Cathy Engberg

Cathy Engberg is a contemporary oil painter who is currently working out of her home studio in Peoria, IL. Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, she has called Peoria home since 2014.

Her paintings are playful compositions of figures and/or animals at rest or play. With an interesting balance of realism and abstraction, she enjoys painting people at activities that they enjoy. Working in oils and sometimes mixing in cold wax, Cathy’s process is a combination of addition and subtraction of paint for varied texture and interest. She is always aware that a bit of destruction might just be what the piece needs next.

When not in her studio, she can be found hiking, quilting and playing with her grandchildren. Asked what makes her happiest about her art she replied:

“Once in a while, and it doesn’t happen all the time, I hit the absolutely correct value and color and drop it into the shadow. The shadow will seem to almost disappear. Happiness is in the shadows for me. This is what I search for and love.”

Justine Vannucci

About Justine
I always knew I wanted to own my own business, but just wasn’t sure just what it was going to be.
I learned how to make jewelry when I was 14.  My mom’s friend made jewelry as a hobby, and decided she wanted to move on to painting tiles.  I got her jewelry making supplies!
I went to college for fashion design
I have three cats
I live in South Philadelphia
I love green olives
I started this business because not only do I thrive working with my hands, but I noticed something when I graduated college and started getting “real” jobs.  I was always used to expressing myself very externally with bright clothing and big, loud jewelry.  Getting dressed was my favorite part of the day.  Yet, in some of the work environments I experienced,  I was either asked not to wear certain things, or was simply given the “judgy side eye”.  During a stint doing production for another jeweler, I made a few pieces for myself that I felt were creative and unique, but totally appropriate to wear in any other workplace.  Interest in this concept began to grow through word of mouth, and Vannucci ltd jewelry was born.
About the name
My grandfather, Putsee Salvatore Vannucci, was a first generation catholic Italian.  He met my grandmother in the early 1940’s, but they were forced to elope, since she was from a local family that was protestant.  They ran away to Maryland with their two best friends.  Upon returning to Williamsport, PA they began making a living by opening a photography business – Vannucci Photo Services, which was run by my grandfather (and his brother) until the mid 90’s.  He has even photographed every Little League World Series from its inception until his death in 2007.  He got his big break by photographing flood destruction in 1946, and turned it into a book, but his interest in the art of photography stretched back to early high school.  I am honored and humbled to carry on in the creative arts under the Vannucci name.

Collaborative Works by Tilton + Oeler

Tilton + Oeler
Like adding voice and lyric to instrumental composition, our collaborative works sound distinct, but are familar.  By combining Paula’s focus on shape, contrast and movement with Dave’s ambient–inspired compositional synthesis, we produce Tilton + Oeler works that meld representational forms with an abstract painterly aesthetic.

Dave Tilton
My landscapes suggest memories and impressions unencumbered by form and detail and offer views on a world filled with suggestion, mood, and sumptuous beauty.  Recently I have explored the concept of adding voice and lyric to my compositions through two diverse paths — portrait and figurative works and collaborative works with my wife, Paula Oeler.

Paula Oeler
Shape, texture, color and movement (real or implied) capture my attention. I often focus on the contrasts created at intersections — especially those of land, water, and sky. My representational forms add a measure of realism to collaborative pieces I create with my husband, Dave Tilton.

Dave Tilton

My landscapes suggest memories and impressions unencumbered by form and detail and offer views on a world filled with suggestion, mood, and sumptuous beauty.  Recently I have explored the concept of adding voice and lyric to my compositions through two diverse paths — portrait and figurative works and collaborative works with my wife, Paula Oeler.

Our work is experimental and created in a digital environment.  Modeled after concepts used in the creation and synthesis of sounds for electronic music composition, our techniques are unique, innovative, and complex.  Although we employ standard digital photographic tools, our art fundamentally re-conceptualizes how these tools are applied to image creation and abandons traditional photographic process in favor of source, synthesis, and composition.

Intuitive yet highly technical, the process we developed over the past 15 years yields extremely intricate textures, colors, and forms.  While we often have a specific concept in mind when we start an image, each is a journey of discovery and unfolds as the image proceeds.  The results are complex works that exhibit the richness and subtlety of the human hand and mind.

Once an image is fully composed, we print the work at our studio, Carta StudioWorks.  Each image is offered in very limited editions.

Rusty Wolfe

As a self-taught artist, woodworker, designer, musician, songwriter, and entrepreneur, I have learned that the only boundaries are those that are self-imposed. Diagnosed with a severe case of dyslexia at an early age, I have realized that my disability is actually a gift, for the conventional way of learning has never been an option; I rely on my own inventiveness to show me the way. My work is a product of the ability to open new doors where both visual creativity and inventiveness come together.

