Past Featured Artists | 2014

Steven Ducharme

Abstract Expressionist Manifesto:


‘To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explained only by those willing to take risks…. It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way - not his way. We favour the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth… ‘


Harnessing the raw emotion, tapping the subconscious to express oneself freely, Steven Du Charme creates expression of the unknown and incomprehensible. His work represents chaotic assemblies with quiet reflective overtones edging minimalism with free expression.


Influenced by early abstract artists such as Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, Steven Du Charme builds an alternative interpretation of the world that present chaotic flows to reflective meditative states.


Aurora Art League

The purpose of the Aurora Art League is to encourage and provide opportunities for all those interested in all forms of creative visual arts, to promote high artistic standards and to stimulate interest, and understanding in art.


Janet Wickham

Janet Wickham is an award winning artist whose work is represented by fine art galleries and owned by private and corporate collectors. The primary focus of her solo exhibit at If These Walls Could Talk is her entire series of Tree Bark paintings - mixed media compositions that feature natural tree bark and acrylic paint on wood panels.
You will also see her Oil Stick paintings which she creates without a brush, manipulating the paint with her bare hands directly on the canvas.


Her style has been described as "Complex Minimalism". Whether representative or abstract, the inspiration for Janet's work comes from nature... trees, clouds, stars, moonlight... and yet she does not want to be called a landscape artist. The artist's sole objective is to "capture the quiet, to mute the noise in our heads, and to calm the cacophony of the artificial world that blocks our ability to have a peaceful moment to ourselves".


Christina Snider

Art is a form of expression created using mediums on a blank surface. There are many ways to express oneself in art considering the many different mediums and surfaces that can be used.
You be the judge as to which form is your favorite.


John Harrison

John, a Chicago native, grew up with his brothers. The young men were all blessed with artistic talents. John's mother insisted they paint murals, especially waterfalls, on their apartment walls as children. John continued painting into adulthood, honing his skills and becoming a true self-taught artist. John credits his creativity to his ability to look deep within his soul, finding his inspiration. He chooses to work with oil, as he feels its bold, vibrant shine, rich color, and expressive texture realistically depict wildlife in all its majesty.


Mike Smith

I started my career back in 1985 as an industrial photographer, providing multi image slide presentations to manufacturing plants as training programs for new employees. This soon led to commercial photography for a few local advertising agencies in the suburbs. Finding colleagues in my neighborhood doing similar type work I found a new opportunity in fire ground / fire investigative photography. This was the opportunity I needed at that time. I won my first award, 1st place in Human Interest, and also my first magazine cover. That led me to photographing brand new fire apparatus from Pirsch Fire Engines in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


As my talent improved so did my client list. I have worked for the ACLU Chicago, Xerox Corporation, HBO, Continental Cablevision, Music Vision, Homes Magazine, Harley Women Magazine, Rock Bands; “The Girls”, “Tough Love”, among others. I spent time in China during the open door policy, and received an award from the State of Illinois for my contribution on this project. I was the only still photographer in China for this project and worked alongside the video team that produced the famous “Chicago Super Bear Shuffle”.


During my career I have been published many times.  Most recently I have been published in Epitaph Magazine, Saddle Tramp Magazine, and my first book cover is with Arcadia Press for the book “Haunted Naperville”. Recently I won an award from Wolf Camera, Fox Valley, my photo was voted number one by store customers. I have had several photos aired on NBC during the Weather Photo segment, and now on CBS News for their Capture Chicago project.

I am the Official Photographer for “The Elgin Opera Company”, “Chicago Poetry Brothel”, “The World of Faeries Festival” and “All Dressed Up Costumes”. I am the PR photographer for “Noble Fool Theatre”.


Currently my work is on display and for sale at Gallery 200. I specialize in “Portraits for Charity”, Family Portraiture, Boudoir, Landscape, and Cemetery Art.


I am a member of Help-Portrait (providing family portraits to families that cannot afford them) and an Assistant Coordinator for a photography club called “Focused”


Sally Blottiaux

Urban exploration is the recreational trespass into derelict and ruined places. It stems from a curiosity of what’s behind closed doors, accessing locations that are typically restricted to the general public. In these forgotten and overlooked places, I see not just loss, tragedy, or decay, but the chaos in which a photographer's vision may be born. I find images of decaying and neglected buildings beautiful, haunting, and aesthetically pleasing. I explore mainly because I love the look and grittiness of this photographic genre.


Gary Brown

A native to the Chicago area; Gary was raised in Elmhurst, Illinois and now lives in Naperville, Illinois. Since childhood, Gary sawart in everyday discarded objects that most people overlook, ortake for granted.Gary now creates unique one-of-a-kind, 3-dimensional artworkusing recycled materials, objects, and images. He searches fleamarkets, garage sales, in the street or wherever, for the perfectmaterials to make his next creation. He has keen awareness ofshape, texture and form. Gary will take found objects, and arrangethem in artistic assemblages, thus giving them new life. All theobjects and materials are cut precisely and fitted together into theassemblages, that are visually and tactically stimulating.Gary’s artistic passion is revealed in form, design, mediamanipulation, balance, uniqueness and precision. He refers to hiscreations as “Found Art”, but others may call them assemblages or3-dimensional montages.


Helen Ratzlow


Anton Wisek


Kris Ducharme


Jason Arthur

I enjoy keeping my art random that is why I do not work in one particular medium. I was influenced a lot as a child by street art and comic book art work and as an adult meeting other artists and meeting people in general have influenced me even more. Creativity is kind of like a muscle, so the more you exercise it the more you come up with.
Also I like tacos...


Kathleen Rietz


Turkan Ilkdemirci 

I enjoy working with color and texture. Bright colors make me happy! My inspiration comes mostly from nature, for example: the organic, flowing lines of flowers, plants and the female figure. I use acrylic paint in saturated colors, sometimes combined with paper to give the painting texture. I like to build up many layers, usually 6 or 7 sometimes many more, to achieve depth. The process of making art is fulfilling, fun, meditative to me. It’s a self-discovery really.

I hope you enjoy my art.



Maryann Hupp

Photography has been a hobby for my for about the past 33 years. Recently, my passion for it has been awakened and having been a graphic artist for the past 17 years, I have a new appreciation for it. With digital photography, I can now do what was only able to be done in a dark room. Much of the effects is done in camera, with additional post processing techniques. I love working on my pictures. It takes me to a place free from distractions. I like to get lost in a picture until what I see on the screen says "This is my vision" to me. My hope is that my images produce some kind of emotional response from its viewer. I hope they convey the same sense of calm for their viewers as they do for their creator.



Jean Greenberg

I am fascinating by exploring the hidden and alternative lives of different life forms, both real and imagined. In my professional life as a Professor of Biology I aim to discern the properties of the natural world. Through experimentation I learn about how organisms function, but my inferences are always constrained by the evolutionary history of all organisms as well as by physical and natural laws. In my art, I am free to imagine interesting alternatives such as novel chimeras and creatures engaged in unlikely activities, sometimes in unusual environments. Much of my inspiration comes from my late mother, Silvia Greenberg, who was an artist and was the first person to teach me that even imaginary creatures can evoke potent emotional responses and teach us about ourselves.



Ian Mitchell Wallace


Mary Rodriguez

Mary Rodriguez is an Aurora-based photographer who specializes in scenic photography.  While growing up, her Father instilled in her a love of sports and scenic photography that she has continued to refine over the years. Choosing to pursue her passion, she entered the June 2012 Aurora Art Walk where she won the People’s Choice Award. To view her work or inquire about photo sales, you can visit her photography Facebook page at ‘Mary Rodriguez Photography’ or send an email to