Taking A Risk — ARC Gallery Pop-Up Members Exhibit

“Taking a Risk”   Opening Reception Friday, Feb. 2, 6-9PM

ARC artists Genevieve Cohn, Carly Colvin, Nancy Fritz, Iris Goldstein, Karen Lange, Ruti Modlin, Cheri Reif Naselli, Maria Reichstadt, Randi Shepard, Lee Stanton,  Cynthia Vaicunas, and Amy Zucker will show work that is a little bit out of their usual comfort zones.

Karen Lange

“Connected”  Opening  Fri.  Feb 2,  6-9pm

After years of collecting Mexican Folk Art and studying Abstract Expression Karen Lange brings “Connected,” a body of work combining these very different art forms. Karen has been researching and traveling to Mexico in a quest to find out more information about an art form that she has been admiring but not creating. She found and learned that the spirit of folk art is rooted in culture, family, environment and religion. Miss Lange has been a long-time painter in the school of abstract expressionism studying artists as Pollock, DeKooning, Rothko while moving to more contemporary artists such as Rauschenberg, Johns and Stockholder. Studying these artists Lange has been inspired by the bold gestural mark, pairing every day and found objects into paintings, and being fearless with paint and color manipulation. In 2017 Lange showed two pieces of art that were influenced by Mexican Folk Art, but in “Connected” she investigates further to bridge these two seemingly different art forms into harmonious art pieces. Karen Lange is quick to recognize that this is the first of a much larger scope of research, dialogue, and study of these two fascinating art forms that are creating a new visual language.

Mel Bode

“Shape, Form and Color”  Opening  Fri.  Feb 2,  6-9pm

“Color is my oldest memory” states the artist Mel Bode.  Color is an exploration of how we feel and think.  Mel Bode has been an artist all of her life.  Her work is photography and mixed media.  The process is printed on archival paper with a Giclee printer.  This printer allows the sensitivity to the color that is created in each original print.  Mel Bode hopes that the viewer is moved emotionally by the usage of color.  All work has been framed in acid free mats and museum glass.

Kina Bagovska

“Rituals”  Opening  Fri.  Oct 27,  6-9pm

In the series of art works entitled ” Rituals” Kina Bagovska uses mixed media and collages to depict memories of her growing up in a small village, surrounded by prehistorical rocks, in the southern part of Europe.
Bagovska’s interest lies in the ancient female figurines made of clay and used for rituals over 5000 years ago. She developes her minimalist art using transparent materials such as plexiglass and silk. To achieve her goals, she combines various techniques including ink, sand and plaster, in collaboration with music and dance.
At the opening reception, there will be a live performance by”Duo Utopia” with the musicians Zhivko Nikolov – guitar and Margarita Nikolov – flute, starting at 7pm. They will present music by Bartok, Ibert and rhythms from the Balkan.

Exhibition dates:     Oct 25 – Nov 18, 2017

Gallery hours:     Wed-Sat 12-6pm    Sunday 12-4pm

Iris Goldstein

Investigations:  Colored Pencil Drawings”  Opening  Fri.  Oct 27,  6-9pm

After working many years creating painted plaster wall-relief sculptures, Iris Goldstein has been experimenting to see whether she can create a sense of three-dimensional space using colored pencils on paper.  This exhibit features a collection of drawings meant to mimic and elaborate on some of her sculptural ideas.  Some of the drawings show a slice of nature abstracted and made mysterious.  Other drawings are studies in spatial relationships and positive and negative space. Goldstein is always interested in the mysterious.  She tries to find visual images that are suggestive and allusive.


Exhibition dates:     Oct 25 – Nov 18, 2017

Gallery hours:     Wed-Sat 12-6pm    Sunday 12-4pm

Irmgard Koehler

Retrospective and Introspective”  Opening  Fri.  Oct 27,  6-9pm

Irmgard Koehler speaks about her work: “This body of work comes out of the catastrophes of Central Europe during the 20th century. It comes through my encounter with engaging personalities who illustrated this historical period for me through their lives and their work. The events of the 20th century are illustrated in this body of work by a series of pieces relating to a museum installation entitled  “10,000 Lights Of Extinguished Lives Of Children “, which hit me like a thunderbolt when I saw it. Struggling to show the enormity of the Ten Thousand Lights, I tried to create infinite space by creating an X-Ray and hologram effect, superimposing many layers of material.  This theme occupied me for a long time. I reached a temporary catharsis and put it aside. But today, writing this, I realize anew that the undertones of doom are still there and fresh and continuing in the world today.

As a respite from history, my work then turns inward. The sculpture shows the intimate world of my growing family and expresses feelings about Motherhood.

I want to dedicate this exhibition to my great love, G. E. F. Our lives together were lived out of a deeply felt, mutual and surely historical need.”


Exhibition dates:     Oct 25 – Nov 18, 2017

Gallery hours:     Wed-Sat 12-6pm    Sunday 12-4pm

The Annual Member Exhibition

“The Kaleidoscope of ARC Gallery”  Opening  Fri.  Oct 6,  6-9pm


Please join the collective membership of ARC for its annual Member’s Exhibition!  View current artwork from its talented and diverse membership.

