she is pursuing a double major in Psychology and in Media Art with a concentration in Photography. Alexandria is a contributing photographer for numerous online publications including Shredded, Melted, Dissolving Film, and The Chicago Vibe magazines. She has photographed upcoming bands including Cherry Glazerr, The Growlers, and The Orwells. Concert photography combines Alexandria’s passion for music with her love for photography. Alexandria manipulates the ordinary with the incorporation of texture and reflection into her landscape photos. Seeking to create work that is chromatic, vibrant, and eye opening, she turns the mundane aspects of her environment into extraordinary landscapes by capturing them with a completely new perspective.
Where did you grow up and when did you first become interested in photography? Is it something you always wanted to do? How has your knowledge of the subject changed or developed by attending DePaul?
Alexandria: I grew up in the Southwest in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was always creative as a child. I’ve expressed myself through many different mediums while growing up. I danced competitively for fourteen years, I took piano, singing, drawing, and oil painting lessons. I first became interested in photography in high school, somewhere around my sophomore year. I loved Tumblr; I spent hours on Tumblr in middle school and high school looking at photos and building my blog of reposts, but it wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that I realized that I liked it so much because I loved photography and that I wanted to create my own photos. I began taking photos as a hobby. Collecting people’s work suddenly felt meaningless to me because it was not my own, which I knew I was capable of creating. Tumblr showed me my love for photography but it was not until my junior year that I began to pursue it.
I did not consider myself a photographer until I started attending DePaul. DePaul has an amazing, tight knit art program that I’m so proud to be a part of. I took an analog class in high school but I had little experience with digital photography. DePaul has given me amazing and inspiring professors that know me on a first name basis. I was about to go to Arizona State University, which is the largest university in the country. At ASU, professors only know students as their seven digit ID number. Students never get to have one-on-one relationships with their professors. I’m so fortunate to be able to attend DePaul because the relationships that I have created with professors are so important to me. These professors are helping me grow as an artist more and more each day. They are why the department is so successful.
How does concert photography differ from your ordinary conceptual process? Or are they more similar than one would think? Are there spatial/logistical challenges in trying to take pictures of a band with tons of screaming fans around?
Alexandria: My Concert photography is not very conceptual but I think that it can be, it just depends on what you’re trying to get out of the experience. There are definitely a lot of challenges in shooting shows. Venues usually have a photo pit that only the press has access to so screaming fans aren’t usually an issue. I think the most challenging part of shooting shows is capturing moments before they are over. I mostly shoot crazy rock and punk rock shows, but sometimes it feels like I’m actually photographing a sports event because everything is so fast paced. You really can’t put your camera down during the set or you might miss something.
Who would you love to photograph? Band, Individual, Place?
Alexandria: I would love to be a tour photographer for Twin Peaks. I’ve been wanting to photograph Salvation Mountain and Antelope Canyon for a while now. I’m hoping to make my way over there this summer.
How do you view the ordinary and how would you like to change it through photography? What is your process for changing an regular landscape into something vibrant, exciting and challenging?
Alexandria: I’m very influenced by Gursky and Magritte. Gursky manipulates the subjects of his photos into patterns. He likes photographing huge quantities of his subjects from a distance in order to show a new patterned structure that is created with a bunch of tiny little parts. Magritte was a painter who wanted to make people question things. I often use reflections and focus on natural textures to create something that hasn’t been seen before. I manipulate reality to make viewers question what they are looking at.
Where do you see your skill and vision taking you in the next five years?
Alexandria: I would love to travel the world and photograph everything I come across. I’m not sure if I will be so lucky, but I will always try my best. In the next five years, I hope to pursue concert photography and maybe work for a larger publication. I’m not sure where I’ll be or where I’m going, but wherever I go, I’ll be photographing my experiences.
South by Midwest opens on April 21rst at The Frame Shop in Bridgeport, 3520 S Morgan #LD. Drinks and light fare will be served from 7-10pm.
Everyday Items As Art
If you like to collect things, art is one of the most rewarding things that you can collect. Viewing it gives you pleasure, while the value of most objets d’art rises over time.
Recently, one buying trend in North America has consumers paying to buy items that seem everyday, but may end up being considered art. Here are some good examples of items that fall into this category.
