Friday, April 30, 2010

Art Work from Jeanine: Chicago Art

Previously we introduced artist Jeanine Hill-Soldner, a Chicago local artist, one of our independent Chicago Art and Chicago gallery contributors. Here are some of her work that has been on exhibition. These art work is currently available in our Chicago art showroom.

Here is Jeanine's contact information again:

Jeanine Hill-Soldner
Fine Artist/ Educator
Soldner Fine Art Studio
Lakeside Legacy Arts Park
401 Country Club Rd.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Experiences with Chicago Art Galleries

This article is from Jeanine Hill-Soldner, Chicago local artist, one of our independent Chicago Art and Chicago gallery article contributors. More details of Jeanine' contact information is available at the end of this article.

The gallery scene in Chicago offers a wide selection of original artworks by local and international artists. In these hard economic times it’s important that small businesses, such as galleries be visitor friendly and of course artist friendly. To do otherwise seems counterintuitive. This brings me to the Chicago art gallery scene. Each of the galleries where I have exhibited has been a part of the vibrant art scene in the City.

I’ll start with my favorite of the galleries in which I’ve exhibited my work over the past 13 years. One of my all time favorite galleries closed last year. The Peter Jones Gallery was a vital epicenter of the art community in Chicago. Located in the Ravenswood community, Pete Jones maintained an open and friendly space where monthly rotating exhibits brought the best out in the artists and the art community. I exhibited my oil paintings with the Chicago Women’s Caucus for Art on a number of occasions and loved the ambience and large crowds attracted to the receptions.

Another Chicago gallery where I have exhibited is on North Avenue, the Tom Robinson Studio and Gallery. Tom hosted the Ethereal Fauna show this past October as part of the Chicago Artists Month. The location is easy to find with ample free parking, and within walking distance of the EL. There are a number of good restaurants on North and Damen avenues, so you can enjoy a nice meal along with visiting the gallery. The space is bright and clean with hardwood floors and plenty of natural light. You also have several other small galleries along North Avenue and the Flat Iron Arts Building is just down the street from the Tom Robinson Gallery. Tom is an artist, and a friendly, gracious host..

Other galleries on my resume include the non profit artist run ARC. I have always found that exhibiting at ARC to be a pleasure. The opening receptions and large crowds that are attracted to the openings bring fun and excitement to the exhibition. I would include WomanMade with the caliber of gallery and high quality art that ARC represents. Director and founder Beate Minkovski takes care of the artists, the art and all visitors who enter her Milwaukee Avenue gallery.

Zhou B is a huge and exciting gallery, a bit rustic and rough with so much character that it can only add to the art viewing experience. The Flat Iron Arts Building I mention above is home to a small lovely gallery, the Accidental Gallery and plentiful exhibition space in the commons areas. This is a treat for those looking for a friendly, trendy art scene. Gallery on Lake is also a good, roomy space with friendly and helpful staff. I must also mention the Hothouse gallery which unfortunately succumbed to hard economic times. Hothouse was an exciting and happening venue with live jazz and exemplary exhibitions.

In addition to “city” galleries I have exhibited my work in several near suburban spaces that have I found wonderful experiences for exposure. The University of Illinois School of Public Health Gallery, Chicago Athenaeum, Koehnline Museum of Art Oakton Community College, and Prairie State College, Aurora Public Arts Commission Gallery, Barrington Area Arts Council Gallery and the Lake County Museum.

And finally, my favorite of all exhibition spaces in Chicago is the National Veterans Art Museum. Although not officially a “gallery” the NVAM collects, archives and exhibits the most powerful, meaningful and vibrant art that you will find anywhere. I highly recommend that anyone visiting Chicago visit the NVAM on South Indiana Avenue. My largest body of work “Memories of an Era, Reflections of Our Time” exhibited for a year in the spacious second floor gallery and is now on temporary loan to the Museum and available for traveling exhibitions.

I am an Algonquin resident and own Soldner Fine Art Studio located in the Lakeside Legacy ArtsPark in Crystal Lake, IL., where I can be found painting almost every day and exhibit regularly in the Sage and Dole Galleries. I love the Chicago’s vibrant art scene were I have the opportunity to show my work and be a part of the action.

A final word, I am always looking for new exhibition opportunities, please contact me if you are interested in exhibiting my work.

