Espresso Palette owner Dustin Courtright (from left); artists, Jason Milne, 19, of Blue Island; Alejandro Garcia-Gonzalez, 19, of Robbins, Michael Lagunas, 19, of Alsip; and Tim Dougherty, Adult Transition Program Special Education Teacher for District 218 at a reception held on February 25 at Espresso Palette in Chicago Ridge. (Photos by Kelly White)

Espresso Palette owner Dustin Courtright (from left); artists, Jason Milne, 19, of Blue Island; Alejandro Garcia-Gonzalez, 19, of Robbins, Michael Lagunas, 19, of Alsip; and Tim Dougherty, Adult Transition Program Special Education Teacher for District 218 at a reception held on February 25 at Espresso Palette in Chicago Ridge. (Photos by Kelly White)

Espresso Palette in Chicago Ridge hosts D218 art show

Spread the love

By Kelly White

As a young artist, Jason Milne, enjoys spending his free time building his talent.

“I grew up in a huge family, so getting some time to myself was difficult; but, whenever I did I

always loved to draw,” Milne, 19, of Blue Island, said.

Milne attends the Adult Transition Program at District 218. The program serves 18–22-year-old adults with disabilities from Eisenhower, Richards and Shepard, focusing on life and vocational skills that students continue to work on after high school.

“While they’re training me for a future job, I work on some of my paintings there,” Milne said.

Milne, who loves nature and brining scenery into his paintings was proud to showcase his work at Espresso Palette, 5730 W. 111th Street, Chicago Ridge, alongside two other artists also from the Adult Transition Program, Alejandro Garcia-Gonzalez and Michael Laguna.

4 2

Jason Milne, 19, of Blue Island, who loves nature and bringing scenery into his paintings was proud to showcase his work at Espresso Palette, 5730 W. 111th St., Chicago Ridge.

“These three young artists are some of the kindest, hard-working, and talented young adults that I have ever had the pleasure of teaching,” Tim Dougherty, Adult Transition Program Special Education Teacher, said. “I am lucky enough to be able to do what I love for a living, and I have always tried to help the young adults that I teach to find something they love or something that they are interested in and go after it. These three love their artwork, and they really love to learn.”

The students’ work will be on display at Espresso Palette through March 11. An opening event was held on Friday, February 25 featuring live music from Eisenhower’s school band.

“Whether this turns out to be a full-time business for them, a fun side-job, or just a healthy outlet for them to express themselves, only time will tell; however, they are giving it everything they have, and having fun every step of the way,” Dougherty said.

Work for the projects was done both during school time and at home.

“I have absolutely loved seeing the looks on their faces when they show staff and peers their completed pieces of artwork,” Dougherty said. “A few days ago, Jason brought in a piece of artwork that he completed at home for this project. After unwrapping it in the front of the room to show his classmates, his fellow artists and every single person in that room was on their feet clapping and cheering for Jason. It was truly an amazing moment. I am so very proud of them and all of my students as everyone has helped to support and encourage them in their journey.”

Kerry McNicholas, Adult Transition Coordinator suggested reaching out to local coffee shop, Espresso Pallet, about displaying some of the students’ artwork.

Espresso Palette owners, Dustin and Erika Courtright, said he was happy to be a part of the project.

“We wanted to open a place that connects local artist with the community,” Dustin Courtright, of Oak Lawn, said.

Courtright did just that by opening up Espresso Palette in April of 2021, that not only serves coffee, tea, beer and wine, but also showcases local talent. The couple chose Chicago Ridge for his location because of the community feel and potential to grow. This is the first show held for District 218’s Adult Transition Program.

“This art show is a chance for three great artists to share their work with the community,” Courtright said. “I can appreciate the work these artists put in to make this showing happen and we are excited to have their work displayed. It’s a pleasure for use to host this event and we hope to inspire more local artists.”

Featured alongside Milne were nature artist, Alejandro Garcia-Gonzalez, 19, of Robbins and landscape artist, Michael Lagunas, 19, of Alsip.

