Artist Features



Artist members are showcased in this SCAC program. Silkenthread was created by artists for the simple reason that we love to share our experiences in the creating of our work, and rarely get the chance to speak about it to our viewers.  The below explanation by Russ Devereaux, Poet and Spoken Word Performer, explains it the best.

“Art, in all of its shapes and mediums, is far too often a passively visceral Experience. Silkenthread goes past the painting, photographs, and performances in hopes of exploring the connections between an artist’s work and their wonder: understanding the creativity behind the creation; educating the public on the process and preparation; revealing the soul within. 

Through the elegance of the written word, Silkenthread will spotlight that which is not seen with elegant and striking non-fiction storytelling.  Our readers will be able to attend any artistic experience wielding the insight to see the strong but subtle strings attached between the showcase and the artist’s silhouette.”

Published April, 2017                       
An Artist’s Time Line

About Nicole Yingst by Nicole YingstThree-dimensional Mixed Media Artist and Art Educator.

1970 – 1988:  Drawing – “This is fun.  I like art.”
1988 – 1992: Sculpture – “Ok, this is cool.  I can draw and make it 3-D!”
1992 – 1997: Watercolor – “Not enough space for sculpture, watercolor is good.”
1997 – 2005: Pure watercolor gets boring; start mixing in layers of acrylic.  “I like this.”
2005 – 2010: Mixed Media Happens!  “Collage is awesome!”
2010 – 2016:  Still working mixed media, but clay has arrived!  Combining mixed media and clay.  “Now this has possibilities!”

This is a simplified time line of how my art has evolved…Read the whole Story: Nicole Yingst.Silkenthread

Chairs by John Abel | Photograph by Lawrence Oliverson. Pictured here courtesy of the artists. Artwork image designed and photographed by John Abel.

Published October, 2016
My Life and Art Times

About John Abel by John Abel – Writer, Woodworker, Furniture Maker, Culinary Artist, and Art Collector

There is a theory that some people are hard-wired for aesthetics. Recently, I read the same about social and political points of view. Maybe. I can only speak for myself, and I know from my first memories that my view was consistently what I now know as “aesthetic”—the ineffable something. I understood it first in the landscape of California, where I grew up, and as I got older in the work of artists and writers and then of anyone who turned what they did into something special. The idea of landscape, in its broadest sense, remains my reference point for reality, which in my mind includes beauty, order, rightness, intellectual honesty—all the ineffable somethings I feel, and know, when I see, hear, taste, and read them.

This isn’t like Physics: there are no one-to-one correlations among the observed, the connection, and the meaning. The ragged buttes of New Mexico…  Read the whole Story: John Abel.Silkenthread

Sculptures by Todd Willing. Photograph courtesy of the artist.

Published February, 2016
Willing to Balance

About Todd Willing by Jay Payleitner
Todd Willing is drawn to working vertically.  The artist known throughout the Midwest for his impressive, yet approachable tower pieces isn’t afraid to cut, stack, and weld quarter-inch plate iron and recycled scrap metal into arresting pillars rising well above his head.

His sculptures have been called whimsical, primitive, charismatic, surrealistic, and dangerous.  The small crane and stepladder in his garage studio get frequent use as the veteran sculptor elevates his creations to new heights.

Part of Willing’s creative process is using tack welds to temporarily… Read the whole Story: Todd Willing.Silkenthread

Published October, 2015
The Art of Installation: Rita Grendze’s Punk Rock Heart
About Rita Grendze by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Rita Grendze's Art Installation "Surfacing"
Rita Grendze’s Art Installation “Surfacing”, commissioned by the St Charles Arts Council for the Inaugural Celebrating Veterans Through Art Event, November, 2015

I meet up with sculptor Rita Grendze in her sky-lit studio at Water Street Studios in Batavia.  She is wearing a medical boot for a recently torn calf muscle and I ask her how she injured herself.  “I was dancing!” she tells me and grins wryly.  With that, I know that I’m going to like Rita a lot.  Initially I’m most curious about the process and reasoning behind creating large-scale art installation pieces – an important part of her career – but during the course of our conversation, she gives me understanding into other parts of her life as well.  A self-professed good girl who loves the Clash and Sex Pistols, small in stature but able to wield big power tools, Wife/Mother/Daughter/Traveler/Seeker, she is a woman and artist of many dimensions.

Beginnings, Art School, and FiberRita is the youngest of six children and grew up in Ohio… Read the whole story:  Rita Grendze.Silkenthread

Published June, 2015
Capturing Life’s Moments
About Al DaValle by AK Furio

Visual Artist - Al DaValle
Visual Artist – Al DaValle

“Photography is my creative outlet, there is so much pleasure capturing unique moments of beauty”, says Al DaValle, St. Charles resident and professional photographer.

While sitting across from this gentle soul, it is hard to imagine him doing anything else but photography. His vision and creativity is amazing, his digital knowledge and technical ability is second to none, and his personality is one that reassures yet challenges at the same time. In a nut shell, Al is an artists artist, one who champions others talent while inspiring them to reach farther in his quiet way. He is an art lovers artist, one who captures the light, mood and vastness of this incredible world we live in, immersing the viewer in his landscapes. He is a customers artist, one who brings alive the personalities of those who become his subject matter.

Al began shooting his first images in the 1960’s on film, but he never took it farther by learning to … Read the whole Story:  Al DaValle.Silkenthread

Published April, 2015
Willing to Balance

About Corey Dillard by Russ Devereaux

Spoken Word Performer - Corey Dillard
Spoken Word Performer – Corey Dillard

“The unspoken human nature,” He said jovially while rubbing his hands among one another. Placed together, a passing stranger could see these hands were young enough to embrace softness, but old enough to carry a few scars. Poetry lends itself well to the exploitation of soft scars. He spoke about the search for inspiration, as a soldier who fought in a long forgotten engagement would reflect upon loss.

For Corey Dillard, a vibrant soul contained within a proportional body, the pursuit of creating and writing is focused on the aged wounds of who we are. Dillard, valiant poet, fearless performer, and enthusiastic spirit, believes creativity results from his inherent curiosity of and need to understand people.

Well written poetry has strived to be humanity’s interpreter – Dillard is among the next group of explorers stepping forth into the unknown of the human experience, with hopes of unlocking another truth trapped beneath this mysterious masquerade known as life…  Read the whole story: Corey Dillard.Silkenthread


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