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Meet Dale L Popovich IWS

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dale L Popovich IWS.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
You see I have a deep, passionate desire for painting and teaching, unlike many artists. My backstory is a little different. I had a life-changing event when I was 20 years old. I had gone 80% blind over the course of 18 months. After a nine-hour major brain surgery removing a cyst on my optic nerves, I had to learn how to walk and write again. With vision restored, I realized I had to do something with this life-altering gift. It was the catalyst to do something with my site. You might say I had a career redirect – I was an apprentice plumber by day and going to college at a suburban college by night.

After my surgery, I attended an art college in Chicago, studied painting and eventually realized my calling was two-part — painting and teaching. Shortly after I graduated I was hired to teach at the same art college where I taught for 22 years, instructing people to truly see which I do to this day.

I now teach at the Elmhurst Art Museum, Mainstreet Art Centre in Lake Zurich, IL, The Palette And Chisel Academy of Fine Art in Chicago, and in my own studio. In addition, I offer classes at my online art school, Towering Winds Academy of Fine Arts,

Please tell us about your art.
I am a watercolorist. I fell in love with the medium while studying under Irving Shapiro, AWS. I have a passion for capturing the raw beauty of the American landscape with the fluid stroke of a brush.

Spending most of my childhood summers in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, along with, a few days in the autumn, and two weeks at Christmas time. I learned at an early age to love its colors, textures, wildlife, denizens, and moods not knowing how important it would mean to me later on in my adult life. Understanding the abstract patterns of nature and how to suggest with a brush stroke or two to convey the pattern is the key. Even today my wife and I escape to our log cabin in the Great Northwoods.

I mostly use photos I’ve gathered through my travels. Although I do plain air painting once in a while, creating field studies, and then returning to my studio to explore and finish? I get so much out of a hike, stopping, and studying my surroundings.

Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
In this day and age, I believe it might be overwhelming as an artist. But as I tell my students you need to make your own way. Cast a lot of darts and see what stick. Get your work out there to experience the failures and successes. Many a career has been based on failures, picking yourself up and learning from this…go forward. Don’t give up.

Nowadays it is amazing all the marketing tools that are available at an artist’s fingertips. There is a vast wealth of knowledge. Back when I was in college the thought of going global was unheard of, shipping a painting to Dubai or Skyping with a client in France. With the web, social media, and email marketing an artist has incredible opportunities to get their work out there. The secret is consistency. Set up a marketing calendar and hold to it. Start small, one or two things for three months. For example, start your website and offer a weekly blog. The blog can be linked to your Facebook business page. Build from it. If you can’t handle it find help. I’m lucky to have my wife, Marilee. She has her own marketing agency,

I also tell my students to meet people in person. Give a demonstration – if you are uncomfortable giving a demo go to a local nursing home. They love something inspirational and will be your number one fans. Join an art league, and have shows – even at a local restaurant or bank. Practice your ‘elevator speech.’ The more exposure you have the more comfortable you will feel.

So start small and go out and market yourself.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am represented at the Brown County Art Gallery in Nashville, IN. I am also a member of the Historical Brown County Art Gallery Artists Association. There is more artist per capita than anywhere else in the Midwest. WGN recently did a beautiful news story about Brown County titled ‘The Little Smoky Mountains: Indiana’s beautiful, artistic hill country.’ Here’s a link to the short video news report

Brown County Art Gallery
1 Artists Drive
Nashville, IN, 47448
Jeanne Bennett
gallery manager
phone: (812) 988-4609

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo credit of Dale L Popovich, Marilee Jacobi-Popovich

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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