Staff & Personnel

HAIRPIN ARTS CENTER c/o Logan Square Chamber of Arts

Board of Directors

Paul Abrahamson

The founding President of the Logan Square Chamber of Arts/Hairpin Art Center board, Paul…

Paul’s entire adult life has been focused and nurtured by dance, mostly ballet. He started dancing very late and was crazy fortunate to have brilliant teachers right from the beginning. That beginning has led to a 25-year professional career including dancing, teaching, choreography, and now, directing a ballet school. Paul started and ran a contemporary ballet company called The Moose Project in Pittsburgh for 5 years, and then founded The Chicago Ballet which has enjoyed a good, 5-year run. 

 

The founding President of the Logan Square Chamber of Arts/Hairpin Art Center board, Paul lives in the Portage Park neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side and is a devoted dog dad.

 

He likes Martha Graham’s quote: "The body says what words cannot" because he believes the most profound and deepest emotions can be best communicated through movement; words get in the way.

 

Board of Directors

Gretchen Henninger

Having worn many hats throughout the years, Gretchen serves as the LSCA’s president, executive director, and grants writer…

A founding member of the board of directors for the Logan Square Chamber of Arts / Hairpin Arts Center, Gretchen has served as the organization’s president, executive director, and grants writer as well. Her personal arts background includes music, visual arts, and interior design. But it should come as no surprise that one of her favorite art mediums is collage. She has worn many different hats throughout her career:

For almost 40 years, Gretchen worked in finance as an Institutional, Municipal Bond Specialist. Her last position was as a Senior Vice President at LaSalle Bank – ABN-AMRO. She also has significant experience in training and development, having worked in job search, coaching, leadership, personal development, divorce mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice training, and peace and social justice activism.

From a nonprofit management perspective, Gretchen also served the Board of Ordained Ministry for the United Methodist Church and the Center for Religion & Psychotherapy. She was a founder of Logan Square Neighbors for Justice and Peace, and Executive Director of Intimate Opera.

Gretchen has always loved the arts. She studied music, drama, sociology, and psychology early on and, after buying her Logan Square home, received an associate degree in interior design from Harrington Institute of Interior Design. She went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree from DePaul University in Design and Activism. Her favorite quote comes from the Hairpin Arts Center narrative:

“We believe in the power of the arts to transform and create a stronger more engaged society. Art enhances the human experience, advances critical thinking and self-awareness. The arts are the foundation of who we are as a culture.”

Board of Directors

Daniel Pogorzelski

While he is new to the Board, Dan has dreamed of bringing both the building and the surrounding community back to the vitality…

A champion of multiple arts and long-time supporter of Hairpin Arts Center, Dan plays guitar, dabbles in the visual arts, and is a published author, writer, and editor. He has worked in state government for 6 years and is the former Executive Director for the Greater Avondale Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Dan has been a co-organizer of both music festivals and film events.

 

As a life-long Chicagoan, he remembers when the Hairpin Arts Center first opened to the public. The Hairpin building has special significance for Dan: the terra-cotta decor over the entry door were originally in the now demolished Senkowski Bakery where Dan’s mother first worked when she immigrated to the United States from Poland.

While he is new to the Board, Dan has dreamed of bringing both the building and the surrounding community back to the vitality he remembers from his childhood. This quote sums up Dan’s approach:

 

“You can’t beat death

But you can beat death in life, sometimes. 

And the more often you learn to do it,

The more light there will be.

- Charles Bukowski, The Laughing Heart

Board of Directors

Wendy Love

Wendy thinks of herself as a professional teller of other people’s stories, in both words and pictures. Following more than 30 years…

Wendy thinks of herself as a professional teller of other people’s stories, in both words and pictures. Following more than 30 years in marketing communications, she made a career pivot to focus on research, writing, and photography for fun and profit. And nonprofit.

Now, as a freelance marketing consultant, she provides experienced counsel and research-driven insights to inform effective business communications programs. Key offerings include qualitative research and analysis, strategic planning, messaging, and content development. As a photographer, Wendy’s focus is event photography, natural light head shots, and fine art street photography. In addition, for the past five years, she has taught digital photography at Richard Stromberg’s Chicago Photography Classes.

 

In terms of nonprofit work, Wendy is a new member of the Logan Square Chamber of Arts / Hairpin Arts Center board and leads the Care and Connections Ministry at Saint Pauls United Church of Christ. She also is a former board member of Women in Focus - Chicago, an artist-initiated group of female photographers, and the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

 

A 40-year Chicagoan, Wendy recently moved from the Roscoe Village neighborhood to Rogers Park, where she is exploring daily with her camera and her dog, Binkx. Her quote comes from Walt Disney: “Curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Board of Directors

Lily Be

Lily has been a supporter of artists all over Chicago, from Beverly to the borders of Evanston, from the lakefront to O’Hare, attending literally thousands of…

Lily B is a Storyteller. Her art takes shape in a number of forms including live-literature, visual art, writing, acting, performing, and comedyA prolific creative, she has been involved in the arts since she was a teenager, when she opened and ran her own do-it-yourself art space in Tucson, AZ to support her young family. She also has worked as a caregiver and virtual event producer/tech engineer.

