GO MAKE A THING!

GO MAKE A THING!  Opening Reception Fri.  Oct 29, 5-8pm

JUROR: Jessica Gondek

Click on the slide show below to see the exhibition.

Free exploration often opens doors to imagination. With tongue in cheek, GO MAKE A THING is interested in play to overcome stress and frustration! This show includes ‘things’ in many different media.

The exhibition will run from October 29 – December 18, 2021.

Gallery hours are: Thursdays & Fridays, 2-6pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 12-4pm. Masks for all visitors are required. (Hours subject to change.)

Exhibiting Artists: Danica Antich, Grant Brownlow, Liz Callahan, Leslie Getz, LucyJulia Hale, Deborah Hirshfield, Cynthia Holzum, Jill Kolker, Doug McAbee, Laura Moore, Bryan Northup, Eia Radosavljevic, Judith Shepelak, Robin Strand, Michele Stutts

Juror Statement:                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was my pleasure to serve as the juror for “Go Make a Thing” which celebrates the nature of artists as makers of objects and things.  I thank everyone who entered their work in the exhibition and gave me the privilege to consider it.  In jurying the exhibition, I began to see relationships emerge, and in the end, I selected 28 pieces from 15 artists.  Below I touch on some relationships particularly enjoyed.

Michelle Stutts’ creative work embodies the essence of “Go Make a Thing” in that she continually transforms and transports objects to recreate them as in her work, Sinner Saint. She turns an animal’s vertebrae into an active figure ready to embrace the world. The Green and Orange Baccarat Bunnies by Liz Callahan sparkle, reflecting the color of their surroundings, elevating this common crystal figurine into a vivid object of wonder.  Anarchy in the Garden by Judith Shepelak presents a luminous color pencil drawing where an abstract botanic scene comes to life.  Shown in proximity to this drawing are Eia Radosavljevic’s sculptures Corner Hive and Copia that seem to have been extracted from the neighboring garden and taking root in our gallery. Ester and Josephine by Doug McAbee are a playful pair of opposites that complement each other not only in color but also in their physical attributes.  Ester is lanky and tall while Josephine is short and grounded.  Hop Scotch and Daydreamer by Jill Kolker are luminous works transporting the viewer to distant yet fleeting childhood memories.

I hope you appreciate the exhibition and explore the dialogue that is created between these artists and their works.

About the Juror:

Jessica Gondek is an artist/teacher living in the Chicago area. She received her M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, and her B.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Loyola University Chicago and teaches drawing and painting in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.

Ms. Gondek has received a number of prestigious awards recognizing her creative work over the years. Notable are the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant, a Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Grant, and a Mid-America Arts Alliance National Endowment for the Arts Grant.

Ms. Gondek has been recognized with a number of international artist residency awards. She has been an artist in residence at the Can Serrat International Art Center in Spain, and at the Frans Masereel Center in Belgium.

Jessica Gondek has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and is represented in many public collections. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Northern Illinois University Art Museum, the Loyola University Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of American Art Beecher Center.

Ms. Gondek is a member of ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation and Woman Made Gallery in Chicago.

Opening Reception, Friday, Oct 29, 5:00-8:00pm

  • Exhibition dates: OCT 29 – DEC 18, 2021
  • Gallery hours: Thurs & Fri – 2-6 pm,  Sat & Sun – 12-4 pm  

 

Jessica Gondek

Ironmades:  Opening Reception Fri.  Oct 29, 5-8pm

My work endeavors to blur the distinction between hand and machine. The title of the exhibition, Ironmades, is a nod to the early 20th Century Dada movement engaged with machinery and readymades.  As an artist, I continue building on this tradition to bring it into the digital era of the 21st Century as our relationship with technology continues.

The forms I explore are inspired by vintage domestic utilitarian machines and gadgets I have collected as well as related trade catalogues, advertisements, blueprints, and patent drawings.  Digital manipulations derived from these source materials lay a foundation that launches their evolution. The drawing medium allows for both transparency and mutability between layers of information.  The mechanical forms within these compositions are simultaneously transformed casting off their intended function and asserting an animated physical presence and internal narrative that allows me to explore a multitude of dualities: male vs female, hand vs machine, organic vs mechanical, playful vs menacing, analog vs digital, and functional vs dysfunctional.

 

 

 

Opening Reception, Friday, Oct 29, 5:00-8:00pm

  • Exhibition dates: Oct 28 – Nov 20, 2021
  • Gallery hours: Thurs – Fri 2-6pm, Sat – Sun 12-4 pm  

ARC Members’ Silent Auction

ARC Members’ Silent Auction:  thru Saturday, September 25 ,7pm

Work donated by gallery members is included in a Silent Auction that ends on September 25, 7pm, during the West Town Art Walk. Visit the gallery and place your bid for an opportunity to collect artwork from its talented and diverse membership!

