Spotlight on – Kevin Conlin – Artist: Woodworker – Updated 11/20

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I am opening this segment up to YOU. Write a blurb, take a picture, promote your upcoming “whatever”. If you make art in any genre or style, be it visual arts, auditory, or the written word (have I left anyone out?), let me know.

Contact me at

Kevin Conlin

Visual Artist – Wood Worker



I’ve lived in the Bloomington area my entire life, born and raised in McLean.  In fact, I do all my woodworking at the family farm just south of McLean.  I was a broadcaster (radio & TV) for 25+ years, and while sometimes I miss it, I don’t miss the political & ego BS involved with it.  I currently live in Bloomington with my wife and our three crazy dogs.


1.What medium do you work in, and why?

I’m a woodworker.  But not big cabinets and furniture – I prefer making puzzles, toys, and small decorative items.  I started doing woodworking as an offshoot of my participation in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a medieval historical organization.  My father Ken (the first “K” of K&K Woodworks) and I made some simple period camp furniture, and it started branching out from there.  I’m primarily self-taught, between on-line videos, books, woodworking magazines, and playing around in the shop.


2. Is this how you make your living?

Not so much.  I have a “regular” full-time job, but the woodworking business has been growing.


3. What message(s) do you try to convey/express through your work, if any?

Ummm….please buy my stuff so I can eat today?  (JUST KIDDING – DON’T HAVE AN ANSWER FOR THIS ONE!!!)


4. What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of selling your work?

As a small, newer business, it is always difficult to find good venues to display and merchant my work.  Selling within the SCA is good, but means a very limited audience.  I’ve been trying to branch out to local farmer’s markets and other art/craft shows, but it is often a slow progress, getting the right contacts and information in time.  Facebook and other social media can be useful, but can’t really compare with a customer being able to see and feel the woodwork in person.


5. Do you have a studio/upcoming shows where people can find your work?

While I don’t have a studio to display my work, I am setting up a basic webpage,, where people can see and purchase some of my items.  I also have a limited Etsy page – K&K Woodworks.  I will be participating in the Thanksgiving and Christmas Farmer’s Markets (Nov 23 & Dec 21, at Grossinger Motors Arena).   Beyond that, I’m still in the planning stages for what fairs/markets I will be at next year.


6. Anything else to add?

I’ve never really considered myself an “artist” – I’m just a guy who likes to make toys and such with wood.  I can have the most stressful week at work, but as soon as I get to the shop with dad, and the scroll saw starts going, the rest of the world fades away.  Having that kind of artistic outlet is very important to staying sane in this increasingly insane world.



Angel Rosa


  1.     Bio : 

Angel Rosa was born in the city of Danbury, Connecticut. His parents, Luis and Mercedes, moved to the mainland from Puerto Rico when they were teens, settling in Danbury where they met and eventually married. Angel, a single parent since 2009, currently lives in Danbury, pursuing a career as a writer and filmmaker, while raising his 15 year-old daughter. He is the founder and president of Hat City Pictures, LLC, an award-winning independent film production company based in Danbury.


  1. Give us an overview of what you are working on (or have worked on/written/produced): 

My first film festival success was a really well-received allegorical drama, Only Moments. That was more of an art house film. My first real breakout film, as far as public reaction, was a horror short titled, Laundromat*. That was shot in one night at a local laundromat in Danbury, and even I think it’s creepy as hell. Laundromat has been featured on a couple of international horror film websites and screened at various film festivals. It was most recently featured as the 2019 season premiere episode of a horror anthology webseries, A Slice Of Fright.

In 2018, we released our short suspense thriller, Samuel’s Got A Sweet Tooth, which has gone on to achieve some pretty remarkable success on the international film festival circuit, earning us a litany of awards along the way. That’s a pretty impressive feat for a short that comes in at a running time of just 4 minutes and 52 seconds. We refer to the project as “the little film that could.”

