Carol, John and Jonathan stopped by the ARC Gallery in Wicker Park after a morning meeting for some inspiration.
Studio//Shift is passion in action.
What do we do at Studio//Shift? We support each other in pursuing our creative passions outside of work. This support is significant to our individual art practices because it increases our collective creative intelligence through the synthesis of multiple minds, disciplines, ideas and visions. We strive to enhance our creative lives in six core areas:
Exhibit our work in individual and group shows.
Provide constructive advice to artistic challenges.
Share information about classes, workshops, artist residencies, grants, etc.
Visit gallery shows, performances and museums.
Participate in community art endeavors.
Help each other move our art practices forward.
Perspectives is an expansion of the Studio//Shift arts collaborative and initiative created to encourage the pursuit of creative growth beyond the office. Whether it be a trip to the MCA, visiting a new gallery exhibition or documenting fun sketchbook illustrations, the everyday encounters with art in our short and sweet posts are sure to delight and inspire.
Place is prominent in my work. Each painting is created not to record or depict a place, but to convey reflections, memories, and passion as a response to place. My process begins with observation. Working en plein air (painting outdoors), each painting or print starts either in my sketchbook or directly onto paper or canvas. Although my paintings and prints are completed in my studio, they evolve from pages in my sketchbook. In the studio my work evolves intuitively: built on my connection to design and pattern and on the emotional response to what I see. My style is characterized by the use of layers, split plane composition, patterns, a vibrant color palette and a lyrical, painterly style.
My work explores the impact of social media and new technologies on the relationship between the public and private realm. I am interested in how the exposure of personal information—whether offered up voluntarily, or it is distributed without our knowledge or consent—is eliminating privacy and how this has affected marginalized groups who have depended on anonymity to survive.
As I work through these themes conceptually, I reflect upon changes in our understanding of identity, personal boundaries, and self-representation while I re-present these images as paintings or drawings to decontextualize them from their source material.
I have received my BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1981.
For the past few years I have used printmaking as a medium to explore the use of emoticons as a form of communication. The digital age has brought with it a proliferation of these typographic symbols in daily texts. Using the carborundum collograph process in this series of prints I wanted to deconstruct the computer generated symbols and transform them into a more primitive and expressive visual language.
Recently I have been experimenting with direct transfer mono-prints and linoleum cuts to develop a more whimsical and introspective series of prints.
I am an artist and designer living in Chicago. The images in my newest series, Penumbra, are abstract still lifes that use color, line, and focus to question the illusion of space and indexical nature of the photograph. By incorporating paper, fabric, and other simple objects, I create layered fields of color with gestural elements and fleeting hints of focal detail.
It is important to me that the images are not digitally fabricated. I make these images in my studio where I begin with a sculptural still life structure and then explore variations on the images as they develop. Currently I am an Assistant Professor at Columbia College Chicago and was recently awarded an Illinois Arts Council grant.
Outside of NeigerDesign, my creative passion currently focuses on improvisation. I have a friend who I consider my improv mentor who teaches at Second City. He had been encouraging me more and more aggressively to take a class and when he showed me the Rules for Improv I decided to make the leap. To me the Rules for Improv are great Rules for Life. They are in perfect alignment with the underlying principals of the 12 steps of recovery which have been grounding me since 1999. I took my first Second City improv class in March, 2014 and continue to take progressive classes with many of the same improv students forming strong bonds as an ensemble. There has been a great deal of interest lately in improvisation as a business and team-building tool. I cannot say HOW improv enhances my appreciation of the creative and strategic activities that are part of life here at NeigerDesign, I can only say that it DOES.
My objective is to create work that astounds viewers and makes them happy or intrigued. I always want to get involved in work that is challenging and fun at the same time, from painting, print design, to work on motion and apparel. I always seek to create work that makes me happy and might bring joy to others. In addition to traditional painting, I am the Global Senior Graphic Designer at Wilson, where I innovate the appearance of sporting goods with a bold, unique style. My personal artwork has appeared on consumer products, galleries, and national ad campaigns.
My metalsmithing education is an ongoing process—one part instructor-guided lessons at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago and another part in-studio experimentation. After trying nearly every type of creative hobby since childhood, I was intrigued by metalwork as a bigger challenge and I quickly fell in love. I have been gradually building up a studio in my Ravenswood home ever since and my online shop Mayweather Goods is a natural evolution of bringing tools into my home—from day one I’ve been making jewelry to share with others. The style of Mayweather Goods pieces is both clean and modern as well as influenced by nature and organic shapes.
I have been actively making things out of clay for the past decade when I first found myself distracted by the potter's wheel. I enjoy furthering my knowledge of ceramics by exploring techniques from different potters and cultures as well as finding inspiration through historical objects. Ceramics gives me a great sense of pride in creating functional pieces that can be used in everyday life. In the intervening years, I have had a successful career as a graphic designer and most recently am enjoying the adventure of motherhood, but clay has always been a component in my creative life.
Lisa Plefka Haskin
As early as I can remember, I wanted to learn how to paint. My parents always encouraged my passion for art and enrolled me in private oil painting lessons at the age of 11. I have had many art interests over the years, exploring many art forms but painting of any kind is still my greatest “love.” I like details, and intricate patterns and textures, mainly created in nature.
Currently, I have been working on art journals that incorporate hand-binding books, painting, drawing, collage, lettering and other techniques. This form of art has been extremely freeing for me, allowing me to see things differently and finishing with surprising results.