Who’s the Artist? YOU!

arty-party-group-shot-1When was the last time you did something for you? It’s time to stop, take a breath, and decide you are going to do something fun and creative! We all have those artistic ideas rolling around in our minds, and we ask ourselves, can I really do this? You can!

On Saturday, November 5, you will have the opportunity to work with NIA, a group of local artists I helped to found. Longtime readers of this blog will know that we have had multiple group shows here in Chicago. Each of us brings to the table a unique set of skills, from drawing and painting to mixed media collage work.

We are ready to share our knowledge with you in a series of live demos, after which you will be let loose to take over the art studio!! We will have all kinds of art supplies on hand for you to play with, from pastels to paint. The whole NIA team will be with you to answer your questions about the materials.

This is your chance to let loose and experiment! Each guest gets a blank canvas to fill with their ARTIEST ideas! Whether you have never touched a paintbrush, or whether you are comfortable with the term ‘substrate’, you will have free reign to be the artist! Who’s the artist? YOU are!

This event is BYOB! For more information and to register, click here.

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You Be The Artist Night
Saturday, November 5, 2016
6:30pm – 9:30pm
ticket price: $20
858 N Ashland Ave

Party All the Time

nia-cool-poseSaturday’s NIA Gallery Party was a big success! Maybe that’s why we look so triumphant in the photo to the left. Clockwise from the left: Christina Bosco, Dean Johnson, Terrie Byrne, and Christopher Berry (kneeling).

We sold six of the nine wine glasses we had hand-painted, and several visitors left freewill donations. All of those proceeds will help to pay for NIA Fine Art Friday, our December 2 art show. In addition, I sold my Al Capone piece, and our host, Terrie Byrne, sold two of her paintings.gallery-party-donation-jar

As with our previous gallery parties, this event took place in a private residence — the home of NIA member, Terrie Byrne. We all agreed beforehand that the party would serve as a preview for our upcoming NIA Fine Art Friday. With that in mind, we each limited ourselves to three of our pieces.

gallery-party-christina-boscoAt left, you see Christina Bosco with two of her beautiful, expressive paintings. This was Christina’s third NIA event, and she always manages to surprise us with her inimitable vision. You can see more of her work on her website.gallery-party-chris-berry

At right, you see Christopher Berry with some of his lively, abstract pieces. The party was Christopher’s first NIA show, although he has been working with us all year to shape the trajectory of NIA. You can view more of Christopher’s work on instagram.

gallery-party-terrie-byrneAs usual, I didn’t manage to snag a solo shot of our host, Terrie Byrne, standing still! She was too busy graciously attending to everyone’s needs. At left, you see two of her elegant paintings. Terrie’s website is undergoing a renovation, so please follow her on Facebook.gallery-party-dean-johnson

At right, you see me standing with my cutouts in the background. You are already aware of my website, because you are here! You can also find my work on other platforms, such as Deviantart, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.

The party was well-attended. There were at least 30 people over the course of three hours. We had planned ahead and brought brochures to give away for NIA Fine Art Friday, and we posted signs for the event all over the apartment. It is highly likely that most of the people who came to the gallery party will also attend our show in December.

gallery-party-crowdThese results prove the purpose and efficacy of planning ahead. NIA has been meeting approximately once per month since the beginning of the year. After each meeting, we all know what is expected of us in order to prepare for the coming month. Nothing is left to chance.gallery-party-wine

If there’s one thing I can impress upon up-and-coming artists, it is the importance of planning ahead. We’ve been working on NIA Fine Art Friday literally all year, and each of our smaller events has been building up to the show in December. I know it’s going to be an amazing exhibit, because we’ve put in the work.




Got to Party Up


This Saturday, NIA is hosting an exclusive preview of our upcoming exhibit, NIA Fine Art Friday. Each of us participating artists will present some of our latest pieces. You are invited to view the work, pick our brains, or even purchase a piece. In addition, we will have wine glasses hand-painted by NIA artists for sale.

img_3384-1More than any of that, this is a party! It’s a chance to hang out with artists and art-lovers, drink some wine, and listen to music. You can meet NIA members, Christopher Berry, Christina Bosco, Terrie Byrne, and Dean Johnson. It’s a little thing we like to call NIA Gallery Party!

You may remember a similar event from two years ago…. Believe it or not, the Gallery Party concept pre-dates NIA. You can trace its origins to Third Thursday Club, a figure drawing group that met once a month in the apartment of NIA co-founder, Terrie Byrne. After we’d been drawing together for awhile, we decided to present some of our work in an informal party setting. Thus, the Gallery Party was born!img_3385-1

There was a second Gallery Party before NIA‘s first version of the event. NIA went on to produce two formal group exhibits at ChiPRC, the location of our upcoming NIA Fine Art Friday.

Our party venue is located on Addison St, just west of Lake Shore Dr.

For additional details, e-mail us at NorthsideIndependentArtists@gmail.com, or view our Facebook event page.