Rebe Banasiak, Artist

Welcome to my site . I am Rebecca (Rebe for short) and am a Chicago native working as an artist for the past 22 years.

While studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I interned at the Field Museum of Natural History and was introduced to the many specimens within the mammal and bird collections. This internship fostered my love of nature and nurtured my interest in science to combine it within my art.

Working at the Field Museum, I created different learning resources for scientists and students to use including field guides, posters, guide books and calendars. I also photographed and illustrated many mammal specimens for a dichotomous key called the Mammals of Tanzania and different peer reviewed publications for many of the researchers in the Mammals Collection.  I am now the Chief Mammals Preparator where I prepare mammal specimens for the collection.

My work at the Field preparing and handling specimens has influenced my artwork in many ways and it is seen throughout my sketchbooks, illustrations and portraits.  My museum work has enhanced my ability with illustrating animals and capturing the “soul” of each one which the audience can see through their eyes. Many people say they see expressions in the faces of the animals I create and can empathize with what they are feeling.

I continue to use both the mounts on exhibit in the halls of the museum, as well as, the specimens within the main collection as reference for my work.  I continue to grow my interest in combining science and art by using what is around me in nature from the animals at the zoo to a walk in the forest or on the beach to using my own photography of all these as my reference for creating new artwork.

When I am not in my home studio sketching or illustrating, I enjoy reading, board games, (re)learning to sew, experimenting in the kitchen (chemistry degree at work here), and cuddling with my two fur-babies.

Enjoy exploring my website, blog, portfolio and store.

 “i draw the exhibit, i become the exhibit”

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