Just like Antique carpets and handmade rugs have become a very hot trend in North America, Pendleton blankets from vendors like indiantraders.com are popular with collectors because the artists that create them are putting a lot of their own culture into the work. The phenomena may be similar to comparing Europe, which used to use paintings to express history and art, to Native Americans that have normally had a strong relationship to the type of blanket that they use or keep for decoration. Because blanket design can tell a story or be geographically distinct, it is one textile that is becoming more popular to purchase as art.
If you go to the history museum in Jerusalem, you will see all sorts of 2500 year old jewelry that looks like the jewelry that is worn today. For collectors, this means that well-made, custom jewelry will stand the test of time and end up being viewed as an objet d’art. Of course within the category of jewelry, it is important to have a sense for both what you like, and what you expertly presume the market will like.
In other countries like Japan, there are very famous kilns that put out distinctive ceramics that are sought everywhere. Getting a dinner set at one of these places will generally create an instant heirloom for the family that keeps that set together. In North America, ceramics have been traditionally popular to collect. The bulk of the art objects that were made from ceramic currently come from the 19th century and earlier. If you are buying ahead, focusing on plates, cups, and statues is pretty popular.
With the success of the giant shopping mall known as Etsy, another generation has taken up buying pieces of everything from hair bands to metal chopsticks, sometimes with the hope that they will become collectibles that are considered art in the future. Often times, this type of item that can be purchased is known as Americana. You can find it in a vintage store, an antique shop, or in an online mall and you will likely find out that it will increase in price over time.
Every movie that comes out has a budget for licensed toys, games, posters, and other items associated with the film. If the film is popular like Star Wars, figures that are associated with it, and have provenance can become considered collectible art. Movie posters are also a very popular item to collect as art.
Buying everyday items that are beautiful or associated with a historic event can eventually cause those items to be considered art by collectible dealers and clients. The key for people that decide to buy from well-known sites or stores is to find something that you like, regardless of its future potential value, and then hold onto it and enjoy it.
Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in arts and crafts, DIY, and other handmade products. She currently writes for Indian Traders, a leading vendor of pendleton blankets and jewelry.
A visual collector, an observer, a documenter. Paul Branton is a Chicago artist who lets music and paint describe the world that surrounds us. Using bright and saturated colors, he revels to us what we should already know. He describes the faces of people we pass by each day. He observes musical trends and translates them to the canvas. This month at NYCH, you can see these documents for yourself. Branton’s first solo show at this gallery will open Friday. We were lucky enough to frame some works for this show and talk to the artist about where these observations come from.
How long have you been a painter?
My very first painting was at the age of 15. I am now 42.
Do you paint from images mostly or from live models?
Although I do paint live models often, for a lot of my art I will use my photography or close friend’s photographs as references. And when I say I use live models I literally use them as my canvas and paint onto their skin. After this, I then photograph them.
Does the city of Chicago encroach into your paintings?
My urban environment is a major subject matter in my paintings. I find the city to be this living, breathing organism that shapes the growth and death of many.
Your work seems reminiscent of Basquiat and Warhol. Of the two eras in art which do you feel closer to- Pop or Outsider art?
I am a child of sub-cultures. Although I reference and poke fun at some pop culture in my work, the visual language that I speak is that very much that of an outsider. Instead of admiring the beautiful architecture that Chicago has to offer, I was always attracted to rusted metal, dilapidated buildings and graffiti.
Music seems to be a heavy influence on your work. Is there an artist who you reference specifically?
Or an album you often listen to while painting?
My love for visual art is almost matched by my love for music. Every time I pick up a brush, music accompanies me on the journey. My favorite albums to paint to are Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, and tons of Hip Hop.
Your palette is rich with primary colors resulting in high contrast. Is there a reason you work in this way?
There are actually 2 reasons for my color palette. When I was being traditionally trained in painting, I was not allowed to use Black or White. This practice forced me to look at colors and light in a totally different way. The other reason I painting in bright colors and high contrast is due to the somber subject matters I cover. I paint the most depressing events in vibrant happy colors.
The paintings you brought into the shop have alternative materials on them. Why have objects been incorporated into your work?
I have always been attracted to found objects and alternative materials in art. In this particular body of work, I was exploring the art form of Rap Music. I used broken cassette tapes to verbalize a disconnect between where that art form is now and the Golden Era of the late 1980’s / early 1990’s.
Have you shown at NYCH Gallery before?
My art collective 4 of a Kind has shown at NYCH before, but this is my first time at this gallery doing a solo show.