Jeanine Hill-Soldner

Fine Artist/ Educator

Soldner Fine Art Studio

Lakeside Legacy Arts Park

401 Country Club Rd.

Crystal Lake, IL 60014


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Friday, April 23, 2010

The History of the Le Corbusier Chair

Amy M. Miller

The Le Corbusier chair and Le Corbusier sofa are still recreated to this day and used by many professional interior designers to make their modern and elegant designs come to life. Le Corbusier furniture was designed many years ago by a talented architect who had strong opinions on the aesthetics and uses of furniture. The architectural team that designed the Le Corbusier look created a timeless design that is still used in many furniture showrooms. There are also many modern furniture designers that have used Le Corbusier chairs and Le Corbusier sofas as an inspiration for their own designs. There are many pieces of furniture designed by today’s top furniture designers that are similar to the design of Le Corbusier furniture.

The Le Corbusier design was developed by Charles-Edouard Jeannert-Gris. He later chose to be known as Le Corbusier and became famous for his architecture, design, writings and paintings. The artist is known mainly for developing the design known as Modern Architecture, or “International Style.” In 1928, Le Corbusier started to turn his interest toward furniture and the architecture of furniture design. Le Corbusier chairs and Le Corbusier sofas were developed after the artist invited an architect named Charlotte Perrinand to join his project. The two talented designers started on a line of furniture that was meant to mix the media of metal and cushioning in order to give a modern yet elegant design. In 1925, Le Corbusier wrote a book that outlined his expectations of furniture style and functionality. He used his own teachings from this book to design the line of furniture that is still popular today. Le Corbusier thought of furniture as a work of art that is also useful for humans and can be comfortable.

Le Corbusier designed a Le Corbusier chair that involved chrome-plated tubular structures. Two of these designs were used in Le Corbusier’s famous architectural projects. These designs were modified until they became the world famous Le Corbusier furniture designs that are known today. Le Corbusier also expanded his designs to include a Le Corbusier sofa and other “home equipment” as he called it. Nowadays, there are many furniture designers that are influenced by Le Corbusier furniture. They use the designs as an inspiration to their current lines of home furniture. There are furniture manufacturers that have bought the rights to the Le Corbusier designs and are legally able to reproduce the exact designs of the talented architect.

This article is part of Chicago art and Chicago gallery discussion series.

Amy M. Miller has extensive experience and specializes in living room furniture. She has written a series of articles for our Chicago gallery.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Design of the Le Corbusier Chair

Amy M. Miller

Le Corbusier furniture has become a popular addition to many homes. A Le Corbusier chair can add elegance and a classic look to a living or family room. The design of the furniture holds a modern yet sophisticated architectural design that is pleasing to the eye of many different types of designers. Many homeowners find that the furniture fits in with many design themes with ease because it is a simple yet interesting model.

Le Corbusier sofas and Le Corbusier chairs were developed by a designer in Paris, France in 1929. The furniture is still recreated today by many furniture designers because the intriguing design is timeless and classic. Le Corbusier furniture mixes the media of soft cushions and hard metal to create a simple industrial inspired look. The legs of a chair or sofa are often held by metal bars that also wrap around the cushion of the furniture. The metal bars create a smooth line that draws in the eyes of the observer. The metal bars also contrast against the softness of the chair or sofa cushion and back, giving it an artistic and architectural feel. The texture of a hard and shiny metal against a smooth and soft cushion is also appealing to the eye because it creates an interesting contrast in the design of the furniture.

The design of chairs and sofas with this beautiful contrast has also led to other Le Corbusier furniture. There are many furniture design companies that have started producing coffee tables, bar stools and other pieces of furniture to accent the Le Corbusier chairs and Le Corbusier sofas. Many homeowners are drawn to an entire living room set that uses the Le Corbusier design features. Homeowners that are in the process of decorating a room may find that the design makes the room feel large because of its thin lines and free design. Since Le Corbusier furniture also mixes a classic and elegant design with a modern and simplistic look, it can blend in easily to many design themes.

The design of Le Corbusier furniture has a timeless and highly desirable aesthetic that many furniture design companies are still using in their present designs. Homeowners are still choosing this type of design for their homes because of its beautiful yet modern and sleek look. Although the design was implemented in 1929, it is still used today in a variety of home decorating items and will more than likely still be used in many years to come.

Amy M. Miller has extensive experience and specializes in living room furniture. This article is one of her special series for our Chicago art and Chicago gallery.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Chicago Art: How Not to Sell Art

This is one of our Chicago art discussion series.

Years ago, in both my graduate studies and in my professional life, I was molded by some of the meanest S.O.B's you may can imagine. Today I can't thank them enough. They demanded a clear objective to be followed by complete accountability.

One of my health care professionals told me that a good percentage of her clientele didn't really want to get well. The just gave up their time and money. Why?

