Nestled amid neighborhood stores on a quiet section of Linden Avenue in Wilmette sits Ysla Battrell Studio.
Featuring 12-foot ceilings, movable walls and exposed pipes, the studio’s aesthetic is part chic Chicago art loft, part unpretentious Wilmette storefront.
The person responsible for melding these two seemingly opposed styles is local owner and artist Carol Battrell.
Ysla Battrell is not your conventional photography studio, but an amalgamation of Carol and her husband Mark’s various commercial and creative endeavors. From Mark’s fine art photography (which has been used commercially) to Carol’s professional portrait photography and abstract drawings, their studio is a true testament to the diversity of their interests and versatility as artists.
It isn’t difficult to see why Battrell is a successful photographer. In person she is relaxed but thoughtful, two qualities that no doubt have been fundamental to her success in a craft that is all about making people comfortable while being able to capture them objectively. Battrell thrives in the spontaneity of photographing people. For her, never knowing how a shoot will turn out is both challenging and fun. In her abstract drawings, she finds satisfaction in the process of creating, rather than in the end result.
Carol and her husband have called the North Shore home for 10 years. While they still enjoy the perks of having a studio space in the city, they’ve settled in the area for the close community feel and myriad opportunities to enjoy nature. For both photographers, the chance to open a studio in a place that provides them so many options and connections was a no-brainer.
In opening the gallery, Battrell addressed a community need. The gallery’s location lacks the foot traffic of downtown Wilmette, and yet, since the gallery is a true destination, Battrell has created a place of interest that extends beyond the traditional downtown hotspots. Its unique construction can be restructured to accommodate a variety of purposes, so the gallery is just as suited to host a cutting-edge performance art show as it is a corporate party or anniversary celebration.
Ysla Battrell is located at 405 1/2 Linden Ave. in Wilmette. For more information visit: www.carolbattrell.com.