“I realized I love making art when I was three years old,” Garcia-Gonzalez said. “I started by drawing my favorite characters from TV, movies, cartoons, and video games. Lately, I am inspired by painting nature scenes and landscapes on canvas. I love using my creativity and artistic skills to make people happy. The supportive people in my life have helped me to gain the confidence to build a business of sharing my artwork with the world.”

“As far as I can remember, art has always been a big piece of my life. You can say it is my biggest hobby,” Lagunas said. “My biggest supporters in life have helped me gain confidence in building a business out of my artwork.”

In The Adult Transition Program, educators focus on helping young adults like these develop the skills, knowledge needed to positively prosper within their communities while having a happy, healthy adulthood.

“This means we address academic needs, life-skills, positive recreation and leisure activities, social-emotional needs, and vocational skills,” Dougherty said. “Through this project, Alejandro, Jason, and Michael have built strong relationships, friendships with each other which has built up their self-esteem. They have gained confidence in their capabilities. This has done amazing things for their social-emotional statuses.”

Through this experience, the students have gained academic skills while working on budgeting and pricing activities related to their artwork.

“They are taking the artistic skills that they have obtained throughout their years in school and transferring those skills to explore a positive outlet for them to express themselves,” Dougherty said. “They are learning that this could become a great business for themselves, a possible side-business to help supplement their income one day, or simply be a healthy outlet for them to express themselves. Finally, they are learning ways to access their community in positive ways.”

5 2

Adult Transition Program student, Alejandro Garcia-Gonzalez, 19, of Robbins, said his favorite piece of art he created for the art show at Espresso Palette in Chicago Ridge was a painting called, Coconut Grove.

6 1

Michael Lagunas, 19, of Alsip, stands alongside his work during a reception for the D218 Adult Transition Program on Friday, February 25 at Espresso Palette in Chicago Ridge.

Local News

Peggy Zabicki

Hot dog! This is a special week

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . I would like to start my column with the most important news. National Hot Dog Day is Wednesday, July 17 and is traditionally celebrated all week. I decided to suggest two West Lawn restaurants for celebrating…

Ray Hanania

Do-gooders do good for themselves

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Ray Hanania . Many not-for-profits thrive on grants and funds that come from the taxpayers through government agencies, but they are not accountable to the public which funds them. Recent revelations about the La Grange-based LeaderShop, a social service agency which recently lost $300,000 in funding, has raised some serious issues…

Rich Miller

Turf tussles prevent transit reform

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Rich Miller . A little-noticed bill passed both the Illinois House and Senate that will generate $300 to $400 million a year for local governments, including $95-127 million for the Regional Transportation Authority. The bill (SB3362) will help capture sales tax revenue from more out of state retailers and in-state retailers…

GSWNH_HolidayInnRear_070524

Migrants coming to Ford City

Spread the love

Spread the love. Nearly a thousand coming this month to Holiday Inn . By Tim Hadac The Pritzker Administration is converting a vacant hotel in the Midway area to a shelter expected to house as many as 950 migrants. The action is occurring quickly, with migrants expected to move in this month. In a press…

CTAlogo

CTA hiring means more rail service

Spread the love

Spread the love. Orange Line sees 11% jump . From staff reports The Chicago Transit Authority has announced that because of what they described as continued, aggressive recruiting, hiring and training efforts, it has added 8.5% more scheduled rail service in recent weeks for a total of 9% more scheduled service added since April 2024.…

Funeral2

Obituaries July 11, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the loveSTANISLAW BAFIA Stanislaw Bafia, age 83, passed away May 29. Beloved husband of Joanna Bafia (nee Czubiak); loving father of Stanley (Danuta) Bafia, Irene (the late Andrzej) Janas, Christine (Jacob) Kosiba, Bill (Halina) Bafia and Katherine (Andy) Kalita; dear grandfather of Daniel Janas, Michael Janas, John Janas, Thomas Janas, Alice Janas, Magdalena Janas,…

the leadershop logo

LeaderShop Alumni Association to host peaceful rally during Thursday board meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe LeaderShop Alumni Association, a group of volunteers, previous staff members, former board members, funders, donors, and stakeholders who are community minded and energized by the mission of The LeaderShop, will host a peaceful rally in support of change to current leadership for the nonprofit agency. The rally will be held during The…

