Chicago K9s for Cops is a public art installation benefitting police and animal related charities. The program features life-size statues of German Shepard Police Dogs that are each artistically designed by local artists.
If you are interested in designing and painting a K9, please email Bridget. B.firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is information about the artists that have participated in the program to-date.
United Service Companies
I have been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon. It fascinated me to create the illusion of something real or tangible and freeze it in time and two dimension. When I was in high school my art teacher encouraged me to enter a water color painting I was working on into an art competition for the 5th congressional district art contest. To my surprise I placed third.
After high school I was accepted at Ray College of Design now known as The Illinois institute of Art. I had a bunch of great instructors, and was well on my way with a fundamental academic approach to drawing and painting, and earned a degree in fine art/illustration. A few years out of college I was hired by a Chicago based company called Skyline Design. While working for skyline I was able to hone my skills and had the ability to learn many other trade craft skills.
When the Cows on Parade became public, Skyline was able to design and paint several cows. Most however were designed by other firms while skyline would execute the painting part of it. I had the privilege of being the person that painted all the cows that came through the door.
Time passed and I decided that I wanted to make art more personal. I wanted to pave my own road into the art world, so to speak. But I needed to take a break from creating commercial art at that point, and re-focus my thoughts on what and how to do it. So I changed full time job careers, in order to think outside the box, and I became a Chicago Police Officer. Being a police officer has allowed me to see more of Chicago and it’s people, which helped me focus more about what I want to do with my art. I believe that my art is another way to tell people a story or an image of beauty.
While in the academy I met Wendy, also a recruit in the training process. Wendy and I eventually married and we have two wonderful daughters. Wendy has always given me her full support to create art. Wendy has great managing skills and a good eye in efforts to help me pave the way I envision the art I create.
Thirteen years have gone by and within that I have done a few freelance jobs illustrating. Within the last year I have decided that I need to put more action into getting my art more publicized and specifically into competitions, juried shows, and galleries. I’m currently working on a theme of paintings to accomplish this. Last year I joined the American Watercolor Society, and I’m exited to be an associate member at this point, with ambitions of moving up to a signature member.
Erika’s artistic journey began while pursuing a BFA in Studio Arts at the University of Illinois at
Chicago. Erika has been painting murals and commissions for residential and commercial
clients throughout the Chicago land area. Her notable work, a Chicago White Sox mural in her
Chicago home, was recognized in 2005 on FOX Thing in the Morning LIVE with David Navarro
and Tamron Hall, and NBC5 News interview with Charlie Wojciechowski. Also appearing three
times on the Chicago TV, Chanel 26 TheU, talk show, You and Me. Most recent commercial
work can be seen adorning the walls of the operating rooms, therapy room, and Chicago White
Sox Playroom at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. She also participated in the
2013 Great Chicago Fire Hydrant, while her painted 5’ hydrant earned the 100th Club and CFD
charities in over $2,000 at Live auction. Erika has continued her passion for public art and has
successfully attained her 7th horse with Horses of Honor, for her local community and neighbor,
Canaryville Flaggs Club representing fallen officer, Daniel E. Howard.
Through her continued success with the Horses of Honor, Erika, fell into a consulting position
and worked behind the scenes to get the K9's for Cops statue created.
Erika’s passion for art and her joy of sharing her talent is also reflected in CPS schools around
the city helping Chicago Cares create community murals. She tailors custom art parties to both
children and adult groups and works in the field painting murals, creating hand painted wine
glasses, shoes and custom canvas work.
Erika takes just as much joy and passion by the notion of donating her talent. She finds that
everything in life shall be done with purpose, no matter how big or small.
This belief has taken her to create a program she brings to sick children in the hospital, called
Painting with Patients. One day she hopes she can create a Non-for Profit status to help further
bring this great program to hospital patients readily.
Erika Vazzana looks forward to every art endeavor she attains, but her true masterpieces are
her 3 beautiful children; Mason, Phillip, and Lucia and her loving husband, Mark.
The Flesch Family
Born and raised in the Chicago area Fred Moss was drawing and sketching the world around him from an early age. He grew up visiting the Chicago Art Institute, often admiring the outstanding impressionistic and classical painting collection. He attended the College for Creative Studies after receiving a partial school grant and earned a bachelor’s degree. After graduation he studied with renowned painter Romel De La Torre, who helped him convey on canvas his thoughts and feelings. He also studied at the Florence Academy of Art in his grandparents’ native country, Italy. There he found a subject matter that inspired him—the scenic towns and countrysides of Italy. Fred painted Florence, Lake Como, Venetian canals, and hiked the mountains of the Cinque Terre looking for scenic views to capture on canvas.
