14 | April 12, 2018 | The Northbrook tower News northbrooktower.com Northbrook Originals Exhibit opens, features work of Northbrook residents Nathan Worcester Freelance Reporter On the evening of Thursday, April 5, the Northbrook Public Library, normally a space of silence, reflection, and last-minute cramming, was alive with the sound of local artists and art enthusiasts. They had gathered for the opening reception of the Northbrook Originals Art Show, which was organized by the Northbrook Arts Commission. Northbrook Arts Commission Chairman Bruce Bondy explained that all of the exhibiting artists were Northbrook residents. He also elaborated on the wide range of styles on display. “You have [the] artists who are very focused on representation and the idea of transcribing what you see. And then you have artists that are more interpretive or work strictly from their imagination,” Bondy said. One artist who bridges those categories is Karina Llergo. She exhibited her oil painting “Break Through,” a robust piece that drips in Dalian fashion from a watery reflection overhead past an impasto dress to the central female figure’s arching, en pointe foot. Llergo explained that this surrealistic painting is derived from her own life experiences and reflects the three central themes of water, dance and air that permeate her work. “I have always been attracted to figurative painting since I was little, so I have always [painted] bodies,” Llergo said. “I used to be a dancer for many years and a competitive swimmer, so that’s what I’m mixing. ... The water for me Northbrook resident Felissa Onixt poses with her work, which is a color landscape photograph taken at Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs, Colo. Onixt and other Northbrook residents first displayed their work on April 5 at an opening reception for the Northbrook Originals Art Show. Photos by Nathan Worcester/22nd Century Media. represents my meditation time. I still swim, so that’s where I find my peace and my time to think about everything. I have four kids, so you can imagine that it’s always crazy.” Llergo credits Northbrook’s public swimming pools with helping her keep up her exercise routine during the summer. Her daughters, who are students at Glenbrook North High School, have also served as models for her work. Artist Ken Call has been a Northbrook resident since 1995. Although he specializes in portraiture, Call submitted “Sunset Harbor,” a watercolor landscape that he painted in 2005 for his wife. He explained that the painting was based on several pictures that he took while living in France. “[Northbrook] is such a nice community — it’s easy to find people to model and paint,” said Call, who counts John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell as key influences. Photographer, painter and art therapist Jerry Lidsky described his piece, a photograph called “Side by Side,” in more psychological and philosophical terms. “Art therapy is a nonverbal communication,” Lidsky said. “So if someone is so caught up in whatever’s going on in their lives that they really can’t talk about it, and yet the expression comes out in the painting or in the drawing or whatever it happens to be — then suddenly, they realize that someone understands something — that there’s a communication. And then it opens up the door. So, many times, one of the things that I attempt to do is open up for myself some of that intensity.” He explained that by depicting his colorful subject matter — in this case, flowers — on a larger scale and in greater detail, he can provide himself and the viewer what he calls “the entrance into another world.” “If you allow yourself those moments to slow down and take the chance to go into another space, then you experience something,” Lidsky said. “So that’s what that’s about; allowing one to go deeper and quieter and closer.” Photographer Rob Sills hews closer to the abstract end of the spectrum. Entitled “Autumn Leaves,” his submission represents autumn leaves at the Chicago Botanic Garden using images taken with a mobile camera. Sills then manipulated and combined the images using Photoshop. Jerry Lidsky with his work, “Side by Side.” “I’m intrigued with photography and finding ways of adding abstraction to the representation so that it’s more of a feeling [and] a question for the viewer to complete than pure realism,” said Sills, who has been able to pursue photography more seriously since retiring from IBM. “When I take pictures that are more realistic, I tend to look at their potential surrealistic dimensions based on the topic. I’m intrigued by color and shape and the way those play with each other.” New Trier High School photography teacher and photographer Felissa Onixt explained that working with students had kept her well aware of the technological changes in photography. However, she emphasized that she still taught basic darkroom techniques to her students, who almost always said that they preferred it to working with digital tools. “Years ago, when I started teaching, to see a photograph took days,” Onixt said. “We still do that at New Trier, too. But now pictures are so quick. Well, they never were… Now we’re still doing film in high school, and we do digital, but now I’m really trying to teach them to slow down.” Onixt’s piece is a color landscape photograph taken at Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs, Colo. This photograph, which is appropriately titled “Red Rock Open Space,” is printed on metal. “I think when I’m shooting I’m just 100 percent in my element, hiking around,” Onixt said. “It gives me a huge sense of peace when I’m out there with my camera. And then when I can bring it in the lab, then it’s super fun to alter things a little bit.” The Northbrook Originals Art Show will be on display at Northbrook Public Library until May 29.