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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Illinois artist of the month: Christopher BrennanChristopher Brennan is a painter based in Alton who draws inspiration from Midwestern towns and cities.

His depictions of everyday scenes evoke feelings of familiarity as viewers are transported to spaces seemingly part of their own memories. Focusing on urban and natural landscapes, his work is introspective in nature and provides imagery that allows the mind to wonder and explore.

When not painting himself, Brennan teaches art at the collegiate level, currently at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey.

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