The Mariano’s store in Frankfort would be among the stores transferred to a new owner if the Kroger-Albertson’s merger is approved. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Palos Jewel, Oak Lawn Mariano’s to be sold in merger deal

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Kroger and Albertson’s this week released the list of stores the companies plan to sell, should a merger between the grocery giants be approved by regulators. Jewel Food Stores in Alsip and Palos Heights are among the stores listed for sale as well as Mariano’s locations in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and…

The Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. (Photos by Enrique Reyes, Courtesy of the Oak Lawn Public Library)

Oak Lawn Library hosts Local Author Showcase

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Oak Lawn Public Library opened its doors to the summer season and to its local authors. The library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. “Thirty authors, two hours, and…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound July 10, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Neighbors

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Abortion remains legal as an emergency medical procedure in Idaho, for now, after a Thursday U.S. Supreme Court ruling, while a bill that would cement those protections in Illinois law awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.  The 6-3 decision saw the three liberal justices concur with the order. Three…

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Changes to primary election fundraising, the electoral college and the state’s voter registration database are now law after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a wide-ranging bill on Monday. The legislation, containing several unrelated election measures, passed near the end of the legislature’s spring session on a vote of 68-38 in…

National Committeeman Richard Porter looks ahead to GOP convention as party names new state chair

National Committeeman Richard Porter looks ahead to GOP convention as party names new state chair

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Republicans will gather in Milwaukee next week for what promises to be a historic national convention. Former President Donald Trump will be nominated for the third consecutive time as the party’s presidential nominee, the first major party candidate to win nomination that many times since Franklin…

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is urging a Cook County judge to dismiss a lawsuit members of his staff filed against him last month seeking to force recognition of their union. In a new filing Monday, attorneys for Welch argued the Illinois Legislative Staff Association has no…

The U.N. calls restraint chairs torture. Illinois jails use them every day.

The U.N. calls restraint chairs torture. Illinois jails use them every day.

by GRACE HAUCK ILLINOIS ANSWERS PROJECT Warning: The following article includes mentions of self-harm and profanity. This is the first in a series of stories. McHENRY, Ill. – Vernon L. Brooks Jr. was distraught. Forced into a chair in a jail cell with a black mesh hood over his head, he panicked as he felt…

Pritzker signs health insurance reform measures

Pritzker signs health insurance reform measures

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Wednesday that puts new controls on the state’s health insurance industry, including bans on certain practices companies have used to reduce costs by controlling the amount of health care services a patient receives. The Health Care Protection Act, House Bill 5395,…

Transit heads again ask state for funding help, reject proposals for oversight reform

Transit heads again ask state for funding help, reject proposals for oversight reform

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – It was standing room only in a downtown Chicago committee hearing Tuesday as activists, transit experts and lobbyists hung on the words of the region’s transit agency chiefs.  Public transit has become an increasingly contentious issue in Chicagoland as the Regional Transportation Authority – the funding…

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday narrowed the scope of a federal bribery law prosecutors have relied on in their cases against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and several of his allies convicted of bribing him. A jury last spring found those allies – former lobbyists and…

Former GOP state lawmaker, candidate for governor sentenced to 42 months in prison

Former GOP state lawmaker, candidate for governor sentenced to 42 months in prison

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann on Tuesday was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison for stealing nearly $700,000 in campaign funds and attempting to conceal his theft with false reports to state election authorities. In February, McCann pleaded guilty to seven counts of wire…

Menard prison staff picket, citing unsafe working conditions

Menard prison staff picket, citing unsafe working conditions

By MOLLY PARKER Capitol News Illinois   mparker@capitolnewsillinois.com Hundreds of Menard Correctional Center employees and their supporters staged a rally alongside a busy street in Chester on Monday, highlighting what they described as perilous working conditions at the state’s largest maximum-security prison.   The problems at the southern Illinois facility stem from low staffing levels, said…