Joliet multimedia artist moves into former Regis Glass Art space

Angelica Cristal: ‘I’m mostly trying to get people together, who don’t have the means, to make art,’

Angelica Cristal works on a glass pendent at her shop. Angelica is opening her own glass art business in the former Regis Glass Art Space in Downtown Joliet.

When Sue Regis decided to close her retail location for Regis Glass Art to focus on her health, she asked another Joliet artist to take over the space.

Angelica Cristal Joliet, a multimedia artist who does work on commission, will call the space, Waywards Art Haus, which is also the name for Cristal’s art collective.

Waywards Art Haus will also be Cristal’s studio for her commissioned projects, Cristal said.

Cristal said she’s hosting an open house on June 16 and 17 at Waywards Art Haus, located at 32 W. Clinton St., Joliet.

She’s still finalizing details, but said events both days begin at 6 p.m. Waywards Art Haus will also be open to the public on select days and weekends, Cristal said.

Cristal, a full-time electrician, has one main reason why she’s moving into this retail space.

“To keep this open for Sue,” Cristal said. “She has a place to come back to now and a lot of stress is lifted off her shoulders because of that. She’s mentioned renting space from me again. I think once she feels better, we’ll just be working side by side.”

Regis said she met Cristal 12 years ago and that Cristal worked with Regis on “some wonderful glass work” with her over the years.

“Over the last six months, I’ve bene showing her more because I can’t work on the torch much,” Regis said. “It’s inspiring for me to watch someone else work and give them pointers; it’s really therapeutic.”

Glass art - and so much more

Although glasswork will be part of the studio, Cristal will also offer ceramics, metalwork, set design, stonework and wide array of weekly creative or life skills workshops for people of all ages, experiences and incomes.

Cristal said she sees her space as “a gathering place for creatives.” She feels all people are artists, even if they don’t realize it yet.

“I’m mostly trying to get people together, who don’t have the means, to make art,” Cristal said.

I’m a carpenter’s daughter, so I’ve been doing things with all sorts of tools since I was little. The options are limitless for me, now that I have a space big enough to do all those things at once.”

—  Angelica Cristal, owner of Waywards Art Haus

Cristal said running Waywards will be in addition to working as an electrician at Machine Solution Providers, a panel shop in Downers Grove that “builds the brains” for large machinery.

“I usually get the more complicated things at work,” Cristal said. “They take more time and thought. I just love a challenge, and I love being able to retain all my information and use it efficiently. It’s a different art form for me – very creative – because of the way I run things. I make sure things are as clear and clean as possible, and I just love the challenge of it.”

Ann Galvan, shop manager at MSP, said Cristal works on specialty projects that require soldering and close attention to detail. Galvan also praised Cristal’s dedication and work ethic.

“She’s willing to go out of her way to accommodate people; she’s such a joy,” Galvan said. “Angelica, she’s so passionate about not only her work but her art. It’s amazing. She’ll bring in pieces to show us and they’re wonderful.”

Cristal said she also has two post rock-alternative-grunge bands: Sleuth and an all-girl band called Tore, where she sings and plays guitar and bass. Cristal said Sleuth will perform at the fundraiser the Joliet Area Historical Museum is hosting for Sue Regis on June 29 at the Old Joliet Prison in Joliet.

“I dabble in a little bit everywhere,” Cristal said.

Brad Inman, owner and president of IPS Water Slides Inc. in Sandwich, said he contracted Cristal in 2020 to repaint a lion at a water park in Hanover Park in 2020 that would otherwise have been thrown away.

“She was able to take the lion that was really faded and bring it back to life like it was a brand-new figure for the water,” Inman said.

Cristal said she “just can’t sit still” and that she “works best under pressure.” She might start half a dozen random gouache paint pieces and let the theme develop organically as she works.

“A lot of people refer to me as the machine,” Cristal said.

Her glasswork previously was limited or “doing a bunch of beads and calling it a day.” Now Cristal hopes to integrate glasswork into multimedia pieces.

“I’m a carpenter’s daughter, so I’ve been doing things with all sorts of tools since I was little,” Cristal said. “The options are limitless for me now that I have a space big enough to do all those things at once.”