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Bill Marquardsen

I grew up in the Chicago area and high school art class started the discovery. It was then that I realized that art was structured; there were things like alizarin crimson pigment and linseed oil. I owe much to Leonard Madura, my high school art teacher who was filled with a passion for his field that I had never seen in a teacher, in any subject. Mr. Madura passed away in the summer of 2009. At the visitation I met his family and other students who had been similarly touched; he led an amazing life.

My college major was Art at Augustana College and I studied under Egon Weiner and Clayton Gorder. I exhibited in the Container Corporation of America show and provided campus drawings for various publications. After college there was a time of teaching art in a public school.

Responsibilities intervened and I began a career in banking. I earned an MBA from the University of Iowa. There were showings in the Quad Cities and participation in the Davenport Iowa, Beaux Arts Fair but art became an occasional thing for so many years.

I have been living and working in the Ravenswood area for a while now, but a couple of years ago I explored the Ravenswood Art + Industry Walk. It was an event that refocused everything that I have done since, art and otherwise. Much time has been spent at Lillstreet Art Center. I have begun serious production of paintings. The results have been directed to figurative work with the pursuit of realism as more an attempt to get control of the medium.

Art for me is an intense, adrenalin-infused process. People ask me if I find painting relaxing and I can say very clearly that the answer is no. Now, in addition to the painting, I have volunteered at other art events and have had the opportunity to be a business volunteer for the arts with the Arts & Business Council of Chicago.