Blue Moon Gallery kicks off summer with new art exhibits, pop-up show

Five Grayslake artists are featured this month, plus 5 other artists and a musician

Woman in Spotted Blouse by Laura O'Connor (cross stitch)

GRAYSLAKE – Blue Moon Gallery is kicking off the summer season with an opening reception for featured artist Kay Smith of Waukegan, pop-up embroidery artist Laura O’Connor of Grayslake, the gallery’s five 2024 Collective Artists and the continuation of “Local Papers,” a group show of three local artists who create art on or with paper.

The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. June 22 at the gallery, 18620 Belvidere Road in Grayslake. The reception is free and open to the public. Wine will be served. Free parking is available.

Becoming Transparent by Kay Smith (acrylic)

Smith always has painted “in her mind” and eventually she ventured out to put her visual expressions directly onto canvases. Her artwork explores vivid color combinations, nonobjective imagery and nature to express her feelings and thoughts. The results reflect exciting color-saturated compositions and sensory-loaded textures. Her work is completely open to interpretation by the viewer.

“We are thrilled to be sharing Kay’s vibrant visual expression with our community,” gallery director Kendra Kett said. “Everyone is welcome to come to the reception to meet Kay and experience her dramatic paintings.”

Smith is showing a collection of 12 acrylic paintings. Her exhibition is on view through July 14.

Neurodivergance by Kay Smith (acrylic)

The gallery is open weekends from 1 to 4 p.m.

O’Connor will be presenting a fun and fascinating embroidery and mixed media pop-up show titled “On the bricks” at the gallery during the opening reception. The one-night-only pop-up show will be outdoors from 6 to 9 p.m., weather permitting, and will feature O’Connor’s award-winning embroidery, cross stitch and mixed media collages incorporating vintage photographs, ephemera and sewing notions.

“Needle and thread are always in my hands,” O’Connor said in the news release. “When using them, I join a long and strong tradition of women who have turned needlecraft into a vehicle for political expression and commentary on society. I work primarily in the needle crafts of embroidery and cross-stitch. I like the balance that they can provide. These particular needle crafts have a long history but they also have the ability to be flexible and to change to fit modern times.”

The gallery’s five collective artists – Juli Janovicz (Kenosha), Kett (Gurnee), John Kirkpatrick (Libertyville), Ginny Krueger and Matthew Padilla (both of Grayslake) – show their artwork year-round at the Blue Moon and will have new work to share at the June 22 opening reception including watercolor floral paintings, figurative acrylic and oil paintings, encaustic paintings and colored pencil drawings.

Purple Trillium by Phil Schorn (colored pencil)

“Local Papers” continues through July 14 and features a unique and interesting presentation of artwork made on or created with paper by three award-winning artists: Angela Williams Duea (Chicago), Phil Schorn and Melissa Rasor (both of Grayslake).

At the June 22 opening reception guests also can enjoy music by guitarist Clark Hardin of Bartlett. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and snacks.

For more information about the Blue Moon Gallery, visit

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