In 2007 he was accepted into the American Impressionist Society's Annual National Juried Exhibition for his painting of "Springtime Flowers" which was held at Hilligoss Galleries in Chicago. In 2008 he was accepted into the American Impressionist Society’s Annual Juried Exhibition for his painting of “Rose Garden” which was held at Coda Gallery in California. In 2008 he had a solo show at the North Charleston City Gallery. In 2011 he had a painting in ArtPrize, which is a global art competition held in Grand Rapids Michigan. In 2014 he was commissioned to paint a public art “horse of honor”. Each horse was dedicated to a Chicago police officer who was killed or injured in the line of duty. The exhibit featured life size statues of Chicago mounted patrol units that were each artistically designed by local Chicago artists. The exhibit benefited the Chicago memorial foundation. In 2014 he had a solo exhibition at the Harold Washington Chicago Library of “Impressions of Chicago Gardens”. He has exhibited in several galleries and shows which include the Hinsdale Center for the Arts, Beverly Art Center, Karen Solem’s Gallery, 7013 Studio, Hinsdale gallery, Arlington Heights Historical Museum, Elmhurst Artist Guild, Mainstreet Art Center, and Silhouettes Fifth Annual Exhibit. During 2004 and 2005 he participated at Art in the Barn, a juried art show. He has also painted Chicago and Italy cityscapes for limited edition prints which were signed, numbered, then distributed and sold in the Chicagoland area. Chicago city hall has one of his prints hanging there. In 2016 he was a finalist in the Art Muse contest for his painting “Gliding Gondola”.
Harry Caray's Restaurant Group
Lt. Doreen Hlavaty & ET Dorothy J. Price
I am a Chicago Public Artist. The last piece of public art I have created is an original 500 square foot painting in the new Chinatown Library,Chicago. I have my M.F.A. from Northern Illinois University and an extensive show/sales record. During the Horses of Honor project I was able to design and paint 5 of the sculptures. Last year before the historic Cubs World Series Win I refurbished all of the Holy Cows at the famous Harry Caray's Restaurant establishments.
Gordon Flesch Company
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Tony Passero is a mixed media artist and muralist, who not only paints on traditional canvas but also uses a wide variety of found objects (such as dumped doors, discarded windows, abandoned furniture, scrapped street signs, etc.) as the base for his works.
His work is often executed in series or set formats as he explores themes through repetition. The majority of his artwork is centered on a unique mash up of a Latin, Creole and Tribal tones blended with a bit of a linear organic cubist and expressionist styles. His work often has a textured quality as a result of building up of layers from the various mediums he uses (ink, oil, acrylic, custom dyes, etc.) and the various devices he uses to apply the mediums. With each new theme undertaking, Passero makes a point of exploring different and new painting techniques to aesthetically complete and compliment the theme of each project he engages.
From a mural perspective, Passero has conceived and painted his own murals at locations in Chicago such as the Whoot Mural on Belmont Avenue, the Manifest Mural at the Pulaski Blue Line exit, the CrossCuts Mural at the Addison Kennedy Expressway Exit, the Positive Babel Mural at the Irving Park Metra Station, the Jumbo Jet Mural along the Kennedy Expressway, the Spin Cycles at 6 Corners Shopping District,the Colorribean Mural on Chase Avenue and the Hep Cat Mural on Cicero Avenue. He has also participated as one of the lead artists on the Addison and Avondale Mural and Police Memorial Mural on Montrose.
Alexys Fleming, also known as "Madeyewlook" online, is a 23 year old social media influencer with 2.2 million subscribers on YouTube. She is a self taught body painter, and makeup artist. Alexys is licensed in the fields of Esthetics, as well as Cosmetology, obtaining both licenses in each field by age 19. Currently working as a body painter and digital content creator, Alexys strives to not only create, but to inspire the world around her. Alexys stands for anti-bullying, awareness, creativity, and self expression. Throughout her life, she has always been an artist, and has always drawn. To relieve stress from being bullied at school, and to cope with her brand new diagnosis as a Type 1 Diabetic at age 13, she began to take her drawings from paper to people. Since being diagnosed as Diabetic, she went on to raise money for Diabetes Awareness, as well as other causes, whether through awareness walks, or donating her paintings, totaling funds raised for charity over $100,000. Alexys has great goals to influence the world around her in a positive way, and use her platform to inspire others to not only get creative and express themselves, but to give back to their community.
