Off the Tracks with Michele: Chihuly at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

gainesville_014I visited Atlanta this weekend and got to see the Chihuly in the Garden installation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I love the work of Dale Chihuly, particularly when it is set in nature. Chihuly is a glass sculptor. His large scale installations are so beautiful and organic. There were 19 installations, one more beautiful and intriguing than the next. We visited the exhibit at night which added an even more interesting dimension. The glass was lit so the forms took on their own life. Some pieces looked like actual plants, while others were hidden amongst the trees and flowers and became part of the landscape. If you ever get a chance to see a Chihuly sculpture in person, grab the opportunity. Pictures don’t do his work justice, but here is a taste of what I saw. You can also check out atlatabg.org.

-Michele

Off the Tracks with Michele: Prints and Drawings department of the Art Institute of Chicago

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A few weeks ago I took two friends to the Art Institute to see the Van Gough Bedrooms exhibit. (I’ll talk about that more another time!)

We were fortunate to have my friend Emily as a guide. Emily works in the Prints and Drawings department of the Art Institute. After seeing the “main attraction” Emily offered us a tour of her department. She lead us through several security doors to a large room of work tables and chairs. Did you know that you can make an appointment with the Prints and Drawings department to come to this inner sanctum to sketch or do research?? I had no idea! Art classes as well as individuals can come see their particular artist or area of interest. Only a tiny percentage of the works owned by the Art Institute are ever on exhibit. The rest are in storage, locked away for years at a time. From this main area we were lead into a “vault” of prints and etchings. We were really overwhelmed by the amount of art,as well as being so up close to these amazing images. Emily started pulling boxes from the shelves, and there were Picasso etchings, a Mary Cassatt color study, Degas. Then we happened upon an actual etching plate by Rembrandt! The really amazing thing was that my friend had just come back from a church retreat, and they had studied this very piece. Of the thousands of treasures in that vault, to happen upon that very piece – The Supper at Emmaus- was really an incredible coincidence. It made a great day even more memorable!

-Michele

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Rembrandt van Rijn Supper at Emmaus, 1654 Copper etching plate

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Rembrandt van Rijn, “The Supper at Emmaus”, 1654, Etching, burin, and drypoint on ivory laid paper

 

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Mary Cassatt “Young Mother”, 1888 Pastel on blue-gray wove paper (faded to tan), mounted on canvas, on a strainer

Off the Tracks with Michele.

11745941_10207390696474226_3413552932730469183_nWelcome to my first attempt at a blog! I love exploring new places and meeting new people through art and I will be sharing my adventures with you here. First, let me tell you a little about myself. I am an art lover and collector. Over 25 years ago my brother Jim Mahon introduced me to Tony Fitzpatrick. I fell in love with his art and his stories. My obsession began!! Over the years Tony introduced me to young artists he worked with, as well as more established artists that he admired. My collection began to grow. Tony started Firecat Projects with Stan Klein in 2010 and I have proudly been on the Board of Directors there for the past 3 years. Through Firecat I met Lauren and Rory Coyne, and we partnered about 18 months ago to open Sidetracked Studio. Our little gallery has taken off and my circle of art friends continues to grow.
Art is my passion. My inspiration. It brings me joy. It makes me think. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes it just plain perplexes me. Art makes my life more interesting. I hope that by sharing some of my art adventures and discoveries with you here that I can open your eyes and your mind to new ways of seeing art in your own life.

-Michele

 

William Scarlato, "A Bar on the Lincoln Highway, Illinois"

Continental Divide

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Rory Coyne
gallery: 847/644-5876, info@sidetrackedstudio.com


BlackConfederate copy

William Blake, “Black Confederate”

EVANSTON, IL – Sidetracked Studio is proud to present “Continental Divide”, an exhibition curated by Michele Mahon Jahelka featuring the paintings of William Blake and William Scarlato.

Curator’s Statement: “I stumbled upon the beautiful works of William Blake and William Scarlatto at a group show of local artists in Hinsdale. They were completely separate from each other, but after seeing the whole show I kept feeling that their work should be shown together. Their works evoked “Americana” to me. Will Blake’s haunting Civil War reenactment portraits, and Bill Scarlatto’s lush landscapes of ordinary, familiar places seem to blend together to bring the story of America to life. Where we came from. Where we are today. How much has changed. How little has changed.
Although neither of these artists are coming from a political viewpoint, I can’t help but see these works and hear a political commentary. We have come so far as to have elected our first black president, yet this election cycle has proven that as a country we are still fighting a great Continental Divide.” -Michele Mahon Jahelka

OPENING RECEPTION Sat., April 23, 6 – 9 p.m.
 exhibition continues through May 28, 2016 Beverages provided by New Holland Brewing Co.


