Showstopper! A photo of a stopped train at Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago taken by artist Mary Neely (right) caught the eye of Jay Kalbrener and his wife Leisa Corbett of Grayslake. The couple bought the piece while it was on display at Noggin Salon in Libertyville. – Tina Johansson photos
For Waukegan artist Mary Neely, it’s the combination of movement and calm from Lake Michigan that gives her some of her best inspiration.
“I love Waukegan and I adore the arts here, and the lakefront,” said Neely, a lifelong resident of the county seat and an involved artist who enjoys teaching the craft to others.
Since she was a child, Neely has been taking photos, some abstract, for fun. And for the past decade she has been selling her photographic art. She is getting noticed. Neely displayed 17 of her photos, many depicting scenes around Waukegan, at a recent grand opening for a Libertyville hair salon. She sold two of them and gained interest from others.
One of those sold is a grayish photo of a stopped train at the Ogilvie Transportation Center showing reflections of pinkish red, and a bright yellow stripe on the platform that appeared to glow. The buyers are Leisa Shannon Corbett, an artist, and her husband Jay Kalbrene of Grayslake.
“We’d been thinking about this picture for a while,” said Kalbrene. “We’re going to hang it in the family room.”
Looking at Neely’s photos, many people think they are paintings. And she is quite fine with that. “That’s a compliment,” said the artist.
Neely is vice president of the Lake County Art League and has been an art fair judge at College of Lake County and in Lake Forest among other places. She teaches a short digital photography course for adults at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts in Bowen Park in Waukegan. Her next session will be held this fall. Visit www.waukeganparks.org for more information about classes. For more information about Neely’s art visit www.maryneelyart.com.