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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JohnMaloofPortraitBorn in Chicago, John Maloof developed a passion for art a young age. He is an immensely talented artist who works in different mediums. Maloof is the chief curator of Vivian Maier’s work and directed Finding Vivian Maier. This hit documentary tells the story of Vivian Maier, whose photographs that were uncovered earned her posthumous recognition as one of the best street photographers in the history of America.

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