Most people have heard the adage, “Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?” The very fact that mankind still feels the need to debate and explore this concept argues that, though some may call it trite, the need for creative expression is just as valid now as it was two thousand years ago. When we see ourselves represented in art we feel a blend of validation and unity, finally understanding that we are both unique and part of something bigger.

Bringing art inside the home is a form of self-expression. Whether it’s a careful arrangement of furniture, a collection of family photos on the mantle, or professionally commissioned paintings displayed in your living room, your home’s design and décor should feel like an extension of your character. A thoughtfully decorated house has the power to inspire, invigorate, or soothe.

On a personal level, art has been a constant source of inspiration, enriching my life in many ways. I feel lucky to live in Chicago, a city that provides enormous opportunities for art exploration. In recent years I decided to combine my passion for art and real estate by working with Art Encounter, an Evanston-based non-profit organization that serves the Chicagoland area, and I was thrilled when they elected me as President of the Board of Directors in 2018. This organization works tirelessly to make sure public schools have access to art – a cause I’m truly honored to be a part of.


Art Encounter is a non-profit art organization whose mission is to educate, empower, and connect people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive explorations of visual art. We believe that there are many ways to see, and that art can be a powerful vehicle to better understand ourselves and the world around us.

Art Encounter fosters interest and understanding by using a unique combination of discussion and exposure. They believe art is most effective when experienced first-hand, and therefore offer a variety of interactive opportunities that include:

  • Innovative art tours and a worldwide art travel program for all art enthusiasts.
  • Creative workshops for public school students.
  • Art-based social programs for seniors and multi-generational groups.
  • Tactile-centered workshops for the visually disabled.
  • Communal critique sessions for artists.

Whether you’re an adult or a child, Art Encounter has something for everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about their programs, I suggest you visit their website There you can find a calendar of events, a list of youth and senior outreach programs, and descriptions of different art projects.