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Thought-Provokers: West Side

Chicago has always had an artistic soul. The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community. Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive. Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around the West Side that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Chuck Penzone

My father introduced me to art at a very early age. He was a true renaissance man with talents as a painter, musician, computer programmer, businessman, and more. He had an old fashioned train set and he used to re-purpose the McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes into buildings using acrylic paints.. He was always willing to include me in a project and pass along whatever he knew. Read more>>

Anna Wilder

Being expressive has always been a way of life for me since I was a little girl. Dancing, sports, writing, drawing – anything that allowed me to express myself, I was 100% into it. My innate curiosity and need to be expressive pushed me into the “creative” world. Read more>>

Samantha DeCarlo

After a year and a half of drawing for Sharpie, I wanted to learn to paint so I applied at Bottle and Bottega in La Grange. There, I learned how to use acrylics and work quickly while teaching and explaining my process. Read more>>

James Eastwood

I’ve enjoyed art my entire life. I remember the moment I decided I wanted to be good at it. It was my 5th birthday and I had a dinosaur shaped birthday cake. My uncle Charle is a talented artist and was sketching an image of the cake while we ate it. I was young so having any kind of artistic talent just wasnt something I had ever thought about. Read more>>

Rachel Lechocki

“Creativity takes courage,” from Matisee has always been my motto when engaging in the world of art and taking on the lifestyle of a living, practicing, working artist. It’s not easy to come from a working class Chicago family and decide you want to study art, go to art school, yet have no money and do it anyway because of (creative) courage! Read more>>

Priya Shah

We shouldn’t underestimate the little things as it’s actually the little things that spark hope for each other. So today I challenge all of you to think about your meaning of good in your life, and think about how you will use that to change the world. My hope is by exposing others to my story and what we do at The Simple Good, we can dispel the fear of being born ‘differently’ and push everyone to touch the moon. Read more>>

Eddie Raven Rivera

This Has been an awesome experience and rewarding hobby that has evolved to more then just a hobby. Now photography is my life line, my escape. It is My PASSION! My inspiration and dedication to do the best I can, comes from My Wife and Daughter who without them I would not be who I am today. Read more>>

Hannah Kopach

As a designer, I always want my work to be helpful to the viewer. I want them to see the piece, learn and take away something from it. Because I’ve worked for a lot of larger organizations and businesses, I would describe my work as professional and corporate. Sometimes I wish I could break out of this shell, but it’s hard! That’s when I look to other artists for inspiration. Read more>>

Julie Ann Kornak, Jeffrey Cass

in 2009, Julie Ann Kornak, Tin Penavic and Joe Messina were brought together while rehearsing a show with a local community group. With a common love of theatre and comedy, the three longed to bring together professional actors, directors, and other artists to create a professional company in the western suburbs. Read more>>

Brianne Bishop

Brianne did not discover her passion for interior design, she was born with it. As a young girl she would create multi-level floor plans by arranging images from her parent’s Architectural Digest magazines; and since then has never veered from her dream of becoming an Interior Designer. Read more>>

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