Art Auction

Because the use of art for social influence is central to the focus of our film, we wanted to bring you an opportunity to see and possibly own some incredible pieces created by some of Chicago’s most talented artists. The artists listed below have graciously offered their work for auction at Microcosm: An Evening of Art and Inquiry to support the production of our film. Please scroll down to learn more about our artists and the work they will present.

About Artist Eve Alfillé
Eve Alfillé is a jewelry designer, teacher, poet, and sculptor with endless determination and artistic fervor, delivered with an air of humility, a gentle voice and a ready smile. Reaching back into her rich European heritage and multilingual background, she readied herself with degrees in business, historical linguistics and medieval poetry and went to work as a teacher, field archaeologist and sculptor in large metal forms.

Her metamorphosis began in the desert on a dig, when, astounded by the preeminence of fine ornament even in humble ancient cultures, Alfillé resolved to enter into her fruitful journey.

“As an artist, I chose jewelry because it harkens back to humankind’s very beginnings: If you were a prehistoric person, walking on a beach or in the forest, and you suddenly found a small, mysterious, wonderful glowing thing, a pearl, a gem, what would you do?

In becoming one of a long chain of keepers of the world’s gems, Eve satisfies both her need to be linked to our common past, and to highlight and preserve these incredible gifts of nature. To highlight the beauty and power of nature Eve likes to mesh uncommon organic materials in their unadulterated form with more familiar polished and faceted gemstones and precious metals.”

Eve’s jewelry is crafted one piece at a time in her downtown Evanston studio, by talented goldsmiths and artisans. Eve’s last name, which is French, is pronounced “Al-fee’yay.”

FOR OUR AUCTION Eve presents: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a one of a kind necklace created to honor Microcosm handmade by Eve and her expert artisans in sterling silver with 14 and 18 karat gold detail. It will evoke the ocean depths, with the shimmer of pearl and moonstone sparked by rare-colored sapphires.

About Artist Jonathan Lavan:
Jonathan Lavan owner/operator of Underpressure Diving & Nature Photography is a citizen scientist and wildlife expert and has been SCUBA Diving for thirty years and taking photographs both above and below the water for about 10. As a SCUBA Diver he has been a photographer, teacher and research associate for many different organizations. Among them: National Geographic, Smithsonian, Scuba Diving magazine, Encyclopedia of Life/Earth, Florida Museum Of Natural History, OnEarth, Fishwise, Fishbase, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Defenders of Wildlife, Discover The Depths, REEF and Shedd Aquarium. He is a staunch environmentalist and educator of young people. Jonathan is committed to making a difference on this planet through his images and his message of good will to all creatures.

FOR OUR AUCTION Jonathan will present an award-winning image titled “Pygmy Seahorse” featuring the very smallest (less than an inch long) of the seahorses that blend in perfectly with the sea fans they live on. Between that and their diminutive size they are very hard to find. They also hate light and constantly turn away from even the most patient photographers.

About Artist Jenny Kendler:
Jenny Kendler maintains a hybrid artistic practice as an artist, wild-forager, environmental activist and environmental/social entrepreneur. She currently lives and works in Chicago. Born in 1980 in New York City, she holds a Bachelors of Fine Art from The Maryland Institute College of Art (2002, summa cum laude) and a Masters of Fine Arts in Studio from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2006).

Kendler’s art has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as Exit Art (NYC), Root Divison (SF), Kristi Engle (LA), The Yeosu Art Festival (Korea), Claremorris Gallery (Ireland), Public Pool (Detroit) and Columbia College (Chicago). Recent solo shows include Johalla Projects (July 2011) ADA Gallery (Nov-Dec 2011), and The BOLT gallery at CAC (Oct 2012), where she was also artist-in-residence from June 2011-2012. In 2013, she has upcoming solo projects at THE SUB-MISSION and The Salon Series Project Space. A public arts initiative by Johalla Projects and The Chicago Transit Authority also plans to place her art in the Damen Blue Line train station in late Spring of 2013.

Jenny Kendler has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Orion Magazine, Businessweek, The American Scholar, Juxtapoz, ReadyMade Magazine, Gapers Block, NewCity Magazine, ArtSlant and Hyperallergic, and she/her work has appeared on the cover of The Chicago Reader twice. The Endangered Species Condom Project, for which she created art, was profiled in The New York Times and featured on a billboard in Times Square.

