Meet a North Shore Artist: Amanda Gantner
In 2012, Amanda joined The Arts of Life as a full time artist, making work five days a week at our North Shore location. She’s experimented with a variety of mediums over the course of her career, but recently chalk pastel emerged as a successful favorite. “I used to do photo transfer. Now I do chalk pastel… It’s good exercise for my arms and hands.”
Amanda’s fine motor skills were affected by a stroke in her young adulthood, something she openly shares with anyone who asks her about her process. Her art practice has always been about both creation and rehabilitation. Perhaps that’s why she tends to depict natural scenes that can relax and rejuvenate even the tensest viewers. Serenity flows out of Amanda’s strongest chalk pastel pieces. Take, for example, the calming scene of “Salmon in the Ocean,” featured this month at the artist’s solo exhibition. Amanda’s face gets dreamy when looking at that particular drawing. “That’s gorgeous. I feel like going there.”
Transporting the viewer (and herself) is one of Amanda’s primary motivations as an art maker. She’s has had the opportunity to travel both domestically and internationally. Her experiences outside of Chicagoland frequently inform her choice of subject matter. Amanda enjoys documenting the many places she’s been by immortalizing them on paper or canvas. She also likes to “try out” new destinations by studying them in pastel or paint.
The strength of Amanda’s work is being recognized this month at “A Beautiful Day,” a solo exhibition hosted by Linz & Vail in Evanston. She’s showing a carefully curated grouping of chalk pastel drawings that reflect her unique perspective and careful approach. “I was making a lot of pictures, taking my time.” She “used my head” to decide which pieces to include in the show. “My favorite is the sunset.”
“When I see my pictures, I feel happy.” Amanda hopes that feeling is passed onto the viewer and invites you to join her for a reception at Linz & Vail on Saturday, October 24th from 6pm-8pm. To find Amanda's portfolio online, click here.