Central Illinois Business Magazine
INNOVATION > THE OUTER LIMITS          August 2015

Ellie Pinz Studio

N/A Bridget Broihahn

By Bridget Broihahn

There is a certain connotation when considering art history-big textbooks filled with pictures of art that can only be accessed in a large museum and then only seen behind thick walls of glass.

Ellie Pinzarrone-Ellie Pinz-is here to teach, inform and inspire those who teach, as well with her innovative videos and gallery. Ellie Pinz Studio, which has been in its current workspace since this past January, was recently awarded not one, but two grants from the City of Urbana. There she works on her art, which is that of mixed media embroidery, but also is in the process of creating and compiling a library of art resource videos for teachers and students. With titles like, "A dog looks at abstract art," "Eleven ways to banish artist's block," and "Write an A+ essay about art in four steps," she has already captured the attention of local educators.

She's unique: she has an M.A. in art history, but is also a practicing artist, too. Once an assistant for a prestigious Chicago gallery and a former staff member at Northwestern, this experienced young woman decided she needed to get out and do what she does best: instill a passion for art, its history and legacy.

"This work is very important. My goal is in making art and art history fun, digestible and a way to help people with their own art," she said from her gallery at Colab on Main St. in Urbana. "Not to bash the gallery, and I was included in the elite part of it, too, but I was not completely happy."

Her husband, John Wise, said she needed to figure out what she wanted to do.

"I needed to make things with my hands," Pinzarrone said, adding that with the help of friends and family she found her way to Colab.

"My friendship with Maria Ludeke, Esteban Gast and Matt Cho have really helped me jumpstart my business," she said. "This group has catapulted me."

She said it makes sense that she would want to be away from the elitism of art and back near its creation again. Her police officer father and teacher mother are also artists, both of whom nurtured Pinzarrone's self-expression in her art. Her mother was recently awarded the coveted teaching award, the Golden Apple for her work as an art teacher.

The apple certainly does not fall far from the tree in this family, because teachers here in East Central Illinois have already started collaborating with her for their next year's curricula. Art teacher, Nicole Kelly and history and enrichment teacher, Tom Murdoch, both from Mahomet-Seymour, sat around a table at Flying Machine coffee one summer morning, with laptops open and notebooks spread out. From the looks on their faces the conversation was intense.

"I'm thinking we could do this..." Kelly said while Pinzarrone wrote copious amounts of notes about a new video presentation they were steadily collaborating on.

"This is what Nicole and I have been looking for. Ellie is awesome, having already done much of what we are hoping to do," Murdoch said. "Plus, she has a background in history, so my mind is churning with ideas for student-generated videos of historical interpretations of period videos and photographs. I have been wanting to do this for years but never knew quite where to begin!"

To contact Ellie Pinz Studio, go to: http://www.elliepinz.com/home.html, follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/elliepinzstudio, Pinterest: Ellie Pinz Studio or Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ElliePinz.

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Forty Under 40

By Bridget Broihahn

Central Illinois Business Magazine and The News-Gazette are proud to announce the 8th annual Forty Under 40 award recipients for 2015. The winners have been chosen by an independent panel of judges based on achievement, experience, innovation, leadership and community involvement. Two people have been recognized among the 40 winners as Woman and Man of the Year.

Profiles featuring the winners will be published in Central Illinois Business Magazine’s October/November edition. Winners will also be recognized at a luncheon Oct. 8 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign.

Tickets for the luncheon are $25 and can be purchased by going to news-gazette.com/luncheon or by contacting Sarah Scott at sscott@news-gazette.com. Anyone interested in formally congratulating the winners may purchase a celebratory message to be published in the Forty Under 40 edition of Central Illinois Business Magazine by contacting Pat Crotzer at 217-351-5276 or pcrotzer@news-gazette.com.

Forty Under 40 Awards are sponsored by Central Illinois Business Magazine, The News-Gazette, Busey Bank, and Hilton Garden Inn.

Bridget Broihahn is editor of Central Illinois Business magazine. She can be reached at 217-351-5695 or bbroihahn@news-gazette.com.