* Bellydance Instructor
* Educator & Mentor to Artists
* Fashion Designer
* Bellydance Performer
An unusual list of expertise to be sure. However, when you mix a career in the arts with a career in sales and a passion for connecting artists and art lovers like never before, you get something pretty special.
A short history about me:
Some of you know me by my stage name- Freya, others of you know me as Emily. For the past 20+ years I've lived a double life...by day I was the Curator & Director of Atlas Galleries, a major fine art gallery in Chicago, by night I was a bellydancer & artist. I worked very hard to keep those two lives separate. Now I've left the gallery world to teach artists everything I learned along the way. I started Gossamer Arts to help artists run their art careers as a successful business. I continue to work with art collectors, helping them find specific works of art, pedestals, etc.
Along the way I started teaching belly dance & sharing my love of dance with people all around my new home near Rockford IL. Gradually, my two worlds started to merge: performers from my bellydance world also benefited from art business classes, and artists I worked with were also interested belly dance or hired me to model. Thus Gossamer Arts Bellydance is now officially a part of my company. It's been a weird & wonderful road that has brought me here, but I'm happy to go along for the ride and see where it takes me.
I have extensive experience in museum and gallery management, exhibitions, high-end sales, leadership, and education. Pursuing my passion for the arts led me to manage the Kohl Children's Museum and work with its award winning Chagall exhibit. From there I built my own art education business which allowed me to work with cultural institutions such as the Evanston Arts Center, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Peace Museum. Most recently I managed two outstanding fine art galleries in downtown Chicago; The Marshal Fields Fine Art Gallery & Atlas Galleries.
Throughout my career, I have maintained my own artistic roots. I curated art exhibitions at The Kohl Museum, Gallery EGG, Marshall Fields Fine Art Gallery & Atlas Galleries. I worked as an independent children's book illustrator and developed a successful hand dyed silk shop on Etsy. My silk scarves sold to dancers around the globe including Germany, Hong Kong, and Canada. As a bellydancer I have performed in many stage productions, commercials, fundraisers, & private events. I now share my love of bellydance with students throughout the Chicagoland & Rockford areas via weekly classes & online workshops & drills videos. As a fine art print-maker, I specialize in mezzotints. My mezzotint prints have been displayed in the U.S. and internationally in Russia & Serbia.
I love to read. There is nothing better than curling up on the couch with a cup of tea, a good book, and a lap full of dogs and cats. I am a passionate animal lover and some of you may have already met two of my dogs who occasionally make an appearance at the gallery, or have been introduced to them as they assist with my bellydance drills videos When I'm not inside reading, I'm usually outside hiking, running, camping or sitting in a hammock...reading.