The Artists

Scores of artists from the Chicagoland region and beyond are paying tribute to the heroism of Chicago firefighters by decorating The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants. The artists represent all skill levels from students to some of the most acclaimed artists in the world. From 12 years of age to 87, each artist is bringing a unique perspective to this city-wide art campaign celebrating “Chicago’s Bravest.”

Artists interested in decorating a hydrant should contact us HERE.

Jill Roseth

Daniel M. Weitzman, CPA, LLC

Jill was raised and still lives, in Highland Park, Illinois.  She has been drawing and painting since she was eight years old. She graduated from Drake University with a minor in art. For years she was an art director in various advertising agencies in Chicago. For the past thirty years, Jill has been designing and building props and decor for events around the North Shore and in the city.

Jill was honored to be asked to paint one of the fire hydrants for the Great Chicago Fire Hydrants program sponsored by Daniel M. Weitzman, CPA, LLC.

Ken R. Klopack

Fall Out Boy

Ken R. Klopack is a multi-media artist from Chicago.  His current works include murals around the city as well as fine art and scoring visual installations.  He is a part of Subterra, a gallery located in the West Town neighborhood.  Ken is honored to be a part of The Great Fire Hydrants campaign alongside many great artists which include his father (LION artist), who he considers his lifetime art mentor.  Following his father’s thriving lead, Ken wishes to continue the tradition of practicing public art.

Keith Skogstrom & Loren Egeland

Edison Park Chamber of Commerce

Consumers of contemporary technology demand devices that are sleek and compact; therefore, manufacturers package the mechanical and electrical components in streamline shells.  The consumers’ demand to encase the mechanical parts has proliferated, within the majority of the technology consuming population, a lack of familiarity/understanding with the mechanical systems required for function. This lack of familiarity/understanding is similarly experienced by the same population’s interaction with art. The art I create is designed to reduce this intimidation by awakening a latent familiarity with mechanical engineering in a context that also encourages interaction with contemporary artwork. My artwork functions by highlighting the intricacy of the machine’s purpose. This “hand-shake” initiates a virtual friendship between the viewer and the sculpture that eliminates intimidation.

Loren Egeland is an illustrator and graphic designer with a focus in  digital print and apparel design. He specializes in designing bold  graphics based on extensive knowledge of professional fabrication  processes. His artwork is bright, contemporary, colorful, intense and  vibrant. Loren also boasts a strong portfolio with many professional  and  high-profile businesses. Having spent the last three years as lead  designer for a successful Graphic Design company, Yes I Am Graphics  (, Loren has delivered numerous works of art  while always exceeding client expectations. In 2013, working alongside  fellow artist Keith Skogstrom, Loren has expanded his portfolio to  encompass professional, commission based large-scale murals for some  unique Chicago hot spots. Find his portfolio or commission him here:


Erika Vazzana

Jim, Rose, Lauren and Felicia Kluth

Erika’s artistic journey began while pursuing a BFA in Studio Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Erika has been painting murals and commissions for residential and commercial clients throughout the Chicago land area. Her notable work, a Chicago White Sox mural in her Chicago home, was recognized in 2005 on FOX Thing in the Morning LIVE with David Navarro and Tamron Hall, and NBC5 News interview with Charlie Wojciechowski. Most recent commercial work can be seen adorning the walls of the operating rooms, therapy room, and Chicago White Sox Playroom at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. Erika’s passion for art and her joy of sharing her talent is also reflected in CPS schools around the city helping Chicago Cares create community murals.

Erika currently enjoys teaching art to children part-time and offering after school instruction. She tailors custom art parties to both children and adult groups and works in the field painting murals, creating hand painted wine glasses, and custom canvas work.  She looks forward to every art endeavor she attains, but her true masterpieces are her 3 beautiful children; Mason, Phillip, and Lucia.

Floyd A Davis IV

Old Style Beer

Designer/builder/artist/maker. Owner of ARTpentry, a Chicago based one stop shop for all things wooden, creative or any combination of the two, from traditional to absurd.

Richard Ramirez

Chicago Flower & Garden Show

A native from Chicago who has been creating art for more than 30 years. Passion and creativity are what drives him to paint and explore his artistic visions. Always up for a challenge and not becoming complacent, exploring and having an open mind in art and his life.

Shawn Stucky

Lagunitas Brewing Company

Shawn Stucky was born red/green colorblind in McPherson, Kansas, in 1979 and currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He received his BFA in Visual Communications from the Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago, in 2003. He has shown his work across the United States and throughout Europe. He is a multidisciplinary artist creating murals, paintings, print making, tattoo design, film props, and hand-made wooden eyewear with his friend Scott Urban. Commission highlights include Lincoln Motor Company, Redmoon Theater, Patrón Tequila, and Lollapalooza.

Shawn Cassara

Multiple Hydrants

I’m 27 years old and I was born and raised in a small suburb town outside of Chicago that borders O’Hare airport called Elk Grove.  Since I could remember I’ve always been involved in the arts.

I started off drawing cartoons and comic book characters at a very young age and kept drawing until I was in high school.

My father is an artist as well and has always worked with oil.  I admired his work very much growing up because of his ability to paint hyper-realistic pieces.

I started experimenting for the first time with painting in high school and used strictly acrylic.

When I was 18, my interest in creating art and creative drive was in conflict because I of my love for music.  After a few years of community college, I realized I could mix my admiration of art and music by painting portraits of musicians. The creative fire returned and I attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.  I took predominantly painting classes throughout my studies at NIU and became extremely focused on doing portraiture.

Taking my inspiration from my father I began using oil as a my medium of choice. My first oil painting was done in 2010 and I never looked back.  I am an aspiring young artist looking to get my foot in the door and can think of no better way then an amazing city wide project like this one. I’m willing to work tirelessly and non stop to deliver on this project.

Stephen Gertz & G. David Drury

Walter E. Smithe

Stephen Gertz

It’s easy for me to create art. The challenge is creating art others appreciate. This is what attracted me to the design industry. I’ve always been of a creative mind, very artistic-I can draw, paint, sculpt, build almost anything, but if no one understands it or is able to utilize it I feel all efforts are wasted. I love having conversations with clients about not only their homes, but about their lives and helping them understand the role it plays in the overall design of their home. The interaction with clients is critical in designing a home specifically for them and their lives. It is my job to facilitate the process and ensure the selections chosen by the client result in an amazing look. Even if it may not be MY style, it will look FANTASTIC!

About me…

I am formally trained in interior design with an associates in architectural history and a bachelors in interior design from The Illinois Institute of Art. I come from a background of other furniture retailers and Chicago based interior design firms, allowing me to have extensive knowledge of furniture, textiles, and construction.

One of the many points that make me proud to be included in the Smithe family is, it IS a family. They care about you as a client, friend or employee. They appreciate the quality of life and stand behind their services and products. No other company offers such amazing attentiveness to their clients, and warranties on their products. Walter E Smithe offer a wide range in selections to ensure you will be completely satisfied with a piece of furniture that is customized and tailored to your needs.


G. David Drury

Design has been a passion of mine since I started drawing houses and furniture plans at age 10. It’s an exciting challenge to integrate forms and function to create beautiful interiors that reflect my client’s tastes, lifestyle and needs. The secret to every successful project is that it is fun for my clients (and doesn’t seem like work for me). No project is too large or too small, whether you are reupholstering a family heirloom, moving to a new apartment, buying your first condo in the city or furnishing a large suburban home. Call me to schedule an appointment for your next project!

