WHAT IS LOVE?: Opening Reception Fri. Feb 4, 5-8pm
JUROR: Chantala Kommanivanh
This February, ARC seeks to examine the construct of LOVE. What is Love? In what way is it a construct? How is it challenging? Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a force to be reckoned with. It is used to move the world – forward or backward depending on your point of view. How does one’s understanding and concept of love influence our feelings, our decisions, our actions?
How do we mend and heal our relationships – and our relationship to the world – during this time of distrust, contempt, group think, political differences, racial strife, and the overall sense of “Us vs Them”? How do we: get back to friends and family during COVID; save our planet from human destruction; respond to the general humanity of our world, and celebrate the human capacity for tenderness?
This exhibition is an artist-response to this idea of “Love” – in the broadest sense. These ideas include the love of: family and friends, nature, the body, and love for one’s heritage. Love can be vulnerability, a motivator, an obsession, crippling, and healing.
EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Antonia Amir, John E. Bannon, Grace Boss, Natasha Buksh, Paula Bullwinkel, Laura Cerf-Dahl, Jeanne Ciravolo, George C. Clark, David DeCesaris, Rima Day, SP Scotti Estes, David Feingold, Robert Fields, LucyJulia Hale, Lauren Krause, Michael LaMattina, Chris Law, Pamela Maurer, Robert Mullenix, Nancy Natow-Cassidy, Julie O’Connor, Mary Jo O’Hearn, Vijay V Paniker, Sabrina Sabella, Lauren Schoepflin, Erin Starr, Stella Zee
What is love? Is like saying… What is art? There are endless expressions justifying what love is. There is no right or wrong way of making ART or right or wrong to LOVE. For me, LOVE is an attraction that triggers an emotion, a feel. That feeling is soft, warm, comforting and sometimes that feel is the opposite… rough, cold, discomfort. LOVE is also discovery, finding, losing, birth, growth, death. LOVE is acknowledging attachments then detaching. For the “What is love?” exhibition at ARC Gallery, I chose works that attracted me. I stared at my computer screen and let the work grow with me through understanding or at least I tried. Works in the show made me feel the LOVE expressed in the work, just to hold its beauty in the exhibition before we go our separate ways.
ABOUT THE JUROR:
Chantala Kommanivanh is an award-winning Lao American artist, educator and musician. The rap music he’s produced with Maintenance Crew and the visual components of Kommanivanh’s artwork have areas of overlap in their meaning and content. He is interested in creating new memories by “sampling” from past events. Through painting, his works are a reinterpretation of memories documenting his personal history. Raised with traditional Lao customs at home and active in hip-hop culture outside of home, Kommanivanh’s work investigates cultural hybridity and tensions of identity, as he and his family were refugees from the unfortunate outcomes of the 1964-1975 Secret War in Laos. His collection of paintings derive from personal and found photographs representing pivotal times in his life. His visual works have been displayed in five major solo exhibitions in Chicago-area and Midwestern art galleries, and have been included in numerous group and invitational exhibitions across the U.S.
Kommanivanh is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation award in 2009 and was a two-time awardee of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Advance Opportunity Program Fellowship. In 2013, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth recognized him for his service of excellence to Illinois’s 8th District arts community.
Kommanivanh earned his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University in 2008, and a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts in 2012. He has since found his way back to his hometown of Chicago and is an arts professor at his alma mater, NEIU.
Opening Reception, Friday, Feb 4, 5:00-8:00pm
- Exhibition dates: Feb 3 – 26, 2022
- Gallery hours: Thurs – Fri 2-6pm, Sat – Sun 12-4 pm