Ben Muller, Piccolo Theatre ensemble member, can't mask his enthusiasm for:
Inside Out Art Studio The front room of Inside Out Art Studio (at Damen and Montrose) is set up like any other storefront, but it's cluttered with the sort of bric-a-brac you'd expect to find in an artist's studio or scientist's laboratory. It has a living, active energy that I don't typically encounter with artists' shops. I took one of the classes taught by master mask-maker Jeff Semmerling, and I must say, as an actor I've always seen visual arts like painting and sculpture as something akin to magic performed by mysterious wizardlike beings. Now Jeff is definitely something of a wizard (rocking a decidedly magical 'stache) but his enthusiasm for the work is infectious, and his insights into mask's primal nature utterly fascinated me. Under his tutelage, mask is a surprisingly accessible, intuitive art form, and I recommend his classes to all who want to create, but are intimidated by visual arts.