About Me

I first came to Walter E. Smithe as a designer in 2005 after a successful career with The Merchandise Mart, the world’s first and largest design center.  As a marketing director for home furnishings, I was responsible for creating large annual consumer events, contemporary furniture shows, and antiques and fine art fairs in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. These include the Chicago Design Show, The Merchandise Mart International Antiques & Fine Art Fair, The Architectural Digest Home Design Show, and Art Platform—Los Angeles.   I produced programs for each of these events presented by world’s leading interior designers, architects, artists, and craftspeople.  This rich educational experience was enhanced by traveling to attend major international art and furniture fairs in London, Milan, Paris and Toronto.  You could say I “earned” a four-year degree in communications at college, but I “learned” everything about the interior design profession in the 25 years since then.

Felix Maldonado

Tavern at the Park

A proud native of East Chicago, Indiana, Felix is a self-taught fine art/graffiti artist with 20+ years experience in painting, drawing and multimedia. In 1995, he received his BFA in Advertising and Graphic Design from the AmericanAcademy of Art in Chicago. His work has landed him at several ad agencies in Chicago Directing and Producing commercials for companies like Culligan Water, Peoples Energy, Roto-Rooter, Head

Tennis and ATA Airlines.  In 2003, he teamed up with fellow graffiti artist TRAZ to form CISA Studio,llc. offering an impressive array of creative services from Murals, Custom Auto Paint and Airbrushing to Advertising, Design and Multimedia. CISA Studio,llc. has become a thriving business for them with clients like the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, The Environmental Educational Center, The Indiana Visitor’s Center, Horseshoe Casino, Tortillas Nuevo Leon, Ni-Source and Reaper’s Realm Haunted Attractions.

Felix also has an extensive history of solo and group art exhibits in the Midwest and throughout the country-including exhibits at the South Shore Arts Center- Munster, CISA Gallery- Hammond, The Mexican Fine Arts Museum- Chicago, Art Chicago- Chicago, Swope Museum- Terre Haute, Indiana University, Northwest, SOMArts Museum- San Francisco and at the International Venice Biennele with a team collaboration on a permanent installation in Rome.


He currently works out of his design studio (CISA Studio) in Hammond and is also painting his 2nd series of “Graffiti aHead” portrait series.

Chris Campagna

Flood Brothers

“For Everything I do, whether by myself or with another, must have as its sole aim the service and harmony of all.” — C.J. Jung.

At an early age, Mr. Chris Campagna knew how to draw and paint.  Being in the hospital for most of his early childhood, painting, reading and drawing were a few of the things that he could do. Chris sold his 1st painting at the age of 5 to a doctor of his Opened Heart Surgery team. Mr. Campagna was one of the first few to survive this procedure when it was only just experimental; he witnessed many friends from the hospital ward and children his age not make it through the operations.

At the age of 8, Mr. Campagna’s father died leaving him and three other brothers to be raised by a single mother. He discontinued to draw and paint for he had lost too much.

At the age of 10 he suffered another traumatic blow when he was burnt over 90% of his body while making spaghetti for his mother on her birthday. It took him over 2 years to relearn how to use his arms. His heart stopped twice that day; once in the ambulance and once again at the hospital.

While in the ambulance, there was a Chicago Fire Fighter working diligently trying to keep him alive. Mr. Campagna remembers distinctly this Hulking, big, black, Fire fighter saying over and over: “You’re not going to die on my watch ! No sir little man ! You’re not going anywhere on my watch !” Chris’s heart stopped for about 7 minutes and the fire fighter never ceased to give up on him. When Chris recovered consciousness, the fire fighter simply grinned, “Not on my watch”.

“IMPLACABLE” Implacable how an old artist friend described Mr. Campagna.

Chicago – based Artist, Chris Campagna (Designer, Fine – Artist, Muralist, Painter, Sculptor ) took up painting again at the young age of 25, when you should have your career in order and life moving forward. He quit his Fortune 500 management position and set forth on to his future. He finally realized his REAL purpose in life.

“I am an artist. Between here and there I have flat-lined on a hospital table 3 times for over 23 minutes. That has morphed me to what I have become today. I have always been an artist. When I pass, my task will be to create the sunrise and the sunset for the big guy upstairs. As an artist for many years, I have found that I have intertwined my personal destiny into the destiny of mankind and evoked in us all of those beneficent forces that ever and anon have enabled humanity to find refuge from peril and to out live the longest night. I try to instill HOPE in the hearts of men…. Through perseverance and hard work I drive my force into the moment and encapsulate art that a 3 year old as well as a 93 year old can comprehend. I believe that The Common goal for mankind is the Common good for mankind and I wield my paintbrush as my sword. My battle cry is “Onward and Upwards”.” – Chris Campagna

Mr. Campagna currently resides and has a studio in Historic Pullman with his lovely wife and son. His works include the following: The underwater murals at the Navy Pier McDonalds, the giant mushrooms at the Rainforest Cafe – Chicago, The Macy’s – Marshall Field’s State Street Christmas Horns, Countless murals and exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry, Murals and sculptures at the Miami Grand Opera House, Murals at the Hard Rock Cafe – Las Vegas, The Royal George Theatre, The Jeremy Piven Theatre, the faux finishes at Quarttino’s on State street, Pompeii Bakeries, Leona’s, Prima La Pizza and has just finished creating and designing the new Sweet Baby Ray’s in Wrigley. Mr. Campagna has donated to countless charities including: Inspiration Cafe, One Inspired Night, TPAN, Art Therapy Connection, Frontline’s Hooked on Art. He has also created 7 Pigs on Parade sculptures for Seattle’s Pike Place Market Foundation, the featured “Atlas” sculpture for Coolglobes where he was featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. His art has been in 4 books at this time.

“I create paintings, sculpture that infuses the classics of nature with surrealism. I create because I must. In the words of Marcus Aurelius “Whatever the world may say or do, my part is to keep myself good; just as a gold piece, or an emerald…. Whatever the world my say or do, my part is to remain an emerald and keep my color true.”” – Chris Campagna

Mr. Campagna is currently creating 2 city of Chicago Fire Hydrants pushing the envelope again and creating a tree sculpture and a fire hydrant that has the life of the waters flowing out. Onward and Upwards.

Patients and Families of Lurie Children’s

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital

The patients, their families, staff and volunteers at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago collaborated together to design and create the images on this fire hydrant. Patients and siblings of all ages worked hard to paint a cityscape and portraits of themselves peeking out of the windows of the hospital.    All of the participants were proud to create a piece that will stand at our local fire house, Engine Company 98,  across the street.   We are thankful for this opportunity to be part of this tremendous project and to share our creativity and inspiration.

Michael Regan


Michael Daniel Decorating was Established in 1999  by Michael Regan.  He has been in the painting industry for over 25 years, working with his Father at age 12.  Michael took his passion for Art & Design and built it into a successful painting & decorating company. Throughout Michael’s career, he has trained with several globally renowned artisan painters that have expanded his talents in the Industry.

With his knowledge & expertise, Michael has satisfied both Commercial & Residential clients in Chicago and the surrounding Suburbs.  As a Decorative Painter, Michael has the ability to design, execute & complete projects that tailor to each individual client.  Most Commercial work has been in the Restaurant Industry where he works closely with Owners/Designers to create the utmost premium & durable finishes.

