Paramount TheatreArt Gallery
in the Grand Gallery September 1 - March 2


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.


Dan Capo
Maureen Gasek
David Hettinger
Chris Hodge
Laura Lein-Svencner
Leah Mitchell

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.


September 1, 2017 | 7-9 p.m.
December 1, 2017 | 7-9 p.m.
March 2, 2018 | 7-9 p.m.

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


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.

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:

Chris Hodge has been working on art since a very early age. He works intuitively incorporating various symbols, and thoughts into his artwork. Influenced by such artists as Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, and Ivan Albright, his art tells stories in great detail focused on the element of line. His body of work has been described as “obsessive narrative,” articulating his imagination while allowing for the work to take on a life of its own. Starting with sketches and very loose pencil lines, Chris Hodge prefers to render his artwork in ink, due to the high level of commitment that ink requires. Once a line in ink is placed there is no turning back, and if a mistake is made one must find a way to either cover the line, or incorporate it. This allows for his artwork to evolve as he creates it. “I believe the imagination to be a dream-like, fuzzy thing, and it isn’t able to be defined until it is born into some form of creation.”

Chris Hodge started his art education at Waubonsee Community College, and continued his studies at North Central College where he received a Bachelor’s in Art Education. Chris Hodge is currently an art teacher in the Midwest. He also holds a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership & Administration from North Central College.

To contact the artist you can email:, or visit the artist’s website at

Laura Lein-Svencner grew up in Downers Grove and now resides in Darien, Illinois. She’s married with four grown children and a home full of loving creatures. She has personally studied drawing, printmaking, sculpture, book arts and the art of hand papermaking. It’s the paper that has captured her interest and connected her to the process of layering papers.

She’s a member of many local and international collage groups and cofounder of the Midwest Collage Society, which exhibits throughout the area. Her collages are represented at Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. And has many works published in North Light Books.

Laura teaches her collage techniques at Naperville Art League in Naperville, Illinois, and at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, Illinois. During the summer months she takes time off to be with family then resumes a heavy schedule of teaching classes in person and on line, workshops and exhibiting around the Midwest. She has a published book with a series of her collages called “ Tack Down Tuesday’s Abstract Mixed Media Collage and you can view her process on You Tube.

For more information on Laura’s work, visit:

Leah Mitchell is a painter working at the intersection of the contemporary and historical. Her work is representational in nature, with the goal of creating viewing experiences that tap into the beauty of humanity. In this, she aims to create painted analogies of the lived human experience. Utilizing her own experience and environment as a point of departure for that endeavor. The paintings in her current body of work begin at home, in old houses and contain measures of humor and fantasy. The painted interiors range from the simple to fantastic, peppered with portraits and still lifes, static moments of an environment in motion, life and decay, the ecstasy of entropy.

Leah Mitchell has a Masters of Fine Arts in painting from Northern Illinois University, and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Art History, also at
NIU. Previously, she studied at The School of Representational Art in Chicago, learning the techniques of French 19th Century painting, and obtained a BA in History from North Central College. Her husband and three children and the old houses they have lived in, regularly make appearances in her paintings which are exhibited both regionally and nationally.