Nicholas Dal Pra, was born the oldest of four children in Rockford, Illinois on November 26, 1974. Raised among artists in his family, Nicholas became obsessed with art at a very young age. He was also strongly influenced by the artists of the time such as M.C. Escher, Andy Warhol, and Salvador Dali. Design and advertising also had an impact on Nicholas; the cola wars, Joe Camel, the Nike Swoosh, and comic books were concepts that captivated his imagination. Throughout his childhood he found himself redrawing rock band logos, guitars, guns and product packaging.
After high school Nicholas attended College for a brief period before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. After the Marines he went back to school and studied painting and drawing. Once again Nicholas found himself drawn to promotional and marketing materials; graphics and creative typography. Nicholas soon taught himself Adobe Photoshop and began his career in the arts by designing rave fliers for party promoters. It wasn’t long before he began using the computer as much as a pencil. He realized that the computer would play a significant role in his life.
Nicholas continued to study painting and drawing, in 2004 he earned his BFA in Visual Communications from Northern Illinois University. Since 2003 Nicholas has been the senior designer and art director at a Rockford based, international manufacturing make-up company, Colorlab Cosmetics. He has worked on all types of artistic projects for a wide range of clients, and does commissioned paintings and drawings as well. Nicholas was selected as the first artist to paint a mural, at 509 East State Street, for the Art On the Walls Project in downtown Rockford. A sample of Nicholas’ work can be seen on his website http://www.dalpradesign.com
Rockford artist Michelle Dorr is best know for her colorful furniture and funky wall pieces. Many are included in personal and corporate collections including hospitals, restaurants and offices. About 5 years ago her love of animals and a passion for painting led her to pet portraits. Michelle has done over 80 commissioned portraits for animal lovers as far away as Germany.
Growing up in a family of artists Michelle watched her father, who was local artist Willard Dorr, paint animal and human portraits. She is primarily a self taught artist but learned from him how to paint the eyes to capture the soul. Michelle lives in Rockford in a fun colorful house with her husband Tom and her beloved animal family of 2 dogs and 2 cats, all rescued animals.
Please visit my website: http://www.michelledorr.com. Or call for an appointment to see more portraits in my home and studio. 815-399-0694.
Tabatha Dougherty, a former graphic designer and former high school art teacher started her business as a hobby in 2003, painting baby rooms for friends. Over the years, it has expanded to offer commissioned contemporary art pieces, children’s room decor, and children’s painted portraits. Tabatha is a founding member of the new Art Matters Artists’ Cooperative at the Prairie Street Gallery and shows work there regularly. She has also done volunteer work for The Element as Venues Coordinator for The Element’s First Fridays in Rockford, and served a Project Manager for The Element’s Community Mural Project. She is a member of the Rockford Area Arts Council as well as the Rockford Art Guild. Tabatha is well-traveled, being a former Air Force brat, but takes pride to have settled in Rockford, and tries to be as involved as possible in Rockford’s arts community. She is co-owner of 317 Market Street Studio and Gallery in downtown Rockford.