1836820_1487169881535132_8372413542060528394_oAbout Sidetracked Studio 

Sidetracked Studio is the storefront studio of artists LaurenLevato Coyne and Rory Coyne founded  with collector and advisor Michele Mahon Jahelka. Throughout the year Sidetracked Studio also presents gallery exhibitions of visiting artists, workshops, and lectures. For information visit sidetrackedstudio.com or find us on social media.

Sidetracked Studio is located near purple line Main Street station and the galle532187_10151254156601661_1910377877_nry is wheelchair accessible.
Beverages provided New Holland Brewery. newhollandbrew.com


Julie Murphy

Undiscovered Species

Doodles, drawings, collages open Sidetracked Studio’s 
 second year programming

 OPENING RECEPTION Sat., Nov. 7, 6 – 9 p.m.
exhibition continues through Dec. 19
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 21, 2015
contact: Lauren Levato Coyne
gallery: 847/644-5876, lauren@sidetrackedstudio.com


EVANSTON, IL – Sidetracked Studio is proud to present Undiscovered Species, an exhibition featuring doodles, drawings, collages, and paintings that reveal the obsessive and repetitive mania of their makers, all of whom happen to be Chicago-based artists.

Rory Coyne
is exhibiting a selection of nature based works that subtly detail the

sublime repetition of leaves, trees, and endless skies. Coyne is a founding director at Sidetracked Studio.

Lauren Levato Coyne presents new work in colored pencil on paper and maple panel including her “cluster drawings,” an ongoing series of insect wings that form swarming, irregular, flower-like shapes.
Levato Coyne is a founding director at Sidetracked Studio.

Julie Murphy invents and interprets new species of human/monster/office worker hybrids in her expressive and slightly manic drawings. With ink and markers Murphy transforms manila folders, legal paper, and sundry office materials into her own sort of taxonomic record of her crypto-creatures. Murphy earned a BFA degree in illustration from Art Center College of Design, as well as a BS degree in radio/television/film from Northwestern University which lead to years of diverse work experiences that fueled the desire to escape reality, in addition to supplementing a rainbow of character studies for drawings.

Vito Desalvo presents work from his current series, International People in the Know, which contain his reflections on interpersonal relations in today’s world. He has chosen both fictitious and actual faces of real people in his life. The backgrounds suggest no clue as to place, identity or nature of the conversation. The artist only offers the finality of the implied statement. In some of the faces is a lingering hint of relating the knowing implication of their comments. Others possess only a sense of innocent use of common use phrases. Desalvo has made comments related to these pieces that all serious conversations eventually lead to a confirmed answer form of “no”.

Jordan Scott presents his current series of collaged works inspired by the Jungian theory of the Collective Unconscious coupled with his many years of martial arts training and teaching. The series pays homage to his belief in the interconnectedness of the universe. While Scott uses many materials outside of their typical context his specific material is canceled U.S. postage stamps, typically using thousands of individual stamps to form what appear to be abstracted landscapes and color fields to create a sum greater than its parts.

Undiscovered Species

OPENING RECEPTION Sat., Nov. 7, 6 – 9 p.m.
 exhibition continues through Dec. 19, 2015 Beverages provided by New Holland Brewing Co.


About Sidetracked Studio 1836820_1487169881535132_8372413542060528394_o

Sidetracked Studio is the storefront studio of artists LaurenLevato Coyne and Rory Coyne, founded  with collector and advisor Michele Mahon Jahelka. Throughout the year Sidetracked Studio also presents gallery exhibitions of visiting artists, workshops, and lectures. For information visit sidetrackedstudio.com or find us on social media.

Sidetracked Studio is located near purple line Main Street station and the gallery is wheelchair accessible. 532187_10151254156601661_1910377877_n

Beverages provided New Holland Brewery. newhollandbrew.com

Sidetracked Studio
707 Chicago Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
sidetrackedstudio.com
847/644-8756, info@sidetrackedstudio.com

Oranges at Midnight

Opening night Sept. 12, 6 – 9 p.m.

Victorian Noir, Tom Waits, and the Tooth Fairy at Sidetracked Studio


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Lauren Levato Coyne
gallery: 847/644-5876, info@sidetrackedstudio.com


EVANSTON, IL –  Sidetracked Studio is proud to present Oranges at Midnight, an exhibition featuring the work of five highly skilled visual storytellers all spinning  their different yarns.

Darla Teagarden

Darla Teagarden

Brian Busch is exhibiting Tom Waits inspired paintings that look “through the peephole of rural America, from late night diners to the Louisiana State Penitentiary, from guys named Frank to woman named Horseface Ethel, the landscape of the songs by American singer/songwriter Tom Waits have had a marked impression upon me as an individual and my craft. This new series of works explores the nooks and crannies of this world, the people that inhabit it and the tales of their lives,” says the artist.

