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CAVA is a volunteer not-for-profit organization founded in 1988 to serve artists aged 50+. We're dedicated to giving our over 200 members throughout Chicagoland the opportunity to exhibit artwork in at least three exhibits annually in such notable venues as the Chicago Cultural Center, Evanston Art Center, Bridgeport Art Center, Beverly Arts Center, and the Leslie Wolfe Gallery in Old Town.
Creating art can be a solitary occupation—CAVA organizes and presents events for older artists to come together through its exhibitions, salons, member luncheons, workshops, annual Symposium, and special events. For more information, visit our CONTACT page, and sign up for our e-newsletter.
CAVA MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS:
Exhibit in the Annual Members Show;
Enter the juried Later Impressions exhibition;
Engage in various group and media-focused exhibitions
we organize throughout the Chicago area;
Participate in membership social and educational programs, including our Salon/Critique Events; CAVA Studio Visits; and the annual CAVA Symposium.
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FEATURED CAVA ARTIST
MIKE BARRET KOLASINSKI
considers himself a visual activist for nature. The beauty of the natural environment throughout all seasons is a strong influence on his artwork and process. His primary creative focus is to highlight the untamed natural landscape, and in doing so, advocate for the environment.
Mike presenting a pastel demo at J. Petter Galleries in Saugatuck, Michigan
Mike spent nearly two decades as a freelance illustrator and designer, but decided to leave the commercial field to focus on his real passion — creating fine art. His pastel series Wildscapes captures the lasting beauty in environments that are undisturbed by human impact. "Since the largest element making up this planet is water, this ingredient has become the primary subject matter in my art," says Mike. "I'm inspired when I find a perfect spot near a stream, on a lake, or facing the ocean, where I can see the luminous light that reflects on a liquid landscape, and capture it in pastel."
Breaking and Entering, 9 x 24 dry pastel
Focusing on creating art in the mid-1990s quickly led to Mike receiving international recognition as a pastelist. An award-winning artist, Mike's been highlighted in leading art publications including American Artist, Pastel Journal, Pratique Des Arts, and Strokes of Genius 7 and 8. For a time he studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, but is primarily self-taught, and an active member in many art organizations (Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America; Master Circle status with the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS); Master and co-founding Board Member of the Chicago Pastel Painters; CAVA).
Rock Concert Light Show, 16 x 12 dry pastel
His work is included in many public, private, and permanent collections, and
he is represented at Mainstreet Gallery in Lake Zurich, Illinois, and the J. Petter Gallery in Saugatuck/Douglas, Michigan, where he often presents demonstrations of his pastel process. His piece Hot Streak won an Honorable Mention at CAVA's 2023 Later Impressions, which is currently on view at the Chicago Cultural Center's Renaissance Court until January 5, 2024.
Outdoor Decorations, 20 x 14 dry pastel
To learn more about Mike, and to see more of his art, click here.