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Urban Local Made

Spring 2018 Artists

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.

Read below to learn more about the crop of artists admitted to "Urban Local Made" in the spring of 2018. Click here for more information about past artists.

Rachel Davis | Art Bumble | Downers Grove, Illinois
 Rachel Davis is a painter and printmaker living in the western suburbs. Rachel's work is inspired by gardening, animals and botany. Her botanical illustrations were published in The Field Guide to Wisconsin Sedges by University of Wisconsin Press and in the Arbor Day installation, Draw Attention to Trees, produced by the Morton Arboretum.

Rachel silkscreens her original drawings on to 100% cotton at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL. 

Connect with Rachel!

Marion Sirefman | Sirefman Art | Oak Park, Illinois
 Marion Sirefman has been making art most of her life. She grew up in New York, and received a wonderful artistic and cultural foundation at the famed H.S. of Music & Art magnet school. She then came to Chicago to study biochemistry at the University of Chicago, but switched back to art and received a B.F.A. degree there. She worked as a scientific illustrator in Spain, and Berkeley CA,  --  drawing prehistoric stone tools from archaeological digs.

She then returned to Chicago to get a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, and has been an Oak Park resident since 1984.  While working and raising a family, Marion regularly did watercolors and calligraphy.   In 1995 she started using stained glass; in 2001 added mosaic and paper collage; and in 2004 returned to painting with acrylics.  Her subjects are usually the natural world - flowers, landscapes, rendered in bright colors. She was active in the West Suburban Artists Guild until the group disbanded in 2015, and has been an active member of the Oak Park Art League.

She is especially proud to have been chosen to produce several pieces of public art in Oak Park:  a painted/stained glass bench, four wall murals along the Metra/Green line train embankment on South Boulevard, and a banner for the Harrison Street Arts District.

Marion retired from work in 2011 and is happy to now devote more time and energy to her artistic life.  She lives in Oak Park, IL with her husband. They have two children and three granddaughters.

Connect with Marion!

Sarah Katharine Green | SKG Leather | Chicago, IL
 Sarah Katharine Green uses ancient hand-lacing and branding techniques to create SKG Leather, a collection of rough-luxe bags, jewelry, and home accessories. Sarah uses leather from Chicago’s historic, multi-generation family-run tannery, Horween Leather. Every piece of SKG Leather is hand-cut, hand-laced, and hand-branded; no sewing machine is ever involved. This time-consuming process creates sturdy pieces that will last for decades.  Sarah studied fashion and textiles at Harper College and School of the Art Institute of Chicago and works as a fashion designer and pattern drafter when not making leather goods.  You can find her at Chicago’s artisan and maker markets or teaching leather and textile craft at the Harold Washington Library or private studios throughout the city.

Connect with Sarah!

Rich Zimmerman | Chicago, IL
 Rich Zimmerman is a Chicago-based ceramist who loves to work with the plasticity of clay. His pottery comprises mainly mid fire functional wares such as bowls, mugs and platters.  He loves working with color and design to make each piece unique. While most of his work is created on the potter’s wheel, he recently has been exploring slump molds and hand building to supplement his work.  In addition, he is exploring the expansion of color by using colorful underglazes and different designer liner decorative glazes to add more color and sometimes texture to his work. Zimmerman can be found utilizing the Lincoln Square Pottery Studio to create his masterpieces.

Heather Shack | HMK Watercolors | Oak Park, Illinois
Heather has always expressed herself creatively, but did not become an artist until after suffering a severe ischemic stroke in 2011 and beginning to paint as part of her therapy. The stroke left Heather with limited use of her dominant right arm and leg, as well as diminished ability to speak, read and write. Unable to return to her career as a school administrator, painting has become an important expressive outlet for her. Heather is inspired by scenery, her travels, the areas in which she lives, and favorite sports and teams. Her passion for detail, color and beauty shines through each painting. 

A portion of HMK Watercolors sales is donated to the Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp, a program that helps survivors of strokes and their caregivers improve their quality of life.

For more about Heather's inspirational story and to browse her original watercolor paintings, limited edition prints and greeting cards, visit or read the Forest Park Review's profile on Heather.

Connect with Heather!

John Putnam | Oak Park, IL
 John Putnam worked in IT (now retired) and started working with ceramics in about 2003 using a small kiln and kick wheel. He later took classes at Terra Incognito in Oak Park followed by workshops through Terra Incognito with a number of excellent potters. He now has work at the Oak Park Visitors Center and sells in a variety of local art fairs. His work encompasses Mid-Fire and High-Fire, stoneware and porcelain wheel thrown pieces. He strives for simple elegant forms and some texture work, multiple glazes and Chinese Brush Painting relief work. He continues to throw pots both at home and at Oak Park's Terra Incognito.

George Machart | Machart Glass | Monee, Illinois
 George has loved art glass from a very young age. He considers himself a curious sort of person who wants to know the inner workings of most things so he set out to learn the process of glassblowing. Eventually he felt it was time to build his own small studio. Everything in it was built from scratch, from the workbench to the furnace. George enjoys the challenge of making his own color formulas and designs. He loves being able to create every style of glass and can't keep himself from trying something new to see what kind of different design takes shape. George draws inspiration from masters of old and also the beauty of nature surrounding him.

Connect with George!

Jessica Roble | Chicago, IL
 Jessica Roble has no formal training in making stuff, yet she persists in creating things out of fiber. Currently, she is focused on hand knit/crochet jewelry. If a squirrel happens by, she may work on protest pieces, housewarming gifts or something for herself. The urge to create is in her DNA as she comes from a line of women who won't talk to you until they get to the end of their row. She lived in Oak Park, IL for 30+ years and recently downsized to Chicago's lakefront where she marvels at Lake Michigan's infinite shades of blue.

Hannah Jennings | Oak Park, IL
 Hannah is a designer and illustrator with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her art has been exhibited in the Illinois State Fair, the Oak Park Public Library, and in traveling and permanent exhibitions. 

Hannah finds great joy in making things, including watercolors of landmarks, people in casual crowds, animals and plants, and images from stories and poems. Her paintings of buildings aren’t just renderings, they’re portraits with rich personalities. "I begin by photographing a structure from many angles, at a time of day when light and shadows, colors, and surrounding foliage are most evocative. Working from these photographs, I transfer the outlines, the bare bones of the house, to watercolor paper. Then I gradually build up layers of wash and add details until the image sings to me.” 

It pleases Hannah to think of people hanging her images on their walls, so she started a sort of cottage industry to sell prints and original art. She named this undertaking after some of her favorite words, "Be Of Good Cheer.” See BOGoodCheer.comShe can be commissioned to create house portraits. She has a strong affinity for nest-builders, so finds it gratifying to catch people's love of their homes.  

Hannah has many years of experience as a designer, primarily with non-profit organizations including over 20 years as Manager of Design at Brookfield Zoo. She launched her own design studio in 2005, branching out into new media and working with a wide range of clients: see She also teaches a design class at Dominican University and recently illustrated a book of short stories by Donald G. Evans titled An Off-White Christmas. Watch for readings coming soon in Oak Park venues.

Connect with Hannah!

Doris Bartek | Forest Park, IL
Artist-Creator-Inventor. Doris has always been profoundly intrigued by the impact Mythology and archaic symbolism have on our modern culture. Her painted wood constructions explore these underlying messages by combining simply found materials in base-relief, using paint and color as a filter.

All of her work is dedicated to her mother, Peggy Doris Giovannoni. Doris was formerly trained in fine arts, a graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

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