Rhonda Popko is an artist, teacher, passionate gardener and culinary entrepreneur based in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.
As a process oriented creator, Rhonda’s artwork has evolved over the past 40 years as an exploration of different media and materials applied to a mix of surfaces, materials, and subjects, manifesting primarily through painting, printmaking and textiles. She studied printmaking, drawing and painting at the Art Institute of Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University.
Rhonda has taught adults and children for over 30 years at the Science & Arts Academy and Des Plaines Park District. She has been recognized for her interdisciplinary approach to arts curriculum that spans the core disciplines of history, science, math and language arts. Rhonda has taught seminars on bringing art into the classroom for students at Dominican University, the National Association for Gifted Children and the Illinois Association for Gifted Children.
Before moving into teaching full-time, Rhonda owned and operated a number of businesses including the Popko Studio Gallery, an art boutique in downtown Des Plaines; Pandora’s Pantry, a catering company; and the Good People’s Food Co-Op, a 100-family food cooperative.
Rhonda is also the author of The Book of Basic Sewing, published in 1980 by McVey & Associates.
A recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanitarian Award from the Illinois Humanities Council in 2000, Rhonda has received that and other accolades for her dedication to bringing arts and cultural enrichment to her community.