Digital Gothic: University of Chicago Cityscapes

Gargoyle at Cobb GateThe Streaming Festival 6th Edition

The Streaming Festival 6th Edition is curated and sponsored by the isfth foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands, from December 1 to 18, 2011.  This online international exhibit includes  Video Artists, and for the first time this year, also 2D Artists.  I’m pleased that my Digital Gothic series of cityscape photos were selected, and hope you visit online.  Over 30 2D artists are participating, as well as many video and sound artists.

My Digital Gothic series includes oil painting and photography of the Gothic Revival architecture on the University of Chicago Main Quadrangle, including architectural gems like Bond Chapel and Botany Pond, an Olmstead design.  My photographic art uses images of related Gothic architectural details, like gargoyles, tracery and turrets, which are manipulated to create unusual lighting, colors, and jumps in color gradation.  This provides a dramatic modern, photographic presentation of this century-old architectural order in such a way that the order is more readily comprehended and appreciated by the general viewer.


2D Art live at International Streaming Festival today – Cityscapes of University of Chicago by Leon Sarantos

To see more of my paintings and photos, visit my website:

Sponsor and curator: isfth Foundation

Directions Exhibit

Leon Sarantos’ trytich, Dawn Twilight – The Sun, The Moon, The Stars is at Paul Henry’s Art Gallery

At the Directions Exhibit, new Chicago artist. Leon Sarantos, joins Midwestern artists: Dawn Diamantopoulos, Paul Benninghoff, Quinton Foreman, Michael Kaysen, Kim Canton, Robert Gago, and Sophia Rapato. Address is Paul Henry’s Art Gallery, 416 Sibley Street, Hammond, Indiana, 46320. Exhibit continues November 2011 to January 2012. For more about Leon’s paintings, exhibits and awards, website is

Chicago Artists Month at At Ravenswood ArtWalk – September 30 to October 2

 Opening Night

The featured event to kickoff Chicago Artists Month is at Ravenswood ArtWalk, 4011 North Ravenswood, this Friday from 7 PM To 10 PM. There will be art, food, music and more at the Opening Night. Sample the fare and meet many of the 250 artists who are showcasing their work in the Ravenswood Corridor throughout the weekend. Admission is free.

Ravenswood ArtWalk Reception for Chicago Artists Month features:
$10 Open Wine and Revolution Brewing Beer bar (cash only)
Free food from many of our local restaurants
Live music by Chicago musician Musikanto
Awards ceremony featuring Emily Rapport and Bruce Robbins
Artists Salon and Silent Auction
Art installation by the Red Thread Project
Hundreds of your closest friends and neighbors!

My painting, Three Potted Geraniums, is displayed at the opening reception. It portrays a scene from my Chicago apartment with a vintage feel and is available for purchase during the Artists Salon and Silent Auction.

Three Potted Geraniums

Central Gallery

Many Ravenswood ArtWalk artists are displaying one artwork each at the Central Gallery at 4021 N. Ravenswood over the weekend. It’s open this Saturday from 11AM to 7PM and this Sunday from 11AM to 6PM.

My non-objective painting, Mexican Roadtrip, is on exhibit there. The painting captures the feeling of the life and colors of Mexico using bright primary colors with heavy textures, washes and linear overlays.  It was an ArtSlant Showcase winner this year.

Mexican Roadtrip

1802 West Berteau Avenue

More of my paintings are on display for the weekend on the first floor at 1802 West Berteau Avenue (- on the Northwest corner of Berteau and Ravenswood). So far I am planning to display two paintings from my Organic Creatures series, and Still Life With Mannequin Hand. Organic Creatures Going to the Beach is a whimsical abstract painting with soft colors in pastels of green orange, yellow, and pink with strong, vertical,brown lines. It suggests to me a strange family of beings on an outing.

Organic Creatures Going to the Beach

Organic Creatures Taking the White House Tour is another abstract painting in this series. Much of my work is very planned, deliberate, and slow to evolve. At some point, I like to stop work on such a piece and do another painting that I almost attack with energy and colors, with none of the deliberation of my usual approach. This abstract, Organic Creatures Taking the White House Tour was one of these quick paintings in vivid primary colors. I actually envisioned it in an instant behind my eyelids as I was rubbing my eyes after some tiring work. I tried to apply the image to canvas quickly, adding all kinds of color and quick composition, while keeping the main figures true to my vision. When finished in about 2 hours, I looked at the finished piece and felt that here were some strange creatures doing something, and sensed that they were on a sightseeing tour. I picked the title with a sense of humor. I would enjoy doing more oils of this same family of creatures moving about in different settings.

Organic Creatures Taking the White House Tour

Still Life With Mannequin Hand is one of a series of paintings in which I am developing an artistic approach that combines abstract and representational art. The objects and shapes in this still life are readily recognizable, but are portrayed in a stylized manner with outlines in strong black lines. An atmosphere of tension pervades the painting. The globe is perched unsteadily on a pile of books, while the mannequin’s hand leans somewhat precariously over the edge of the table. This painting won Best of Show award at Cornerstone Art Center & Gallery for the Value, Volume and Variety Exhibit in Whiting, Indiana in May of this year.