FOR OUR AUCTION Jenny presents “Within Our Kindgdom” which is 22″ x 30″ graphite on paper.

About Artist Elizabeth “Buddy” Rivara
Elizabeth ‘Buddy’ Rivara is a muralist, poet, and part-time teacher whose work encompasses folklore, language, philosophy, narrative imagery, and anything related to the sea drawn from her life experiences and the love of using stories as a shared medium between strangers. After teaching and working with children for over twenty years, Buddy created Iridescence, a mural and design business that continues to grow locally. The immense output has made it possible to create bridges and break barriers in several languages and cultural hindrances, especially with the fact that her deafness doesn’t seem to play a huge factor in the process. Her love of narratives and languages is not only evident in her work, but also her involvement with the Five Eyes Project, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing greater accessibility, education, and training for persons interested in the enrichment and collaboration of the visual and performing arts and American Sign Language within the Chicago-land area. In addition to maintaining her own business and clientele, Buddy coordinates and assists with workshops for children’s programs around the city. She has a BFA with an Emphasis in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

FOR OUR AUCTION Buddy presents “Microcosm” the artwork can be put together as a puzzle, coordinating with the other, or stood alone as a whole, and it is only with those metaphysical examples that a larger mural will be created in which everything comes together to take you into a whole different universe. The canvas is solely made up of oils, turpentine, recycled materials, and sometimes a splash of acrylics.

About Artist Judy Smith
Judy Smith is a Highland Park artist who designs handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry for women who want to own something unique and beautiful, yet totally wearable. Using interesting and unusual combinations of beads, coins, chains, buttons, and charms, she creates bracelets and necklaces that can be worn alone or creatively combined with other pieces. Judy chooses not to sell her work in stores, preferring to display her jewelry by wearing it. When people stop her to admire a particular piece she has on, Judy invites them to come see her collection. In this way, Judy is able to enjoy the personal connection that she develops with the people who share a passion for her designs.

FOR OUR AUCTION Judy presents a primitive copper chain necklace with pendant made from an ancient Roman coin. Necklace can be worn long or doubled in half. The chain measures 31 inches; and the pendant 1¼ inches.

About Artist Keith Pamper
Keith Pamper has had the good fortune to SCUBA dive in many exotic locales around the world, both for work and for play. Along the way, he discovered a passion for underwater photography, and his efforts have been recognized by several awards and in numerous publications. His work is also on permanent display in the recently-opened Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

As a true lover of nature, Keith firmly believes that good imagery helps to foster a greater appreciation of the natural world, and in so doing, further the desire to protect and conserve it.

Keith presently serves as the Diving Safety Officer for Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, where he has been on staff since 1988. Keith oversees Shedd’s team of divers who together log over 4000 underwater man-hours every year. Keith shoots Nikon cameras and lenses in Sea & Sea housings.

FOR OUR AUCTION Keith presents: “Blue-Lined Snappers” which was photographed in the Hawaiian Islands off the island Kauai. The dimension of the print is 10.5 ” X 15 ” and with the frame measures 20 ” X 17 “.

About Artist Cecile Derel
Cecile is a Chicago artist who works predominately in glass. Cecile took her first stained glass course in 1999 and though Cecile is a versatile artist trained in fusing, lampworking and glass blowing, she always returns to her first love of stained glass. She is drawn to glass as a medium because of its variety of colors, textures and luminescent qualities. Its delicate nature and ability to transmit light makes it uniquely suited to the artistic representation of nature, thoughts and ideas. In some instances, the movement of light through the glass intimates movement in creatures that Cecile creates, other times it simulates the natural way that light shines through the ocean.

Inspired by the amazing variety of creatures found in nature, Cecile recently created a 3-dimensional stained glass sculpture of a sea snail called a pteropod. Her sculpture, Pteropod: Limacina helicina, was shown at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fall 2012 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition and at Art Flows Like Water, Our World Underwater (2013). Pteropod: Limacina helicina recently won first place in the sculpture category of Delphi Stained Glass’s 2013 online Art Glass Festival and it can also been seen in the upcoming documentary, Microcosm.

FOR OUR AUCTION Cecile presents a series of one of a kind crystal paperweights etched with images of microscopic creatures inspired by Microcosm. The paperweights themselves are dome-shaped, bringing to mind the image of a single drop of water and all that it holds within.

