Blue Moon presents end of summer exhibitions with three new guest artists

Blue Moon presents end of summer exhibitions with three new guest artists

To cap off summer, Blue Moon Gallery is presenting new exhibitions this month featuring three distinguished guest artists. An opening reception will take place from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, at the gallery, 18620 Belvidere Road, Grayslake.

Sally Wille was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, and moved to Winnetka as a young child. Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan and spending summers at camp in Michigan on an inland lake gave her a deep appreciation for nature, the outdoors, and its unending landscape.

Her interest in painting was cultivated during high school with class work and continued while she was enrolled at The Art Institute of Chicago during summers. Wille continued her painting practice in college at the University of Arizona completing her BFA degree.

"I work on 'composed landscapes' in nature from memory, imagination, and photos in the studio," Wille said. "I use watercolor and gouache (an opaque water-based paint) to re-create landscapes with the help of emotion provoked in me.

"I simplify the composition into broad zones or swaths of intensified color, resulting in abstractions of nature, which gives the landscape distinctive character.

"Currently, I'm drawn to painting a drone's aerial view of landscapes. I exaggerate with color and shape and slightly distort the image. I still want the painting to be recognizable, though perhaps not at first, and that, as you view it, it begins to make sense. The vivid sunsets, quiet stillness, or unnaturally bright green grass heightens the mood of my abstracted and composed landscapes."

Wille's exhibition at the Blue Moon will include works from her new drone series. Wille paints in her Winnetka studio and in her summer studio in Northern Michigan.

She is also a plein air artist. She exhibits frequently in both group and solo shows, is an active member of three art centers, and is a member of The Leelanau Women Artists and Art Makers North.

Abstract art is Susan Bennett's passion. She enjoys the challenge of creating something in two dimensions with only line, color, shape, texture and composition, and finds great satisfaction in hearing people discuss what they see in her work.

In this way, she feels that a connection is made and appreciation for abstract art is emboldened. The gallery will be showing new and recent abstract paintings by Bennett in a highly colorful and engaging exhibition.

Bennett is an active member of the Chicago Alliance of Visual Artists and creates art in her Northfield studio.

For Christine Graf, creating art is an act of intimacy; hands making things that involve a healing touch for the artist. It is also steeped in joy and being present. Graf earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology and has had a successful career as a fine artist and surface pattern designer in New York.

Graf specializes in colorful, whimsical, deconstructed box collages on wood panels, as well as richly textured mixed media collages and assemblages using fabric, Japanese scroll papers, encaustic techniques, and small objects. She creates her own hand-carved rubber stamps and papers to use in her art.

Her works evoke mystery, serenity, and calm. The gallery will be exhibiting a variety of Graf's works from her Deconstructed Boxes and Japanese Scrolls series of collages.

The Blue Moon's five 2021 Collective Artists - Leisa Corbett, Bob Nonnemacher, Michael Litewski, John Kirkpatrick Jr. and Michael Bellefeuille - also will be exhibiting new works, including paintings, assemblages and metal sculptures.

These artists show year-round at the gallery and present evolving collections of works in impressionism, abstract expressionism and modern/contemporary genres.

"We have had a wonderful summer at the Blue Moon this year. Our patrons have greatly enjoyed our exhibitions and interacting with our talented artists at our opening receptions and during gallery hours," Blue Moon Gallery Director Kendra Kett said.

"We are proud to exhibit beautiful, original fine art and to introduce so many gifted professional artists to our community. We hope everyone will come out this month to enjoy a lovely evening with us on Aug. 28.

"We will have live, ambient guitar music, a pop-up show in our garden gallery, wonderful art inside the gallery, and amazing artists to meet. We encourage visitors to bring lawn chairs and their favorite beverages and come on out to the Blue Moon to engage with beauty and meet some truly wonderful people," Kett said.

The gallery will be open to the public from 6-9 p.m. Aug. 28 and 1-4 p.m. Aug. 29. The gallery will also be open from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 4, 5, 11 and 12. The gallery ships artwork to buyers nationwide.

For information, call Kett at (224) 388-7948 or visit

"Drone Series VI" by Sally Wille, one of a series of paintings based on aerial views of landscapes from a drone. Courtesy of Blue Moon Gallery
"Pastiche" by Susan Bennett, who specializes in abstract paintings. Courtesy of Blue Moon Gallery
"Sunset" by Christine Graf. Blue Moon Gallery will display works from her Deconstructed Boxes and Japanese Scrolls series of collages. Courtesy of Blue Moon Gallery
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