Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicago Furniture Adorns the World

Chicago furniture stores carry styles for every taste and pocketbook. But most of the customers who peruse their wares do not realize that many items carried in these stores are designed and manufactured right there in Chicago. Craftsmen and artists work in design shops and studios—even in home garages—around the city and its suburbs to create pieces of furniture that are stylish as well as functional. Local furniture makers then take those designs from drawing tables and prototypes to the living rooms of Illinois.

As well it should. Furniture design and manufacturing contributed to the growth of Chicago from its early days and into the twentieth century. Furniture remains a strong industry in the area even today as innovative design and marketing continue to contribute to Chicago’s reputation as an important center for furniture.

But Chicago furniture does not stop at the Illinois border. The Chicago Furniture Designers Association promotes the art of many of these creative local furniture designers and builders through periodic showcases that extend their influence outside the state. Members of this organization work together to share with each other information on new design and manufacturing techniques. They network and promote each others’ work. From there, Chicago furniture is often selected for shops, homes, and offices around America and even the world.

Tables made of burnished stainless steel, chairs molded out of colorful plastic, or headboards carved from the finest exotic woods—anything can spring from the minds of these local designers. Self-taught or university-trained, Chicago furniture makers provide the pieces that turn houses into homes. They supply sophisticated office suites to corporate conference rooms as well as simple utilitarian styling for home offices.

From solid traditional design to the most contemporary sustainable plan, furniture that was created in Chicago is appreciated in living rooms and conference rooms from one end of the planet to the other.

But nothing feels as good as seeing one’s creation on exhibit in the display windows of the furniture stores in Chicago…the furniture stores of home.

Furniture in Chicago, whether it is exhibited in a fancy showroom or a discount warehouse, should be a source of pride for the city’s citizens. Created by local sons and daughters, these pieces furnish the world. Whether they are inspired by mid-century masters of furniture making, the small designer under whom they apprentice, or their own imaginations, today’s Chicago furniture designers will serve as inspiration to tomorrow’s.

Yang Anderson writes extensive on furniture and Chicago furniture.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to Shop for Furniture in Chicago

Everyone wants there home to look great. They want it to have appeal, pizzazz, and wow. This can be achieved in many different ways. A formal space can be created by using high-end furnishings and antiques; or, a person can show off there creative side by using an assortment of patterns and colors to create a unique and friendly environment. In fact, there are probably just as many different ways to design a room as there are people in the world.

The troubling part about interior design is that it can get a little bit on the pricey side. This is especially true when you live in a city like Chicago. Chicago furniture and Chicago furniture retailers pride themselves on providing top of the line and cutting edge products. While this focus on high-end quality may benefit the décor of the living room, it definitely does not benefit the checkbook.

Still, it should be noted that price does not necessarily always reflect quality, and that great bargains can still be found. Purchasing furniture in Chicago does not have to come at the expense of sacrificing you next meal. The key is to shop around. Do not visit just one shop. There are a variety of different furniture stores in Chicago, so utilize them all. While all this running a round may seem like a pain, it will be worth it in the end. You will find great bargains, as well as some unique furnishings.

Of course you do not have to confine yourself to all of the large name brand Chicago furniture stores. Antique dealers are a great way to find some really unique items. Also, do not let the word antique scare you. Antique does not always mean expensive. It sometimes just means quality. However, if you are really looking for some steals, try checking the local consignment shops. These are great places to find some real treasures and bargains. The best part about these shops is that you can often haggle over the price, and even get a better deal than the price that is marked.

Of course if you really want to make your search easy. Try using the internet. Just about every store, nowadays, has a website. This allows you to browse the inventory of hundreds, if not thousands, of local Chicago furniture retailers from the comfort of your own home. Instantly compare prices and find unique products with the push of only a few buttons.

Yang Anderson is an independant contributor to our furniture in Chicago blog.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chicago gallery: Jeanine Hill-Soldner Paintings

Jeanine Hill-Soldner is one of the independant contributor of our Chicago art and Chicago gallery blog. Here are some paintings she is offering in our Chicago gallery showroom.

Italian Alps, Summer 24” x 18” oil on canvas $250.00

Italian Alps, Summer 24” x18” oil on canvas $250.00

Summer 12” x 36” triptych oil on canvas $350.00

Autumn 12” x 36” triptych oil on canvas $350.00

Winter 12” x 36” triptych oil on canvas $350.00

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicago Art: Jeanine Hill-Soldner

Jeanine Hill-Soldner is one of the independant contributor of our Chicago art and Chicago gallery blog. Here is a recent artist statement of hers.

Artist Statement

Born in Quantico, Virginia and raised on and around military bases, my family moved frequently. I learned to quietly observe the world around me. This informed observation has influenced my provocative and innovative work. At the age of 12 my grandfather gave me oil paints and by age 15 I began acrylic painting classes in the studio of artist Lanier Densmore. I hold a Bachelor of Art in Art Ed. from University of Florida and Masters of Art in Art Ed. from University of Illinois, and have experience teaching art to all age levels.

I work full time as a professional artist and maintain a rigorous studio practice. As a painter in oil and acrylics my work spans more than 30 years, and has been described as innovative and thought provoking. My work bridges the boundaries between abstraction and representation transforming life’s experiences in visually fresh new ways. Mainly a figurative and portrait painter, I work from life, drawings and photographs. Flora, fauna, landscapes and architecture, are also subjects that interest me, all of which may be combined in a single composition.

I have been honored with several awards over the years, including my Artist Profile featured nationally on PBS Real Simple Television nationwide, WTTW ArtBeat Chicago, Fox News Chicago, Telemundo, National Public Radio, WRMN Elgin, 103.9 FM Crystal Lake, and more than 30 feature press articles. My work has exhibited in more than 100 juried group and solo shows in galleries and museums around the country.

Select Exhibits:
Museum and Solo:
2009 Milwaukee Art Museum, Group Exhibit with National Veterans Art Museum
2007-08 Solo: “Memories of an Era”, National Veterans Art Museum, Chicago, IL
2007 Museum of Fine Art Florida State University, “Family Experience in the 20th
Century” Tallahassee, FL
2002 Solo: “Memories of an Era” Matteson Historical Museum, Matteson, IL
1993 “State of the Art” Boston Fine Art Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
2009 “Sightseeing”, Barrington Area Library Featured Exhibit, Barrington, IL
2008 “Pilgrimage and Passages,” Sage Gallery, Lakeside Legacy Arts Park
2007-08 “Memories of an Era”, National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, Chicago, IL
2007 “Pilgrimage and Passages”, Prairie Center for the Arts, Schaumburg, IL
2005 Sage Gallery, Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, Crystal Lake, IL
2003 University of Illinois at Chicago, the Arts-Medicine Project Gallery
Luna Café Solo Exhibit, Crystal Lake, IL
2002 Prairie Center for the Arts Gallery, Schaumburg, IL
2001 Barrington Area Arts Council’s Barrington Library Gallery
1992 Coral Springs Artist Guild, Coral Springs, FL
2009 2003, 1997 “Vicinity Show” Norris Cultural Center, St. Charles, IL
2003 “Chicago Solutions Show” Gallery on Lake, Curated by Ed Peschke
2006 Livingston Center for the Arts, Livingston, MN
1985 1984 Human Images Exhibit, Broward Art Guild, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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