In his free time, Michael is an avid Mountain Biker. You can find him on the hills! He is also a dedicated Husband and Father to 2 year old Vivian Rose.

Sarah Bogosh

Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North

Sarah Bogosh is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago. Sarah spent a short time in Kansas City, where she earned her BFA in printmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute, found herself wondering what she was still doing in Kansas City, then promptly returned to Chicago.

While her work is mostly drawing-based, printmaking aspects such as pattern, repetition, and texture inspire her.  In her work, Sarah enjoys exploring anxieties, her grandmother’s obsession with family history, ice cream, and tomato plants. In the small amount of free time that having a million part time jobs allows, she enjoys collecting tiny things for tiny collections, and making whole pies to eat by herself.

Sarah is excited to participate in the GCFH Project, as her father worked on CowParade in 1999. The Courtyard is pleased to present Sarah as a unique and fresh talent in Chicago art!

Ken Klopack


Ken Klopack, an acrylic painter and political cartoonist, has taught art in the Chicago Public Schools for over 40 years. Ken, now retired from full-time teaching, is an art and gifted education consultant, teaching in Chicago and in Door County, Wisconsin during the summer months.

Ken has won several education awards, most notably the Golden Apple Award for Teaching and the Kohl International Teaching Award. He was also honored as the 1997 Elementary Art Teacher of the Year in Illinois by the Illinois Art Education Association.

For more than 40 years, Ken has been active in the Midwest art scene and also exhibited his work New York and in West Hampton Beach, Long Island. He has had a number of solo shows and has exhibited in many group shows at galleries in the Chicago area.

In 2007, Ken was honored to have his design selected to be part of Chicago’s Cool Globes Project. He created a “Cool Globe” artwork for a public exhibit along Chicago’s lakefront for the summer of 2007.

Klopack has also been an adjunct faculty member of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Presently, Ken is an education department faculty member at Miami University (Ohio) supervising education students in the Chicago area. Since 1978, Ken has been the political cartoonist for Nadig Newspapers in Chicago. His art was selected for Chicago Art Scene 2000 and Published Gallery, both hard covered art publications featuring local, national, and international artists. Ken is the author of Show Off Your Art  and a contributing author to Best Classroom Practices: What Award-Winning Elementary Teachers Do.  Ken’s work is also featured on his website, and

Kari Lindholm-Johnson

Swedish Covenant Hospital

“Spirituality, people and wonders of connection are what call to me in my art making. I find joy in color, form and relationships. Creativity and crafting visual art as a means of hope for the healing process are driving forces for me. I like taking something that exists and thinking about possibilities, and also the ways in which things weave together for meaning. These processes also factor into the commissions I’ve done, the various ministry settings in which I’ve served, and my personal art making, some of which can be viewed at These things have found expression for me in my work as Artist-in-Residence at Swedish Covenant Hospital where I create art with and for patients, and also curate art exhibits.”

Beth Baeckelandt

Greeley & Hansen

Beth has her B.A. in Art/Design, from University of Wisconsin, with over 25 years of professional experience, and has worked in all mediums.  She grew up surrounded by art, admiring her father and grandfather, both artists from Belgium, and started learning at the age of three, watching as her father taught art out of their home on weekends.  On her days off of school, she would join him, as he taught art classes in various high schools throughout the Chicagoland area.

Beth has designed her own clothing, worked in interior decorating, and collaborated on packaging and graphic design, with various corporations, utilizing all Adobe Creative design programs.  Beth will work with the client on art direction, discuss their creative needs, produce thumbnail sketches, or illustrations, and adhere to, or create any corporate logo and branding.  Her love of working with liquid mediums from acrylics to airbrushing, is apparent, and recently airbrushed her Harley a “pink-metallic flake” in honor of her 13 years as a breast cancer survivor!

Her motto, and she quotes:  “I can create something from nothing, and anything from everything!”


CJ Wilson Mazda Countryside

Cynosure Custom Signs, Inc. is a small, personal sign shop located in Willowbrook, IL. After working in a “cookie-cutter” chain sign store for 16 years, an opportunity presented itself enabling us to begin fresh and run a sign company our own way.  We supply Custom Signs, Business Signs, Car Graphics, Banner Printing, Real Estate Signs, Acrylic Plastic Signs, Vinyl Banners, Vinyl Graphics and more. Taking our experience, we moved forward and opened our doors in February 2010.

We are equipped with the technology and speed of larger sign shops, but unlike them, we provide the customer service and personal touch of a “Mom & Pop” store. We believe in providing a great product at a fair price while keeping the customer our main priority. We are not here to just make you a sign, we are here to try and build a lasting relationship. Let’s grow our businesses together.

cynosure (cy·no·sure)

1. a person or thing that attracts notice, esp. because of its brilliance or beauty

2. something that serves as a guide

3.(usually capitalized) Ursa Minor or Polaris, the North Star, used as a guide by navigators.

4.(figuratively) That which serves to guide or direct; a guiding star.

Customers of Gino’s East

The Original Gino's East

Soon after a couple of Chicago cabbies opened Gino’s East in 1966, they noticed that their customers had taken to “leaving their mark” on the restaurant by carving their names into the wooden tables. They went with it, and Gino’s unique interior has been a hit ever since. Since then, generations of Chicagoans and visitors have left their mark at Ginos — now with markers, pens, and white-out, rather than knives.

Following in the same tradition, Gino’s has decided to let its customers turn their hydrant into a masterpiece. The hydrant is currently located at their restaurant on Superior Street (just off Michigan Avenue). Stop by today to leave your mark!

Keith Pollok

Chicago Firefighters Run

Muralist, painter, illustrator, and instructor Keith Pollok was born and currently works in Chicago.  Keith took his first studio art class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago at the age of eight years old.  An alumni of Gallery37,   Keith returned to the SAIC for his BFA focusing on printmaking and natural/ scientific illustration.  For the past three years he has worked creating art with high school students for a non for profit after school program.

Michael Chorvat

Ignite The Spirit

Mike’s career has spanned fifteen years, with experience ranging from print to packaging to Web-based design. From concept to execution, he utilizes his abilities to broadcast a consistent look and voice, across multiple media, to the targeted audience.

Mike’s career began in the mid-nineties, having studied traditional design from several of Chicago’s industry leaders. The tech boom shifted his focus to Web-based media. Mike spent the next ten years working for both small and large firms.

In 2005, Mike founded ThinkPiece Creative. It’s focus was to provide communication solutions that are cost-effective and efficient. Says Mike: “Inches, picas, pixels. While the details may change, effective solutions start with the right foundation.” That foundation is classic agency-style design. The solutions are communications that capture his client’s voice and broadcast it to their audience… loud and clear. Websites, marketing collateral, advertising, even social networking applications are all touch points that, when carefully managed, allow your customers to interact with your brand. ThinkPiece Creative believes that each communication is part of a larger voice. That voice speaks about your brand and your brand is what your audience will retain. Careful consideration of each channel’s signal, in relation to your voice, will result in a brand that rings true and has impact.

Jeff Kierna

Jackie, Scott, Bill, Judy & Firefighter Dan Warrick

Jeff Kierna is a 28 year old Veteran/Artist from the north side of Chicago. Using aerosol as his preferred medium, he’s fresh off completing two large scale works, a mural for the National Veterans Art Museum and a hydrant for The Great Chicago Fire Hydrant Program. His hydrant, entitled “Bravery Rising”, seeks to memorialize the days when a Firefighter or Police Officer gives their life in the line of duty.

