Sarah Kaiser.Head Shot smSarah Kaiser is an Evanston based artist and teacher who received her MA in Art History and MFA from the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on the juxtaposition of figures, animals and patterns unified by a nature-inspired color palette.

She mainly works in oils, using gestural brushstrokes to convey universal themes such as the transience of life, the persistence of time, and the relationship between humans and nature.

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?Evanich Commission Detail Shot sm

Kaiser: My earliest recollection of making art comes from a photograph my mother took of me when I was three or four years old. I was painting with watercolors, and I remember that there was a picture of Donald Duck on the tin paint box. At the moment in which the photo was taken, I told her that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I’m glad she encouraged me. Since I was an only child until age 13, I also needed to fill the time, so I turned to drawing and painting. Mom and I moved often because of her job. I went to 7 different schools between kindergarten and the 12th grade. As a result, I was often the new kid at school, and had to make new friends. This meant that I often had to play alone. When I was bored, I would make art.

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headshotSherri Burritt is an artist based in Morton outside of Peoria.

For three decades she created works mainly with watercolor until about six years ago when she started experimenting with oil paints, enjoying the flexibility of the medium.

Her works focus on impressionistic style still lives as she plays with light and texture to create not just a scene but an emotion and feeling.

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Wall headshotsmMicah Wall is an artist based in Edwardsville who specializes in woodworking and personalized craftsmanship. He founded his own business called Unnatural Resources and prides himself in working with his hands and tools to bring beauty into our everyday lives and spaces.

Coming from a long line of craftsmen, the spirit to create and design is something he considers part of his DNA. He specializes in bringing others’ visions to reality and bringinging out the natural beauty in his materials.

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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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