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CAVA is…
Chicago Alliance of Visual Artists is a
not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization committed to promoting and fostering the talents of Chicago-area artists age 50 or older. We are operated by a volunteer board representing a diverse membership from
all ethnic and racial backgrounds. Please contact us via our CONTACT page if you'd like more information, and sign up for our e-newsletter!


CAVA Membership Benefits:

  • Exhibit in the Annual Members Show, enter
    the juried Later Impressions exhibition, and participate 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.

What our Members are Saying
Featured CAVA Artist

RICKIE JACOBS During her long Metra commute to downtown Chicago, Rickie Jacobs would often use the time to make practice flash cards for her many foreign language classes. One day in 2004, Rickie’s husband Les said to her, “Why don’t you take a class that doesn’t require homework, for a change?”

 She agreed, and her immediate choice was a two-session class in hot-wax resist on cotton, which led to painting silk. Painting silk scarves was an ideal way to explore her long-time interest in color and pattern design. Her interest in achieving rich colors led her to push the limits of how much dye silk can absorb, often dyeing a scarf eight to ten times. Her innovative designs caught the eye of area boutique buyers, and she began to sell scarves to small shops, as well as to the Museum of Contemporary Art’s gift shop. 

After retiring from a career in association management, Rickie began selling her artwork at the One-of-a-Kind Show at the Merchandise Mart and participating as an emerging artist at the American Craft Exposition in Evanston in 2015. This exposure garnered her many commissions for wall hangings and Judaica.

pen and ink

But she was also interested in drawing. During a break between jobs in the 1990s, Rickie had taken a figure drawing class at Oakton Community College. Her daughter had advised her that drawing wasn’t that hard: “Mom! You just look at the thing, see it again on paper, and just fill it in!”

“I’ll never draw well,” Rickie laughs, “but I can draw a little better after the class.” She was the most comfortable drawing lines, though, and began to experiment with pen and ink, making abstract designs. She was encouraged by Les, an architect. “Just draw what you’re comfortable with and see where it goes,” he said. 

pen and ink

After years of working with color, drawing in black and white was refreshing to Rickie. “I like starting out with my pen and seeing where the lines take me, rather than planning first. It’s more of a commitment, but I find working this way is more immediate and interesting. I like to tell myself that there are no mistakes, just new design elements!"

“My drawings begin with lines in tension, but the finished drawings have an overall sense of resolution through proportion and balance. I like to think that my drawings are small ideas on a page, thoughtful and exploratory in their own quiet way.”

Throughout 2017 and now in 2018 has expanded her reach, and has shown at the Union Street Gallery (Recollection and Pen and Ink); with CAVA, where she was recently awarded an Honorable Mention at the Architectural Elements show at the Bridgeport Arts Center; and at the University of California at Davis Pence Gallery, int he exhibition Consilience of Art & Science. ​ 

To see more of Rickie's’s work, 
click here to visit her website.