Lyrics and their effect on your life drive the show happening at NYCH Gallery. Have you tried to write your own lyrics or songs?
I have never officially written lyrics before, but I have written books of poetry. Hip Hop music to me is just street poetry.
Have there been any other music genres that come close to influencing you beyond Hip Hop?
I am a lover of Jazz and Rock. The Bee Bop era of Miles, Dizzy, and Coltrane are a big influence on my work. The improvisation and creativity of that brand of music always takes me away. The same goes for Hendrix, Clapton, and a few others that made guitars transform beyond what we thought music could sound like.
Chicago’s Hip Hop scene is nationally recognized right now. Of the young artists out there right now, who are you most excited by? Its funny that Chance the Rapper went to school with my children. Years ago i remember listening to 10 Day and telling my daughter, this kids pretty talented. So from my city, the people I listen to the most are Lupe, Chance and Mick Jenkins. Its always substance in their lyrics.
The Holiday List
It’s less than a week before Christmas, there’s people you still need gifts for but you want something DIFFERENT this year. What do you get the person who has enough candles, scarves, and pajama pants.
Don’t worry! The Frame Shop has you covered! Take a look at some of the items available at the store RIGHT NOW! Images are framed, jerseys are signed, and they are here waiting for you!
Laser Cut Vinyl Records: $145
Limited Edition Framed Posters: $145
Framed Posters: $100
A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why hiring a professional photographer for special moments is so important. Whether it is a wedding, an engagement, or honoring the birth of a newborn, the photography of Krista Weber captures all the important, and sometimes overlooked, moments. Krista is a local photographer who feeds off the energy of her sitters. She wouldn’t mind photographing Jennifer Lawrence but finds her clients and their families far more interesting. The Frame Shop interviewed Krista to get to know more about her, her photography, and her favorite moments behind the camera.
When did you first become interested in photography?
I never had one of those “ahh ha!” moments when I realized I wanted to be a photographer. I felt like it was always there. I watched my dad collect a ton of old Kodak cameras growing up. Once digital became more popular, I remember wanting to take a darkroom class in high school to see how things used to be done. I kept wanting to learn more and more, and majoring in photography in college seemed like the way to go.
How long have you lived in Chicago?
I was born and raised in the western suburbs. I just recently moved farther south but still very close to the city. I don’t think I would be where I am today without having the opportunities Chicago has given me within the art world.
What type of camera do you shoot with?
I shoot with a couple different Nikon cameras. Calm down all you Canon people. They are both good cameras. It’s not like the Cubs and the Sox where one is obviously better than the other. But most photographers will tell you, it’s all about the lenses. Different lenses allow us to focus in on one itty bitty eyelash on a newborn baby, or the entire skyline of the city.
What are some of your favorite moments during a photography shoot?
I did a wedding once in the late spring that had an outdoor ceremony. We had been fighting the rain all day but it seemed to clear up just in time for the ceremony. We were almost finished and the officiant was 10 seconds away from saying “I now pronounce you…” and it started to pour. Everyone ran inside the reception hall where we finished it up. I was able to capture a silhouette of them kissing. It was a ceremony photo that I never planned on ever getting, but it is one of my favorites.
At another wedding, I was going around taking group shots of everyone. I came up to this one group that was using a selfie stick. They had no interest in me and my big fancy camera. So I just took a picture of them, taking a picture of themselves with the selfie stick.
Where is your favorite place to photograph?
I love going to forest preserves and farms. There’s a particular one down in Tinley Park that has so many different photo opportunities that I could spend hours there and never get bored.
What is your favorite age to document children?
Newborns, 9 months, and 3 years old are my favorite times. Newborns are so peaceful when they are sleeping. 9 month olds who are not quite walking yet are adorable. They fall on their butts so often it reminds me of a good lesson in life- Get up and try again. 3 years olds are at the age where everything is an adventure. I like letting their curiosity run wild. Grab a pile of leaves and throw them in the air!
So far, what is the coolest job you’ve done so far?
I assisted for a photographer friend of mine last year who booked a wedding inside the Willis Tower. We were let inside like special VIPs and didn’t have to go through the metal detectors or give them our IDs. The velvet rope was just pushed aside and up we went. It wasn’t a huge wedding which made it seem even more glamorous. There were windows on all three sides of the room looking out over the city at night. I couldn’t resist taking a selfie. At the end of the night, we got our car from the valet; they helped us in and put out bags in too. We felt like we were the most important photographers in the world!
