Man in a skirt

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Artist Allie Kushnir says she couldn't wait to get rid of this piece of juvenilia. Painted when she was 17, for a New Trier high school art class, the acrylic rendering of a man in a skirt was a mere solution to an assignment.

She gave it away, along with some other schoolwork, and never expected to see or hear about it again.

So she was surprised when I called her last week. She had forgotten that her name was on the back of the canvas.

Now 24, Kushnir's a University of Iowa grad living in Logan Square and hoping to land a job in graphic design. The old paintings are nothing like her current work, which is mostly in oil, she says. She's been documenting some of that in process:

Meanwhile, the man in a skirt found his way into the annual recycled art sale at the Art Center Highland Park, where I bought him.

He's been leaning up against my office wall for more than a year now, and I haven't tired of his winsome expression, his flirty attire, or his profusely floral world.

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