Right now we’re in post-production on a short drama, Two Sneakers in a Bucket, that touches on the sensitive topic of aging and assisted suicide. That is geared up for an early fall release, and we’re going directly to the festival circuit with this one. The film is based on an original script written by a wonderfully talented first time screenwriter, George Barnett, and it has some very powerful and profoundly touching scenes. Adding my own directorial flair to the storyline gives it an added air of mystery with a slight hint of suspense as well. I expect more great things for this one.

Our next project is a horror thriller, Let’s Do Things That Make Us Happy, which contains some elements of abstract imagery mixed with an increasingly foreboding sense of urgency. You could almost say it’s a slasher film, from an entirely different perspective. We’re very psyched about all of these projects.

  1. What is your method – or – how do you go about producing your screenplays/where do you find actors/talent? 

My method? In a word: Madness. I’m joking, of course, but only kind of, sort of. Creativity is a dynamic art form for me. I personally never feel comfortable settling on a fixed destination way ahead of time. To me this only serves to lock the artist—writer, filmmaker, whatever—into a specific path that he or she then feels compelled to take in order to get to and justify this climax they’ve thought so long and hard about. I understand that very process is what most artists employ, and often with great success. It’s just something I prefer to avoid.

I’m not saying I go into production on a film without a finished script, but when I’m on location, and we’ve got the actors and the whole crew there and ready to rock, I might realize halfway through a proposed scene or shot sequence that this, or that, would look way cooler, sound more logical from a character, or more importantly, would add further depth to the story. So I’ll be on set, I’ll see the setup, the lighting configuration or the camera placement and I’ll start envisioning every possible combination of scenarios.

It’s a weird process that reminds me of that one character from Men In Black 3, I think it was. There’s this hat-wearing alien dude, ‘Griffin’, played by the wonderful actor Michael Stuhlbarg, who’s at this party talking to Will Smith’s character. As Griffin is engaging in small talk, or trying to, he’s going over the probability of any number of possible scenarios about to unfold at any minute. He’s not imagining these scenarios, he’s actually seeing them unfold in his head because he’s able to see parallel timelines overlapping. Though he’s uncertain as to what outcome will take place in the universe he’s in at the moment. That’s me on set sometimes. It’s not all that often, but yes, there are times where I stand there, surrounded by my people, and I’m working it all out in my head. Like, “Crap. I think it might look or work better this or that way, instead of what we originally planned.” I want what’s best for the ultimate outcome. Not necessarily what’s most expedient or convenient for anyone else.

Anyone reading this who works for big Hollywood might giggle a bit at that whole idea, but trust me, it’s a nervous laughter. Unless you’re a high profile director who’s already made them a shit-ton of money, and/or strike a super sweet deal with a studio, in Hollywood you have almost zero real input into the filming schedule, or least of all the final cut of the film. Working under such a microscope, with studio executives breathing down your neck, and the financial bottom line at the forefront of their every thought, you don’t have the same kind of latitude that indie filmmakers tend to have. If we get a shot in one take—magnificent. If it takes 12 or 20, yeah, that’s going to happen too. As needed. Though realistically speaking, the latter scenario is a rarity for me. We try to get it right within the first 3 to 4 takes.

  1.   What is your biggest frustration with the current film industry? 

My biggest gripe with Hollywood over the last couple of decades, really, is the state of reboot purgatory we find ourselves trapped in. I have never really understood Hollywood’s fascination with remakes, sequels, and prequels. For some of the popular franchises, the 007 films, etc., okay, maybe I get that. These aren’t meant to be one-offs. The audience wants more stories tied into a particular universe or cast of characters. This might arguably be less pure laziness and more good old fashioned American capitalism at work; mindless money grabs. But the constant remakes of old classics, or the reboots of long dead franchises, or what was once a shitty cartoon in the 80s now being made into a gazillion dollar film directed by Michael Bay—that is indicative of a serious case of creative famine currently plaguing Hollywood. They’ve run out of ideas, or at least forgot how to go out and find the right people who have them. They’re out there, believe me, in great abundance. *coughs* Call me…

