“Wesley Kimler is one of the best painters of our time.  Fluent in myriad styles as broad as abstraction to realism, he is capable of convincingly putting onto canvas any image or form he wants – and he juxtaposes many.


He is a painter’s painter and eschews much of what’s going on in the world’s art centers.  He does not work to appease his audience; he works to overwhelm them with the content, stature and the power of his imagery.  His paintings are often huge – sometimes as large as 10 by 30 feet.  They are heroic statements about brave, or obdurate, inspirational human endeavor, addressing issues of life, death and the pursuit of excellence.

Kimler takes control of his art, his output and his career.  He doesn’t suffer fools or the ‘hanky-panky’ that pervades the artworld – sometimes to his own detriment. For him, quality is more important than convenience, integrity more significant than contrivance, and honest technique a prerequisite for being considered an artist at all.

It is a rare bird who embraces technology, reads prolifically, knows precisely what is going on in remote portions of the globe and maintains a strict allegiance to what has become old school – a painter who paints – one who insists that good technique is mandatory and performed by the person who puts their name to the work.

Kimler is that person.”

– Paul Klein


Nick Sandys is an award-winning actor, director, and fight choreographer, as well as an educator. He is currently a Resident Fight Director at Lyric Opera of Chicago where he has designed violence for over 50 productions (recent credits include Ernani, Macbeth, Tosca, West Side Story and Jesus Christ Superstar) and he also directed the 2019 revival of Strauss’ Elektra. His Jeff-award-winning fight direction has been seen all over Chicagoland, including over 25 productions at Goodman Theatre (most recently Gem of the Ocean, Clyde’s, Swing State), as well as on Broadway (Steppenwolf’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), at The Metropolitan Opera (Prince Igor, Giulio Cesare, Il Trovatore), and regionally. Nick is a certified Fight Director with The Society of American Fight Directors and has been adjunct faculty at The Theatre School at DePaul University since 1995.

Nick was the Producing Artistic Director of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company from 2012-2021 and a founding member of the ensemble, where he appeared in 17 productions and directed numerous others, including Howards End, Great Expectations, Life of Galileo, Travesties, Our Class, and Seascape. Nick has also directed shows for First Folio (Merry Wives, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth) where he is an Artistic Associate, and for Noble Fool Theatricals, Chamber Opera Chicago, Fort Worth Shakespeare in the Park, Stage West, Circle Theatre (TX), among others. He has performed in over 150 theatrical productions nationwide including productions at the Goodman, Northlight, Chicago Shakespeare, Writers’ Theatre, Mercury Theatre, Next Theatre, Lookingglass, Marriott Lincolnshire, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Light Opera Works, and Chamber Opera Chicago, as well as regionally and Off Broadway. He has received 21 Joseph Jefferson Nominations (9 as an actor, 5 as a producer, 4 as a fight choreographer and 3 as a director), as well as an After Dark Award and a Dallas Critics Circle Award, and he was a 2019 Audie Finalist for his audiobook narration of Stoker’s Dracula.

Nick holds MAs in English Literature from both Cambridge University and Loyola University Chicago, and he is the proud recipient of a 2011 Achievement Award from The Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Charitable Foundation For The Arts.


Jeff Kowalkowski is a free‐lance composer, arranger, keyboardist and bandleader performing classical, jazz, folk, and rock music, with a specialty in experimental “avant‐garde” and “new music.”  He also teaches composition and music theory. Some say he is a guru!


Recent commissions for original compositions include a Meet the Composer/Met-Life Creative Connections grant for a duo percussion concerto, a sound-installation produced by the Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) and the Chicago Park District at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a tone poem for 13 clarinets and synthesizer for the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble, recording and live performances with the Exploding Star Orchestra in Chicago and Sardegna, Italy, substitute keyboardist on a brief tour with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, and organization work for the New Music at the Green Mill concert series which began in 1988.

Jeff is Principal Facilitator for the Chicago Scratch Orchestra which has a current roster of 35 musicians.  Anyone is invited to join this ensemble/historical re-enactment, to study the music/philosophy of British composer Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981), and to “table” your own scores for the orchestra to perform.  Jeff also plays keyboards for the powerful 10-piece pig-band: King Pignacious.

Kowalkowski’s chamber music has been performed internationally, at major festivals including Darmstadt, Gaudeamus, Center Acanthes, June in Buffalo, and the Oregon Bach Festival; by Ensemble Integrales,  Asko Ensemble, Marquette Symphony Orchestra, and many small chamber groups and fine soloists, for example: Carrie Biolo (percussion), Barbara Lueneberg (violin), Jen Clare Paulson (viola), Anne La Berge. (flute/electronics), Eric Roth (voice/percussion) and Interzone Perceptible (accordion, electric bass, electronics).

Jeff helped found The Milkwood Foundation (1998) with Eric Markowitz, an audio production group that has focused on projects with underserved people.  He produced 3 CDs and toured with the duo Jack the Dog (Uvulittle Records, Madison WI.), toured an opera collaboration with Vienna-based composer Marko Ciciliani “Bosch tapped the gas pedal…”  He also served as piano player/music director on various Curious Theater Branch productions, including Rhinofest.  Jeff is a past-current member of the Chicago artist collective Lucky Pierre, and with this group he has performed and toured, currently he is assisting Lucky Pierre on a 12 hour performance marking 10 years of the Afghanistan War.

Jeff accepts a very limited roster of private composition students, and also offers single-session portfolio critiques.  Serious composers of any background, style, and age should inquire via e-mail to schedule lessons

His work is available in the following collection: Complete Catalogue of Musical Works (49+ original compositions in a wide variety of media, self-published, 1985-2011, BMI)

Jeff Kowalkowski’s composition “ruth, rubric-rational; realisms-relationals”as performed by the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble.