Paramount TheatreArt Gallery
in the Grand Gallery September 2 - March 3


The Paramount Theatre Art Gallery is pleased to announce its art gallery calendar for the 2016-17 Season. Eight local and regional artists have been selected to exhibit as Paramount House Artists and will display their work in their designated gallery space, rotating new artwork into the exhibit on a quarterly basis, prior to each artist reception.


Randy Benzie (Montgomery)
George Bruce (Naperville)
Dan Capo (Chicago)
Nick Freeman (Geneva)
Maureen Gasek (Aurora)
David Hettinger (Aurora)
Ariel Hodge (Aurora)
Cheryl Holz (Aurora)

Artist Opening Receptions

Join us for complimentary light appetizers and cash bar to support the arts. Many pieces are available for purchase. Artists will be available to answer questions about their work. Art Opening receptions will take place in the Art Gallery, located on the second floor of the Grand Gallery of the Paramount Theatre, in coordination with Downtown Aurora’s First Fridays. The receptions are FREE and open to the public.


Friday, September 2, 2016, 7-9 p.m.
Friday, December 2, 2016, 7-9 p.m.
Friday, March 3, 2017, 7-9 p.m.

For more information on the Art Gallery, contact Melissa Mercado at 630-408-9926.


Caught in the space between being a Photographer and a Painter, Randy’s work is fueled by his admiration for the lighting of old world paintings and a love of history. In a constant quest for subjects with character, or a story to tell, Randy takes his images to a different level with unique editing adding feeling and at times drama.

From still life to landscape images there is usually a hint of nostalgia or vintage Americana to be felt. Randy is drawn to more rural areas and small historic towns that remind him of simpler times. Visual arts are about the journey and a reflection of everything we have seen, felt and heard during our lives and it is up to the Viewer to embrace the emotions triggered by an image or to just ignore…

After growing up on a farm in Central Illinois, George studied Architecture at Southern Illinois University, and continued his studies at the University of Illinois getting a degree in Fine and Applied Arts with a major in graphic design.  He spent his entire career in the design world.  Initially, working as a package designer for American Can Co. then joining the Quaker Oats Company as a Packaging Manager, then Sales Promotion Manager.  After several years in the corporate world, he joined a Packaging Design and Marketing Communications firm on Michigan Ave. in Chicago, where he became a partner. Since completing his career he has dedicated his free time to the fine arts.

George works in watercolor and oil pastel, painting from life experiences and travel.  He enjoys teaching classes at the DuPage Art League in Wheaton, as well as various workshops in and around the area.  He wants to pass along his love for the fine arts and his passion for painting.  George is represented by The Proud Fox Gallery in Geneva, Illinois.

Dan Capo is an Illinois based artist who studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and has been painting for 40 years. He is currently exploring the concept of creating several panels of the same subject. He completes each panel to a different state of finish. Calling the panels “constructions” to describe the building of a painting from a beginning to end, but without covering up the work that was previously done.

Dan tries to show the building/evolution of a painting in his “construction” paintings. Dan incorporates everyday items like old hardware nuts and bolts in his paintings. He finds it interesting to explore the unusual textures and reflective surfaces, taking familiar objects and allowing them and the haphazard patterns they create to become the central subject.

Nick Freeman has been painting for most of his 60 years. His first art influences were the comic strip and comic book artists of the “Golden Age.” Then came the classic illustrators, including N. C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell. As his horizons broadened, he became a passionate student of art history and has continued to study the techniques, materials and processes of great artists from many different eras and schools. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and, despite their best efforts, managed to retain his commitment to representational art and traditional painting methods. Thirty years ago he moved from Chicago’s north suburbs to the Fox Valley and has been consistently inspired by the beauty of the Fox River and surrounding area.

Freeman has traveled extensively throughout the country to collect images of quirky old signs still to be found in large cities and small towns. A collection of his sign photography, Good Old Neon, was published in 2014 by Lake Claremont Press.

Maureen has been painting and working with different media since childhood. She began creating at five years of age. Maureen sold her first piece in first grade for .25 cents. Her rural upbringing influenced how she responds to nature, people and emotions, Maureen finds beauty in dirt, fields and studying day and night skies, which is representational in her art.

She studied at the University of Wisconsin, Stout, graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Art, concentrating in graphic design, painting, metals, photography and English. Maureen has worked in commercial and graphic design. She teaches classes at Lilly Studios, a teaching studio in her home and across the country.

Maureen, an active member in her community, is the Director of Events and Marketing for the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce and volunteers. Maureen also uses her talent to assist various charitable organizations, like the Alzheimer’s Unforgettable Art Live Paint for ten years selling consistently in the top 10 out of 50 artists.

Maureen is a certified Golden Artists Educator. She has received award winning recognition for her work, been published in American Art Collector and shows in galleries and juried shows.

Award winning artist, David Hettinger, began his career when he hopped a plane from the railroad town of Aurora, IL and landed in New York City. He moved to New York on the advice of Joseph Welna, owner of Welna Gallery in Chicago, having virtually no worldly wisdom, only a fierce desire to “learn what it was to be a real artist”. Welna began showing Hettinger’s work while the young artist was still attending the American Academy of Art, in Chicago. He directed Hettinger to study with David Leffel and Richard Schmid in New York and on how to earn his living as an artist from day one. With steadfast focus and determination, Hettinger made a name for himself as a fine artist and never looked back.

Today Hettinger’s paintings are in private collections around the globe. He focuses on figurative work drawn from life in his Aurora studio. These works represent a lifetime of observing everyday relationships between people. Relationships and the sweet subtleties shared between human beings is at the core of the man and the artist that Hettinger has become. The fleeting human treasure of those subtle moments between people is apparent in Hettinger’s work in a true way, because it is Hettinger’s truth.  David is a master signature member of Oil Painters of America. He has won awards for his landscapes, still-lifes, and figurative paintings. His work has been reviewed in American Artist Magazine 1993, The Artist Magazine 2003 and International Artist 2004. David was the recipient of the OPA Gold Medal Award in 2010. His work can be found in galleries throughout the United States. For more information on where to find David’s work, visit:

From early childhood, Ariel has had an ongoing interest in creative activities. Drawing was a particular passion of hers during her high school years at West Aurora and later at Waubonsee Community College, where she was introduced to photography, ceramics, painting and sculpture. Ariel has received many awards and recognition in the arts, which encouraged her to pursue an art degree at North Central College. It was during college, that she began to explore the use of mundane, common materials and repurposed objects to develop a style that over time focused on the use of paper and related materials. Currently, she uses a deconstructive technique that involves the painstaking cutting of several layered sheets of colored paper. The subject matter is inspired by folklore, fairytales, and her own flights of whimsy. She hopes these scenes invoke in the viewer an element of long-lost, childlike imagination and wonder. Ariel hopes you enjoy these one-of-a-kind works, as much as she has enjoyed making them. For more information on Ariel’s work, visit:

Cheryl Holz grew up in the country, collecting moss, bugs, leaves, and to her mother’s chagrin, snakes and salamanders.  Her rural upbringing had a big influence on her aesthetic sensibility and her artwork.  Cheryl taught after getting degrees in Art Education and an M.F.A, but became a full-time artist as interest in her work grew. Cheryl’s work has received national recognition, been shown in museums, featured in books, and purchased by corporations, hospitals, and art collectors.  For more information on Cheryl’s work, visit: