The success of IN BLOOM depends in large part on the talent of the artists that we have commissioned to transform these fiberglass frogs, benches and bird baths into one-of-a-kind works of art. Please take a moment to scroll down and read about the fantastic local artists that have dedicated their time and considerable talent to help IN BLOOM and HCS Family Services reach their goals of bringing art to the community and in the process helping the many less fortunate that live in near-poverty in the Southeast Suburbs of Dupage County. Click on their websites to read further about the artists and explore their portfolios. HCS Family Services proudly supports the Arts and particularly these wonderful local artists.


Kevin Dean Taylor (Chicago, IL)

After studying at Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C., Kevin Dean Taylor obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of Southern Florida. His career took the path of scenic artist for theater. His success in the scenic arts, which won him awards in various sculptural projects, together with positive attention he received for his murals and paint treatments, led him to aggressively pursue fine arts as a career path. Processes learned in the theater industry led to an exploration in medium and to stylistic changes that now inform his work. Kevin currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He continues to work as a scenic artist while establishing himself as a local talent. www.paintingsprimarily.com

Tanya Ragir (Los Angeles, CA)
whole foods. whole people. whole planet.

Tanya was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She started drawing and sculpting from a very young age, the subject almost always the human form. She also studied many forms of dance: modern, jazz, and ballet and was performing in a ballet company before going to college. Tanya earned a B.A in Art and Dance from the University of California. In addition to her work being in permanent collections of the Total Art Museum, Seoul, Korea; Rose Museum at Brandeis University; Columbia College of Dance; Cerro Cosa College, and; the Joffrey Ballet Company in Chicago, her work has been internationally collected and is represented in the Frederick Weisman collection among many others. You may recall her beautiful nudes on the set of Meet the Fokkers, in the home of sex therapist Roz Fokker (Barbara Streisand)! Tanya lives in West Los Angeles with her son Jonah. Her daughter Sophie, recently graduated Barnard College in New York. www.tanyarajir.com

Plamen Yordanov (Chicago, IL)

Plamen, born in Bulgaria, graduated the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria with MFA in painting. He has studied Advanced Visual Arts in Como, Italy and later, Public Arts at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Salzburg, Austria. Locally, Plamen has participated at more than 100 exhibitions in Europe and America, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Daley Center in Chicago as well as at Queens Museum of Art, NY; National Palace of Culture, Bulgaria; Ratti Foundation, Italy; Gagliardi Gallery, London; National Art Museum of China, Beijing; and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. www.plamenarts.com


Merike Adams (Naperville, IL)
Merike Adams, a professional artist and art educator and member of the Naperville Art League. Her paintings include seascapes, portraits, as well as conceptual paintings. Merike works mostly in oil, but has experience also in ceramics, stained glass and glass mosaic. Merike Adams is a professional artist and educator with many years of teaching experience. Merike believes that art contributes to the development of creativity and motor skills in young children, and that art is a great way of self expression for older children. www.color-and-light.com

Amy Allison (Chicago, IL)
Any holds a BA in Interior and Art and Design from Adrian College and a FA in Furniture Design from Kendall College. Her own product line includes porcelain home goods, hand printed textiles, stationery and wallpaper all featuring her illustrations. Amy launched her company SODA in Chicago in 2006 and is currently sold in 75 nationwide stores. www.sodabyamy.com

Sandie Bacon (Lake Bluff, IL)
Sandie is an accomplished and versatile painter, draughtsman, and sculptor. She has been an innovator in the art/environment movement. Her artwork is in the collections of The Chicago Department of the Environment, the Clinton Climate Initiative Commission, Field Museum and is showing in galleries in Chicago, California and New York. www.goldenpaints.com/artist/wap/artist.php?uid=47

Carla Bank (Barrington, IL)
Carla is a painter born in Mexico City. She studied Graphic Design at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico and painting at the Chicago Art Institute. Carla paints everyday and sells her custom art directly to clients and local businesses.

Kathy Bryan-Swim (Naperville, IL)
Kathy has many years experience in graphic design and fine art and has served as an art director in four cities. She worked as a fine art decorative artist doing murals and paintings for her clients as presently enjoys creating pen & ink and watercolor house portraits and commissioned paintings for her clients.

Marilyn Dale (Naperville, IL)
Marilyn Dale studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is proficient in oil, watercolor and pastel painting. She teaches oil painting and drawing in the continuing studies division of North Central College and for the Naperville Art League and is also a graphic designer. She has won many awards in local exhibits and summer art fairs and has had her work published. www.marilyndale.com

Kimberly Darovec (Des Plaines, IL)
Kimmi received a BA in graphic design from the University of Central Florida and exhibited her fine art (paintings and drawings) extensively in Orlando, Florida. After moving to Chicago in 2002, she participated in group and solo shows and earned a masters Degree in Art Therapy at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.

