Blue Moon Gallery showcases momigami, pyrography, ephemera and oil paintings

Opening reception to take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 25

GRAYSLAKE – Blue Moon Gallery is presenting a diverse collection of original fine art at an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 25.

Exhibitions will feature a new collection of mixed media encaustic works by Gurnee artist Crystal Marie, showcasing momigami, the Japanese technique of kneading paper; elegant floral and feminine figures in oil by Buffalo Grove painter Marilyn Weisberg; and the work of Grayslake artist Jason Houchen, who is presenting pyrography on English limewood and collages made with pre-1940 antique ephemera.

Marie is an artist and author with a passion for teaching others how to discover their voice. Her process is intuitive, which she said is the most authentic version of her own voice. When she was in her 30s, a happenstance encounter with a stranger handing her an art magazine was all it took to awaken long-forgotten thoughts. Today, Marie has an established career as a professional artist with gallery representation, a published book on the art of collage and a book in progress about the intuitive voice.

Marie has exhibited her work in fine art exhibitions, solo shows and events. She teaches workshops online and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in person across the U.S. She leads an online community for creatives called Canary Rising and is part of a small collective of artists who collaborate and exhibit their work.

Momigami is the ancient Japanese craft of kneading paper in order to produce a durable, leather-like surface that is revered in the West as bookbinding paper, but traditionally used for clothing, umbrellas and other everyday items. Marie used both traditional and contemporary methods to produce textures and designs that created the visual imagery in her Landscapes: Land and Body collection of works that is showing at the gallery.

Weisberg is a fine artist specializing in figures and flowers. An oil painter, her unique style combines fine detail with colorful, loose, abstract elements, creating a vibrant, warm, dreamlike quality to her work. She graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in psychology and public health. As an independent artist early in her career, Weisberg designed and marketed a line of 50 greeting cards called “Whimerics” with whimsical pen and ink drawings. She did newspaper illustrations for the Detroit News, courtroom illustrations for WDIV-TV and animated cartoons for TV commercials.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Missouri, Houchen relocated to Los Angeles, where he discovered classical folk art, street art and a burgeoning pop surrealism art scene. Through his pyrography (wood burnings), sculptures, mixed media works and paintings, he has developed a style that coalesces his Midwest influences with these newly found worlds. Described as being full of life and death, spirits and spirituality, history, as well as memories, his work provokes more questions than answers while embodying a timelessness that is both nostalgic yet also modern.

Houchen earned a master’s degree in art education from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The gallery’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 collections of works in impressionism, abstract expressionism and modern/contemporary genres.

The gallery will be open to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 25 and 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, 3, 9 and 10. The gallery ships artwork to buyers nationwide.

Blue Moon Gallery is at 18620 Belvidere Road in Grayslake. For information, call Blue Moon Gallery director Kendra Kett at 224-388-7948.