Luz Maria Castillo

East Bank Club

Luz Maria Castillo is an artist from Chicago who has spent time working with a variety of mediums. Castillo is involved with Cocomocha Studio, a community driven arts studio (along with fellow artist, Derric Clemmons) which features a large selection of art wear clothing.  It is Custom Urban Chicago based Art Wear. She cites the works of surrealist artist Magritte, whose paintings “question time and space and reality” as an influence The graphic print repetitions of Andy Warhol , as well as “the strange and emotional world of surrealist artist Frida Kahlo.”

After her experiences collaborating with public art installations in 2007 with the Cool Globes organization, Castillo desired to continue and to commit to making art for a good cause.  She was mostly interested in designing shirts to continue sending out positive messages  about the environment, life, and  challenges in society in an intelligent and creative way…always using the idea of “ without rules’ which has been Cocomocha  tagline for some time.

She partnered with fellow artist Derric Clemmons who was also part of the Cool globes project to make Cocomocha as an art entity happen and grow.  Her concept is that she has no specific guidelines that direct the art and creation of her work and people seem to respond to that. It allows her and her partner to make some really funky cross- cultural art wear and design that speaks volumes. They have their own special techniques in production. Their styles/ designs complement both women and men.

Castillo created the “milk moss” design in clothing, which is an acid washed t-shirt turned into a tunic.  It is the most artistic statement and best-selling garment since the business started.  Crochet is used in a way that takes it from its humble roots and makes it urban and modern. Objects found in different areas of the city, stores is recycled into use as a basis for designs placed on the fabric. She experiments with different materials to discover new directions.

As an artist she participated in public installations throughout Chicago and continues to grow with every new success.  Luz has been involved in the past 5 years working artistically with schools in the Southside of Chicago.  Her experience includes involvement in design of playground mural, 2 panel murals for two schools and wood work refinishing.  She currently teaches art to grammar school students in an after school pro.

Derric Clemmons

Hillshire Brands

I attended Columbia college in 80-82 for Artistic development and Photography. My work as a serious artist began more seriously during my study of the artists Stuart Davis,  Jean Basquiat, DeKooning and the Constructivists. I began doing this in 1992 through 96. It was important for me to discover what was significant with their work, and then translate what I was learning and seeing while applying the forms and  expressions into an urban context from the eyes of a person of color. I came from a background of political protestors and strong working class family members, and very creative and inventive Uncles who were active photographers, artists, writers, and poets in the 60s and 70s.

I  travelled to Europe in 84( Lucca and Florence Italy, Paris, London England ) after 2 years of college for a short while to expand my creative development, gaining valuable insights from artists Maria Stuarda Varetti and the regional surrealists like Luigi Giampolo in 1983. It was important for me to develop what I later called a ‘ transitional’ style, to my  first canvas work. Color, texture and the  present mood at the time positioned themselves to gain the best affect.

In the late nineties, I ventured into colorful, modern, ancestral-like totem sculpture forms that are like towers of Story telling/marque signs of the big city with ancient contextual reference . These are resin-coated to emphasize the color, and its supposed to emulate the ‘garishness’ and largess’ of night light signs, ads and billboards that is the convoluted environment of society and city, while negotiating values and traditions of past.

In 2000, I began more diligently doing quick periods of paintings on paper, from what I called, the “Joy of Being” series, to the works of “Anatomika”, acrylic, oil pastel and graphite works, all dealing with the expressive emotional and mental states we feel in common with everyday habits, actions, duties, and repetitions.  I made color dance about with line forms in loosely connected explosions of color dabs, with intermittent graphite structures until the flatness of the subject became dimensional. I would say best, much of my paper paintings are best described as sketch paintings, because the work involves freely applied pencil frameworks and filaments with the paint, interwoven, that help develop areas of the piece. These works were well received and many sold over the following 8 years. The work has been represented well at The South Shore Cultural center, Guichard Gallery, Yellow Gallery north side (1997) and  Robert Johnson gallery in 2003. Since those times, I arranged group studio exhibits.

I am returning to canvas work without a frame, a resin coated, stiffened canvas with frayed edges thatlooks like firm, fabric leatherized‘ tablets with abstract themes running over them. I will be accomplishing larger work in this method.  The idea with both paintings and sculpture is to narrate the time for the sake of inquisitors of the future.

Bohdan Gernaga

Crossville, Inc.

A self taught artist, Mr. Gernaga studied architecture & interior design; currently a proprietor of tymedesign, an interior design and color consulting practice With his passion for artistic expression he has added to his repertoire. Being an avid proponent of sustainability, all his art is made of recycled, reclaimed and repurposed materials; challenging ones social and intellectual consciousness. Bohdan’s artwork has been featured in several galleries (solo shows – University of Chicago, Sci-Tech Museum), benefits, magazines and juried shows. He is continuously pushing the envelope, creating art with opposing medias and dimensions of thought challenging and engaging the viewers’ emotional and intellectual awareness.

George Berlin

Wil, Parker, Maryn, Jen & Jeff Kenny

George Berlin is all about bringing more happiness and fun into the world. His bright, whimsical designs come from the incredibly prolific and silly little 8 year-old inside of him who grabbed a crayon one day and never looked back!

In addition to having his paintings in collections across the globe, George is also a successful commercial artist- telling amazing stories for over 15 years animating and illustrating for advertising and marketing. One favorite project was co-illustrating “Ways to Get Around” with best-selling children’s author/illustrator Mike Venezia, and animating an award-winning series of videos based on Mike’s other books.

George is also known to whip up a hundred paintings in a week, create live art on his iPad for corporate events, and he even painted all over a Mini Cooper for Zipcar live at Pitchfork Music Festival 2013! His short animated film “Lullaby” screened at the National Gallery of Art’s summer film program in 2009, after an exceptional premiere at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

When he’s not painting, you’ll probably find him riding all over Chicago on his bike (year-round!) and donating his time and talents drawing dogs for pet rescue groups or teaching children the joy of animation in public schools.

His fire hydrant design looks back to the fun of playing fireman as a kid- trucks that would light up and make sounds, firehouse dogs, being a hero, and wanting to save the world!

Experience more of the merriment at

Zeus Galindo

LAZ Parking

Born and raised in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Zeus Galindo’s love of art came at a young age—6 years old. Though he has been painting since age 13, Zeus, a closure agent at LAZ Parking, said he learns new things about various aspects of art every day and hopes that never ends.

Wylee Jacobson

Franczek Radelet P.C.

A graphic design maven first and entrepreneur second, Wylee is an expert in branding and identity design, website design, custom designed invitations, and strategic campaign development for clients both large and small.

After switching paths from fine art to graphic design, Wylee earned a BFA in Graphic Design at Columbia College. She honed her creative skills in various marketing firms throughout her native Chicago and created Wystar Design. She continues to explore new projects and collaborations that allow her to utilize creative direction and inspired graphic design.

She is also the designer who created The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants logo and branded program materials, and is thrilled to be a part of the program.

Jennifer Kernica

Janelle Miller and The Kluth Foundation

Jennifer Kernica is a mixed media artist who lives in Chicago. With a BFA in Illustration from the Illinois Institute of Art, she illustrates both digitally and traditionally. Born in Illinois, Kernica started her career in the children’s publishing industry where storytelling became her primary purpose as an artist.