  1. Do you believe that someone has to live in NY or LA to be successful in the business? Why or why not? 

Speaking of “the right people”,  it’s a perfect seque into this next question. No, I don’t believe that someone has to live in New York or L.A. to be successful in the film business. The rise of the truly independent filmmaker in America gives clear testimony that one doesn’t have to surrender to the delusion of packing their bags and moving to Hollywood in order to become a success. Movies are being made everywhere. In my experience, it’s more about one’s own capacity to hustle; to get out there and rub elbows and network with the right sorts of people. The actor, screenwriter, filmmaker, etc. who believes that he or she is going to make it on their talent alone is absolutely fooling themselves, and in turn inflicting a great deal of harm on their chances of success by taking on an attitude that they can just wait around to be ‘discovered’. No, you need to get your ass out there, and make people discover you. But you don’t need New York or Los Angeles for that, you need you.

  1.  What are your 3 top films that you enjoy and why?

Let me start by going on the record as playfully objecting to this question. Not because it’s a bad question in any way. In fact, it’s a great question. Just one that always makes me feel compelled to narrow down my love for films to two or three all-time favorites. Citizen Kane, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, there are so many. It is very difficult, if not impossible, as a cinema lover to settle on just a few films that stand out to me, but I will say from a point of view of influence, the films of Stanley Kubrick have had a tremendous impact on me. 2001: A Space Odyssey remains unparalleled to this day. As far as its use of abstract storytelling, blended with its remarkable ‘spatial cognition’, if that term doesn’t sound pretentious AF.

Kubrick uses the spaces he films in as essential elements of the story, not just as incidental backgrounds. The vastness of that primal desert terrain on which the early hominid species are forced to contend with the various perils of nature, also underscoring how much ‘space’ there was—yet the ape creatures still managed to wage war with one another over turf and resources. Some things never change. Though in all honestly, if there’s one film that first made me go, “Holy shit. I want to do THAT!” it has to be Star Wars. It’s well beyond cliche to say that, I know, but it’s a reality nonetheless. As a boy, I would grab my mother’s clothes pins and just lie there on the carpet, with one eye closed to simulate the POV of a camera, and turn each clothes pin into flying vessels—imperial and rebel forces clashing in this impossibly loud ‘vacuum’ of space. Sound effects provided by yours truly. LOL

  1.   Add anything else you would like to share with us.

Get up. Get out. Make movies. Write scripts. Pen novels. Sing. Dance. Paint. Don’t just follow your dreams, grab them by the neck and put them in a headlock until they surrender unconditionally to your will. 🙂


*Link to Laundromat (Where was she):


angel headshot[802]



Nora Zaring

Visual Artist

1. What medium(s) do you work in and why?

I normally work in Oils or Acrylics.  I started in oils with lessons from a Bob Ross certified instructor.  I took lesson from her for about 12 years. Then I started teaching to my clients at Home Sweet Home Ministries where I worked in addiction recovery and later later was Education Coordinator.  Art was a powerful tool for helping people to see their own potential and become more engaged in their own recovery.  Art brought a new light to their eyes and purpose to their lives.  It was from this that our nonprofit, Threshold to Hope, Inc. was later born.


2. Is this how you make your living?  

Not exclusively.  I am a co-founder of Inside Out: Accessible Art, which is a co-op of a large variety of artists with many different mediums.  I have a studio there which acts as a showroom for my art as well as being featured in the gallery.  I also teach classes in their classroom and between the sale of art and teaching fees, I make enough to keep me in rent and art supplies.  I am currently retired but have started a nonprofit, Threshold to Hope, Inc., that offers art opportunities to those who cannot afford to take traditional classes.  These free classes offer people a safe place to express themselves and gives the healing power of art.

*(Newly Added!)

