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Urban Local Made

All Things Artisan at the Oak Park Visitors Center

Visit Oak Park launched the "Urban Local Made" program in fall 2017, comprising a curated collection of artwork and functional objects from local artists displayed and sold in the Oak Park Visitors Center. The initiative aims to showcase the entrepreneurial spirit of the innovative makers in the Chicago area, as well as inspire both Illinoisans and out-of-state visitors to support local businesses while discovering uniquely authentic products.

To find out more information, click on an artist name below to learn more about their story and how it shapes their work.

Doug Freerksen | Oak Park, IL
A creative approach to all things describes Doug Freerksen. Son of art educator, Floyd Freerksen, Doug was fascinated at a young age with materials, color and form. In his twenties, he worked with famed sculptor, Geraldine McCullough on several civic works and his fascination with “making things” continues to this day. Doug finds the exploration of form and material irresistible. Also known for his restoration of historic buildings, Doug has worked on 28 by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Functional objects melded with human form, wings, bicycles, and unusual uses of clothing are recurrent themes in his work, forming images appearing to be in motion or detached from good sense and always identifiable as Doug Freerksen creations.

"An object in a space is a companion and fellow resident of that space. So it must have some personality." - Doug Freerksen

If his work can make someone notice, think or best of all, laugh at something then he is delighted. 

Connect with Doug!
Web: http://www.dougfreerksen.com/

Shawn Vincent | Riverside, IL
Shawn Vincent has worked in ceramics for over 23 years. She is the School Director at the Riverside Arts Center where she enjoys teaching pottery and other classes. Shawn has taught children and adults for 19 years at both the Riverside Arts Center and Creative Claythings in Chicago. In addition to her practice of creating her own stunning pottery, she has exhibited extensively.

Shawn’s true passion is the thrown piece, through which she loves to explore the subtleties of form, function, and decoration. When working, her mission is to create unique and aesthetic pieces. She enjoys making functional pottery because she believes that using a piece keeps it alive and gives people the opportunity to integrate art into their everyday lives. Though her work is primarily functional, it is ongoing and ever changing. The beauty of creating is that you cannot possibly know what is going to happen next.

Connect with Shawn!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shawnvincentpottery/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/claymama/

Kimberly Adami-Hasegawa | Forest Park, IL
Kimberly Adami-Hasegawa is a letter writer, stamp collector, and cocktail maker from Forest Park, Illinois. She started Galaxie Safari to celebrate the art of analog communication and to justify owning six typewriters. Every Galaxie Safari card is hand typed on a vintage typewriter and adorned with a real cancelled postage stamp. Each envelope is lined with a page from an old encyclopedia. Slight imperfections in the old type, variations in the cancelled postage stamps, and unique encyclopedia pages mean that each card is one-of-a-kind.

Connect with Kimberly!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/galaxiesafari/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamihasegawa  
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamihasegawa/

Alix Mikesell | Oak Park, IL
Alix Mikesell is constantly on the lookout for ways to transform and repurpose unusual materials, creating value where there was none. Her jewelry designs allow the wearer both ease and options, and a chance to be playful and different. She loves working with color and pattern. You can typically find her in her Oak Park studio creating contemporary jewelry out of plastic swizzle sticks, vintage buttons, linoleum samples, and laminate countertop scraps. She obtains many of her materials from Zero Landfill Chicago – a group that gathers donations of outdated material samples from interior design firms and offers them to artists and teachers. Alix has an MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University and has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Indiana University and Northeastern Illinois University.

Connect with Alix!
Web: http://alixmikesell.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Alix-Mikesell-Design-206409903673/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alixmikeselldesign/

Lunartecos | Chicago, IL
Lunartecos creative collaborators studio is based in Pilsen, Chicago.They participate in pop-up shops and art markets throughout the chicagoland area.Their emphasis is in community based projects with focus on neighborhood history, visual culture and identity. Lunartecos future projects including site-specific installations, public art + activism, interactive and interdisciplinary art making. A large scale version of their Chicago Origami Flag was installed earlier this year at the Blackstone Hotel.  Custom design and fine art frame inquires please contact: lunartecos@gmail.com.

Connect with Lunartecos!
Web: http://www.lunartecos.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lunartecos/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunartecos/  

Celia Greiner | Chicago, IL
Celia Greiner grew up in Chicago in a family of designers and artisans. She studied painting and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Later, she received a Certificate in Woodworking  from  the Worcester Center for Crafts  in Worcester MA.   Back in Chicago she worked in the furniture business as an employee and on a freelance basis.  She has completed  furniture commissions for residences and studio furniture for exhibition.

Her product designs, mostly kitchen- and tableware are simple, elegant, and functional.  Thought has been given to  how things are stored, how they feel in the hands and the convenience of certain shapes.  She is inspired by the clean lines of the Bauhaus style yet also by the minimally decorated designs of the Arts and Crafts movement.  The wood used is sustainably sourced from the urban forests of Chicago and the surrounding area.

