Michael Wernik graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in the Arts from Columbia College Chicago in 1999. As a student, he was actively involved as art student and organizer of the group, Art Community, in addition to coordinating exhibitions for the Myron Hokin Multi-Media Arts Center’s affiliated campus galleries. Upon graduation, Columbia College Chicago invited Wernik to help upstart the new Glass Curtain Gallery in the South Loop exhibiting esteemed CCC faculty artists and visiting global artists. In 2002, he engaged the Chicago Public Schools with the AIDS Memorial Quilt as a catalyst for HIV/AIDS prevention for at risk youth and at the NAMES Project Chicago reinstated the weekly Quilting Bees for families and friends commemorating those who died from AIDS.
By 2006, Wernik was employed by Recycled Paper Greeting Cards in the historic Lakeview neighborhood and remained there for 7 years as pre-production artist for everyday cards and eventually creative technical lead for Papyrus Recycled Greeting Cards under parent company, American Greetings. He also continued his interests to bring people together through the arts by encouraging creativity and collaboration within the company departments around holidays and annual company events.
Now living in Indiana full-time for two years, Wernik has lent his talents to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts and for one year, participated with the community as Social Media Manager for Artspace Projects during the Warren Building’s renovation in Michigan City’s beautiful Uptown Arts District. At the same time, he is active in the after school programs as teaching artist for Lubeznik Center for the Arts. He just completed his third season at LCA as teaching artist for Painting with Teens and is looking forward to being Notre Dame Catholic School’s newest art teacher in Fall 2016.