As one of the oldest and largest non-profit galleries in Chicago, ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation (ARC) has a long and distinguished history as a cultural institution in the city. Founded in 1973 as an all-female, all-volunteer organization, ARC not only provided exhibition space to 2-D and 3-D artists, but installation and video arts.

ARC’s mission is to bring innovative, emerging and experimental visual art, to a wide range of viewers, and to provide a nurturing atmosphere for the continued development of artistic potential and dialogue. Celebrating 44 years in existence, ARC provides exhibition opportunities and support to artists, across all artistic disciplines including performance, sound, and video. The support ARC offers includes: professional presentation of work, significant financial subsidy of gallery space, group and themed show opportunities, and feedback and encouragement to young and emerging artists.  


Opening:     Friday Oct 6 from 6-9pm

Exhibition dates:     Sept 27 – Oct 21, 2017

Gallery hours:     Wed-Sat 12-6pm    Sunday 12-4pm

Anne Farley Gaines and Geoffrey Novelli

“Magia Mani”  Opening  Fri.  Sept 1,  6-9pm

“Magia Mani” means “Magic Hands” in Italian.  Chicago artists, Anne Farley Gaines and Geoffrey Novelli, arrived at this title for their joint exhibit at A.R.C. Gallery.  “When our collaborative clay forms are removed after the kiln has cooled, the results are usually a pleasant surprise – magical, in fact.  A “third artist” seems to emerge whose work is a combination of both of our sensibilities.”

Gaines is a painter who has worked primarily in mixed-media and watercolor and has recently become immersed in ceramics. Her subject matter in “Magia Mani” is mostly nature-based, some combining architectural elements. One work is a double-sided folding screen, depicting the urban landscape surrounding Buckingham Fountain on one side with a montage of her neighborhood, Pilsen, on the verso. Among the media used are acrylic paint and oriental papers. By contrast, “Black River Movement,” a large clay assemblage, reflects her feeling for the natural environment around South Haven, Michigan, which is her home town.

Gaines and her sculptor husband, Novelli, first collaborated on a clay platter he formed at Lillstreet studios in Chicago.  After Gaines painted Phalaenopsis orchids on the platter in high-fire glazes a mutual enthusiasm for working together in clay began. Gaines’ clay plaques in this exhibit are based on floral scenes and some of them on Texas landscape elements like cacti and tumbleweeds, as in the Wichita Falls area where she just spearheaded a community mural project.  She will also show clay plaques interpreting Shakespeare sonnets, thus incorporating her literary interests.  Her watercolors shown are nature scenes that have informed her ceramic works.  Some are reflected in the circular collaborations with Novelli in casted iron from sand molds she carved. Novelli is currently immersed in forming clay ‘baskets’ onto which he incorporates copper handles that he anneals and twists through a complicated process.  Gaines’ input is the abstract glazing in the inner bases.  Neutral tones of fired clay are most predominant on the exteriors of his forms.  As New York native who grew up in El Paso, Texas, Novelli viewed numerous clay pots that his mother collected from archeological excavations in New Mexico.  He also remembers clay works created by his great aunt Hazel, a sculptor in Connecticut.

Gaines and Novelli have both been influenced in some of the works in ‘Magia Mani” by the multifarious architectural designs of Antonio Gaudi, the Spanish architect noted for his otherworldly organic forms.  The couple studied his buildings in Barcelona in October 2016 on a trip that they took to France and Spain, absorbing the ‘magia’ he had to ‘teach’ them.  A portion of his influence is reflected in the works both artists have produced in 2017 but not derivatively. Ever curious, both Gaines and Novelli remain interested in keeping their work ‘fresh,’ and are always looking for the next challenge.

Opening:     Friday Sept 1 from 6-9pm

Exhibition dates:     August 30 – Sept 23, 2017

Gallery hours:     Wed-Sat 12-6pm    Sunday 12-4pm

Julie Rotblatt Amrany

“Continuum”  Opening  Fri.  Sept 1,  6-9pm

” We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.”  – Rumi
For the past several years, my passion as an artist has been to render the 3-D figure moving through space. Today I am incorporating infinite space around us; it is packed with energy, in the tiniest of forms, they call it quantum mechanics. Energy and life emerge from this enigmatic place. I wonder whether there is really a beginning and an end or is it only a continuum of time and space, an infinite cycle of creation, explosion, implosion and death? Whether it’s the birth of stars, the human race, or just life itself, there is an endless expanse that is interconnected and entangled.


Exhibition dates:     August 30 – Sept 23, 2017

Gallery hours:     Wed-Sat 12-6pm    Sunday 12-4pm

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas

“Heaviness, Hardship, Heft”  Opening  Fri.  Sept 1,  6-9pm

Gender-based burdens resonate in images populating mass media, social media and art history. In early world history lack of transportation led to women literally being the conveyors of goods; conversely, the 21st century finds women stagnant within burdensome roles despite feminist advancements. Within the societal stratification, images portray hardships – inclusive of poverty, violence and politics – carried by women. Weight hauled by women can have a palpable physical existence or take on a psychological shape of enormous proportions. Fluctuating states of poverty, violence and politics encumber women on a daily basis. Feminine onus is heightened by entrenched patriarchal institutions and reaches a crest during political unrest and instability.

Exhibition dates:     August 30 – Sept 23, 2017

Gallery hours:     Wed-Sat 12-6pm    Sunday 12-4pm