Art in Alternative Spaces


Syncopated Art

On Exhibition at

Apollo Theater
2540 North Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60614

On exhibition through August 31, 2007

Artists Reception:

Sun. Aug 5, 2007 (1 - 3 pm)

This exhibition is in complement to Porchlight Theater's production of Ragtime, The Musical


Painters jazz up their style

August 16, 2007

A trio of North Shore painters with an affinity for jazz are exhibiting selected works to complement a production of the acclaimed musical "Ragtime."

And for two of them, painting a canvas marks a return to one of their first loves, following long professional careers.

"This is a second career path, what I'm doing now," said Highland Park resident Howard Jacobs, 82, who heads Howard Displays, Inc., an industrial design firm. "It began within this last year. I figured I might as well have some fun and pursue art."

Paintings by Jacobs, along with works by Jack Siegel of Deerfield and Yelena Klairmont of Highland Park, will be on display through August in "Syncopated Art," an exhibit in the lobby of the Apollo Theater in Chicago, where the 1998 musical is being performed by Porchlight Theatre. The exhibit was put together by Chicago's Anatomically Correct Gallery, which supports "art in alternative spaces."

Music mix

For all three artists, music and art are closely intertwined in careers that in some ways resemble long journeys.

Born in Chicago, Jacobs moved to Highland Park in the fourth grade. At Highland Park High School, he studied art and took up the clarinet. He enjoyed the art but couldn't advance beyond the beginner's band. "I couldn't keep time," he admits.

Jacobs was such a fan of Benny Goodman that he and his pal Artie jumped the fence one night at Ravinia Opera (as it was called in the pre-World War II days) when Goodman's orchestra was playing.

"It was a crazy crowd," he recalled. "The band was blowing and everybody was dancing. It was really wild."

So it's no surprise that his paintings of Dixieland musicians reflect the wild expressiveness of jazz. His canvases, painted with palette knives, practically roar with vibrant reds and exaggerated closeups of horns, keyboards and drums.

His second career path is going pretty well. Jacobs is thrilled to have one of his paintings accepted for the exhibit "The Five Senses," scheduled for Sept. 28-Oct. 29 at Northbrook Library.

Jack Siegel, 73, turned to painting about nine years ago, in the midst of a career as president of Siegel Advertising. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Siegel often digs through books of old photos when preparing to paint a jazz-related canvas.

In the current show, his works include a painting of a New Orleans street musicians in visored caps and ties, and an evocative depiction of a 1920s band that includes a young Louis Armstrong and his then-wife Lil Hardin on piano.

Siegel's career includes a stint in the U.S. Army in the 1950s, when he was stationed in Germany and worked as a set designer for an Army unit that produced plays that toured military bases.

Art and music are closely linked for Siegel, who says he draws in his sketchbook while attending classical concerts.

"It's basically an arousal of the senses," he said. "When I draw, I feel good, and listening to music makes me feel good. It's like I'm getting a double aesthetic charge."

Quiet time

But Klairmont, 45, a classically trained pianist born in the Ukraine, said she could never listen to music while she paints. The music keeps beckoning her to listen closely, and she does.

"Bossa nova can be background. But jazz, no," she said.

For "Syncopated Art," she contributed four pen-and-ink drawings of jazz musicians that evoke smoky nightclubs and grainy photos on old album covers. All playing with their eyes closed, her musicians are in private communion with their instruments, with thoughts and feelings that the viewer can only imagine.

While she's never formally studied jazz the way she had classical, she figures that "when I'm around 60, I'm going to take jazz improvisation" lessons.

Perhaps also in the future, she wants to return to jazz musicians as a subject for painting.

"These are like studies," she said of her small works in the current show. "I was planning to do larger works but then I switched to landscape painting and moved on to other things. One day, I'd like to come back and do it big, but you never know where life takes you."



Yelena Klairmont

Initially a classically trained musician, Yelena has been drawn to the visual arts her entire life. She began her career as an instinctive artist executing public murals and later sought formal training at the American Academy of Art under instruction of Dr. John Trapp. Portraits and life drawing became her specialty. Ms. Klairmont, a 15-year resident of Highland Park, works in her private studio.   Yelena studied at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois & The American Academy of Art, Chicago, Illinois. Her artwork has been exhibited at College of Lake County, 4Art Gallery, Chicago Art Open, Illinois State Gallery, Gallery 60035, Highland Park, IL, the Highland Park Public Library. Corporate collections include Harris Bank, Highland Park, IL and Highland Park Bank and Trust, Highland Park, IL and Municipal Collections: City of Highland Park, Highland Park, IL.



Dry Brush  8.5 x 7.5"


Scratch Paper   6.5 x 4.5"


Pen and Ink   6.5 x 4.5"


Scratch Paper    6.5 x 4.5"


Howard Jacobs

Howard works in oils, acrylics, serigraphs, watercolors, inks and pencils. He also has created sculptures with Plexiglas. On commission, he creates renderings of homes and personalized notes and Xmas cards. His paintings hang in private homes, offices and restaurants in the United States and in Europe. After a WWII stint in the army, Jacobs attended the University of Illinois where he majored in architecture. He presently heads Howard Displays, Inc. designers and producers of industrial exhibits and commercial interiors.

Cool Sax

Oil on Canvas   24 x 30"

Jazz Drummer

Oil on Canvas   24 x 30"

Cracked Brass

Oil on Canvas    24 x 36"

Street Musicians

Acrylic on Canvas      22 x 28"


Jack Siegel

Jack Siegel was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side. He exhibited artistic talent and a compulsive desire to draw and paint from an early age.  Jack graduated from The School of the Art Institute Of Chicago, with a degree in drawing, painting and advertising design.

He then served in the US Armed Forces as a graphics and set designer in Germany.  During his two-year stint in Germany he traveled throughout Europe to view some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Back in the States, he began a long career in advertising, working for major advertising agencies in Chicago, New York and Minneapolis. The pressures of work and family made it too difficult for him to seriously pursue his love for painting.

Over the years, though he did sell several paintings to private collectors, the constraints of a business career made any serious output difficult. About seven years ago, he determined to pursue his love for painting and, since then, has developed a substantial body of work.

Jack feels his paintings show the influence of both the 19th and 20th century impressionist and expressionist painters that he loves.


Twenties Jazz Band
24 x 36"
The Count and The Cab
Oil, 30 x 24"
The Red Sax
Oil, 28 x 32"
I'll Take Manhattan
36" x 36"

Trio and Fan

Oil on Canvas,  30 x 40"

Founded in 1991, Anatomically Correct is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to showcasing works by artists in alternative spaces in a combined effort to educate, diversify, and promote community awareness of the visual and performing arts.   

For more information or to purchase artwork, please contact:

Anatomically Correct