On a monthly basis the two Galleries at Lakeside Legacy
Foundation at the historic Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake feature rotating art exhibits. Exhibits feature works from emerging artists of all ages to professional and regional artists. The month of April features two unique
exhibits and a free opening reception on Friday, April 20th at 5pm until 9pm. The reception on April 20th is hosted and sponsored by Pioneer Center for Human
Services and will feature light refreshments. Both exhibits are on display until April 27th and the public is welcome to view the art Monday thru Friday 9am-5pm.
Pieces submitted by McHenry County High School art students to the VOICE Adolescent Allies show titled, “Victim to Survivor to Thriver” is on display in the Sage Gallery. VOICE Sexual Assault Services is a division of
Pioneer Center who sponsors this annual scholarship competition, art exhibit and reception. The annual VOICE exhibit is one of the highlights of Lakeside’s
gallery calendar. The show features inspiring submissions by talented high school students, and celebrates many art genres such as; sculpture, 3D art, photography, mixed media, drawing and traditional painting.
Erik Hanson’s exhibit is on display in the Founders Gallery
in the Dole Mansion, and it is titled, “Makeshift Plea to Bare Woes”. This mixed media show is a play on the artists perspective of made up solutions to
made up problems in today’s society. Erik’s creative process is to come up with an idea and then be inspired by that idea. While he paints he dialogues with an idea and as a work progresses on a piece, he finds solutions to his ‘creative’ problems. He uses images and topics from pop culture, and this show in the Dole
Mansion expresses some of his personal societal views on the state of our country. Some of the pieces feature images of President Barack Obama, Mike Tyson, Spock from Star Trek and Stormtroopers from Star Wars.
Erik’s art education began as just drawing as a kid. He
didn’t think his hobby would amount to anything, he just enjoyed doing it to pass the time. After high school he went to McHenry County College (MCC). He
was just taking classes, unsure of his future path, and then one day met with an MCC advisor. The advisor saw some of his drawings on a notebook he was
carrying and mentioned he could take a college level drawing class as an elective. Erik took that class and met art instructor, Lynn Lourie. Lynn
inspired him to continue his passion for art and drawing. Her one-on-one mentoring opened a new world of possibilities for Erik’s career. After
graduating from MCC with an Associates in Fine Art, Erik went on to Northern Illinois University and graduated with a degree in Visual Communications.
Studying graphic design and computers expanded what he could do as an artist and influenced his background in classical painting.
Erik’s work is also inspired by spending time in California
with his brother who is a professor at the Art Institute of Orange County. His trips to California and interacting with the professors and students opened his eyes to a completely different art culture. Erik’s exhibit features many pieces on found-recycled wood. He enjoys drawing with pen and paper and then makes the
piece come to life by using spray paints and acrylics. His studio work space has all of his paints and other tools scattered around him. He is not always sure what will work best so he has everything he needs around him so he can
Several of his pieces draw inspiration from growing up in
the 80’s. The pieces featuring the Star Wars Stormtroopers and Star Trek’s Spock evokes memories of his father. Erik’s father passed away two years ago. He was his best friend and a large part of his life. Erik feels a closeness and
connection to his father while painting. This relationship is a huge part of his life and this comes out in his work. One of the works is title, “Stained Glass Band-Aid”. This is a very spiritual piece and is a reflection of his
personal journey to fix old demons. During the time he didn’t really understand how spirituality could help him, but it did, and it shaped who he is and it is reflected in his art. As an artist, he is not really pro or against politics.
His piece titled, “Factory Fresh Tyrant” is his statement on how he feels the American public keeps pushing out recycled ideas over and over. Regardless of
who is elected or leading, Erik’s view is that is just more of the same.
The public can meet Erik and the students from the VOICE
show on April 20th at 5pm at 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Come mingle with the artists and view two exhibits with extraordinary themes
and perspectives. Next month the galleries feature student artwork from the District 47 schools, and the free family friendly First Friday gallery night will be on May 4th. For more information visit www.LakesideLegacy.org or like
Lakeside at www.facebook.com/lakesidelegacy.org.