Alumni Artists Create New Visions

Here are brief biographies of the artists whose work was recently displayed at the Block Museum.

  Regina Allen (G95) does highly colored abstract paintings with a sense of playfulness. She has shown her work at Chicago's Carl Hammer Gallery and taught at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago before moving to Philadelphia.

Backes, Tree, acrylic on panel, 2000

Joan Backes (G85) uses painting to address the issues of nature in contemporary society. She went to Iceland in 1994 on a Fulbright Scholarship, has taught at Brown University and the Kansas City Art Institute and has shown her work in the Unted States and abroad.
  Curtis Bartone (G91) creates lush, highly colored, beautifully crafted still life artworks. Represented by Byron Roche Gallery in Chicago and Wright Gallery in New York City, he is an instructor at the Evanston Art Center and the Harrington Institute of Design in Chicago.
  Molly Briggs (G98) is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has taught at the Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative. In addition to prints, she creates photograms of paintings of real and imaginary objects as though seen through a microscope. She is represented by the Fassbender Gallery in Chicago.
  Steven Carrelli (G95) teaches fine arts at Columbia College and DePaul University in Chicago. He studied in Florence, Italy, in 1995 on a Fulbright Scholarship. He does small-scale realistic paintings that sometimes employ trompe l'oeil techniques. A joint show by him and his wife, Louise LeBourgeois will soon be exhibited at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill.

Coryell, Path, oil on canvas, 2000

Jeffrey Coryell (G94) is a realist painter as well as a lawyer. He has taught about art and the law at the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law.

Cosnowski, The Horseman, oil on canvas, 2000

Christopher Cosnowski (G00) creates realistic oil paintings that are tongue-in-cheek depictions of objects of masculine identity. A recipient of a scholarship from the Union League Club in Chicago, he is represented by Lyonswier Packer Gallery in Chicago and New York.


Mary Jane Duffy (G96), who teaches art at DePaul University and Northern Illinois University, creates abstract pattern-based paintings that occasionally include figurative elements. Last year she had a solo show entitled "Broken Symmetries" at the Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago. Her work has been shown in Mexico City.

Eddleston, Koln, oil and enamel on linen, 2000

David Eddleston (G95) is an abstract artist who lives in New York, where his work is exhibited at Madame X Gallery. He was among the artists in the 1996 exhibition "Second Sight: Printmaking in Chicago 1935-95" at what was then the Mary and Leigh Block Gallery.

Fuentes, Tonawanda-Terem, oil on canvas, 1999

Leopoldo Fuentes (G85), a realist painter who has shown his work in New York, Mexico and Prague, also paints still lifes merging realist and abstract concepts, all influenced by futurism that incorporates industrial imagery. He is chair of the Art Department of the City College of the City University of New York.

Gick, Earth Table, photo of on-site sculpture installation, 1999

Charles Gick (G93), an assistant professor at Purdue University, uses the fields of Indiana as the backdrop for his installation art on the history and nature of the state, which he then documents in photos. He has shown his work throughout the United States.

Giles, Ship Supplys, oil on canvas, 1998

Carolyn Giles (G92) paints evocative realistic vignettes of city neighborhood scenes. She is represented by Byron Roche Gallery in Chicago and Sherry French Gallery in New York.

Goldberg, Waking Up, c-print, 2000

Kiri Goldberg (G00) employs techniques from painting and photography to create self-portraits, including some that are based on art history. She does commissioned portraits.
  Helidon Gjergji (G00) teaches at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. One of his works, shown last winter at Chicago's Artemisia Gallery, combined a series of television sets with painted screens reflected in plastic mirrors distorting the images.
  Michelle Grabner (G89), an assistant professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the Midwest correspondent for Frieze magazine, a London publication that surveys the contemporary art scene. Her abstract work has been displayed in New York and London.
  Danielle Gustafson-Sundell (G98) teaches at the School of the Art Institute and also is a curator. One of her works—bricks wrapped in fabric to make a metaphorical statement about her childhood— appeared in the Altoids Curiously Strong Collection traveling exhibition.