 

Lily has been a supporter of artists all over Chicago, from Beverly to the borders of Evanston, from the lakefront to O’Hare, attending literally thousands of shows and performances in support of our city’s people and causes. The Hairpin Arts Center, like the rest of Chicago, is a part of her spirit: in addition to being a member of the Board, she has performed here, taught here, laughed, cried, and fought here.

 

Lily lives by this quote: Do not allow perfection to be the enemy of progress. 

Board of Directors

Andriana Bicanin

Andriana loves all forms of art, and applies her own hand to drawing, painting, and writing. A Logan Square Chamber of Arts / Hairpin Arts Center Board member since…

Andriana loves all forms of art, and applies her own hand to drawing, painting, and writing. A Logan Square Chamber of Arts / Hairpin Arts Center Board member since February 2020, she strongly believes that art is a powerful form of activism.

 

Andriana studied creative writing at Southern Illinois University before attending law school there, and recently left the legal world to pursue a career in education. Now a graduate student in Secondary Education at Loyola Chicago, she is excited to teach English and Political Science and to continue her work in the arts.

 

Prior to returning to school, Andriana worked as a non-attorney legal advocate at a civil rights law office in St. Louis, MO. Her nonprofit experience also includes three years in AmeriCorps – first with VISTA at an elementary school outside of Seattle and then at the Forsyth County Department of Housing in North Carolina where she supported an individual development account program. Her last year of AmeriCorps was with an intergenerational education nonprofit in Boston. In addition, as part of a graduate school program in Social Justice and Human Rights, Andriana interned with two human rights groups in Los Angeles - both of which relied heavily on art as a form of expression in their work towards community freedom.

 

Currently an Evanston resident, Andriana grew up in Chicago’s Albany Park and most recently lived in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Author Kurt Vonnegut was her childhood hero and helped give form to her love of the arts and a life in service to humanity. “The arts do make life bearable,” she says, “both creating and consuming - especially in a Covid world where we are experiencing the tumult of a nation at war with itself, ablaze in cries of freedom.

 

This Vonnegut quote inspires her:

"[The arts] are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

 

Board of Directors

Nia Easley

Raised in Bronzeville, Nia currently lives in Avondale/Logan Square. An artist working in mostly two-dimensional space, she makes art about places, histories, people…

Raised in Bronzeville, Nia currently lives in Avondale/Logan Square. An artist working in mostly two-dimensional space, she makes art about places, histories, people, and our relationships to each other, and also studies visual communication design.

 

Nia’s “day job” also is focused on the arts. An Administrative Coordinator in the Deans Office at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Nia has been working in art museums (The Walker Art Center / Art Institute of Chicago) and education since 2008. She also interfaces with various non-profits and foundations as an independent artist and designer and is excited to contribute as part of her role a new member of the Board of the Logan Square Chamber of Arts / Hairpin Arts Center.

 

Nia hopes to emulate the kind of generosity of spirit captured by this quote:

"I'm rooting for everybody black."

-Issa Rae

Board of Directors

Norma Rios-Sierra

Today, making and teaching art through her studio, Mosaico Arte Chicago, is her main priority, but she also spends time volunteering on the boards of…

I have made things for as long as I can remember,” says Norma, “Art was always something that I loved and treasured.

 

A long-time Logan Square resident, Norma grew up in Chicago and was lucky enough to work summers at Gallery 37 and experience wonderful art programming through Marwen. She went on to study Art History at Columbia College Chicago, but did not consider art as a viable career until after her son was born – she had spent years working in banking and doing taxes. “I realized that I hated every minute of that. I had to make a change for my sake and for my sons.

 

So she made the change. Teaching and creating art in her home studio allowed Norma the flexibility to create her own schedule, so she could be available both to her son and also her community. In the five years since, she has taught at The Chicago Childrens Museum, the Macy's Flower Show, several CPS and suburban elementary and high schools and worked as an artist in residence at the DuPage Childrens Museum creating a mosaic mural for their Young Explorers exhibit. She also was invited to teach Sugar Skull classes as part of the Hairpin’s Dia de Muertos celebration in 2018

 

Today, making and teaching art through her studio, Mosaico Arte Chicago, is her main priority, but she also spends time volunteering on the boards of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and Logan Square Chamber of Arts / Hairpin Arts Center. Having grown up just down the street from the Hairpin, Norma feels a very close connection to the area and the neighbors.

 

Norma’s quote describes her path:

Cuando nada es seguro, todo es posible.

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Hairpin Arts Center is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
HAIRPIN ARTS CENTER c/o Logan Square Chamber of Arts

2810 North Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor Chicago, IL 60618-7981
HairpinArts@gmail.com | 773.661.6361

Funding supports the Logan Square Chamber of Arts, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit.
The LSCA operates and manages the Hairpin Arts Center.

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