Participating Members: Laura Cloud – Abigail Engstrand – Nancy Fritz – Iris Goldstein – Cait Hardie – Beth LeFauve – Elyse Martin – Ruti Modlin – Randi Shepard – Lee Stanton – Michele Stutts – Michelle Williams

Affiliate Members: Kina Bagovska – Nancy Bechtol – Monica J. Brown – Esther Charbit – Kristina Gosh – Pauline Kochanski – Cynthia Vaicunas

 

Closing Reception, Saturday, Sept 25, 5:00 – 8:00pm

  • Exhibition dates: Sept 2 – 25, 2021
  • Gallery hours: Thurs & Fri 2-6 pm,  Sat & Sun 12-4 pm  

Lee Stanton

Shadow Walks:  Opening  Fri.  Oct 1,  5-8pm 

Trees reach, extending upward, branches forking. Lines wandering with purpose. Reaching and growing. Similarly, their roots weave themselves as they descend into the earth below. Shadows in between, patterns, lines, and shapes crisscross the path.

The sun casts shadows that change dramatically through the day. Shadows cast, long and short. They vary based on time and season, but also because the sun is not a single point source of light. Light generated by the sun emanates from different points in space along the sun’s surface creating sharp and soft edges, lines, and shapes.

Shadow Walks explores these patterns, and the way trees, shadows, and reaching and forking branches become metaphors.

Lee Stanton is an artist and art history instructor currently living in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

https://www.leestanton.org/

 

 

Opening Reception, Friday, October 1, 5:00-8:00

  • Exhibition dates: Sept 30 – Oct 23 , 2021
  • Gallery hours: Thurs & Fri 2-6pm, Sat & Sun 12-4 pm  

Kina Bagovska

Song After Song:  Opening Reception  Fri. October 1, 5-8pm

Kina Bagovska follows her path of existence as an immigrant in a multicultural society. As an artist living between different cultures, she believes keeping the tradition alive is key to preserving ones unique identity.

Kina studies and explores the symbols of handmade embroidery from Bulgaria and how they are transmitted across generations. In her most current series of paintings, she attempts to reevaluate the aesthetics of the traditional craft and how its assigned value changes nowadays. To emphasize the semantics she combines symbols from Bulgarian embroidery and texts from modern poetry.

One of the most ancient symbols – the Octagonal Star (an eight-pointed star) associated with the circle of life has been a reoccurring motif used not only in Bulgaria, but also in Central, Northern and Southeastern Europe. This alludes to a possible unified creative spirit of the prototype of the world and explains the symbolic similarities between geographically distant and unrelated cultures. A range of similar geometric and floral motifs are used in the embroidery of traditional clothing symbolizing fertility and the tree of life.

The sentences in the paintings are from the contemporary poem “Thracian Sun” by Zdravka Vladova-Momcheva. The poem is part of the poetry collection “Thracian Treasure”, Palabrass Press Publishing House, Canada, 2012.  The words in Zdravka’s unique poetry are subordinated to uneven rhythm which is innate to Bulgarian traditional music. Thus the text reverberates the encoded language of the embroidery.

Transparent silk is used as a collage and together with the hand stitching reflect the cultural layers passing through the memory of the artist and her main idea of keeping the spirituality of the generations alive.

Kina Bagovska was born in Bulgaria and graduated from the Academy of Arts in Poland with a Master of Fine Arts degree. Throughout the years Kina had many solo and group exhibitions, and won numerous awards in Europe and United States. In 2007 her painting was a part of Mark di Suvero’s Piece Tower at the Chicago Culture Center. In 2003 and 2008 the artist was awarded with grants by the Illinois Arts Council for her collaborative arts. In 2003 she became a member of ARC Gallery. Since 2000, she has been living in Chicago, teaching art at Triton College, and her Private Art Studio.

Opening Reception, Friday, Oct 1, 5:00 – 8:00pm

  • Exhibition dates: Sept 30 – Oct 23, 2021
  • Gallery hours: Thurs & Fri 2-6 pm,  Sat & Sun 12-4 pm  

 

Frayed

 

 

 

 

Emerging

 

 

His-ter-ee-uh

 

 

What Remains

Nancy Fritz

“Mira!” Experiments in Figuration:  Opening Reception  Fri. September 10, 5-8pm

I love the formal challenges of composition, color, and craftsmanship involved with painting in oil on a canvas in 2 dimensions.  But what I love most of all is figurative imagery – trying to express something interesting about a (usually human) form in space and time.  For my last show, I concentrated on using mostly classical painting techniques to create intimate realistic little portraits of the women in my family. As a newly retired person with (finally) more time to paint, I am now trying to figure out what kind of painter I’ve become in the interim.

So, this show re-plays some ideas from the past (mirrors, patterns, spatial ambiguity), re-purposing some old canvases in new ways, and experimenting with more spontaneous, stylized types of representation.  What holds it all together is a desire to find new and interesting ways to think about figuration and see where that leads next.

The first painting, “Self-Portrait in My Studio” is an old painting done soon after I graduated from the post-bac program at SAIC, about 25 years ago.  All the other paintings are recent, but have to do with “looking,” in the same vein as that painting – examining what it means to make and see art in new ways. The mirror that appears in many of the paintings is meant to portray that act of self-examination. All these paintings are simply documentation of that experimentation in self-examination.

The painters who have most influenced me are also diverse—Charlotte Saloman, Alice Valenstein, Eduard Vuillard, Jorge Castillo, and the Bay-Area Figurative painters from the 60’s—just to mention a few.  I am grateful for all those artists and their visions, who have in turn inspired mine.

 

Opening Reception, Friday, Sept 10, 5:00 – 8:00pm

  • Exhibition dates: Sept 2 – 25, 2021
  • Gallery hours: Thurs & Fri 2-6 pm,  Sat & Sun 12-4 pm