Lauren Levato Coyne presents new works in colored pencil. Using Simone Muench’s “Orange Girls” poems as a  launching point, Levato Coyne’s portraiture and still lives continue with exacting line work in juxtaposition with vivid, lusciously rendered flora and fauna in an exploration. For “Oranges at Midnight” she presents her largest drawing to date, over 5’ tall and 4’ wide.
Levato Coyne is a founding director at Sidetracked Studio.

Rory Coyne is exhibiting his largest work to-date, a commission about the mythology of healing and self-identity after tragic loss. Coyne works in oil and this particular piece is  78” x 68”.  Coyne is a founding director at Sidetracked Studio.

Flannery Grace Good celebrates the Tooth Fairy’s 90th birthday by focusing on the mythical sprite as muse. The tooth fairy often appears in popular lore as a woman, but in some cultures the fairy is a mouse or other creature. Good has spent much time and research re-imagining variations on her muse – as a huntress, a teenager, an animal counter part, and also what happens to the teeth themselves? Good offers some answers with her one-of-a-kind, hand fabricated pieces.

Darla Teagarden creates theatrical self portrait vignettes by creating simple structures out of wood, paper and other familiar materials producing in camera effects. Teagarden’s photographs are inspired by theatre, Victorian era portraiture, ritual, and mean to invoke a sense of place. Images are either faceless or the artist herself, typically in character and using symbolic gestures to communicate a narrative of common experience and unity.

Teagarden lives in Austin, TX with her young son, three elderly dogs and pot belly pig. She converted her bedroom into a small studio space where the majority of her shoots take place.

Oranges at Midnight

OPENING RECEPTION Sept. 12, 6 – 9 p.m.
brief, informal ARTIST TALK with Flannery Grace Good, Sept. 12, 6 p.m.
exhibition continues through Oct. 24, 2015


About Sidetracked Studio 1836820_1487169881535132_8372413542060528394_o

Sidetracked Studio is the storefront studio of artists LaurenLevato Coyne and Rory Coyne, founded  with collector and advisor Michele Mahon Jahelka. Throughout the year Sidetracked Studio also presents gallery exhibitions of visiting artists, workshops, and lectures. For information visit sidetrackedstudio.com or find us on social media.

Sidetracked Studio is located near purple line Main Street station and the gallery is wheelchair accessible. 532187_10151254156601661_1910377877_n

Beverages provided New Holland Brewery. newhollandbrew.com

10431259_1505788976339889_9070733379442101553_o

Thoughts on the Business of Being an Artist

10431259_1505788976339889_9070733379442101553_oSince it can be a strange and blurry line, if we say that I became a professional artist when I graduated with my Master of Fine Arts in 2007 that means I have been actively creating, showing, selling, and promoting my work for the last eight years (it’s been much longer than that, truth be told). I think I have learned a few things, but I have definitely grown up since 2007. But in this reflective mode,  I have to pinpoint becoming more professional starting in 2011. Since then I’ve experimented with different types of work to find out what might sell better, figured out different price points, different ways of promotion, so on and so forth. I’ve had good experiences with galleries and have plenty of bad experiences with them as well. The good experiences aren’t even about sales as much as the treatment these galleries give their artists, the artist’s work, promotion of the work, and especially communication. The bad…well let’s just leave it at that.

Since October 2014 Lauren and I have now teamed up with Michele and opened our own Studio Gallery, which has introduced a whole new level of professionalism. We wanted to make sure that we approached the exhibitions with everything we learned from dealing with galleries and curators – good and bad. We want to make it easy not only for them but for us as well. We had both previously directed different gallery and project spaces and it’s a full time job, on top of being artists ourselves which is certainly more than a full time job. Nearly ten months later we are figuring out the best way to run Sidetracked Studio so that we can still be extremely proactive artists while also giving our guest artists the attention they deserve. 

image by Chris Bradley Photography

image by Chris Bradley Photography

Sidetracked Studio’s anniversary is on the horizon and we have had an amazing time so far, but it has not been an easy road. Besides dealing with several very impactful and at times overwhelming personal events, we also had to figure out how to shift from doing everything ourselves to now working together with Michele, as well as running a business. We have an incredible amount of work still ahead of us, but we’ve been getting better at communication, finance, promotion, handling, and so many other things. We still have a way to go with time management, and making sure we keep ourselves as top priority. This means more time to create, less distractions, and better focus. We may not have all the answers, but we certainly have the motivation to search for them.