Connect with Celia!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zumowooddesign/  
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zumowooddesign/

Rafael Nieves | Berwyn, IL
Rafael “Unca Raffy” Nieves is a Berwyn, IL based graphic designer who was born and raised in Chicago proper. He uses a computer to create pieces inspired by his love of Art Deco, propaganda, WPA, vintage advertising, typography and movie posters. Clean lines, blocks of color, and bold expression are staples of his work. He cites Wright, Mackintosh, Mucha, Klimt, DeLempicka, Purvis, Schwab and Saul Bass as artistic inspirations. 

When he isn’t designing prints, cards, magnets and t-shirts, Nieves works a full-time job as an office manager, and in whatever spare time he has left, is a horror comic book writer. He lives with his wife, one of two daughters, a dog, a cat, big dreams and a mortgage.

Connect with Rafael!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nievesdesigns/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rafwrites
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raf_nieves/

Kristen Dobbins | Chicago, IL
Kristen is a Chicago-based artist and lover of all things art and design. She enjoys thinking outside the box and creating new ideas to visually enhance the world. Those ideas are translated into the printmaking process of screen printing and block printing. Kristen’s work typically involves a deconstruction process of a familiar object; lines, shapes, text, pop culture, etc. Once deconstructed, a puzzle forms and she figures out how to put it back together in her own composition.

Connect with Kristen!
Web: www.outsidethepalette.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/outsidethepalette
Twitter: https://twitter.com/outsidetpalette  
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/outsidethepalette/

Robert J. Krawczyk | St. Charles, IL
Robert J. Krawczyk is an architecturally trained digital artist focusing on science, mathematics, architecture, art, and technology; publishing and presenting internationally in the form of prints, web pieces, sculptural, and architectural studies. Exhibitions include: Santa Fe Currents 2016, Chicago Sculpture International Biennales 2006-2012; Koehnline Museum of Art; Chicago Art Loop Open 2010, Art Chicago 2011, 2001 and 2003 SIGGRAPH Digital Art Gallery; and numerous St. Charles and Batavia area exhibitions. He is also a Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the College of Architecture focusing on digital craftsmanship for over thirty-three years.

Inspired by Sol LeWitt's wall drawings, More Paths Totes are created from a set of tiling images to form paths. The paths are just like life itself; many choices, many branches, some return to where you started, and some coming to a dead end; and many that lead you onto other new paths to take.

Connect with Robert!
Web: http://bitartworks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BitArtWorks

Kristi Sloniger | Oak Park, IL
With over 20 years in the ceramic field, Kristi Sloniger has progressed through several bodies of work.  She has sold her work in shops all around the country and participated in numerous juried art fairs.  Her business Moonstar Pottery, is represented in many online markets. These Ikebana Vases, fully waterproof, are a lovely way to have a bouquet with just a stem or two.  It is a Japanese form of flower arranging, which will resonate with the Frank Lloyd Wright fan, plus many have a ginkgo leaf decoration. The pin frog (the poky metal thing) is glued in with a water-proof epoxy and stays in place. They are thrown on the wheel, made from stoneware and fired in her gas reduction kiln.

Connect with Kristi!
Web: http://www.moonstarpottery.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoonstarPottery

Jen McNulty | Oak Park, IL
Jen McNulty’s artistic career is diverse from a successful career in illustration, photography, traditional tiled mosaics and now 3D Photo Mosaics which began in 2011. In 2013, she pursued galleries to exhibit her work and within 2 months had exhibited in 2 Chicago galleries, including Morpho Gallery where she was selected for their “Best Of Emerging Artists 2013” exhibition. “John Lennon: Peace” was selected for a national traveling exhibit for the “Peace Project” & was published in their coffee table book in 2013. In addition, she has had 8 solo exhibitions & has shown widely in juried group exhibitions, including Rockford Art Museum’s 73rd Midwestern Biennial, Bridgeport Art Center’s 2nd Annual Juried Art Competition& Woman Made Gallery’s 18th International Open

After graduating from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana in 1991, McNulty continued her post-graduate journey to the Minneapolis College of Art & Design for illustration. In 1992, she moved back to Chicago and began to show her work. Her illustrations were published in over 30 national & independent publications, such as Crane’s Chicago BusinessL.A. Reader, & Austin Chronicle. In the mid-90's, McNulty began working in advertising as an Art Buyer. In 1999, she moved to London, England, where her interest in mosaics was born. She saw this ancient art form everywhere. The notion of illustrating a story with tiles piqued her interest. McNulty was inspired to research the process and soon began merging her illustration background with mosaic tiles, all on antique pieces found on in London.

After moving back to Chicago in 2002, McNulty continued with her mosaic work as well as exploring photography. In 2008, she worked with acclaimed photographer Liz Chilsen as her project manager. This relationship deepened her knowledge of photography and has enhanced the artist that she is today. McNulty now divides much of her time between the Oak Park Art League, where she is President of the Board of Directors, and working in her art studio. She currently resides in Oak Park, Illinois, where the bulk of her work is in commissions for her 3D Photo Mosaic pieces.

Connect with Jen!
Web: https://www.jenmcnulty.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.r.mcnulty
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mcnulty69/

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