About Artist Junko Yamaguchi
I began creating with fabrics when I was a small child the moment I was first allowed to use needles. I made beautiful Barbie dresses, bags, cushions, and my own dresses when I was very young that amazed and delighted the adults in my world. I studied Linguistics at Tsukuba University, Ibaraki, Japan, and later accounting.

My first job was with a travel company analyzing the travel market for 15 years. This experience in the travel industry prompted me to become a certified scuba diver in 1985, and I continued to travel and explore the ocean world until I moved to Nassau, in the Bahamas and started working for Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas in 1997. It was about that time that I engaged my passion for quilt making and began by creating Hawaiian quilts.

Upon leaving the dive company, I became a quilter full time as a member of Stepping Stone Quilters, one of the leading quilters’ guilds in the Bahamas. My interest in quilts has been stretched into various styles and techniques, traditional and artistic, by machine and by hand. My quilts have earned 1st or 2nd place in the viewers’ choice category at the annual quilt show in Nassau for many years running. My original designs frequently incorporate stunning ocean creatures and are enhanced with sophisticated beading and embellishments that exude the shimmer of water or delicate glassiness of some of the life forms within.

FOR OUR ACTION Junko presents an original quilt entitled “Foundation of Life – Invisible power” an 84” x 96”, usable for a queen size bed spread. This piece features one beautiful scene of coral reef with popular ocean creatures including turtle, ray, starfish, shellfish, dolphin, and shark. The featured colors are aqua, turquoise, and coral, and the materials I chose were Kona cotton and Artisan batiks of Robert Kaufman fabrics. It is embellished with glass beads by hand to show shiny unseen cosmic power.

About Artist Michele Hoffman-Trotter
Michele was born and raised in Chicago and is often asked how a native Chicagoan can grow up so involved in the ocean. For Michele the answer is simple, the gift of a shell, early exposure to the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and Saturday mornings spent watching Jaques Cousteau on WTTW left her with little alternative. By sixteen Michele had taken her first breaths on scuba and in her early twenties was publishing her stories and images in dive magazines as she attended graduate school in Australia to earn an advanced degree in marine science.

Michele’s words and photography have appeared in publications on two continents some of which include SCUBA Times, Sport Diver, Sport Diving, E! The Environmental Magazine, and even Playboy. Her images have earned her recognition in international contests sponsored by high profile organizations such as Ocean Conservancy, Audubon, and National Wildlife Federation. Most important to Michele, is the use of photography in the classroom where she uses it to engage young people in love and respect for the ocean year after year.

FOR OUR AUCTION Michele presents a series of nature prints on metal. The first is entitled “Heaven on Earth” and features a sea turtle in silhouette against a perfect sky, the second entitled “Georgia” features an award winning image of white feather duster worms that would have delighted Georgia O’Keefe against bright red sponge. The third is entitled “Microcosm” and features a dazzling array of microorganisms called radiolaria. The fourth is called “Turning Tide” and it features an entourage of microorganisms called dinoflagellates that are one kind of creature responsible for red tide episodes.

About Artist Lucha Clara
Lucha Clara was born in New York City and grew up in both Mexico City and Greenwich, Connecticut. Currently living and working in Chicago, she is a video and performance artist about to complete her last semester of BFA studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

My hybrid identity stems from my cultural upbringing in Mexico City and the United States. I draw upon cliché, kitsch, Mexican folklore and my love for sensuality. I fetishize and gesture towards not only the cultural objects but also myself, as a cultural object. Through seduction and humor, I attempt to move through the various roles of my cultural upbringing and the ones set upon me by society.

FOR OUR AUCTION Lucha presents “The unknown OCTO-PUSSSA Sexxxitella Goddess of the deep + black ocean floor… Ai! ;-o” (India Ink on paper)

About Artist Helen Oh
Helen Oh is a visual artist. She holds BFA from Columbia College Chicago. She studied painting at the School of Visual Arts, the National Academy of Design, and The Art Students League in New York. Helen has taught studio art courses at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the New York Academy of Art, and the Linos School of Art in Umbria, Italy. She is a recipient of two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants and a Julius Hallgarten Painting Prize from the National Academy Museum. She has exhibited at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Terra Museum of American Art, the Muscarelle Museum of Art, VA, Columbia University and Americas Society in Manhattan. Her artworks have been featured in New American Paintings # 29, Art Scene Chicago 2000, and American Artist magazine.