Currently she works as a graphic designer while painting commission projects and select community projects. Her range of artistic interests involve anthropomorphic animals, figurative art, stylized illustration, technical illustration and any type of visual storytelling. As a storyteller, Kernica has been developing her public art voice and presence through choice projects and collaborations. She believes art is for everyone to enjoy and see.

Jared Haberman

Brian, Sandy, Erika, Mathew and Michael Kluth

An artistic expression can be seen in a notebook, or on a wall, or in a newspaper, anywhere where the artist can create or express themselves. There have been many times in my journey as a visual expressionist where I have run out of paper and I’ve already used both sides of the whole notebook. What else is there for me to use so that I can keep creating as an artist? I used this visual representation to show that even if you don’t have enough canvas, or paper, or wall; that there is still some medium that you can be creative with.

I graduated from ISU with a bachelors in visual arts and have been expressing my creative spirit for many years and hopefully many years to come.

Brittany Steiner

Tracy & Scott See

Brittany started drawing at the age of 2 and has not stopped since. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2008 with a BFA Art Direction.  Her works range from smaller quirky illustrations to large-scale oil paintings and portraiture.  Brittany paints on a myriad of things beyond just canvasses, including vintage photos and reclaimed windows.  Her goal is to create a visually striking scene, using beautiful imagery to capture the viewer. Her work is inspired by a little bit of everything: fashion, tattoo art, cartoonists of the 50’s, art noveau, birds and more.  Brittany has been showing and selling her work since 2006.

Paul Cook

House of Blues

Paul Cook is a local musician/songwriter/artist originally hailing from Southern Illinois. He has a background in theater set design and construction, and has created logos and poster art for multiple bands over the years.  For the last 12 years, he runs the Facilities Maintenance department for House of Blues Chicago, maintaining their eclectic interior and overseeing their local collection of Outsider Art. His grandfather was a lifelong volunteer firefighter and his father is still an active member of the Ava Volunteer Fire Department in rural Southern Illinois.

Jakub & Rose Niedorezo

Lou Malnati's Pizza

Jakub & Rose Niedorezo are a husband & wife team of artists, and also art teachers. Working together, they have taken part in many festivals and live painting events, including the ‘Jefferson Park Arts & Music Festival’, and ‘Chicago, I Love You’. Specializing in custom finishes and restoration, they also build custom furniture and have been commissioned for many paintings. Their art studio, Artorium, is in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, where they teach hourly art lessons, and also transform the studio into a gallery space every three months to offer their students the experience of gallery show.

Peggy “Gigi” Lopez

Holiday Inn Mart Plaza

As a child, I was creatively destructive. Unfortunately, my mother was always a victim of my painterly wrath.  You would think she would have a greater appreciation for my brilliance as a child, for all she knew I could have been a prodigy of some sort, but I guess back then – slapping glue and crayon shavings on her decorative bathroom towels was far from being an artistic genius.

For as long as I can remember I have always had a knack for the wonderful world of art though I didn’t recognize it as my calling until I was in the middle of Iraq selling my drawings to fellow Marines and Contractors. Because of the United States Marine Corp I was granted the opportunity to travel and become influenced by the world’s visual eye candy. While being stationed in Oceanside, California I found myself indulging my very existence into my craft by participating in small gallery collaborations, murals, and custom painting surfboards and skateboards. Currently I am enrolled in the B.A. Illustration program at The Illinois Institute of Art: Chicago.

Usually my work consists of surreal, symbolic and dreamlike visions that I admired as a child. For the hydrant I decided to use symbols to represent the nature of the occasion. The monarchs represent the soul and life. I have placed angels and dove wings at the base which signify peace and guidance. The heart reflects the love for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The Maple tree and leaves are seen as pride, ambition, courage, protection and strength. Like autumn leaves great men and women have fallen but will inspire new beginnings. The wrappings of loops reflect the complexities of life while the flower of grief, the marigolds, cascade at the bottom of the hydrant. Lastly, the hot air balloons are a representation of rising above any situation whether it is the families that have lost or the souls that have crossed the divine heavenly clouds.

Megan Werth, Melanie & Elyse Jones

Uno's & Due's Pizzeria and Su Casa

The Jones’:

We grew up in a very artistic family, including a mother who drew, played piano, and wrote regularly and a father who played guitar and sang.  We also took cues from our older sister Gillian who also played the piano and the flute, and sang in our school’s choir (which we both joined when we were old enough).  We arrived at painting more in college (Melanie: University of Miami, FL and Elyse: University of Central Florida), and although neither of us majored in it, we painted regularly for the love of creation and artistic expression.

Drawing from the magic and happiness of Disney, we decided to paint the fire hydrant two Cyclops minions from the movie Despicable Me. We wanted something that would make people smile and also create buzz for the Great Fire Hydrant Project.

Megan Werth:

I was avidly involved in the arts from the minute my parents gave me crayons.  I grew up in Peoria, Illinois where I trained in drawing and painting with classes throughout my childhood at Illinois Central College, Peoria Park District, Bradley University, and various other outlets.  My specialty has always heavily been in portraits and abstract.

When in high school I was asked to paint a large mural for the biology hallway, and to this day it still can be seen at Peoria Richwoods High School.  I was fortunate to receive two scholarships, Illinois Art Academic Scholarship 2001, and a subsidiary scholarship from UIUC based upon my portfolio.  I originally  attended the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign for Fine Arts with a focus on Graphic Design.  I studied fine arts for two years before switching my major to Communications.  Today , in my spare time, I still draw/paint, and my house is filled with pieces I have done.

Juan Carlos Frias

Al's Beef

Juan Carlos Frias is a well-rounded artist whose artwork blends the influence of his Mexican heritage and the American culture he has embraced. His artistic abilities have been recognized in Mexico and the United States, including Chicago’s Around the Coyote Arts festival, which granted Juan Carlos the Curator’s Choice Award in 2000.

From Suite to Tweet and beyond, Juan Carlos has proudly participated in community and public art events such as Suite Home Chicago, Tweet Home Chicago, the Dia de Los Muertos art celebration in Door County, and a variety of community murals to enhance the vibrancy and beauty of the Northwest side of Chicago, which he calls home.

Jerry Rogowski

Born outside Paris,  Jerry is a graduate of the famous national school of fine art in Lublin

Jerry emigrated to the United States 25 years ago and became a naturalized US citizen shortly after that.

Jerry has the reputation of being able to mimic just about any artist or style in the world and as such is often called upon to do high end restoration or repair work.

He is also know been able to use his skill to work in many different mediums such as fine art, illustration, mosaics, residential and commercial murals across many different disciplines such as fine art, interior design and fashion.

Devon Gibbs

Devon Gibbs is a Los Angeles based designer who is responsible for print campaigns for movies like Drive and Only God Forgives as well as TV shows like Hemlock Grove and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Frankie Zela

Gale Street Inn

Frankie has a BA in Fine Arts from Indiana University and has studied painting, sculpting and graphic design.  She has multi-media interests but currently works with reclaimed functional art.  She finds vintage windows and paints in reverse.  She is inspired by colorful palettes in nature, the vintage charm of old architecture and furnishings and the simplicity of Folk Art.