Threshold to Hope will be moving into the classroom of Inside Out: Accessible Art as our new home. Our hours will be changing to Tuesdays and Fridays from 10-2pm. At this time we will be creating only there. We will still be looking for places and opportunities to sell the budding artists’ works.



3. What message(s) do you try to convey/express through your work, if any?

I love working with clouds and water.  To me they embody the joy of God’s creation.  I also enjoy working with landscapes and florals.  They all express the beauty of God’s world.



4. What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of selling your work?

I’m not a natural born salesperson.  I’m more of an introvert, so promoting myself is difficult for me.  I can do it for short periods of time but I’m not good at it.

5. Do you have a studio/upcoming shows where people can find your work?  

My work can be seen during business hours at Inside Out: Accessible Art in the gallery and in my studio.  I will also be showing my art alongside my student from Threshold to Hope, Inc. at the Art Fair at Sugar Grove Nature Center on July 22nd from 10:00-2:00.  We will also be demonstrating spin art at the art fair.

6. Anything else to add? 

I call myself an ADD artist because I love to do so many different things.  I learn a lot of what I do on YouTube and love to share it with my students at Threshold to Hope.  I currently am teaching two days a week at our rented space with Palms Together Yoga and alternate between Home Sweet Home and Salvation Army on Wednesdays.  I love when my artists bring my a picture and ask if we can paint it.  It often is an experiment, but many times it turns out great and it’s fun for them to see my work through the creative process.


My work can be seen on the Facebook pages of Inside Out: Accessible Art, Glorious Expressions, or Threshold to Hope, Inc.

My websites are: (my personal art)  or  for my students’ art.



Tony Cade:

Visual Artist

What medium(s) do you work in and why?  

Oil, acrylic, watercolors,colored pencil,sculpture. Either they’re handy at the time or it’s just what floated my boat

Is this how you make your living?

I wish.

What message(s) do you try to convey/express through your work, if any?  

Not really a message. Just like to do art.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of selling your work?

Getting someone to buy it.

Do you have a studio/upcoming shows where people can find your work?

No. Not really.


Joann Goetzinger:

Visual Artist



Music education was my main study in undergraduate school at Illinois Wesleyan. I studied vocal performance at the American Conservatory of Music and taught voice at Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State for some time. I worked also at the library at Illinois State.

I became interested in the visual arts, studied at Illinois State and received an MFA in art there in 1988. Since then I have been working in metal working, sculpture and painting. My interests are many. Cooking and gardening are my favorite hobbies.

My jobs have been an interesting variety also. I have worked in a canning factory as a corn taster, as a waitress, in a factory making washing machine coils, working in a music store and a store selling cooking supplies, in a bookstore as an order clerk, working in a laundry, working as a nanny and cook, teaching voice, piano, choral music and metal working. I also sang two years with the Norman Luboff touring choir. In April 2008, Martha Burk and I started Main Gallery 404 in downtown Bloomington and owned it until 2013.

Needless to say, I am never bored.

What medium(s) do you work in and why?  

I work in painting with both oil and acrylic paint because the expression of color, along with shape and line, is primary to my work. In addition, I utilize wood and metal to construct a painting.

Is this how you make your living?  

No, I am retired from Illinois State University and now work in art full time, but do not necessarily make a living from it.

What message(s) do you try to convey/express through your work, if any?  

I work with shape, color and line and the message of the resulting work is largely left to the viewer.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of selling your work?

Many viewers in this area want their purchased art to be recognizable subjects. My work is not meant to be any recognizable subject but is abstract in nature.

Do you have a studio/upcoming shows where people can find your work?

My studio is in downtown Bloomington Illinois at 313A North Main Street. I am open usually on W-F from 12-5 and Saturdays 9-4.   I am always open on first Fridays until 8 pm.

Anything else to add? 

The following piece is one from a series of recent works.  It is called “Silver Threads”. Painted in acrylic and oil on wood.   Size is 24” x 18”.



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