North Shore Spotlight: Anna Kramer

March 15, 2019 By dflorian

Meet North Shore’s amazing Personal Care Studio Assistant!

Anna joined us in August of 2018. She holds degrees in Painting and Art History from the University of Iowa and has an active creative practice.

Anna is a resourceful facilitator who has helped improve some of our adaptive painting tools and actively works to ensure that our supplies are well kept. She encourages  independence in the studio and provides constructive feedback when necessary.  Artists often ask her for suggestions as a result of her familiarity with art techniques and materials.

Anna has helped North Shore artists in many ways: For instance, she has collaborated with artists to create props for events like the Chili-Cook Off and Oscarts of Life. She regularly shares new knock-knock jokes with artist, Brian Reed, so he can test them out in the studio. And she attends events! In fact, she has attended most-if not all-North Shore studio functions!

She is very invested in our studio community and we are very thankful to have her!


Please enjoy an interview between Anna and North Shore artists, Amanda Gantner and Hector Jones (who makes a late appearance):


Amanda Gantner (AG): How did you hear about Arts of Life?

Anna Kramer (AK): So I found out about Arts of Life because I was looking for a part-time job-or an art related gig-or something related to art employment on a website called the Chicago Artists Network.

AG: What do you like most about Arts of Life?

AK: My favorite thing about Arts of Life is probably the sense of community and how everyone is dedicated to creating a community space. I like seeing everybody help each other and give each other feedback about art. I like seeing people talk about art together. I think this space is really run by the artists and facilitated by the staff rather than the other way around. I think that’s a really critical part about the way that the studio thrives.

AG: What do you like most about being in the studio environment?

AK: I like that it’s a really inspiring place because there’s different people making so many different kinds of art and art that’s so outside of the type of art I’m familiar with making. I really like the way that it helps me re-conceptualize the limits of art and the boundaries of what we consider to be artistic merit.

AG: Are you an artist and if so what kinds of art do you do?

AK: I am an artist. Primarily my training is in oil painting but lately I’ve been doing a lot of landscapes, watercolor, and nature scenes…not really sure where that’s taking me right now-but I feel interested in doing it so, I’m just following that lead for myself…what are you giggling about?

 AG: [Giggling] Your drawing.

AK: My drawing?

 AG: [Giggles]

 AK: It’s just a doodle! I’m making art right now! This is the kind of art that I do-right here!

 AG: Do you have a favorite artists?

 AK: Um…I like a lot of different artists. I like to say that Toulouse Lautrec is my favorite artist.

 AG: Who is he?

 AK: He was a Post-Impressionist painter. He did a lot of work similar to Manet in some ways… like the nightlife of Paris. I just think he was really incredible-the way he used color and line.

 AG: [Laughs] Okay. Do you think…what do you do after Arts of Life?

AK: When I’m not at Arts of Life I usually either am at home making art, running errands, taking care of my lizards…hanging out with friends and stuff-but most of my free time is taken up making art.

 AG: Yeah?

 AK: Yeah! Any other question for me?

AG: No

AK: No? Nothing?

AG: No…I don’t know-I’m too old. [Laughs] How old are you?

AK: How old am I? I’m about to turn 25.


(Hector Jones walks into the room)


AG: Hector!

AK: Hector! If you could ask me anything-if you could know anything about me what would you want to know?

Hector Jones (HJ): If you had to have a celebrity of your choice come here to do an art project of any kind-could be music or art in general-who would you pick?

AK: I would love to see Yoko Ono come to the studio.


HJ: Who’s she-let me guess-Yoko Ono-hold-on-she’s an actress!?

AK: Well…she’s an artist and she’s a musician. She was John Lennon’s wife/girlfriend. I think she would be really cool because a lot of her work is outside of the box. I think she would appreciate a lot of the work that’s going on in the studio here and I bet she’d love Van-Go-Go.


HJ: She’s still around?

AK: She’s still around. She’s still doing art stuff-like wailing. She does a lot of wailing-like “wuauauaaaahh”. That’s what she does.

HJ: Like what Amanda does?

[Everyone laughs]

HJ: Ms. Waily Jr.

AK: [Still laughing] All right folks. Are we finished Amanda?

HJ: Yes-are we done!?

AG: [Laughs] Yeah.


Thanks Anna!

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