Lake Forest Artist's Work Evokes Emotions
Lezlie Lenz is featured at the Deerpath Art League’s annual winter show.
As an artist who teaches and runs a summer art camp at the Gorton Center, Lake Forest resident Lezlie Lenz uses her talent to convey joyful, playful emotion and help her students express themselves as well.
"My whimsical water color collages are meant to bring a smile, touch your heart and fill you with hope and encouragement," said Lenz, describing a vast array of depictions of colorful angels that adorn her studio at the Gorton Center.
Lenz is one of seven artists whose creations of whimsy is being featured at the Deerpath Art League's annual winter exhibit, "Art Is Whimsical," opening with a reception from 5-8 p.m. Friday and continuing from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays through Feb. 25.
"Whimsy is a fun loving depiction of art in a playful, colorful way," said Deerpath Art League Gallery Director Vickie Marasco about the exhibit.
Much of Lenz's work featured at the gallery is about emoting feelings, and often in the form of angels. Sometimes the cherubs are standing on the ground and every so often afloat, but always looking up.
"The little gals are in a lot of paintings," Lenz said. "I love the idea of a guardian angel looking over us and that's what these can do for people," Lenz said.
When she is not creating her own artwork, Lenz is working with students from as young as 3 to over 90 to help them understand the use of whimsy in art and bring out feelings of their own.
Much of her mentoring focuses on younger pupils, including those from kindergarten through eighth grade who attend her month long June camp at the Gorton Center.
"Art helps you to get better in touch with yourself," Lenz said. "You understand why you feel the way you do. You can express feelings you cannot put into words."
Not only does she teach at the Deerpath Art League, but Lenz offers a beginning graphic design class at the College of Lake County.
"My real love is fine art. I love the whimsical quality of my art today," Lenz said explaining her shift from graphics to water colors and other media more than 15 years ago.
Other artists participating in the exhibit are Anne Leuck Feldhaus (painting), Kristin Gereau (wearable fiber like scarves), Cady Watson (acrylic painting), Eugenia Meltzer (ceramics), Nio Tavlos (acrylic painting) and James Wilbat (glass).
"Our job is pulling together (all forms of) whimsy," said Marasco.
The exhibit ranges from the working tea pots complete with attached sugar containers and creamers created by Meltzer to the colorful paintings of Tavlos showing traditional Chicago landmarks in recognizable yet unusual shapes.
"He's extremely playful," said Marasco referring to Tavlos' painting of Wrigley Field with the face of Harry Caray high in the sky above the ball park.
"She's functional and playful," added Marasco describing two of Meltzer's tea pots dubbed Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. "She's (also) making a political statement."