Top photo: Melody and Bryan the night of the show.
Bottom photo: Melody and Irving Newman.

Irving Newman’s artwork will be on display and for sale through December.

Mid-century Art Featured in First Studio 8 Show

Forest Park gallery celebrates Oak Park artist Irving Newman

By Maria Maxham


Studio 8 in Forest Park had two firsts on Friday, Nov. 15. It was the first official art gallery show held at the eclectic vintage shop, and it was the first exhibit ever of Oak Park artist Irving Newman’s works, which had been in storage since he created them in the 1960s.

Melody Kratz and Brian Shamhart, owners of Studio 8 at 7316 Madison St., said they discovered Newman’s art in the spring when they went to his home to look into buying some items for their store.

They noticed some “amazing geometric art” on the walls and asked about it. Newman’s wife, Erusha, told them they were her husband’s works. Katz and Shamhart said they were surprised when she and Newman showed them two closets in the home filled with his artwork.

Katz describes Newman’s work as “geometric modern art done in the style of Josef Albers,” who was most famous for his “Homage to the Square” series, which he worked on for over 20 years, starting in the late 1940s. Albers’ works from this period focused on how simply changing color and spatial relationships using the same shape — the square — could create significant artistic and optical differences. “Abstraction is real,” Albers is quoted as saying. “Probably more real than nature.”

Not pot, but growing in popularity

CBD oil from non-psychoactive hemp is catching on

By Nona Tepper

When Melody Kratz turned 13, she started getting migraines, the pain centered behind her left eye, making her feel so nauseous that moving felt unbearable. Kratz’s father took her to the doctor, who thought she had allergies and prescribed weekly injections. They didn’t work. “You start questioning everything,” she said, “like, ‘What are you even doing here if you’re going to live in this much pain?'”

Studio 8’s Vintage Made Modern shop moves to Madison Street

By Tom Holmes
It’s tempting to call Studio 8 an antique store. “Not so,” said Melody Kratz, owner. She prefers “vintage made modern” to describe what customers will find when they first walk into her new shop, which she plans to open in Forest Park in February after a move from Oak Park.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be part of Forest Park,” Kratz said, adding: “I love the idea of being part of a community of other shops similar to ours and having a vested interest in the town.”

All in Your Business: Studio 8 Gives New Life to Old Treasures

By Julie Chyna
The giant octopus on the Studio 8 sign tells shoppers that they’re in for something unique. Oak Park’s newest vintage shop features upcycled, repurposed, refinished, refurbished, or fine-the-way-they-are furnishings and décor.

“ To me, it’s all about lines,” says Melody Kratz, Studio 8’s owner. “If the piece is scratched, I can refinish it. If something is broken, I can fix or rebuild it. These pieces have history and soul to them. Everything here is perfectly imperfect.”

Meet Melody Kratz of Studio 8 in Oak Park

By Voyage Chicago
Today we’d like to introduce you to Melody Kratz.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.

I have always been an artist. Mostly creating what I couldn’t afford. Paintings, furniture etc. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had clear images of art I wanted and furniture design I loved. When I lived in Memphis, I worked for a high end painted furniture designer after I graduated college.