Don't be a wimp. State right up front stating why you actually don't want to sell your art efforts. List what is wrong, and then detail how the objective - no sales - may be efficiently achieved.

You may, however, mix emotions with business. A good start. Indecision of any type will launch a great failure.

Bring your least attractive work to the sales place. Present it in an unflattering manner. Make it difficult to see. Be tardy, bring it late so as to upset others.

Any rudeness will promote the stated failure. Cut off buyers when they are attempting to speak. You don't care about your stuff, therefore be sure they cannot.

Counter the inferior material you use with hefty overpricing. This will nicely indicate your arrogance.

You may be able to eliminate the above if you simply never show up. That's using your head.

Always talk down to a prospective curator or client. This will indicate your intention not to sell art.

If a golden opportunity appears, be impatient and rude to all around, including the other artists.

You are not really hungry enough for a sale, so your neurotic conversation should be enough to turn anyone against you. You don't want to be successful and happy.

Your station in life is one above being a sales person, rub it in. Remember, if you can't be absent, you could at least be tardy and disruptive.

Keep your objective in mind, if you happen to make a sale in spite of the above you can claim it was not your doing. You are not accountable.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chicago Art Discussions: What Makes Art?

This is one discussions in a series of Chicago art discussions we have.

The Beatles were right! "All you need is love, love, love is all you need." The only ingredient essential to what is really art is love.

A TV commercial from the past proclaimed its simplicity. "Love, truth, beauty, and a little bit of salt." Although sodium gets bad press in our diets today, it may represent the discrepant element necessary to all creative effort.

Without creative effort we simply have boredom.

The negative space in graphics, the stop or discord in music, the break time in a work or study program may indicate creativity is artwork.

A Chinese artist, perhaps working through the Cultural Revolution, produced a wonderful painting. He showed many identical white hens lined up, but then - one red hen in the corner.

The soul of art is love. The soul of creativity is the discrepant element.

Sinatra said, "Love and can't have one without the other."

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Resources for a Quality Sofa Set for a Good Price

No matter what your budget is, you will not want to overpay for your new sofa. Knowing where to look and how to compare will help you make better decisions.

Know Where to Look

If you are interested in replacing your current sofa with a new sectional sofa, how do you know where to look to find one that is affordable? Better yet, is there a more effective way to find sofas that will save you a lot of time and wrong turns? These are some of the initial questions you may be asking yourself. They will be used to make your first decisions about what living room furniture you are after.

If you are reading this article, you are probably used to shopping around on the web. For most of us, doing our buying online has become like second nature. Today, you can purchase any conceivable item, often at lower or discount prices. It really isn’t that hard these days to find a sofa for sale that meets your needs and your budget. In fact, there are hundreds of sites that sell all sorts of living room furniture.

Know How to Compare

It’s great if you can find the sofas and loveseats you may be looking for, but it might be a mistake to buy the first set that catches your eye. Not every buyer agrees, but would it really hurt to compare one sofa loveseat set to another? Not all will be available at the same price. If you know how to properly weigh the pros and cons of a given piece of furniture, you will be able to approach things in a balanced way.

As price is one of the major considerations of this article, you may want to start looking on sites that advertise themselves as discount resources for living room furniture. When you collect price quotes from different websites (and a few local stores too) you may also take the extra step to see if there are any additional offers or deals that can be made if you present a competitor’s quote. Once you have enough of these separate offers on sofas, you can start narrowing them down to a few that best fit your preferences. Of course, this is only an effective strategy if you know what sort of preferences you have and furniture will be compatible.

Lastly, do not forget your local resources. Craigslist has become a wonderful resource for many things, from employment opportunities to local deals. If you do not care for second-hand items, look for local dealers on Craigslist. We know some Chicago furniture stores offer special discount for Craigslist customers only. You will be surprised by what kind of deals you can find there.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Chicago Art and Chicago Gallery

Recently Crain's Chicago published an article about artists who were leaving the Chicago gallery scene. They were initiating new spaces to sell and exhibit their art.

A photo depicted a restaurant displaying of large art work hung on the walls along with a group of people enjoying a meal. The artist had, I assume, rented and paid for the food and space. No price was mentioned as to how much they spent or how much their art was going for.

Another artist or group of artists had an art party and their apartment. They sent out invites, no other advertisements were mentioned. We did not read about sales, maybe they were just having a good time. None of the above venues are new; the gallery invites to a restaurant or an art party. Artists make art, people who are not "artists" make art. Harry Boris, that dear critic, no longer with us, once bemoaned the fact that the making of art had become democratized or was that demonized? Did that translate to no longer the realm of men and the snob Chicago gallery scene?