What inspires your photographic creativity?
Unlike painters, drawers, and sculptors, I cannot pull a photograph out of thin air. My creativity is drawn out of me by the people I photograph. Without their personality, identity, or emotions I feel as though I would have a blank canvas.
If you could photograph anyone famous, who would it be?
I’m glad you asked this question because there really isn’t anyone. I enjoy working with average families with kids and brides who have such a special day to remember. I want to give them memories that will hopefully last a life time. However, if I did have to choose someone, it would be Jennifer Lawrence. We would probably not get any decent pictures, with our two personalities we would be joking the entire time. But I would be okay with that.
Are you doing any promotions for the holidays? What are they?
The holiday photo rush is pretty much done for me at this point. Most families use photos for holiday cards that are sent out by this time. But I would happily give out a pack of complimentary prints for anyone who books a session with me in the upcoming winter months if they mention The Frame Shop Blog!
I’m grilling, well, myself this week! I am a framer at the Morgan street location. New to the team, I have a background in fine art framing, photography, and design. Below are the answer to questions I sent to other framers in our group as well as an “artist’s statement” generated online and edited to be suitable for framing.
How long have you been a framer?
I worked at a frame shop in Philadelphia for four years. I joined The Frame Shop last month.
What is your favorite aspect of being a framer?
I love seeing the artwork or sentimental works that clients bring into the shop. They always have a story, tell me of an organization I’m not familiar with, or tell me about the special person they are gifting to. I learn a lot about people from what they hold dear.
How long have you lived in Chicago?
I have lived here for 3 ½ years.
Who is your favorite artist?
There are too many to choose from but some key favorites of mine are Nan Goldin, Louise Bourgeois, Walker Evans. I’m a photographer so the first and last are people I really look to for inspiration and perseverance. Bourgeois had the strongest will I’ve ever encountered in the arts. Here work makes me laugh, feel at home, and be proud to be a woman all at the same time.
What is your favorite thing to frame?
I love framing old family photographs. I love seeing fashion and hairstyles through the ages.
Where is your favorite place in the world to be?
At the kitchen table with my parents and friends. Sometimes we try our hardest to make each other laugh. Other times my parents tell stories of old New York and life at the time.
If you weren’t framing, what would you be doing?
Teaching. I’m also an adjunct Professor of Art.
Which do you prefer- Cats or Dogs?
Dogs. I’m very allergic to cats. These two below are two of my favorites.
Wine or Beer?
Depends on the time of year. When it gets cold, red wine is my go to. In the summer, I prefer beer.
Cubs or White Sox?
Neither Philadelphia Phillies all the way.
Colleen Keihm (°1985, Levittown) is an artist who works in framing. By investigating language Keihm works with clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual and minimal framing. The results are aloof and systematic and a cool and neutral framing is used.
Her framing styles is an investigation of concepts such as authenticity and objectivity by using an encyclopaedic approach and quasi-scientific precision and by referencing documentaries, ‘fact-fiction’ and popular scientific equivalents. She makes work that deals with the documentation of events and the question of how they can be presented. The framing tries to express this with the help of physics and technology, but not by telling a story or creating a metaphor.
Her practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for maneuvering with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of framing: these meticulously planned works resound and resonate with images culled from the fantastical realm of imagination. With Plato’s allegory of the cave in mind, she considers framing a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which should always refer to social reality.
Did you know? James Abbott McNeill Whistler was a framer
Famously known for the painting of his mother, James Abbott McNeill Whistler was an American expatriate painting and living in London in the late 19 th century. He was working within an environment where Islamic and Moorish designs were becoming prevalent and the Industrial Revolution was making many long for a return to nature. As a result, Whistler began to make frames with a harmony of design and a balance of natural ornament.
He was attracted to the way color emerged from gold leaf when placed directly onto wood. Skipping the layer of gesso commonly applied first, this direct application allowed for greens and reds of the frame’s structure to pass through the luminescent gilded layer.
Typically, a frame serves a practical function as well as an artistic one. It highlights the image it surrounds but also separates it from the wall it hangs upon. It is commonly meant to visually fall away. For Whistler, however, this was not the case. Working with the artist Dante Gabriel Rosetti, he designed frames that became an integral part of the artwork.
