Ben Clark, president, became the owner of L.H. Selman Ltd. in 2009. Having grown up in a paperweight collecting family, he brings a unique combination of business and art experience combined with great enthusiasm and energy for paperweights. Ben has traveled extensively, lived in California, Illinois, Greece and Spain. He graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in history and from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. He brings a love of the outdoors, a keen interest in people, a passion for technology and delights in working with paperweight artists and collectors. He and his wife Casey live in downtown Chicago and are enjoying raising a rescued dog named D.J., and they became parents to a baby girl named Mackenzie in 2019. Ben is committed to building L.H. Selman over the coming years by carrying on the traditions and the reputation for excellence built by Larry and Marti Selman, while undertaking the responsibility of ushering a new generation of paperweight enthusiasts into the collecting community.
Penelope Turgeon, vice-president, is originally from Quebec and joined the L.H. Selman team in 2015. She is fluent in both French and English, which is particularly practical for the study and discussion of paperweight history. Penelope received B.A. and M.M. degrees from UCLA and continued post-graduate studies at Northern Illinois University. She currently plays principal flute with the Fox Valley Orchestra in Aurora, IL. Needless to say that Penelope has an affinity for traditional classical art forms and is dedicated to promoting the incredible “presse-papiers en crystals” and all of their modern advances. Previously, she has worked in non-profit arts management and operations, library services, wine-making and education. She invites everyone to come spend time at the gallery in Chicago to enjoy the daily paperweight chats and browse the new and old inventory. It is a fascinating world to discover.
Marty Susmaras, media and inventory manager, is Chicagoland native and has always had a curiosity for the camera. His interest grew in high school when he inherited an heirloom camera from his father and learned the dangerous skill of color darkroom photo development. He now collects and is passionate about antique cameras, owning over twenty and counting. Marty attended Columbia College of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in photography in 2010. That Fall, he started working as photographer at L.H. Selman and you can see his beautiful work in auction catalogs and on the L.H. Selman website. Should the weather permit, when he is not the gallery shutterbug, Marty thoroughly enjoys being outdoors and going fishing in Canada, Lake Michigan and locally. He also photographs weddings,natural landscapes and cityscapes, all the while doing his own photo editing. He currently resides in the Chicago suburbs with his wife Dana and their two french bulldogs.
Paul Berlanga recently joined the firm as our sales manager. Born and raised in Chicago, Paul has spent years in the arts, first as a painter and later as a dealer of fine art photography and works on paper. While a gallery director at Stephen Daiter Gallery, he curated exhibitions, gave lectures on artists, represented the gallery at national and international art fairs, and wrote for various publications. During that time, he also came to appreciate fine art glass from frequent visits to a neighboring gallery in Chicago’s River North. When Paul first contacted us, he was already a fan of the accomplished Paul Stankard and was eager to engage in the field of paperweights in a broader context. Paul was educated at the University of Illinois and The American Academy of Art and various other private art institutions. Prior to his time as a gallery director, he worked for over two decades in the used and rare book trade.