Expressions GRaphics opened in 1981 by three women, Margaret Ringhaver, Mary Ellen Zerbe and Carol Friedle to have a place to do printmaking including etching, block printing, and silk screen. They also wanted to teach and educate about a side of art that not many knew much about.
Over the years, the shop has moves several times. We started at 907 Oak Park Ave, moved around the corner on Garfield, then to Art Works on Chicago Ave, a pottery studio that is now Terra Incognito. Sadly, by this time Mary Ellen had dropped out, and Margaret became ill and later died. At that time Janet Schill moved to the area and she and her friend Kathy Kelly, a graphic artist, decided to join with Expressions and form another partnership.
The next move was to Janice Elkins gallery on Harrison and then to a bigger store front again on Chicago Avenue near Harlem. Finally we landed at 29 Harrison Street and have been there for over 10 years.
Expressions Graphics has been involvement with the Village or Oak Park and surrounding area throughout the years. We have done outreach with Accolade Adult Day Care, Hepsibah House, The Cerebral Palsy Center, Cicero High School Freshman Center, Forest Park Community Center, Senior Citizens Center and Easter Seals Therapeutic Day Center.
Many of our members have helped us by having fundraisers to keep us open: Dinners and wine tastings were given by Cindi and Doug Guilboard, Rich and Laura Huff and Laura Myntti. Plus we have had the support of the Oak Park Area Arts Council for many years, along with the Illinois Arts Council.
Expressions Graphics has had guest artists from Montreal, Calgary, Mexico, Nicaragua, Texas, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois University. The members have had art shows at Concordia College, Oak Park High School, Oak Park Hospital, Forest Park Bank, Oak Park Village Hall and had a table at Day in Our village for many years.