Artist, JJC alum, able to turn her art into her life’s work
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News October 11, 2012 11:50AM
"Fall of the Giant Swallowtail," an oil on canvas work that is displayed at Joliet Junior College's "Now and Then" art exhibition. | Submitted photo
If you go
“Now and Then” art exhibit
When: Runs until Oct. 19.
Where: Laura A. Sprague Art Gallery (former JJC bookstore) 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet
“Stranded” art exhibit
When: Artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday; show runs though Nov. 4
Where: Monkey Mind Art Studio and Gallery, 3 W. Nebraska St., Frankfort
Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Contact: Call 815-464-8818 or visit www.monkeymindartstudio.com
Updated: November 13, 2012 6:07AM
Since her 2005 graduation from Joliet Junior College with an associate’s degree in art, Margie Glass Sula of Morris has achieved what most artists only dream of accomplishing. Sula has a full-time career in art.
Sula, who has a master’s degree in painting and drawing and is an adjunct art professor at Kankakee Community College, is participating in two shows. One is at Joliet Junior College; the other is at Monkey Mind Art Studio and Gallery in Frankfort. Each show, Sula has found, tends to lead to additional bookings.
“It’s nice to know that if you have good solid work, people will want to see more of it,” Sula said. “It’s difficult to make a living in art, but if you work very hard to shine, you will see the rewards.”
Working as an artist was Sula’s lifelong dream. Moments as a child always “flew away” whenever Sula sketched or molded clay. She began her art education as a young adult, but work obligations distracted her.
The dream, however, lingered and beckoned until Sula surrendered to it and returned to school. Up and coming artists often pay their dues by waitressing and sweeping floors, as Sula once did, but she stresses the importance of staying focused on the goal while making a living.
“As an adult, I have been able to embrace my art more fully,” Sula said. “I don’t think I would be this successful without JJC. The faculty was very eager to accept a diverse group of students, younger and older students.”
At the JJC show, Sula is displaying two paintings. The first, “Rapture,” a 2004 piece from Sula’s JJC student days, is a glimpse at a landscape through a still life. The second and more recent work, “Fall of the Giant Swallowtail,” is a layered, glazed, lightly painted oil on canvas.
For the Frankfort show, “Stranded,” Sula collaborated with a Cullom artist, Sherri Denault, to create a display of photographs and mixed media pieces. These illustrate society’s tendency to cling onto old technology instead of seizing the new. Sula hopes “Stranded” demonstrates how to balance nostalgia with moving forward and ahead.
As an example, Sula formed one of her “found art” sculptures from old automotive parts. The inspiration for the “Stranded” series originated from a discussion of a wind farm near Denault’s studio as well as the world’s changing landscape.
On her website (www.margieglasssula.com) Sula states that her work “explores the quiet simplicity of things.”
“I live in rural Morris and I like to get outside and look at the blue sky, a flower, a simple leaf,” Sula said. “It’s nice to bring those moments back, capture them and share them with someone else.”