The Roenigk Family Foundation
Artist, graphic designer, writer and art director, currently head over heels for her American Bulldog, Swann is thrilled to be a part of the CPMF supporting Chicago's K9s and the important work they do.
The Skender Foundation
Courtney Boatwright is the Graphic Design Specialist, for Skender Construction, a General Contractor based in Chicago, IL. She is known for her innovative approach to design and her outlandish and obscure illustration style.
Originally, from San Francisco, Courtney got an early start in the industry at the age of 14 working for a luxury brad wholesale distribution company as their In-House Designer. From there, she set sail for Chicago, where she studied Graphic Design in Advertising. Having never graduated from college, a sore spot for her, she has been able to let her work speak for itself, proving that in a creative industry, a degree is great but your talent is the true testament.
Chicago Grooming Academy
Ken has taught art in the Chicago Public Schools and continues to teach painting at all skill levels in Chicago.
Ken has exhibited at New York Art Expo and Galerie Hamptons in West Hampton Beach, Long Island. He has had a number of solo shows and exhibited in group shows in Chicago and Door County, Wisconsin.
Public art installations include "Cool Globes" and "The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants" in Chicago, "Eggstravaganza" in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, and "Benches by the Bay 2016" in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
His art has been published in "Chicago Art Scene" (2000) and "A Published Gallery"(2009), art books featuring international artists.
Ken is the author of "Show Off Your Art" and a contributing author to "Arts & Activities" magazine, "School Arts" magazine, and "Best Classroom Practices: What Award-Winning Elementary Teachers Do".
Ken is a featured artist at SantaFeArt world.com
JUAN CARLOS FRIAS
Corboy & Demetrio
Juan Carlos Frias is a self-taught multi-media artist, and a member of the Northwest Arts Connection. Several of his paintings and artwork are in private collections. For over 20 years, Juan Carlos has worked with a variety of communities to create unique artwork for public enjoyment. In San Antonio, he organized a residential painting crew that assisted in painting three murals for the Alamo Mutual Housing Association in 1995-96. Community residents were proud to create beautiful artwork adorning their neighborhood. Juan Carlos used fiberglass to fashion an octopus ottoman for the Shedd Aquarium, which displayed his 2001 Suite Home Chicago art furniture ensemble. Utilizing upcycled aluminum soda cans, he created tactile “feathers” for an award-winning birdhouse showcased through the 2010 Tweet Home Chicago community art program. More recently, Juan Carlos built a fire engine from a large hydrant in support of the 2013 Great Chicago Fire Hydrants charitable art program.
Public art and community service are in his blood. Juan Carlos instructs Chicago Public School students through the After School Matters art program, and regularly collaborates with fellow artists to support communities, whether through fundraising or murals. In 2009, he fabricated a large rosary from corrugated cardboard for a Day of the Dead exhibit in Door County. The event not only provided food for the local food pantry, organizers invited community members to bring prayers and alms to celebrate loved ones who passed. More recently, Juan Carlos painted murals adjacent to the Forest Glen Metra and Addison and Avondale Blue Line stations and along Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. In 2016, he donated a painting to the Lydia Home Association to assist the organization in its fundraising efforts.
Juan Carlos is honored to team with neighbors and colleagues to create engaging public art that instills wonder and pride in local communities.
The Chicago Bears
Laura Junge is an experienced artist living and working in Chicago. For the past 20 years she has traveled the country selling her paintings at numerous art fairs and galleries throughout the country. Seven years ago her and her husband Chris Jackson opened The Jackson Junge Gallery in the heart of Wicker Park. Laura's work is featured in the space and she also helps with all operations of the gallery.
Chicago's First Lady Cruises
Brandin Hurley is a Chicago based freelance fine artist who specializes in papercut and light pieces, site-specific installations, and murals. She has a BFA from CSU Long Beach in scenic design, and a MFA in scenic design from NIU.
Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union
Richard Koranda–Partner at Two Advertising
Richard Koranda drives creative strategies for his A-list clients like American Express, Bank of America, CitiCard, VISA, Chase, and Diner’s Club. With over 65 industry awards under his belt for multi-channel marketing with innovative concepts, Richard continues to knock it out of the park for his clients with spot-on bottom-line revenue results.
Rosemary fanti–Rosemary Fanti Illustration
Rosemary Fanti creates gorgeous portraits and sketches for both individual and business clientele. Rosemary specializes in illustrating fashion, weddings and events, partnering with upscale and notable clients including The Four Seasons Hotel, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.