This current body of work brings together my ability to work with color, wood, fabrication, design and spatial relation. Each sculpture is based on the grouping of elements to create a whole. Each individual element is hand fabricated to exacting tolerances and then finished with 14 to 16 coats of lacquer. Each element is precisely hung with a patented hanging system to ensure the engineered integrity that defines this body of work. One might say this work is magically minimal.

Patricia Locke

Patricia Locke jewelry speaks a distinctive visual language that encourages self-expression 
and hints at a subliminal universe of rites, passages and mysteries. Inspired from a wealth 
of cultural and historic influences - including architecture, archeology, astronomy, and 
global travel - her provocative collections reflect an aura of romance, self-possession and 
multi-faceted femininity.

Patricia Locke collections always blend the depth of fine art with a modern sense of fashion. 
Her work is immediately recognizable for its distinctive asymmetry, tantalizing multi-metal 
combinations and elegant use of positive-negative space. Each piece presents an exquisite 
paradox, at once handsome and beautiful, organic and geometric, and contemporary with heirloom 

Self-taught, Patricia Locke had never worked with her hands or taken an art class prior to 
undertaking what would become her life's work in jewelry design.  She designed her first pieces, 
fine jewelry in sterling silver and gold in 1971, working largely by private commission for 
several years.  By 1979, the desire to reach a wider audience prompted her first designer costume
jewelry collection, which she personally - and quickly - sold one-on-one to prominent galleries 
and retailers.  In 1997, Deborah Rethemeyer joined Patricia as a partner in the business.  
Deborah's experience in retail, operations, marketing and design allowed her to streamline 
production and introduce the line to even more retailers across the country.  Patricia and 
Deborah work together to design five collections annually. Patricia Locke jewelry is handcrafted 
by a team of artisans outside of Chicago, Illinois.

Among America's premier contemporary jewelry designers, Patricia Locke's collections are timeless, 
relevant, and consummately collectible.

Mary Ellen Sisulak

Mary Ellen Sisulak is an artist/craftsperson known for working in diverse materials through her long career in the arts. Her training was at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she earned a BFA in painting with high honors in 1974. The professors who had the most impact upon her were, Thomas Uttech and John Colt. Yearning to live closer to nature, she moved to rural Door County, WI. Her work is influenced by living next to a unique habitat, the Mink River Nature Conservancy.

She has maintained a studio/gallery in Door County for 43 years, designing and producing wearable art in leather and fiber. Her leather work is well known for exploring the mechanics of functional handbags and stretching the boundaries of surface design.  More recent work focuses on other natural materials: wool and silk. Collections of dyed and felted wool accessories and digitally printed and pieced silk wall hangings complement more commercial work in the studio/gallery.

Mary Ellen has exhibited at numerous juried shows for 40 years: The Smithsonian Craft Show, The Philadelphia Museum Craft Show, American Craft Exposition, The Sausalito Arts Festival, American Craft Council Shows in Baltimore, St.Paul, Atlanta, Chicago and SanFrancisco.  Best of Show awards for both leather and fiber were received at The Madison Art Fair on the Square – 1998, The Edina Art Festival – 2011, 2012 and The Oconomowoc Festival of Arts – 2009. Work was selected for Standard Oil of Indiana Collection and Harley-Davidson Collection. Leather bags have been marketed in galleries and shops from the East to the West Coast.  Custom  products were developed for The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the iconic Harley Davidson brand.

In 2002 she received a Grant from the WI Arts Board/WI Arts Assn. to journal and paint her beloved Mink River habitat.  This led to a one woman show at the Link Gallery in Fish Creek, WI.  The Grant fueled more explorations in digital printing and pieced 2-D silk wall art. Single image, diptych and triptych pieces have been commissioned by interior designers and individuals for homes and offices both regional and national; notably the UW Health Clinics in Madison, WI.

Marketing art is an important part of her involvement in the community. She established Ellison Bay Arts in 2004; an association of local artists and schools to collectively market through ads, brochures and events. From 1993-1998 she owned and operated Turtle Island Gallery in Egg Harbor, WI.  Reaching a new audience, Art Camps are now offered in her studio so that other craftspeople can share her knowledge, space and equipment.

Published work: The Geology of Door County: A Self-Guided Tour 1978 Bill Skadden, Mary Ellen Sisulak.  Reflections in a Tarnished Mirror, The Use and Abuse of the Great Lakes 1978, Tom Kuchenberg, Jim Legualt, Mary Ellen Sisulak. Self-published picture book: Pinklieee!, written and illustrated by Mary Ellen Sisulak 2015. Featured articles appeared in Door County Advocate Sept. 4, 2003.  Door County Living, Fall 2005. Luxury Homes, Fall 2006. Peninsula Pulse, Issue 11, 2008.  Peninsula Pulse, March 2015.