Kayser dos Reis

Chicago Fire Soccer Club (MLS)

Originally from Brazil, Kayser has a BA Degree from Dominican University in Computer Graphics/Graphic Design/Computer Science.  Kayser has been working with Graphic Design since 1999 and has a vast experience with many industries and clients, and is currently the  Creative Services Manager for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club.  Being a lifelong soccer fan, Kayser has been working with his passions, Soccer and Design, since 2010.

Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite

UIC Flames

Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite is a visual artist whose work focuses on creating experiential encounters and learning opportunities for the audience and for herself.  She has participated in various residencies – The Center Program at Hyde ParkArtCenter, BOLT Residency (Chicago Artist’s Coalition), Catwalk Art Residency. She has created a number of public art commissions and received several grants from the City of Chicago.  Her work was selected to promote the New York and Boston Marathons for four consecutive years and she has work in several private and corporate collections.  Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite earned a BS from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, had a ten-year career in advertising, then returned to earn a BFA at The School of the Art Institute. She lives in Chicago with her husband Duey, and juggles her time between her studio practice, a small frame shop and art sessions at a nearby after-school program. Additional information and images at

Stefan Johanson

Load Delivered Logistics, LLC

Stefan Johanson is a young emerging artist born and raised on the north side of Chicago. While attending Lincoln Park High School, he discovered the Gallery 37 Advanced Placement Program. With the help of the Gallery 37 AP program, Stefan developed a portfolio that got him a scholarship at the All-City Art Competition in 2006. He was accepted to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and graduated with a BFA in 2011. At SAIC Stefan focused on different mediums of printmaking, mainly photolithography, etching, and screen-printing. Stefan carries his love for graphic pen and ink illustration of the urban landscape and collage of different cultures in to his printmaking and mural work. Stefan has been working on murals since the job training programs he attended at Gallery 37 in high school, and he has worked on various commissioned mural projects in Chicago. He is currently planing/painting different mural projects and will be teaching 5th through 7th grade students in an art program at Albert Sabin Public School through Colombia College’s CCAP Program.

Lauri Feldshriber

DePaul University

Esteen Lauri (Feldshriber) is a nationally exhibiting artist, Lecturer at the North Shore Art League and faculty member of Gordon Tech High School. Esteen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana, and then continued her education at Vermont College of Fine Arts where she earned a Masters degree in Visual Culture and Painting. The artist considers a significant part of her education occurred when she attended Tyler School of Art in Rome as an undergrad and then returned to Italy to study Fresco painting at the Accademia Caerite in Ceri.

Esteen’s exhibition career began with a solo show of her watercolors titled Contained Objects at the Apparel Center in Chicago. Her work has been exhibited at Zaks Gallery, The Art Institute of Chicago’s Art Sales and Rentals Gallery: Curator’s Choice, Davenport Museum of Art, Spertus Museum, Midland Center for the Arts, Beverly Art Center, Artemisia Gallery Bradley University and New York Art Expo among others.

Major themes in Lauri’s work involve the ontological crux of being, presence through absence and imagery that investigate liminal states. Currently, she is developing a new series of paintings and drawings that continues these themes using references to her horses, another key focus in Esteen’s life.

Heather Aitken

Shriners Hospitals for Children

Heather Aitken is President and Lead Photographer at Beat Studios, a River North advertising production studio she founded ten years ago with her husband John.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia she has worked and studied in the US, Canada  and Italy in a variety of disciplines including Photography, Illustration and Calligraphy.

A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Heather is inspired by nature, geometry, and light with much of her fine art work celebrating the forms found in the natural environment. One of her exhibitions titled Anthropomorphism  examined the human characteristics displayed in the shapes and contours of trees, while another exhibit, Translucency, was an exploration of the character of light and how it passes through, and reflects from, various objects.

Heather is excited to be a part of The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants project in honor of Chicago firefighters.

Wendie Bloxsom

McHugh Construction

Wendie has been a visual artist and designer in Chicago for over a decade.  She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and ultimately graduated with her BFA from Columbia College Chicago. Throughout her professional and educational experiences, she has had the opportunity to exhibit her artistic skills in fine arts, retail, theater, interior design, and special events. While, she has accomplished a wide assortment of creative objectives, her personal and professional dedication to the arts has kept her perpetually enthusiastic to improve on the depth and breadth of her skills, by recently receiving her MAT in Art Education from Columbia College Chicago, she intends on inspiring the young minds of Chicago with her own passions and experiences for the visual arts.

David Molinaro

Waldorf Astoria Hotel

A versatile and experimental artist, David Molinaro utilizes a wide variety of design techniques in contracting and consulting with numerous private, corporate and public entities.  Taking energy and inspiration from the world around him, Molinaro brings vitality to his work, creating serious, as well as, playful images that reveal complexity and depth, and which elicit a variety of emotions from viewers.

Molinaro holds a BFA in visual communication, design and illustration from Kent State University where he developed a solid foundation and interest in a broad array of subject matter and media.  His projects have included art direction, graphic design, illustration, photography and painting.  Recently, Molinaro has shifted some of his focus to working with oil on canvas, producing finished products that are bold, balanced, and exquisitely colorful.

CJ Hungerman

Multiple Hydrants

CJ is originally from Pittsburgh.  He attended West Liberty State College and West Virginia University.  Upon completion of each undergraduate college he received a B.S. in Graphic Design and a B.F.A. in Painting respectively.

CJ went on to graduate school at Northern Illinois University receiving his Masters in Painting, studying under Gordon Dorn, Josh Kind, and Ben Mahmoud.

Sherwood Snyder

Resnick Auto Group

Sherwood Snyder has moved freely within the art and theater worlds for most of his 85 years.  A stained glass window of his design is installed at the Kanley Memorial Chapel on the Western Michigan University Campus where he studied with John Kemper, Harry Hefner and Hazel Paden.  He was in the cast and served as assistant director for OLD FOUR EYES, the Teddy Roosevelt outdoor drama in Medora, ND after earning his Master’s at the University of Oregon.  He joined the faculty at Macalester College in St. Paul and worked with The Theater-in-the-Round and toured with The PLATFORM, THEN AND NOW with the Guthrie Theater.  His sculpture, THE GOLDEN SPIKE, was juried into Chicago’s Union League 3-D Exhibition in 1980, the same year that his scenic and costume designs were featured at the President’s Gallery at Chicago State University.  His sculpture, VICTORIAN COMPUTER was purchased for the Standard Oil Corporate Collection in 1983.  He has had two one-man exhibitions at the Ferguson Gallery in Oak Park, Il. And at the David Strawn Gallery in Jacksonville.  His Mantel Pieces sculptures have been shown at the Box Factory and the Krasl Museum in Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Michigan.  His large assemblage QUILT was shown in Grand Rapids’ ART PRIZE in its second year.

Evan Georgi

Athletico Physical Therapy

Evan Georgi is making her debut in public art with her contribution to The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants.  Her paintings incorporate word art that developed out of a meditative practice and continue to feed her mind and spirit.

Evan’s passions for reaching children and youth at risk are realized by her current position as the executive director at Reading is Fundamental (RIF) in Chicago.  Her innovative programs garnered congressional recognition for the organization in 2009. She has lived, worked, and raised three children in Chicago and DuPage County since 1992 and holds a Master’s degree in Parenting Education and Support from DePaulUniversity.  On Saturdays you can usually find Evan volunteering at the Visitor’s Center of Willowbrook Wildlife Center in DuPage County – pursuing another of her passions, protecting native wildlife

Lorna Shaw


Lorna was born and raised on the SW coast of Scotland and settled in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid 90s.