Still Life With Mannequin Hand

There may be space for another painting or two at the Berteau Avenue building. If you’d like to check my other paintings out and make suggestions, I’d be interested in hearing from you.  You can find them on my web site:

RAW Street Fair

There will be many events at Ravenswood ArtWalk this weekend, but I’m especially pleased that my brother, John Sarantos, will be playing Native American flute music at the main stage – this Saturday at 1:15PM. The entertainment is part of the RAW Street Fair on Ravenswood Avenue between Montrose and Sunnyside Avenues, a block filled with art, food and drink, live music and activities for adults and kids alike.

Hope you come and visit.


Ravenswood ArtWalk

Digital Gothic: Cityscape Paintings and Photos of the University of Chicago – Leon Sarantos

Botany Pond
I have explored several genres and styles over the years, including cityscape and landscape paintings, as well as portraits and figurative art.  The unifying theme in my art is conveying the feeling or mood evoked in me by the subject of my painting.  My first focus in creating a painting is the interplay of color, and that has always been very consistent in my work.  My next two aims include the prominent use of strong heavy lines, and the extreme gradation from light to dark color values.  I select the subjects of my paintings when I have an emotional reaction to a person or scene.  It is usually a pleasant or good feeling, although it can also be sad or foreboding.
Chicago on Canvas:  Cityscape Paintings of the University of Chicago
This series of paintings focuses on the Main Quadrangle at the University of Chicago campus, including Botany Pond, C-Shop,  Bond Chapel,  Gargoyle Overlooking Hull Court, and a work in progress, Cobb Hall.  Recently, my Botany Pond painting won first  prize at the South Side Impressions Exhibit, at the Beverly Art Center.
C-Shop, Coffee Shop at University of Chicago
I’m an architect, as well as an artist, and my paintings are inspired by the enduring beauty of the Gothic Revival architecture in the Main Quadrangle. I’ve lived in Hyde Park for many years now and my paintings reflect my experiences: walking through the campus, picnicking at Botany Pond, and having a hot cup of coffee at the C-Shop on a winter’s day.
Bond Chapel
The solid, grey stone buildings surrounding the Main Quadrangle symbolize the stable framework and traditions of the university.  In contrast, the students are portrayed in bright red, yellow and blue, suggesting the life and vibrant diversity of the ever-changing student population.  The modernity, which the students represent, is illustrated with their multiple electronic devices.  In juxtaposition, these images contain the tension of stability and change.
Gargoyle Overlooking Hull Court

Cityscape Photographs of the University of Chicago

I often take photographs of the scenes I plan to paint for reference, including many architectural details. In doing so, I have begun exploring the effects of digital variations in light and color.  These experiments provide another window into the contrast of tradition and modern times.  The enduring architecture from the Gothic-revival era is expressed in almost non-objective terms, with strong variations of light and dark and with non-representational uses of color.  This series of photos includes digitally altered views of architectural details, such as the waterspout on Bond Chapel, flowers at Botany Pond, and the Gargoyle at Cobb Gate.

Waterspout on Bond Chapel

Blue Flowers at Botany Pond

Gargoyle at Cobb Gate

Turret Detail at Cobb Hall

Cobb Hall Lamp With Red and Green Ivy

The photo of Cobb Hall Lamp is currently on view at the Member’s Show, Cornerstone Art Center & Gallery is in the Centier Bank building at 1500 119th Street, Whiting, Indiana, and the exhibit can be seen during bank hours.

More of my paintings, as well as my bio, can be viewed on my web site at:

Member’s Show at Cornerstone Art Center & Gallery, July 11 to September 2, Reception July 16

Painting & Photo of Architecture by Leon Sarantos at Member’s Show at Cornerstone Art Center & Gallery

Cornerstone Art Center & Gallery

After being in two curated exhibits with 119th Street Artists at Cornerstone Art Center & Gallery, I decided to join the group. I’ve been impressed with the quality of the art and am in the Member’s Show this summer from July 11 to September 2. The opening reception is this Saturday, July 16, from 9 AM until Noon. The Cornerstone Art Center & Gallery is in the Centier Bank building at 1500 119th Street, Whiting, Indiana, and the exhibit can be seen during bank hours.

Architectural Artwork

For this exhibit I’m displaying my art that focuses on architecture. I’m an architect, as well as an artist, so architecture holds a special interest for me. In my painting, Chateau at Dusk, the grey and black tones of the chateau are softened by the gold light spilling from its windows. The sunset sky at dusk shades from yellow, pale green, and purple, to blue. The sunset is reflected in the river below. Built during the Romantic period in 1515, the chateau of Azay-le-Rideau is among the most beautiful examples of Renaissance architecture in the Loire valley. It exemplifies the traditional French chateau, with its high roofs, turrets, rows of windows, and symmetry.

Chateau at Dusk

I have also been  been painting a series of cityscapes of the University of Chicago quadrangle, most recently Cobb Hall.  I usually take a lot of photos in preparing to paint and decided to experiment using light and color variations of these photos.  My giclee print, Cobb Hall Lamp With Ivy, was one of the results.

Cobb Hall Lamp With Ivy

Cornerstone Art Center & Gallery is located 20 minutes outside of Chicago in NW Indiana in the Historic Downtown District of Whiting, Indiana.  In addition to the Member’s Show in the Main Gallery;  there is also a silent auction in Gallery 2.  The opening reception is this Saturday, July 16, from 9 AM until Noon.  Hope to see you there.


119th Street Artists

Website:  Leon Sarantos