So with the explosion of everyone making art came the co called Chicago Gallery scene selling the work to all of the people making the art. Whew!

Art is hurting our eyes and filling our storage space. Once I asked my painting professor and mentor "How can you stand looking at all these paintings?" He stated "I don't look at them. I shut my eyes!"

What happened to all this art? What should be done with it? From what I am reading, the artists are leaving the galleries and the galleries are leaving. Oh, Oh, I forgot and important element of this elemental, the person who wants to buy and display art for the purpose of turning their personal space into a - well they have their reasons. What are their needs? Do they know? I don't know art, but I know what I like!" So they look to the Chicago gallery scene. Costs too much! The street fairs: maybe I can get a bargain but will my friends make fun of my taste? Should I get something in a $20 print? Help!

Next I will address the tech nerds who have assumed the role of art directors and trend setters by confusing real artists with their fancy finger work. At a recent meeting of artists, the entry forms were discussed. "Some of this stuff is undoable - what kind of program is this?" A show judge stated she could barely see the images for details of the jpeg. She talked about a photographer who said he was sorry for his fellow artists because they have not mastered the art of the jpeg!

So my fellow artists, throw away the next entry that wants you to hire a technology consultant to fill out the entry form, save the money and run your own show!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chicago Gallery: What is good art?

A Chicago gallery thought: what is good art?

We often hear "I do not know what art is but I know what I like." If you are discussing art and you don't know what art is, why should anyone know what they like?

The art world abounds with those that really know what art is. They have studied art through elementary, high school, at the university, and graduate level. They have read extensively, perhaps written a great number of words, and they really know what art is?

In my experience, art may be what students are required to produce in order to earn grades and certificates. Those supervising student production may also be supervised by their superiors. These superiors may be supervised by their superiors who are guided by critics.

Critics may have no real credentials, but have some how become the stewards of authenticity. Their opinions can make and break entire careers. As consumers, sometimes at a very high level, we need guides. Thus, the role of the critic.

A university art professor once said at a critique, "you know, sometimes less is just less." Also "I have done art like yours, but I don't take it out of the house." Think about it.

A housewife asked her husband if her new dress made her look fat. He replied, "no it is your big behind that makes you look fat." We don't get many real critiques such as these.

Politics and democratization of higher education have blurred the line between excellence and all else.

We often read about master artists and crafters. Usually they are a legend in their own minds. Traditional European style training would demand pass / fail evaluations to become a beginner, much less a master.

Art is, after all, a pass / fail endeavor. There is creativity, educated by a discrepant element, and love evident. Or it just isn't art.

All being said, we want to see more good art in our Chicago gallery.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Different Sofa Sets: Which is the Best for You?

What piece of living room furniture is everybody’s most popular piece of furniture in the house? Most people, after thinking for just a moment, agree on sofas. The reason is quite clear. Sofas are just way too comfortable for relaxing and lounging about. You can watch TV on them, eat on them, sleep on them, talk on them and just about anything else you can think of on them.

What is a sofa? A sofa is basically a couch, meaning that it seats more than two people and has arm rests on each end. The Arabic word “Suffah” gave us ‘sofa.’ A loveseat is also a couch or a sofa but it has room for only two people, hence a love – seat for two.

Sofas and loveseats and sofa sets all basically fall under the general category of couch, which is derived from the Old French word "couche" simply meaning “sleep,” or “coucher” “to lie down.” Although technically, a sofa loveseat set is for sitting up while a couch can be used for lying down.

A contemporary sofa set has not really changed in function for hundreds of years. It is for comfortable seating of two or more people. They are used in all parts of the world and can be finished in leather, cloth, vinyl or even cane or bamboo. It all depends on the needs, location, ideas and budget of the buyer. You can even get it with a pullout bed. Basically, the sofa is the defining piece of furniture in the living room. Where it’s placed, how long it is, what color it is and what type of material it is covered in can be a time consuming decision for many households.

Whether it’s a modern sofa set, sofa chair set, cheap sofa sets or an expensive leather sofa set, they all the same objective: to seat two or more people comfortably on the same piece of furniture. There are numerous sofa set designs in the furniture world today. Many furniture stores carry several designs to choose from, but if you don’t see the one you had in mind on the furniture show room floor, it can be custom built by any number of custom furniture builders. It may cost a bit more to have it custom made but the option is there if you don’t see what you like, when you are ready to buy a sofa set.

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