I'm continuing my 'Store Stories' series with Lillstreet Art Center, which besides selling my work is also where my studio is located. When I returned to Chicago in 2007 (has it really been almost 5 years already?!) I became the metals resident artist at Lillstreet Art Center, which is located at the corner of Ravenswood Montrose Avenue. I started my first jewelry collection based on my continuing sculpture practice, which I had been doing the years before returning to Chicago in the San Francisco Bay area. After my residency, I didn't want to leave this incredible community so got a studio on the 3rd floor to begin my jewelry business. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at Lillstreet, because as an artist working in Chicago, this is by far one of the best places to be. The community of artists working at Lillstreet is so special, as is the ambiance of the old brick building. There are over 30 artist studios working on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the building that are open to the public (including mine:).
The gallery promoting Fine Craft has been newly renovated and having some very innovative and exciting shows. And First Slice Cafe, which helps fight hunger by donating a portion of every purchase made, just add to the charm and the integrity of this wonderful place. Lillstreet Art Center offers classes and workshops for kids and adults all ages with all levels of experience. Classes are offered for people of every age and range from Textile Art to Printmaking to Metalsmithing. There is something for everyone, so if you feel like getting your creative juices flowing again, this is the place to go! I myself actually just took a painting class not too long ago, because I wanted to extend my artistic horizon and reach out into the unknown. It was a great experience, and while my first paintings contained similar shapes to my jewelry when it came to medium, I managed to break out of the familiar and find new creative inspiration while doing so!