As of 2013 she has painted the past 8 years for the businesses around La Grange, creating pieces for their summer art projects raising funds for local charities, 7 years painting items for the Goombay Bash at Navy Pier for Cancer Research and the past 3 years painting dog bowls for Occupaws Guide Dogs Association in Wisconsin.

Lorna also enjoys interior design, redesigning furniture and is always open for requests to do commissioned art work.

More of her art and creations can be seen at

Nancy Pochis Bank + Tracee Badway

Golub & Co.

Nancy Pochis Bank

Nancy Pochis Bank is a portrait artist, muralist, and art instructor based in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. Nancy creates both public and private works and her art can be seen in exhibitions across the United States. Nancy is an active arts advocate, using her art to benefit her community and raise awareness for a range of social issues.

She has enjoyed working with organizations such as Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, Literary Chicago, and the annual Art Therapy Connection’s Chalk Festival. In addition, Nancy is a regular participant in the Ravenswood ArtWalk during Chicago Artists Month. Nancy’s most recent works include a pavement chalk mural at the Gold Coast Art Fair, chalk boards for Nike products, and two globes for the Cool Globes Boston 2013 exhibit. Nancy is excited to be a part of Chicago’s artist community creating fire hydrants for the Great Chicago Fire Hydrant.


Tracee Badway

Passionate about art from a young age, Tracee Badway obtained her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the American Academy of Art in 2007 with a specialty in oil painting. She has shown in galleries and businesses across Chicago. She created “Thank You Sponsors” globe in the Cool Globes 2007 exhibit, a collaborative project to raise awareness about global warming. Her most recent public projects include large-scale chalk works. She is also immersed in numerous private commissions including portraits, siewalk art, live art, illustrations, and large scale murals. Tracee Badway is also a private painting instructor for all age groups. Her latest endeavors include a “Reflection” paintings series, exploring bright, detailed, vintage patterns and reflective surfaces.


Funkie Fashions

16 year veteran of the Chicago Fire Dept and now 6th District Relief Engineer platoon 2.
22 years as a Full time award winning tattoo artist and owns Firehouse Tattoos.

Charles has drawn and designed numerous patch and t-shirt designs for Chicago Fire Dept firehouses as well as suburban departments.  Although currently most his work as an artist is on skin, he also airbrushes as well as paints on canvas and wood, and has several murals up in some firehouses.

The Funkie Fashions Hydrant will be a memorial, as well as a celebration of the Chicago Firefighters that have been lost in the line of duty.

Lollapalooza Musicians

Q 87.7

Great Chicago Fire Hydrant radio partner Q87.7 took their hydrant backstage at Chicago’s biggest music festival and found some friends who wanted to support local firefighters:

Alt-J, American Authors, Atlas Genius, Bad Things, Blondfire, Jake Bugg, Cage The Elephant, Eric Church, Family of the Year, Foals, Guards, Imagine Dragons, Local Natives, Makeshift Prodigy, Matt and Kim, The Mowgli’s, MS MR, The Neighbourhood, New Order, Palma Violets, Skaters, Smith Westerns, Tegan and Sara, twenty one pilots, Vampire Weekend, Wavves, Wild Belle.

Carrie Ahaus

Blue Man Group

After earning her B.A. in Media and Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design, Carrie owned and operated a custom airbrush goods shop where she refined her skills as a painter. She’s been an artistic collaborator specializing in scenic painting and illustration at Redmoon Theater since 2004 and is currently the properties supervisor at Blue Man Group Chicago.

Tony Sparrow

Hyatt Regency Chicago

Tony Sparrow is a mixed media artist, who not only paints on traditional canvas but also uses a wide variety of found objects (such as dumped doors, discarded windows, abandoned furniture, scrapped street signs, etc.) as the base for his works.

He is an entirely self-taught artist, having never attended an art school or received any formal training. His work is often executed in series or set formats as he explores themes through repetition. The majority of his artwork is centered on a unique mash up of a Mexican, Creole and Tribal tones blended with a bit of a linear organic cubist and expressionist styles. His work often has a textured quality as a result of building up of layers from the various mediums he uses (ink, oil, acrylic, custom dyes, etc.) and the various devices he uses to apply the mediums. With each new theme undertaking, Sparrow makes a point of exploring different and new painting techniques to aesthetically complete and compliment the theme of each project he engages.

From a mural perspective, Sparrow was one of the lead artists on the Addison and Avondale Mural and Police Memorial Mural. He has conceived and painted his own murals at locations in Chicago such as the Manifest Mural at Pulaski Blue Line, the Positive Babel Mural at the Irving Park Metra Station and the Hep Cat Mural on Cicero and Kilbourn Park.

Cyd Smillie

Multiple Hydrants

Cyd is a professional artist and designer with over 30 years of experience stage design and construction for film and theater.  She is the founder and director of ARTS Alive, a non-profit organization in Chicago that has executed over 90 projects, including 16 murals.  Cyd is also currently the arts liaison to Chicago Alderman John Arena (45th ward).

Jeffrey Forsythe

CH Vodka Distillery

Jeffrey S. Forsythe was born in 1975 in Joliet, IL.  He graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelors in Fine Art. After receiving the LAQSF Fellowship Award in 1999, he began his graduate work at University of New Orleans.  He received a Masters of Fine Arts in 2002.  He has been exhibiting around the world since 1998 and currently resides in Chicago.  Jeffrey’s most recent solo exhibition, “Social Studies,” took place in March, 2013 at Perimeter Gallery in Chicago.

Betty Sitbon

(multiple sponsors)

Betty Sitbon is an fine artist whose paintings explode with colors that make your eyes dance through her whimsical compositions.  Her work celebrates her love of life.  She studied art at Interlochen Arts Academy, The Chicago Art Institute, Washington University, San Miguel D’allande Mexico; and lived in Paris where she developed a sophistication in style.  Betty loves nothing more than collaborating to create masterpieces that depict her clients dreams and visions.

Anna Celander


Anna Celander is a Chicago-area artist and student currently beginning her first year in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Art Therapy graduate studies program. Anna is a mixed-medium artist and uses the city as her inspiration, often interpreting iconic Chicago landmarks in her unique style using charcoal and watered down acrylic paint. She currently sells her artwork at local art fairs and businesses.

Don McClelland

Chicagoland Speedway

Don McClelland, a life-long Chicago area resident, grew up on the city’s south side with a passion for design. McClelland used his talents to attend Bradley University and graduated in1995 with a degree in Graphic Design.

In addition to studying computer graphics, McClelland also spent time learning various fine art mediums including pencil, ink, charcoal, watercolor and oils in addition to his preferred technique, airbrush.

Across nearly 20 years of experience, McClelland has honed his design skills through  trade show displays, sales merchandise, signage and print design for a Chicago professional sports team and most recently, as the Creative Services Manager at Chicagoland Speedway®.

Since 1999, Don’s own company,, combines his love of art with his favorite sports: ice hockey and racing. Producing custom airbrushed hockey goalie masks, hockey-style catcher masks and auto racing helmets, has provided equipment for the NHL, AHL, NCAA and Comcast SportsNet host David Kaplan.  His painted Chicago Wolves masks can be seen on display at Haray Caray’s restaurants.

“My cousin is a firefighter who also trains future fire fighters and went to ground zero in support of rescue efforts in September of 2001, so I am incredibly proud and honored to be able to work on a project that supports families of fallen firefighters.

