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Street Smart

Laura Hine | January 4, 2017 | Feature Features National

Artist René Romero Schuler moves fluently from creating public murals to intimate luxury-building commissions.
René Romero Schuler's Lake Forest home is filled with contemporary art, including many of her own works.

The day we met, the artist René Romero Schuler should have been prepping for the TEDx panel she was speaking on in a few short days, but within minutes of starting our interview, it was clear that Romero Schuler and the topic, The Curated Life, were made for each other. The Lake Forest resident looks like someone whose life has always been curated, perhaps with a posh start and an easy transition into the artistic life. But Romero Schuler’s art comes from a turbulent past, including fleeing a difficult childhood to strike out on her own at the age of 14, and taking years to grow her artistic style and following. “My past is an important part of who I am and what I bring to my art,” she says. “I want to convey real purpose so anyone can look and find a bit of themselves, and see the beauty in the palette knife marks and imperfections.”

And people have responded deeply and enthusiastically to her art. In the last few months, she has created a mural in Jacksonville, Fla., as part of Art(Re)public, which is also the sponsor of the TEDx panel. Also in Florida, her art was exhibited in three different galleries during Miami’s Art Basel, and, back in Chicago, she is creating 30 new works for the luxury building No. 9 Walton—you will see her art on every floor as you step out of the elevator. Finally, she has a solo show planned for September 2018 at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, which is a coup for the self-trained artist. “When I was just beginning, I didn’t have the ability to put my soul out in the world,” she says. “But I learned and worked and just stayed focused.” And as far as curating an artistic life, she says it’s pretty simple: “I operate from the heart in pretty much everything I do. Ultimately, it’s about the gift art gives me every day.”


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