FOR OUR AUCTION Helen presents a selection of her ocean influenced pieces including “Clam Shell I” which is charcoal and graphite on mylar, “Clam Shell II” which is oil on board, “Doves” which is charcoal and graphite on mylar, Cowrie which is oil on board, and “Fossil Shell” also oil on board.

About Artist Andrew S. Conklin
Andrew S. Conklin, a native of Chicago, Illinois, is a figurative painter. Conklin’s paintings are a product of his direct interaction with the figure model. While he uses the traditional techniques of the old masters in his painting practice, he maintains a keen interest in the range of digital imaging approaches and their connections with the conventions of body imaging. Conklin has shared his insights into traditions and techniques of figure drawing and painting in national publications such as American Artist and The Artist’s Magazine.

FOR OUR AUCTION Andrew presents “Hartigan Beach” which is oil on canvass measuring 17×28”.

About Artist Josh Simpson
Josh Simpson first experimented with glass when he was a student at Hamilton College in 1970. Over the past forty years, his art has evolved as he made mistakes and experimented with the technical and artistic nuances of glass making while working in a picturesque converted dairy farm in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. He derives primary inspiration from Hubble Telescope imagery of the cosmos, NASA satellite images of Earth and Chandra X-ray images of other energetic celestial phenomenon.

While Josh has been successful in creating unique glass vessels and sculptures of many kinds, perhaps the greatest acknowledgement has come from his “Planets” – luminous glass spheres encasing kaleidoscopic landscapes, underwater scenes and vistas of outer space that reflect the Earth’s vastness and complexity. His work is in the permanent collection of many museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the White House Collection of American Crafts, and the Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague. The Huntsville Museum of Art honored Simpson with a 35 year retrospective exhibit, A Visionary Journey in Glass (1972-2007).

FOR OUR AUCTION Josh presents “Otherworlds” a stunning glass sphere filled with light, color, and imaginative possibility.

About Artist Karina Katsaras
Karina Katsaras is a graduate of the highly regarded School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Karina describes her art as “unintended” meaning that her creations are driven by feeling, emotion, and need. By creating her own work with passion, Karina hopes it will inspire others to discover their true inspiration in life. A true free spirit, Karina loves to travel and observe life. Her work is a reflection of the beauty of the natural world, and important global issues that transcend personal and national borders.

A majority of Karina’s current collection features leatherwork, which she feels affords her infinite possibilities and opportunity to create an end product that showcases the beauty of the material while yielding a durable product. As a student of the environment, Karina finds the beauty that exists in nature as opposed to imposing her vision on her natural materials.

FOR OUR AUCTION Karina presents: a series of Urban Explorer Wallets made of handcrafted leather in natural tan with unique patinas.

About Artist Bonnielynn Brankey
Bonnielynn Brankey is a fine artist and muralist working from her studio in Bristol, WI. Her art focuses primarily on depicting the world as seen by an avid scuba diver. After getting scuba certified in 1991, she found the world wears a different face below the surface of the sea. She finds that transferring the subjects she sees when she is underwater into brightly colored oil or watercolor paintings releases the emotions she needs to express the wonders she sees. She likes to think of her marine paintings as “celebrating life in the sea”, and hopes to draw attention to the health and survival of our oceans for future generations to enjoy.

After her dive trips and armed with all of her underwater photos back in her studio, she lets the subject matter dictate if the piece will work better in watercolor or oils. Private collections of her paintings are in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Florida, Washington and Alaska. Her work can also be seen as murals in local dive shops, dental clinics and other public buildings and private residences in Wisconsin and Illinois.

FOR OUR AUCTION Bonnielynn presents: A series of fine quality artist signed prints as follows; Dolphins, Angel, Dotted Angelfish, Eaglerays, Lions in Fiji, Turtle, and Vertical Wall.

About Artist Sally Harless
Sally Harless is a full-time artist living and working in Bloomington, Indiana. Sally earned a BFA in printmaking from Indiana University in 2007, and has since been showing and selling her work in galleries, stores, and indie craft shows around the country. She uses her fascination of the world of animals to create thoughtful illustrations of contemplative creatures. When she isn’t drawing animals, Sally likes hanging out with her chocolate labrador, Ramsey, drinking root beer, going swimming, and playing board games with her friends.