Paul Collins

Lawndale Christian Development Corporation

Awarded one of the top 20 figurative painters by Watson-Guptill Publications, this self taught artist’s career spans over 5 decades of accomplishments. His brilliant combination of technical mastery and emotional power embraces and unveils people of all ages, races and cultures. Collin’s captures their truth and raw reality, sharing with us the beauty and traditions that are the legacy of humanity and gently unites us through knowledge.

A steady climb to international recognition has been punctuated by exhibits and hangings in some of the most prestigious museums and galleries on the planet. Collin’s has exhibited nationally and internationally, credited with over 100 exhibitions, with several breaking attendance records. His works have been viewed from the Pushkin Museum in Moscow to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to the Key West Museum of Art & History in Key West and the Studio Museum of Harlem in NewYork.

He is also the designer of the Martin Luther King Peace Prize Medal, the National Physical Fitness Poster for the Carter administration and the NASA space shuttle emblem. He was the first African American to paint a sitting President – President Ford Mural, the 40 Anniversary of Israel Mural and several other commissioned works for Anheuser Busch, Blue Cross BlueShield, Universal Forrest Products, Amway Corporation, Johnson Products, and many more.

Collin’s achievements have won him many national and international honors and awards for his skills as an artist and as a humanitarian. He is the recipient of the Mead Book Award, Tadlow Fine Art Award, Peoples Choice awards in Paris, and the Golden Centaur of Italy Ceba award of Excellence to name a few. Also, the naming of the Grand Rapids Community College Gallery in his honor as well as the establishment of a permanent collection of his works for the college.

He has served on many boards including the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Martin Luther King Jr. for Non- Violence Center and the Arts Council of Grand Rapids MI, as well as spearheaded major social programs in his community.

Bela Quintas

First Alert

In Bela’s own words:

I am a 12-year-old self-taught artist, who has never had a lesson in my life. I have made state finalist twice in a competition held by Google called “Doodle for Google”.  The first time was when I was in 3rd grade.  There were 33,000 submissions.  The second time, I was in 5th grade and the project had 114,000 submissions. While my mom was sick from aggressive breast cancer, I turned to art and always think of my mom and how strong she is when I draw. She is my role model and inspiration.

My mom is doing great now and I am so excited to be working with First Alert to decorate their fire hydrant in the hopes of reaching and teaching families about staying safe.

Antonio “Shades” Agee

Fiat of Chicago

Antonio “Shades” Agee has been a Detroiter since birth, not only that he has been an active artist and community member of the Detroit area. With a Father who was a Jazz musician, listening to acts from Nat “King” Cole to Frank Sinatra, Agee was exposed to the arts at a young age. He initially started painting the streets when “graffiti” was not even a house hold name and no where to be found in the city. Through the love of the art, Agee traveled around the country and world to learn and hone his skills, while learning to produce graffiti by commission and “legal” contracts. Starting from the early 1990’s, “Shades” Agee created an extensive resume for himself leading up to the present day. “Shades” has racked up a vast catalog of impressive work by involving himself in custom murals for movies and canvases for the likes of Chrysler, Ford, Universal Studios,Quicken loans,The Movement Det/Torino and Fiat Motors US/Europe,. “Shades” has two pieces archived at the Detroit Institute of Arts and have exhibited at C-Pop Gallery, Motor Gallery, and has 2 permanent installations at M.S.U.ʼs Holden hall. “Shades” has a dedicated clientele nationally to internationally that collects his works on almost anything he puts his hands on including: purses, dresses, dolls, etc. In addition, Juventus F.C.requested Agee to paint 3 canvases live during a charity event in Italy (27,000 fans). With a substantial background history in the “streets” and honorable up-bringing, “Shades” has established himself as one of the Original Graffiti artist in the city of Detroit.

Todd Gallopo

Sammy Hagar

A member of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame and former front man for Van Halen, Sammy also developed and launched Cabo Wabo Tequila and Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. He will be designing a hydrant in partnership with artist Todd Gallopo that will function as a Tiki-style piggy bank (a “Tiki-bank”) into which the public can donate additional funds to benefit the 100 Club of Chicago.

From Todd: “Sammy & I have been working together since 1998 after he left Van Halen. I was nominated for a Grammy (Best Recording Package) a year ago for Sammy’s band Chickenfoot’s packaging. We have a long creative history together. My company, meat and potatoes, designs everything for Sammy’s entrepreneurial endeavors.  The Tiki motif painted on the hydrant is intended to symbolize protection. What the fearless firefighters provide for the citizens Chicago!”

Marco Antonio Nunes

REO Speedwagon

Marco was born in Madeira, Portugal and raised in Riviera Beach, Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida State University. Currently, Marco lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

“A bare canvass full of promises. Infinite words to express.  I fantasize about ways of reflecting back the images I create in my mind. Endlessly searching for an original take on our current state. Will I cause an effect? Will I create change? Who do I think I am?  I think. I am MAN.”

Kehoe Design Creative Services

Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation

“In coming up with our design for the Great Chicago Fire Hydrant we really wanted to run with the theme of survival. Blending the hard lines of the masculine fire hydrant along with the femininity of a floral motif we touch upon a common idea of water becoming a part of the human spirit.”


This remarkable group of designers, artisans and craftsmen collectively channel the ever-changing design principles of the special events industry. With skillful collaboration, they resource the “Mega Trends” and “Smart Design” in all facets of the social, fashion, home and graphics industries. Creative Services is at the forefront of emerging movements, they thrive on uncovering the root of creative expressions and their solutions.

Individually and as a team, they brainstorm and map out complete concepts, sometimes at a moments notice and always render the best results. At its core, Creative Services breathes fresh air into the industry as a whole and leads Kehoe Designs as solution based creative problem solvers.

Rosemary Fanti

Bella Bridesmaid

As a graduate of the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Rosemary used her amazing talent to illustrate the award winning fashions she designed. Today, she creates wedding, event, and fashion illustrations that are as vivid and alive as the people at the events.

Sandie Bacon


Sandra Bacon is a classically trained and versatile artist. Residing in the Chicagoland area, she is an accomplished and versatile painter, draughtsman, and sculptor. “Color, sensitivity, and wit… combined with very real draughtsmanship skills, add to her technical expertise”. Her artwork draws upon mythology, and observations of the natural world.

From showing in galleries (Dandelion Gallery, ARC, Avrahm Eisen and Anita Miller Galleries in Chicago as well as in New York, California and Wisconsin), to public artwork shown nationally and internationally, she has been an innovator in the art/environment movement. She has recently been commissioned for artwork for the Peggy Noteabart Nature Museum, the Madison Zoo, L.L.Bean’s “Chairs for Charity”, Crystal City , Va, “Crystal Flight” and “Bucky” as well as her painted, sculptural “Cool Globes” travelling nationally and internationally. Her artwork is in the collections of The Chicago Department of the Environment, the Clinton Climate Initiative Commission, Field Museum and is showing in galleries in Chicago, California and New York.

Pat Missad


After graduating from Kendall College of Art & Design, with a focus on Illustration and fine art, Pat’s career found it’s opportunities in retail. Learning from hands on experience, with talented mentors, Pat developed her skills in 3D design as a visual merchandiser and signage designer for a major retail department store in Grand Rapids, MI. Her career then took her to an architectural firm, where her technical skills developed, then to a signage and graphics manufacturing company as VP of Design.