He used clean, undecorated lines that referenced both the history of the Pre-Raphaelites and Moorish design. Reeded carving revealed the subtle grain texture inherent to the wood. The build up and layering of gold manipulated the frame’s coloring. Works framed with Whistler designs found harmony with the frames that surrounded them.
- James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, Oil on canvas, 1871. 144.3×162.5cm.. In the collection of the Musee d’Orsay, Paris.
- James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, 1862, oil on canvas, Harris Whittemore Collection.
- Corner detail of a reeded Whistler frame.
- James McNeill Whistler, Nocturne in Gray and Gold , Westminster Bridge , c. 1871-1874
- James McNeill Whistler, Painting by the sea
Cole Glassner, co-owner of the Frame Shop with father Donald Glassner, takes the spotlight this week. Believing that every great artist needs an equally great support system behind them, Cole can often be found at the Frame Shop on Morgan Street in Bridgeport or delivering artwork to clients. With an eye for design and business intuition, he has been aiding local artists in advancing their careers through presentation for years. We asked Cole a few questions for our blog to help visitors get to know him a little better.
How did you enter the art selling/frame selling business?
I have been in the business my entire life. Not entirely of my choice because of my parents but after working on Wall St for a couple years after school, I decided I really liked it and wanted to come back.
Who is your favorite visual artist?
Mark Rothko because of the complexity in such simple pieces.
Favorite sports player?
My least favorite is Tom Brady
An Irish Whiskey by the name of Green Spot.
Favorite TV show?
Currently a show called “you’re the worst”
I don’t think I have one. Maybe Vin Desiel, I love the Fast and the Furious movies
What other Chicago business(es) do you admire?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
The general manager of the Cubs.
What is your fondest Chicago memory?
There are far too many to recount but I have many great nights that started out at Wrigley field.
What is one thing you would tell 16 year old you?
Don’t be afraid to wear a button down shirt occasionally
What is your favorite story to tell about Don?
My favorite story to tell is when I learned that my father loved me. I was about 10 years old. It was a Saturday morning and the Chicago Bulls were playing the New York Knicks in the playoffs that afternoon. My father had a friend who worked for the team, so he called him up to see if we could get some tickets. We show up to the arena and pick up our tickets at will call. It turns out they are fifth row off the court. Scalpers were offering three to four thousand dollars per ticket. We ended up keeping the tickets and watched Michael Jordan scored 50 pts.
Cubs, Blackhawks, or Bulls?
I support all Chicago teams. 🙂
Revise CMW (Chef Won Kim)
Ian Lantz(Owner: Pullman Cafe, He painted the school bus and sail boat at last years ACTIVATEs in the LOOP Alleys)
He will also paint your garage.
Yams(Lewis Graham Taylor, has a large mural hung in one of the Alleyways near state and lake and has a studio @ Lacuna)
Mission: Solomon Adufah’s mission is to empower, promote and celebrate the African Culture through his portrait paintings.
Solomon Adufah was born in Ghana (West Africa) and currently lives in Chicago. His discipline of art is portrait based with very vibrant colors. His potrait paintings captures expressions and emotions of his subjects. More importantly, it celebrates culture and tradition through the unique lives of the individuals he uses as subjects. More often, Africa is portrayed negatively through mass media. Africa is usually referred as disease infested, rampant wars or poverty. Celebrating the culture and tradition of the native people is his way of sharing their wonderful stories with the world.
Homeland Series continues in the States with exhibitions of portraits paintings from his travel. The exhibitions serves as a plateau to share and educate the audience celebrating the different culture in which the pieces represent. They are also effective tool for cultural diplomacy to spread goodwill in the world and cultural identity. His exhibition of portraits are incorporated into multi-media exhibits featuring videos, artifacts, and the work of the students from the country he has visited.
For the moment, Solomon Adufah’s work is self-funded. They are supported by sales of his work and the sponsorship of private companies and patrons. On occasion, he has worked on local private portrait commissions to raise more funds. Solomon Adufah would like to further and expand this program of serving and celebrating culture and human life through art. All too often the traditions African culture and the peoples are pushed to the fringes of modern society. His vibrant portraits and exhibitions helps return the beauty and relevancy of the people to a genuine level of social and cultural importance, much to the benefit of us all. His service to the community and helping out in orhanages in Africa is also his way of giving back to his roots.
To learn more about Solomon’s mission and art please visit www.adufahart.com .
(Original picture and biography source: www.adufahart.com )