We are thrilled to announce a special February treat for our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL. Throughout this month, we’re proudly featuring Thursdays with Leslie, an exhibit showcasing the work of ten local painters from the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. For Thursdays with Leslie, these talented students selected the best watercolor, oil, and pastel works from years spent honing their skills under the expert eye of instructor Leslie Hirshfield. Though their subjects and style might vary, these diverse artists are clearly united by their “enduring love of creating art.” So make plans to catch Thursdays with Leslie on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Branch before this month ends, and check back with Off the Shelf later in February for a featured interview with the artists themselves. In the meantime, we invite you to meet the artists below:
Noel Barnes: While in graduate school in psychiatric nursing at the University of Cincinnati, I was able to take my first art class as an elective. What a wonderful change from mostly science classes! Initially, I painted in oils, but after I had a family, watercolor, pastel, and acrylic became more appealing (think easy cleanup). Leslie’s class is wonderfully freeing and supportive.
Marlene Targ Brill: As an author by profession, I love creating. As a child, I doodled a lot and drew pictures, often to my teacher’s irritation. In 2002, I joined Leslie’s watercolor class and have been a regular since. My favorite mediums so far are watercolor and pastel.
Judith Schein Cohen: While on vacation in Yosemite Park many years ago, I signed up for a watercolor workshop that rekindled my childhood interest in painting. I found Leslie’s class about a dozen years ago and have enjoyed it ever since. Recently, I retired from teaching college students, so I hope to devote more time to painting in the years ahead.
Karen Corrado: I’ve been interested in art since grammar school, beginning with ceramics. Today, I usually have a camera with me, which provides most of the inspiration for my watercolors, which come from everyday city and country scenes. Watercolor is quick, fun, and easy to clean up. Supplies can be taken anywhere, so this gives me unlimited subjects.
Maribeth Gibbs: I moved from Chicago to add art classes with Leslie to my week as I eased out of full-time accounting work. I’ve translated my strong love of museum art appreciation into focusing on painting with chalk pastels.
Tracy Hodgson: Although a senior lecturer in biological sciences at Northwestern University, I’ve been drawing since childhood. I’m mostly self-taught, but in the past 9 years in Leslie’s class I have learned many new techniques and grown as an artist due to our instructor’s excellent and supportive teaching.
Sandi Lawrence-Brogren: I began watercolor painting in 2000. Since I love to travel, most of my paintings are based on photographs that I’ve taken during my many travels.
Rima Lockwood: As an art history minor at Northwestern University, William Turner’s watercolors inspired a love of watercolor art. Many, many years later good fortune led me to Leslie’s Thursday class. A jewel of a class!
Mary Novales McNichols: I started out as an art major at the University of Illinois but went on to become an X-ray ultrasound technologist instead. Now I enjoy taking Leslie’s art class with my mother.
Jean Novales: I’m a trained biologist who has worked in research for many years, and I also like creating art. I worked in clay for a time, then started painting in watercolor. More than 20 years ago I joined Leslie’s original adult education class at Evanston High School.