fragile tension

A new series of paintings by Naperville artists Jaime and Michael Foster were on display at Water Street Studios in Batavia throughout the month of March in 2024. The name of this two-person show is Fragile Tension. Their work has been shown in galleries throughout the US and internationally.

As the days grow darker and history roars back with a vengeance, we ask ourselves… can we stay positive against overwhelming odds? How can we feel hope when it appears all hope is lost? The selected works by Jaime and Michael will represent the fragile relationship humankind has with the natural world and the tension we endure when that relationship is off-balance.

“The Great Recession hit and after years of struggling, we moved back to Chicago in 2012. Jaime found a studio at Water Street not too long after, and we began to rebuild our lives.

Twelve years later, we looked back and thought, those days when the light of relentless optimism met with the darkness of a pure intensive force, what would that look like? What kind of art show would that be?”

– Michael

Promotional Videos

View Michael’s Recent Work

Art Video “Fragile Tension”

This video performs as both an interlude and a coda to the show.

The Art of Ecopsychology

Jaime Foster is an interdisciplinary artist, living in the Chicagoland area. She is interested in the relationship we have with nature and our environment, both positively, and negatively, and how this affects us on an emotional level. Her paintings feed off the fascination she has with Ecopsychology, Conservation, and Biodiversity.

Watch this video from 2020 to learn more about Jaime’s work.

Let’s Travel Back in Time

In October of 2012, Ben Hollis formally of Wild Chicago and Ben Loves Chicago interviewed Michael at Water Street Studios. After several years of struggling in Seattle during the Great Recession, they returned to the Chicago area in the spring of 2012, and re-started their life and art career. In many ways, Fragile Tension is a sort of homecoming for Michael and Jaime.

Watch this wild video from 2012 to learn about Michael’s work-life… way back when.

A Day in the Life

In May of 2020, during the depths of the pandemic, Jaime and Michael shot a short film about being stuck in the house. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall of two artists living together, here’s your chance.

Watch Life in Purgatory now…

Did You Know?

Water Street Studio’s current Director of Exhibitions Steve Sherrell was once Michael’s art instructor in college.


Organically abstract, Jaime’s work simultaneously resembles vast glacial landscapes and intricate microscopic patterns. She is fascinated by our relationship with nature and our environment, both positively and negatively, and how this affects society on an emotional level.


Much of Michael’s work involves coming to terms with the abundance of technology-driven information overload we casually experience in modern-day society. He creates post-modern works visually representing data in its raw form, existing within multiple theoretical spacetime dimensions.

How Do I Get to Water Street?

The Art Portfolio

Michael’s work continues the visual analogy of civilization coping with Moore’s Law through the lens of the subconscious. Distorted handwritten notes and encrypted keyword ciphers are interwoven throughout mysterious structures and various abstractions, including comic illustrations and other non-specific futuristic forms.

The result is a data landscape of today’s anxious subconscious mind, presenting how we remember life events and interpret the kinetic surfaces and essences of the environment and emotions that we are sometimes reluctantly embedded within. And they look great on your wall.

Design Portfolio