Chris DevinsChris Devins is an artist/urban planner who creates outdoor art exhibits designed to attract tourists and increase community pride. One of his many projects is the Bronzeville Legends Initiative, which is designed to transform the community with a public art installation that reaffirms its identity. Recently, Devins has been working to create a large outdoor mural of First Lady Michelle Obama that will be installed at Chicago’s Bouchet School, a South Side school the first lady attended as a child.

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headshotcrop smNina Weiss is an artist based in Chicago who has been painting and drawing landscapes for over 30 years. She spent 18 of those also teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and other various appointments.

Coming to the Midwest after growing up on the East Coast, Weiss was enthralled by the wide open fields and drawn to depict this new and exotic landscape. She seeks to create a heightened view of the natural world with dramatic, lush and complex colors beyond the expected greenery. Rhythm, light and color all dominate her wonderful prairies and waterways, many of which are local in Illinois.

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Michael AldagMichael Aldag is a fine artist from Southern Illinois. He draws inspiration for his work from his environment, childhood and faith. Art for him is not only a means of self-expression, but for self-reflection. The media and subject matter vary, however one thing is consistent; a sense of sobriety. This tone is ever-present in the world and it pervades Michael Aldag's artistic vision.

 

ILI: How long have you been an artist or when did you start? Was there a single incident or moment when you realized this was your passion and if so, tell us about it?

 

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Illinois artist of the month: Hale EkinciHale Ekinci is a Chicago-based Turkish artist focusing on narrative and intercultural connections. She completed her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art and Media at Columbia College Chicago and is currently teaching at North Central College.

Her work consists of mixed media, installations, collages and illustrations to touch on social issues, traditions and political unrest. For example, in her installation Let’s Resist she uses photo, video and interactive yarn to “commemorate non-violent resisters and spread their individual stories,” in an attempt to abstractly document the Gezi Park Protests in Istanbul.

Her work provides a platform for people of all kinds to contemplate cultural customs, current issues, transmuted memories, idioms and translations that make up our world.

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Illinois artist of the month: Jessica RosengardChicago native Jessica Rosengard is a photographer who enjoys taking pictures of just about anything that is in her path. Many of Rosengard’s photos are of places in and around Chicago. Her goal is to take a new approach to color, light and contrast in the hopes that people will share the passion and spread the beauty of each unique view.

When not taking pictures, Rosengard stays busy as the owner of a graphic and website design business. She also enjoys utilizing her creativity to work in different art mediums.

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