Hoffman, Arrangement in Green, oil on panel, 1999

Thomas J. Hoffman (G91) of Salt Lake City is a realist painter whose work focuses on semi-private places in the home, such as the kitchen. He has been represented by galleries in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
  Christopher Kahler (G95) is an assistant professor of art at Eastern Illinois University. His abstract paintings resemble the organs of the human body. His art was shown last year at the Rockford (Ill.) Art Museum.
  Anna Kunz (G00), an instructor of art at Columbia College in Chicago, is represented by Thomas McCormick Gallery. She creates abstract paintings and installation and sculpture works.

Lachman, My Ride, single-channel video, 1999


David Lachman (G00) is a video artist who creates evocative urban scenes that deal with experience and how it is processed. He gives private drawing lessons and has exhibited his work in the Chicago area.

  Louise LeBourgeois (G94) teaches at Columbia College in Chicago and the Evanston Art Center and paints small-scale romantic realist works. A recipient of a grant from the San Francisco-based ArtCouncil, she is represented by Lyonswier Packer Gallery in Chicago and New York and Susan Cummins Gallery in Mill Valley, Calif.
  Mark Murphy (G98) is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern and an art handler/installer at the Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago. His work, which has a playful quality and sometimes resembles pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, has been shown throughout the United States.

Murphy, Aladdin, oil on canvas, 1998

Audrey Niffenegger (G91), an assistant professor at the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago, received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship last year to write a novel, which she has entitled The Time Traveler's Wife. She makes prints and artist's books illustrated with her work. She is represented by Printworks Ltd. in Chicago.

Novak, Silent Journey III: fire, earth, wind, water, incaustic, mixed media on wood, 1999

Marlena Novak (G86) teaches at DePaul University in Chicago and is a lecturer in the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern. She does highly colored abstract paintings and is interested in interdisciplinary work that incorporates music and text. She is represented by Roy Boyd Gallery in Chicago and galleries in Europe.
  Beth Reitmeyer (G98) is an abstract painter and installation artist whose large-scale whimsical work is inspired by decorative patterns. She was a fellow at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia and a two-time recipient of a Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Academic Excellence Award.
  Timothy Ripley (G99), whose paintings use advertising logos (sometimes in ways that are not easily recognizable) to question contemporary culture, has exhibited in the Chicago area. He teaches at Columbia College in Chicago.

Sabraw, Ode to Geode, oil on panel, 1998

John Sabraw (G97) makes small-scale paintings that are highly realistic. He is an assistant professor of art at Washington University in St. Louis. Represented by Chicago's Thomas McCormick Gallery, he has exhibited throughout the Midwest.

Sue Scott (G97) is the executive assistant at Independent Curators International in New York City. She has shown her playful abstract work throughout the United States.


  Joel Tarbox (G96) is a graphic artist/ project coordinator for a hospital in Santa Cruz, Calif. He creates realist paintings and won a Merit Award from the Santa Cruz Art League for his work.

Self, I Want You, oil on canvas, 2000

Amy Self (G99) creates works combining painting and installation that address the concepts of ownership and generosity. She has exhibited at several Chicago galleries.

Semelroth, Kimbriell Praying, pastel on paper, 2000

Eric Semelroth (G90) is a realist painter and illustrator whose work follows in the journalistic tradition of cartoons. He is an editorial artist for the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill., and has exhibited his work in the Midwest.
  Maria Tomasula (G89) is an associate professor at the University of Notre Dame whose realist paintings draw on her Latino heritage. She is represented by Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago and Forum Gallery in New York.
  Bernard Williams (G90) teaches at the School of the Art Institute. He has collaborated on several Chicago public murals inspired by the history of non-Europeans in the United States.

Zlotkowski, Troy, oil on panel, 2000

Mark Zlotkowski (G92) is a metaphoric realist who paints identifiable objects in strange combinations or unusual places. He has exhibited widely in Chicago.