The Prairie by Jenn Weinshenker is now on display in the library's stairway sitting area.
You may recall that Jenn had started painting The Prairie in the library last summer. Often she was with her Akita service dog, Coco. Each year Jenn donates paintings to organizations that contribute to their community and this year she will be donating to IPPL. Jenn is also a poet and the author of Down the Road, a poetic telling of how she is able to live purposefully after a serious car accident left her with a traumatic brain injury.
Last summer, we asked Jenn. . .
What is your inspiration for this painting?
I wanted it to be colorful, something fun for kids, teenagers, and adults, and be surprising. I wanted to give kids something to talk about with parents that they see is very fun.
When did you know you wanted to be a painter?
I grew up in a house with a lot of original artwork. My appreciation started really early as a child. I remember my first piece when I was 5! I remember making a mural using every color crayon I had. It's like a great love affair. It drives me crazy and makes me happy.
What questions do you always get asked when you come in to paint?
Are those birds? I tell everyone right now I am painting birds in the sky. I will be working on the prairie next as well as a special surprise at the end.
Why did you partner with Indian Prairie Public Library?
Every year for a very long time, I would give a painting away to an organization that does really good work and probably didn't have it in their budget to have an original piece of artwork. I figured they should be inspired because they do stuff that inspires people all the time.
You can view Jenn's artwork and read her writings at chicagostudioworks.com.