Home and Lifestyle

Art, For Art's Sake

Local artist recalls path leading to her artistic career

McHenry County Magazine

I grew up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, and moved to the Chicago area in 1984. In the mid ’90s, after a successful career as an Information Center Analyst and Operational Planning Administrator, I decided to go back to school to study my first love — art.

As an undergraduate, my focus was drawing and watercolor painting when I wasn’t busy making sculpture.  When I transferred to Northern Illinois University I rediscovered a love of metals that was born when I was in high school. I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002, and continued on to complete a Masters of Fine Arts in 3-D Studio with an emphasis in Metal and Jewelry in December 2005.

In January of 2004 I introduced the Jewelry/Metals program to the McHenry County College art department in Crystal Lake. The program has grown considerably in the past 10 years — the studio size has expanded and additional equipment and processes have been added. The schedule now includes two levels of curriculum — Jewelry I and Jewelry II, as well as advanced techniques and an expanded schedule of classes.

I also have been teaching at the College of Lake County in Grayslake since 2006, covering Beginning Jewelry, Art Appreciation, and Art History. I recently joined the staff as jeweler at Old World Gem and Jewelry in McHenry.  I maintain a private studio where I create art, commissioned art jewelry, and continue to develop and offer workshops and lectures.

I have been a member of the Chicago Metal Arts Guild (CMAG) and the Society of North American Goldsmiths, (SNAG) since 2003. I have served on the CMAG Events Committee, hosting and conducting workshops by world-renowned artist Arline Fitch and other local artists and was elected to CMAG’s Board of Directors, serving as Treasurer from January 2009 to September 2010. 

That’s the business side of my art career. The personal side has been in the works for much longer. I have always been an artist and a teacher. While other girls were playing with their Barbie dolls, I was lecturing my brother while he was coerced to play “student.” When I couldn’t find a willing participant, I was busy making things. I “created” with all the usual childhood crafts — potholders, bead looms, burnt matches, gum wrappers, and crochet. I graduated to handmade holiday gifts, birthday cakes, and Halloween costumes. When I went back to school there wasn’t a question as to what my heart wanted — it was art. I haven’t looked back. I am fortunate to earn a living making art and sharing that knowledge and experience with others. 

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.