Fred DeAsis (Arlington Heights, IL)
Fred is an international artist based in Chicago, born in the Philippines and works in various styles, mediums and genre. Extensively schooled in fine art in the Philippines, Thailand, Spain and Chicago, Fred is the chairman of Asian American Arts And Cultural Foundation and a director of the Philippine American Cultural Foundation. He also serves as an Art Commissioner of Arlington Heights, Illinois. His collectors appreciate the originality of his style and technique. www.fdeasis.com

Mindy Donahue (Plainfield, IL)
Mindy is a professional fine artist currently working in watercolor, after having spent many years drawing portraits in pen and ink. Mindy specializes in the human form and has a special affinity for hands, She strives to capture the beauty and emotion of the body in her paintings.

Debbie Egizio (Bolingbrook, IL)
Debbie is an accomplished artist who specializes in painting and collage. Her work has been displayed in galleries and shops in the Chicago area and she is a showcased artist on 2 segments of HGTVs Thats Clever show. Debbies art has an ethereal quality with a touch of whimsy.

Tia Etu (Oak Park, IL)
Tia received her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has also studied art in London, Paris, Zacatecas and Brazil, where she spent time as Ambassador of the Arts. As a graduate of Chicago's School of the Art Institute, Tia has been creating and teaching art in Chicago and surrounding suburbs since 1982. Tias lifelong endeavor has been to improve the quality of the human behavior and experience through art.

Alexander J. Fedirko (Chicago, IL)
FAlex received his Bachelors in Art and Architecture from the University of Michigan in 2003 and is currently a painter living and working in the Chicago Arts District. He is a regular participant in the 2nd Fridays Chicago Art District art walks. He was recently published in New American Paintings #89 and his paintings were displayed in the Willis Tower lobby. www.alexfedirko.com

Carolyn Finzer (Naperville, IL)
Carolyn holds a B.S. in Arts Education (K thru 14) from Illinois State University and did post-graduate work at Salzburg College, Austria, in art history and painting. She has 15 years of professional dance training as well. The Naperville Art League honored her with its very prestigious 2006 Outstanding Contributions To The Arts Award for her five decades of on-going involvement and commitment to the studio, public, and performing arts.

Iuliana Foghis (Chicago, IL)
Iuliana holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration. She is currently the Director of Chicago Art Center. Her experience is in the field of curating art exhibitions and managing art projects. She has exhibited at Chicago Art Center in River North Art District. In this exhibition she showed her artistic approach to the art in public spaces by expressing her poetic vision by redefining the ordinary, everyday objects.

Lisa Garrett (Western Springs, IL)
Lisa Garrett graduated from Boston College and studied Illustration at the Art Institute of Boston. She recently earned a Masters in Teaching from Dominican University. Lisa's company, Pixxi Designs, has been in operation since 2005. She designs hand-painted furniture and accessories, as well as painting murals for local businesses and homeowners. www.pixxidesigns.com

Maureen Gasek (Aurora, IL)
Maureen studied at the University of Wisconsin, Stout and graduated with honors with a degree in Graphic Design. Maureen has worked in many commercial design areas as a graphic designer, agency director and more. She currently owns her own graphics and consulting company, Epsilon Design & Consulting, teaches painting at Water Street Studios in Batavia, IL. and designs jewelry.

Ginny Gaura (North Aurora, IL)
After graduating from Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Illustration, Ginny worked as a graphic designer and continued graduate studies in painting. She built a successful 10 year career in advertising at the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Her longing for creating with her hands eventually drew her back to painting. Ginny paints and exhibits on a regular basis and is currently painting in all media.

Angela Graefenhain (Naperville, IL)
Angela is the President of the Naperville Art League Fine Art Center and Gallery. She has a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Business Administration from Benedictine University. Although Angela mainly uses oil, her use of color and special effects usually categorizes her as a mixed media painter. Her work was recently acquired for Edward Hospitals permanent collection. www.angelasfineart.com

Anne Hanley (Wheaton, IL)
Anne Hanley is a professional Batik artist and painter from Wheaton, Illinois. Anne has mastered the art of Batik in her own way. Her colorful blend of watercolors and hot wax on a rice paper surface is a unique alteration of the centuries old art form. Anne has been displaying and selling her work for several years in juried art fairs and exhibitions throughout the Chicagoland area. Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Illinois State University, majoring in Art and design. www.afhanley.com

Damian Iordanov (Chicago, IL)
Damian studied guitar at the Chicago School of Rock, where he was selected for the 2011 Show Team. As a visual artist he participated in exhibitions and projects at Townhouse Gallery Cairo, Egypt; Cabinet, New York; CRG Gallery, New York; Queens Museum of Art, New York. Presently he is a senior at the Lincoln Park High School in Chicago and enrolled in Columbia College Chicago, Music Department.

