Glen Ellyn resident and COD art student Zlatka Burtis' work Newspaper Dolls is a feature art work receiving a showcase in Cleve Carney Art Gallery's new public art window at the former Glesche Shoe building in Glen Ellyn (photo courtesy of McAninch Arts Center).

The McAninch Arts Center and Cleve Carney Art Gallery have teamed up to create a public art window installation at the former Giesche Shoe building located at 400 N. Main St. in the heart of downtown Glen Ellyn. The site is currently vacant and is scheduled to be razed in the coming weeks.

“Justin Witte, director of the Cleve Carney Art Gallery, brought the incredible work of Glen Ellyn resident and COD art student Zlatka Burtis to my attention, and we agreed it would be interesting to try to feature it in a public art installation on the empty Giesche building storefront windows to beautify what could be seen as an eyesore, while celebrating the important role culture has in our community. GSP Development, the developer who owns the building, Glen Ellyn Alliance, Village of Glen Ellyn and Chamber of Commerce were open to trying the concept, so and thanks to their support, the artwork was installed on Oct. 30 and is scheduled to be on display through November,” says MAC Director Diana Martinez.

​“Zlatka’s work featuring dresses created from newspapers attracted a capacity crowd when it was featured in a special exhibit Newspaper Dolls in COD’s Wings Gallery this past spring. You could clearly see its potential for use in a public arena. While logistics precluded the use of her 3-D sculpture versions in the Giesche installation, the photos, also the work of Zlatka, are in and of themselves visually striking. To remain in code all backgrounds had to be cut out, but Zlatka was more than happy to make any necessary adjustments,” noted Witte.

Born and raised in Czechoslovakia, Burtis moved to Chicago in 2000. Though she was formally educated as a landscape designer, Burtis has harbored a lifelong passion for art. Much of her unique style is self-taught, yet was further enhanced by the knowledge she acquired at the College of DuPage.

Burtis’ talents stem from techniques that most of today's photographers have long since forgotten or never took the time to learn. She prefers analog photography using her Hasselblad 503CW camera or one of her "sentimental" Flexaret cameras from Czechoslovakia. Her style is a blend of "Old World" and "New." Her work is influenced by many, but primarily by renowned Czech photographer Jan Saudek, who has become a dear friend along her artistic journey. Burtis’ skills extend beyond photography to sculpture and watercolor painting. Inspired by both the realism and expressionism, Zlatka channels the work of Frantisek Drtikol, Richard Avedon, Egon Schiele, Pablo Picasso and the musician Nick Cave. For more information about Burtis’ work, visit

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Cleve Carney Art Gallery to Create Public Art Window in Iconic Glen Ellyn Building