FOR OUR AUCTION Sally presents: A series of her fine ink prints entitled; Magic, Conjure, and Inking.

About Artist Samantha (Chaya) Brick
Samantha (Chaya) Brick is a working artist in Chicago. After graduating The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she began curating art shows at The Brick Gallery. There, she managed the technical aspects of gallery display, oversaw all sales, and catered the receptions. In addition to curatorial work, Ms. Brick builds furniture. Her tables, chairs and other carpentry works are created around recycled materials, from glass and metals to reclaimed wood. Her skills include hand build furniture and custom painted finishes as well as reupholstered works. When Ms. Brick isn’t building, she teaches art, dance, and science (yes, you read that correctly) through the Chicago Park District. Her most recent paintings have involved enamel paint and or on glass.

FOR OUR AUCTION Samantha presents: A creation made of glass, enamel and latex paint entitled Cnidarian.

About Artist Jennifer Squires
Jennifer began creating jewelry 4 years ago with shells she collected from the beaches of Boca Raton off the Atlantic Coast. These treasures from the sea inspired simple seashell pendants that she gave as gifts, but her pendant collection quickly expanded to beaded necklaces and eventually to hand stamped metal charms, pendants, and vintage key pendants. What began as a simple inspiration became a passion for jewelry making and eventually blossomed into Jennifer’s online Etsy shop,

Jennifer loves to incorporate natural and vintage elements with the new for a unique mix of pieces that can be layered or worn alone; dressed up or down. Philosophically Jennifer believes that placing emphasis on the juxtaposition of industry and nature reflects how we as humans must maintain a healthy balance of each to preserve our lands and oceans and all of the beauty they provide. Jennifer lives in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband and three boys.

FOR OUR AUCTION Jennifer presents: a 20″ necklace entitled “My Beautiful Sea” and an 18″ necklace entitled “Seahorse in Copper”.

About Artist Danny Ellis
Danny Ellis has been fascinated by glass from an early age. He reflects, “My earliest memory of seeing someone working glass was when I was a young child. It was at an street fair and there was an artist there with a torch set up and he was melting glass rods, making figures and animals out of them.” The concept of taking a solid rod of glass and melting it to produce a piece of art stayed in Danny’s mind for years to come. In 2001, Danny started to teach himself the art of lampworking glass, and began to take classes at Talisman Glass Studios and Chicago Stained Glass. He eventually joined the staff at Chicago Hot Glass as a studio technician and assistant instructor. He also maintains a private lampworking studio just west of downtown Chicago. His work can be seen at Chicago Hot Glass Gallery and at various Art Fairs in Chicago.

Danny is passionate about the sea and finds inspiration in the delicate forms therein. His jellies look best with the sun shining on them, by a window or on a small lit stand. Jellyfish paperweights are delicate to create, there are many steps to the process of making them. They are all unique pieces.

FOR OUR AUCTION Danny presents a one-of-a-kind glass jellyfish paperweight.

About Artist Antoinette Rosa
Though she was born in Chicago, visual artist Antoinette Rosa spent several years traveling abroad to numerous countries throughout South America, Europe, and Asia. During her travels, she was greatly inspired by her encounters with local people, cultures, and nature. Eventually settling in Las Vegas, Nevada, her professional art career began with studies in Fine Art at the College of Southern Nevada. While there, Antoinette participated in several solo and group shows, and was an active participant in the Las Vegas Contemporary Arts Collective. In 2008 she was awarded a Merit Scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with emphasis in Art History, Theory, and Criticism.

Currently Antoinette maintains a studio practice in Chicago where she creates visual works inspired mostly by the nature, wildlife, and geography of earlier travels. In her recent body of work, Transmogrification, Antoinette constructs ink wash and graphite drawings where she manipulates the unpredictability of the material (along with chance brought on by process) to construct fantastical worlds, creatures, textures, and landscapes. Within the space of the drawing, she attempts to spark curiosity, evoke emotions, and provide a place where viewers can construct their own personal narrative.

FOR OUR AUCTION Antoinette presents two ink and graphite drawings titled: “Transmutation” and “Wonder”.

3 thoughts on “Art Auction

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  2. Pingback: Microcosm: Enjoy an Evening of Science, Art, and Inquiry on Oct 17 | Sustainability Studies @ Roosevelt University

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