Stella Brickel

You could say that art is simply in Stella Brickel’s blood, and that she can’t survive without it.

Coming from a family that shares a passion for art, design and fashion (her father is a wood worker and artist), Brickel has always loved to draw. With plans to go to school for art, her life took a different direction as she focused on a General Studies degree, worked full-time and served in the Army Reserves. She eventually started working as the Coordinator of Staff and Environmental Development at Outside the Box, an organization that provides day, employment and art services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It was at this time that her creativity really picked up.

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Brickel met Lauren Church and Kate Wagner (former ORANJE participant) at the art studio at Outside the Box and fell in love with everything they were doing, so she picked up a paintbrush and started painting. With no former painting experience, Wagner and Church gave her pointers and tips to help Brickel develop her art and technique. Ever since then, Brickel hasn’t stopped creating. “I don’t feel like a whole person if I don’t draw, paint or do something creative,” she said.

Brickel’s artwork can’t be put into a box or specific genre, and she doesn’t use specific techniques or materials. But if there’s one word to describe what she does, it’s funky!  ”I really enjoy painting, creating jewelry and drawing. My paintings are vibrant and playful; I love colors…bright colors! I do like to incorporate texture into most of my pieces, but some have none. I use collage from time to time as well. All of my most recent drawings are created with black ink and are sort of doodles. I also create wearable art from recycled paper products and other materials…some old, some new.”

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Brickel’s jewelry (starting at $25) has been shown at the Chicago open air artisan market early this Spring. Although she has an Etsy site, she’s somewhat computer-challenged so she shows her pieces in her home or others’ homes. ORANJE will be her first “official” art show. “I have been to ORANJE as an observer and it was so cool. I am super excited to have the opportunity to be on the other side of things. The event is so alive and the place is teeming with talent. If you have not ever been exposed to art, this is a great first event to attend because it has such a fun, party-time atmosphere. People should come to my booth because I am totally new to the scene. I don’t want to give too much away, but I am planning a pretty kick-ass display as well!”

Come look for Brickel’s booth on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!