Deborah Landry (Porter, IN)
Earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts, Sculpture from the University of West Georgia. Deborah is a professional artist, working as sculptor and painter in all mediums. She is an experienced public artist and is currently lecturing on public art and how to incorporate it in the Great Lakes region. Her public art can be seen Westcott Park, Indiana, Barker Middle School in Michigan City, Indiana, and Chesterton Arts Center among others. In addition to her public art commissions, Deborah has exhibited her work in numerous venues, including most recently Indiana University and the Lubeznik Center for the Arts. www.renditionsstudio.com

Anne Leuck Feldhaus (Chicago, IL)
Inspired by the love of her own adopted pets, Annes bold whimsical art celebrates the joy of our four legged friends and a commitment to encourage adoption and support of animal welfare organizations. Anne earned a BS in Art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and has exhibited nationally in galleries, at fine art fairs, and on-line. Specializing in custom dog and pet portraits, she is also an illustrator and as licensed her designs for stationery and home decor products. www.AnnesArt.com

Marianne Lisson Kuhn (Naperville, IL)
Mariannes formal training is in fashion design and illustration where she learned the pen and ink technique. Her mission as an artist is to preserve fond memories of the Naperville area. She currently has more than 35 different Naperville scenes available in Limited Edition Prints. Marianne also enjoys painting murals which can be spotted in various locations in Naperville. Mariannes artwork is distinguished by its particular attention to nature and fine details. www.fauxforreal.com

Cherie Matousek (Naperville, IL)
Cherie has a Masters of Arts from Northern Illinois University, and as well as an independent artist, is an art instructor at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Cheries work has been seen in numerous public art events similar to IN BLOOM, including many of the Naperville United Way public art events. Her work has been displayed and sold at places like Art Interiors in the northern suburbs, the Kaleidoscope Gallery in Barrington, at the Naperville Art League's gallery in 5th Avenue Station and at the Naperville Women's Club Art Show

Eve Reed (Lombard, IL)
Eve has a Bachelors of Fine Art from Northern Illinois University and has supplemented her education with numerous classes in pastels, painting and design. Eve loves most to paint organic subjects and tries to show things in a beautiful spotlight or a whimsical, colorful way. Eve has worked as a freelance graphic artist, an Art Director of videos for business and as an entrepreneur selling handmade crafts and toys. She has also taught art classes to both adults and children. www.EveReed.com

Arlene Salamendra (LaGrange, IL)
After an early interest in surrealism, Arlenes work developed into an emotional combination of realism and surrealism. Her style is distinct. She uses vivid and unusual colors combined with her love animals in her paintings. She has exhibited all over the Chicago area and her work can be found in private collections including the Hinsdale Center for the Arts and Northwestern Hospital.

Lisa Salamendra (Minooka, IL)
Lisa is attracted to shiny objects, the way they sparkle in the light. The things that make her smile inspire her to be creative and share the love she has for nature and animals of all kinds. She uses different mediums in her paintings which produce different textures. Lisa applies glass beads to draw attention to the focal point of her piece. As her mom Arlene, Lisa has exhibited all over Chicago and in area art fairs. www.Salamendra.com

Barry Skurkis (Naperville, IL)
Barry earned a Master of Arts from the University of Notre Dame. He is an Associate Professor of Art and served as the Chair of the Art and Theatre Department at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He has served as President, and is currently the Vice President of the Chicago Society of Artists, the oldest art organization in the US. Barry has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions, notably in Terminal 5 at OHare International Airport, Cook County Building in Chicago and the Thompson Center in Chicago.

Peter Thaddeus (Naperville, IL)
Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts in interior design from the Illinois Institute of Art, but early on became heavily involved in painting with acrylics. His paintings have evolved from his travels, the topics, design, architecture, fashion and more. Peters travels to Australia, Hawaii and Mexico have all had a profound impact on his work. He conveys drama and excitement in his paintings by using bold, contrasting colors and strong forms. He has showcased in man galleries and exhibitions. www.thaddeusart.com

Elizabeth Cole Thomson (Wheaton, IL)
Elizabeth is an acrylic painter working in both fine and decorative art. Forms found in nature inspire her work which can either be a close rendering or an abstraction of those botanical, animal or atmospheric forms. Her confident use of color and her attention to details, as well as light distinguish her work.