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Traveling treasures: Joliet, Chicago Heights artists swapping exhibit venues

Marikay Peter Witlock works few dry pastel landscapes recently UniStreet Gallery Chicago Heights.  |  Casey Toner~Sun-Times Media

Marikay Peter Witlock works on a few dry pastel landscapes recently at the Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights. | Casey Toner~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 20, 2013 7:27AM



The studio artists at Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights and Gallery 7 in Joliet are teaming up to put a spin on a couple of exhibits.

Union Street Gallery studio artists Claudia Craemer, Pam Eberlin, Dorita Fuller, Linda Lane Haynes, Eve Jensen, Renee Klyczek Nordstrom, Donna Radcliffe, Ginny Raftery, Jean Schuster and Marikay Peter Witlock are all featuring art in an exhibit called “Anthology” at Gallery 7, 116 N. Chicago St., Suite 102.

The exhibit, which opened Sept. 5, runs until Oct. 4.

Gallery 7 is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of every month. The gallery is free and open to the public.

Marian Corley, the Gallery 7 manager, said the artists from her gallery will be exhibiting their work at Union Street Gallery later this year. She encouraged people to see the exhibit due to the differences in styles and mediums of the artists.

“They are all very individual in approaches to their artwork,” Corley said. “There’s quite a bit of variety and there’s continuity to the show, which makes it interesting.

“And it’s very fine work,” Corley said.

Witlock, a Chicago Heights resident, has been a studio artist at the Union Street Gallery since 1998. She will have three pieces on display and on sale at Gallery 7. The pieces run from $750 to $1,400.

Witlock said she uses dry pastels — which are applied in chalk-like sticks — to create her art. She said she has always used dry pastels because it gives her colors that “can be quite intense” and because the pigment doesn’t require oil or water to spread on a canvas.

A self-described “outdoors person,” Witlock specializes in drawing landscapes and gets inspiration from local parks, forest preserves and even her own back yard.

“It’s what inspires me, and it’s what gives me refuge and solace, all of those things,” Witlock said. “I think when we paint, we paint what we know. That’s what I know.”

Witlock splits her time creating art, which she sells, and designing landscapes for residential and commercial buildings.

“I consider that drawing with a shovel,” Witlock said.

The Union Street Gallery is a nonprofit that has been in place for more than 15 years, according to a news release about the “Anthology” collaboration. Union Street studio artists are juried members of the Union Street Gallery, and each has a studio space at the gallery, which is housed in a historic landmark building at 1527 Otto Blvd. in Chicago Heights.

For more information about the exhibit at Gallery 7, call (815) 726-1840 or visit www.galleryseven.net.



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