In 2017 Mary Ellen received a commission to incorporate leather into a large wall piece.  The 4’ x 6’ piece led to a new mixed media collection which combines her skills as a painter with the techniques of a crafts person. Pairing stones and leather, she found a voice that she had been searching for.  As enthusiastic now as at the beginning of her career, her interpretations of environment are strong reminders of the vulnerability of nature and man’s relationship to it.

Hayden Wilson

Hayden Wilson grew up in the Mountains of Western North Carolina.  He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in sculpture from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

As a second generation glass maker, he has been around glass his entire life, but working professionally as a glass blower and caster for the past six years.

He has been an assistant instructor in the glass studio at Penland School of Craft, in Penland, North Carolina and also at Pilchuck Glass School in Washington state. Hayden has also worked Jackson County Green Energy Park building equipment, teaching glass and metal foundry classes.

He currently works with glass artist Alex Bernstein and manages the Asheville Glass Centers hot shop, a public access studio that focuses on art glass making as well as offering an array of classes. Hayden creates his work at the Asheville Glass Center.  Hayden’s work conveys his aesthetic of clean lines and inspired by modern, utilitarian design.  He works with utilitarian vessels, as well as steel and cast glass sculptures. In addition to his own work, Hayden has also designed and created various lighting commissions for local restaurants and businesses in the region.

Charlie Hunter

“Charlie Hunter has the uncanny ability to seize upon the most ordinary things, and transform them with his brush into bewitching jewels of design and artistic perception.” — Richard Schmid

I live in Bellows Falls, a resurgent mill town on the banks of the Connecticut River in Vermont. My studio is in an old paper mill. There, I like to paint what nature does to what man creates.

I was born in a small town in New Hampshire where we used to swim in the abandoned granite quarries. We had pigs and chickens and rambling barns. I’d walk home from school along the tracks of the Boston & Maine Hillsborough Branch , and read the names and slogans on the box cars that’d roll by, things like “The Nickel Plate Road” and “Santa Fe All The Way.”

When they put a highway through our barns, my family returned to the house built by my great, great, great grandfather in Weathersfield Center, Vermont, where my great aunts lived. Our family still makes maple syrup there and also have a hand-cranked cider press which makes amazing cider but can remove a finger if you’re not careful (just ask Uncle Andrew).

My Dad was an occasional minister who ran a small print shop. There was always a lot of paper and drawing stuff around. I drew a lot. Though I did not appreciate it at the time, in college, I was lucky enough to be forced to draw the figure three days a week from 8:00 am till noon under the tutelage of William Bailey. Afterwards, I got a job designing tour posters for acts like The Clash, REM and The Jerry Garcia Band. I got to design a lot of album covers and became a music manager. I quit that just before the music business imploded and went back to painting a lot and running music trains (live music on long-distance train trips – a few times a year. Now painting is my primary focus.

My goal is to paint beautifully that which is not traditionally considered beautiful. Sorta like a less-grotesque Anselm Keifer in a better mood.

Photo credit: Rachel Portesi

Michael-Che Swisher

Michael-Che Swisher’s work is inspired by her love of animals. As a child, she dragged home every injured squirrel, bunny, and bird. As a adult, she became a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator and fostered many kittens. The artist often had baby opossums and squirrels as residents and at other times, a house full of playful kittens.

With each painting, the artist focuses on color and texture to highlight the animal’s unique personality. Michael-Che’s style is instinctive. Colors and tools are selected as the painting develops. Brushes, painting knives, and other unexpected tools are utilized to create the artist’s characteristic levels of texture. Mixing colors on both the palette and canvas allows the artist to experience the joy of manipulating thick layers of paint.

Michael-Che lives with multiple sclerosis which at times interferes with her painting,
weakening her eye muscles and the right side of her body. In early 2013, the artist
experienced severe muscle weakness in her right arm and shoulder and a loss of fine motor control in her hand. She was unable to paint for the rest of the year.

Today, the artist paints with the assistance of a mobile arm support that holds her arm up which she is unable to do herself. Despite the pain and challenges involved, Michael-Che is determined to paint. The MS Society asked her what it meant to paint again. Her response: “It means everything!”

Some days the artist can control the movements of a brush. Other days, it can be interesting. If her right hand is not strong enough to hold a brush, she’ll let her left hand take over. The artist will find random objects and embark on an exploration of textures, turning something she can’t control into finding new ways to express herself.

Before turning to fine art, Ms. Swisher was an illustrator for seven years. She illustrated four children’s books and her artwork is displayed on dinnerware, bed & bath items, in magazines, and advertisements. Michael-Che’s paintings can be found in private collections throughout the U.S. and in Japan, Australia, Great Britain, Korea, and Canada.