Photo: Joe Gagnepain adjusts a metal pterodactyl at his gallery in Elburn. Photo by John DiDonna
by Amanda Niemi
ELBURN—If you’ve crossed Route 38 and Route 47 in Elburn recently, you may have noticed something strange near the McDonald’s.
The diminutive giraffe sculpture precociously eating out of the tree is the work of local artist Joseph Gagnepain. The found-art piece just happens to be in front of his new studio and gallery location, aptly named “Art by Joseph.”
The gallery, which is tentatively scheduled to open at the end of October, is a collaboration between Joeseph and his partner Edward Pineda. In addition to opening a gallery space for their own work, they hope to make it open and welcoming to the public and other collaborations.
“We wanted to do more of an event space. A place to enjoy some art, hors d’oeuvres, the gallery and wine. It’d be nice to get a bunch of people involved, anybody in the area,” Pineda said. “We want to bring people together. Some galleries are by committee or by vote. We’re not like that.”
Gagnepain, who hails from Campton Hills, is a veteran artist with over 12 years of professional experience painting, murals, woodworking, found-art and snow sculpture, just to name a few.
Pineda, from West Chicago, Ill., has a style that is more technical, incorporating graffiti style into his graphic design for marketing and airbrush work.
“We both have two different styles, so together we can create something different,” Gagnepain said. “We really enjoy each other’s work. That’s what’s great about working in a space with other artists.”
“I think a lot of people who come in here will learn from our failures and our success,” Pineda said.
The artist statement on Joe’s website states, “Joe believes that his art should serve the interests of his community by offering accessibility of his work for all to enjoy. To Joe, inspiration comes from many places, and interaction with the public is an important part of his artistic process.”
His clients include City of Geneva, Graham’s 318, and Camel Tobacco.
“I’ve been painting since I was young. A lot of people recognized it and pushed me. It was a real blessing” Joe said. “Everyone has some skill, or are trying to find it.”
Joe hopes to inspire that passion by opening up his space to other local artists, and offering art classes to kids in the area.
The partners noted that they haven’t done much in the way of marketing, and say people just seem to “find them.”
In addition to opening another gallery and attending Burning Man, Joe has one more long-term hope for his career.
“A worldwide tour,” he said.
For more information about “Art by Joseph,” visit www.artbyjoseph.com or call (630) 456-6626.