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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 180 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 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
annual CAVA Symposium.
2021 MEMBERS' SHOW OPENING RECEPTION featuring Artist Interviews | May 2, 2021
WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE SAYING
FEATURED CAVA ARTIST
From his earliest days, Jim Tansley had a pencil in hand, saying “I would fill the back of my homework with drawings of World
War II airplanes and occasionally grotesque faces, much to the
amusement of the nuns at Saint Petronille School.” By his own admission, he was academically average while at the University of Illinois, but a dedicated student in his drawing and painting classes. A forty-year career in graphic design followed, during which he took sporadic painting classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and other venues, and art museums were an integral part
of his travels and vacations through
Arabesque, acryiic on canvas, by Jim Tansley
Jim's retirement from the working world opened the opportunity to engage in drawing and painting more seriously.
“I asked myself ‘If not now, when?’”
In 2003 he rented a studio in the Fine Arts Building, and still works there today. A framed statement hung in his studio reads “Meaningful Work—Paid or Unpaid—As Long As Possible.”
Artists often begin by imitating work that they admire, but eventually work to develop their own signature or stylistic approach. Says Jim about his own artistic trajectory, “After many fits and starts, I began to feel that intuitive abstraction provided the best possibilities. Abstract impressionism's great artists from Kandinsky to DeKooning have been a profound inspiration for me.”
Jim describes his artistic process as an ongoing dialog between himself and the painting. "Without preconceived ideas I use random marks, color, and texture to provide a receptive surface. A long period of intuitive development follows; elements are added, some areas painted out, glazed over, or altered many times
in a search for an artistic statement. Suggestions of organic, natural, or evolutionary forms sometimes arise and I work for a sense of rightness and harmony. My best moments occur when I’m in a zone and the painting almost seems to paint itself."
Sforzando, acryiic on canvas, by Jim Tansley
He continues, "The onlooker brings his own experience and preferences to the piece resulting in sometimes surprising interpretations. Abstract artists soon discover that humans are hard-wired to seek recognizable imagery even in the most non-objective art. A line is read as a horizon, a circle as the sun, etc. There’s
a comfort zone in recognition. But the
artist may have other concerns, such as the emotional qualities of color transitions, contrast of line and tone, surface texture, symbolism, etc.
This tension between objective and
non-objective qualities provides the drama of artistic expression."
Garden Flow, acrylic on canvas by Jim Tansley
"Occasionally, when I return after being away for a few days, I react to my latest piece by thinking 'Did I do that?'
Gratifying when that happens.
To see more of Tansley’s work, and to find out more about the artist, click here.