An Interview with Amy Lee Segami

amy-leeAmy Lee Segami is a Chicagoland painter and the latest featured artist in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  Her show Frozen Dreams: Painting on Water is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through March 7th.  Weaving her backgrounds in art and science with Eastern and Western perspectives, Segami draws on her Asian heritage and physics knowledge for her contemporary take on the ancient art form Suminagashi.  We recently spoke with her via email about the fusion of art and science, the 2,000-year history of Suminagashi, her creative process, and her future plans.

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Local Art @ EPL

segami

We are pleased to introduce Chicagoland painter Amy Lee Segami as the next featured artist in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  Her show – titled Frozen Dreams: Painting on Water – is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through March 7th.  Weaving her backgrounds in art and science with Eastern and Western perspectives, Segami draws on her Asian heritage and physics knowledge for her contemporary take on the ancient art form Suminagashi.  You can learn more about Ms. Segami’s work by visiting her website, and you can meet her at a reception on Sunday, February 15 at 7 pm.  Also, make sure to check back with Off the Shelf later in the month for an interview with the artist herself.  Stay tuned!

Rosie Roche’s Best Reads of 2014

rosieMy name is Rosie Roche.  I have lived in Evanston for 8 years and have worked for the city and NU as an educator and teaching artist. I have 2 young boys who love the library and ask to visit at least once a week. I have never seen such an impressive public library and consider it a gem in Evanston’s crown in terms of inviting space, helpfulness of staff and breadth of collection.

1) The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel (2014)

Her mastery is to write short stories that are intriguing and compelling to read and – in a way that is hard to pinpoint – leave the reader unsettled and disturbed. I see images from the stories at the most unexpected times, many months after reading them. She is so cutting in her condemnation that I wince and laugh to read them.

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Jeremy Elsberg’s Best Reads of 2014

spoonerMy name is Jeremy Elsberg, and I’ve lived and worked in Evanston for the past couple years.  I work as a remodeler and handyman mostly in Evanston as About Space Remodeling & Construction.  I have no more hobbies; I have 2 kids under 4.

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1) Spooner by Pete Dexter (2009)

Throughout the book, I was drawn into the events that the main character (Spooner) experienced, constantly wondering if they really happened the way he explained it (I believe its somewhat of a memoir) but also wondering how he ended up getting handed the plate he did.  I found myself wanting to read on probably because of the same reason there are gapers’ blocks on the Edens but also because, through it all, Spooner comes out not only alive but maybe even a little more resilient.

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Paul McComas’s Best Reads of 2014

UnpluggedAuthorShotMy name is Paul McComas, and I came to Evanston in 1983 after growing up in Milwaukee; these remain my two favorite cities. I’m the author of five books: two short-story collections, Twenty Questions (1998) and the award-winning Unforgettable: Harrowing Futures, Horrors, & (Dark) Humor (2011); two novels, Unplugged (2002) and Planet of the Dates (2008); and the award-winning novella Fit for a Frankenstein (2013), coauthored by Greg Starrett. My next two books are also collaborations: Logan’s Journey, a sequel-novel to Logan’s Run, coauthored by LR author William F. Nolan; and Edgar G. Ulmer: A Life on Film, coauthored by David Luhrssen. Since 1998, I’ve taught writing, literature, and film at multiple levels and numerous sites, including the University of Chicago and Northwestern, Lawrence, and National-Louis universities. I founded the teen-suicide-prevention program Rock Against Depression, and I serve on both the National Leadership Council and the Speakers Bureau of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. I enjoy writing songs and playing bass and guitar in a couple of benefit bands, but most of all I enjoy spending time with my wife Heather and our rescue greyhound, Sam.

1) Accidentally on Purpose by Michael York (1992)

Always one of my favorite actors, Michael York has in recent months become a crucial collaborator (we’ve co-founded a charity program) and a dear friend. He’s also become one of my favorite authors. I’m currently reading his fine 2000 collaboration with Adrian Brine, A Shakespearean Actor Prepares, but have finished and thus can fully and enthusiastically endorse his 1991 autobiography Accidentally on Purpose. Continue reading

Kevin Coughlin’s Best Reads of 2014

kevin_coughlin_picMy name is Kevin Coughlin.  I moved to Evanston from St. Louis in 1974 to attend Northwestern and lived at the dormitory next to the Evanston library for 4 years.  I got as far away as about 3 miles – across from the 400 Theater in Rogers Park – with each subsequent move bringing me back closer to where I started (about 4 blocks from EPL the past 17 years).  I have worked in marketing research for 34 years with a nice side benefit being a train commute for many of those years – a great place to read.  My other main hobby is listening to books while I walk my dog, walk to the train, etc.

1) Mink River by Brian Doyle (2010)

Magical, full of eccentric characters and life lessons, lots of humor and at least a few allusions to James Joyce. I can’t wait to read it again.

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Amie Elliott’s Best Reads of 2014

irvingMy name is Amie Elliott.  I have only lived in Evanston for 4 years but have been visiting from neighboring towns for many more.  I teach high school photography and drawing and love almost every minute of it!  Anyone who loves EVERY minute of teaching is either a first-year teacher or a liar.  Gardening, cooking and sewing take up most of my free time.

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1) A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (1989)

I reread this and still love it.  Funny, charming and fairly gut-wrenching.  Irving can be a bit long-winded sometimes (sorry to his devotees), but this is sharp and concise.

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