“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.
IMAGINING FUTURES: Closing Reception Fri. September 24, 5-8pm
Please join the collective membership of ARC for its annual Members’ Exhibition!
ARC, founded in 1973 as a women-run cooperative organization, has a long and distinguished history as a cultural institution in the city. 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 48 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.
Celebrate another great year of existence during the Closing Reception on Friday, September 24, from 5-8pm!
Participating Members: Granite Palombo Amit – Laura Cloud – Abigail Engstrand – Nancy Fritz – Iris Goldstein – Cait Hardie – Beth LeFauve – Elyse Martin – Ruti Modlin – Cheri Reif Naselli – Randi Shepard – Lee Stanton – Michele Stutts – Michelle Williams
Affiliate Members: Kina Bagovska – Nancy Bechtol – Denise Bellezzo – Monica J. Brown – Virginia Carstarphen – Esther Charbit – Jessica Gondek – Kristina Gosh – Pauline Kochanski – Cynthia Vaicunas – Chiyeko Yuki – Amy Zucker
Interns: Olivia Sciford – Devon Weist
Fragments from the Past: Photographs by Jane Stevens Opening Reception Sat. July 24, 2-4pm
Stevens’ photographs combine images from past and present moments to create a transformed reality.
Fragments and portals into the past are powerful reminders of the passage of time and the ever-changing environment. These photographs are a reflection on how the past affects our personal lives and alters the future.
The landscapes in the photographs are visual metaphors for the artist’s transformative process and journey of reclaiming a sense of self and connection to the world/community.
Stevens has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including the Los Angeles Photography Center; Galeria Tonalli, Mexico City; University of Arizona, Tucson; Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, Louisiana; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; and Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas.
OUR PLANET: OURSELVES Opening Reception Fri. June 25, 5-8pm / Virtual Opening Sat. June 26, 4pm
JUROR: Jane Stevens
The beauty of our natural world is apparent. The earth is warming in the sun. However “the warming earth” carries a more somber message as well – a reminder of the fruits of our greed, the fragility of our planet, the reality of our losses. And, as we face the urgency to respond, we raise our artistic voices – to celebrate, to mourn, to activate, and to contemplate how we live together in relationship to this one planet we must all share and nurture. “Our Planet: Ourselves” addresses nature in all of its complexity — its beauty, its fragility, its ubiquity to everything else that we are.
Exhibiting Artists: Alice Becker, Denise Bellezzo, Rose Bonacorsi, Laura Cerf-Dahl, Joelle Dietrick, Jeffrey Doyle, Leslie Ann Eliet, Donna Fleetwood, Jane Flynn, Donna Hapac, Bob Hilger, Margaret LeJeune, Nora Moore Lloyd, Julie Mars, Jeane Kat McGrail, Jane Michalski, Jacqueline Moses, Lucy Mueller, Louise Pappageorge, Adriana Poterash, Linda Robinson Gordon, Cherie Sampson, Autumn Schaefer, Beth Shadur, Michelle Shipka, Juliane von Kunhardt, Brooke White, Marjorie Woodruff, , Ryan Zoghlin
ABOUT THE JUROR:
Jane Stevens is Curator of Art, Emeritus at the Illinois State Museum. as well as an art educator. She curated over twenty-five exhibitions of Illinois artists at the Illinois State Museum. She is interested in documenting the art of Illinois artists and has published five books on Chicago artists including: Don Seiden: An Artist’s Life; From Light to Dark: The Life and Work of Ellen Roth Deutsch; The Legacy Continues: The Chicago Society of Artists; Barbara Aubin: A Life of Art 1928 – 2014; and Dusty’s House: A Victorian Treasure. She is currently working on a new book that is scheduled to be released in early 2022.
She received an MFA from the State University of New York, Buffalo and studied at the School of the Art institute of Chicago.
Roots, Branches: Ancestor(s) Stones: Opening Reception Fri. June 25, 5-8pm / Virtual Opening Sat. June 26, 4pm
This journey has its beginnings in a seed that was planted in a seed, that was planted ages ago, across the oceans of time and space, in the land that birthed the first mother. When her firstborn daughter came of age, her mother asked her to remember. “Remember what?” her daughter asked. “Remember this.”
Still not comprehending, though understanding the depth of what she was being asked to do, those words resounded in her spirit, and so, almost without knowing why she did it, she passed this message on to her own daughter: “Remember.” And so, it was passed down through generations, across continents, over oceans, through rivers, atop mountains, written on clouds, intertwined in tree branches, and encoded in dreams when those memories had been forgotten. And so… I heard my grandmothers speak in a whisper, softly, yet firmly: “Remember.”
Ancestor(s) Stones are intuition mining tools. They represent ancient wisdom, antiquity. They are the knowing inherent in having bourn witness to the ages. They align with the string of memory that lives in DNA, passed down through generations. They represent grounding, leverage, or steps to take. The stones have taken many shapes.
Sticks are fuel for flame. They feed the fire. Inspire it to burn. They are motivation for the fire to continue. They are place markers. They are divination tools used in the location of underground water. They are broken branches: once connected to the tree.
I am the branch, extending back, resting on the bough of my mothers. I am the daughter of Elizabeth, Flora, Grace, Ora, Parthena, Zilpha, YOMHN… and her mother, and her mother, and her mother…
Click on play above to see the video of the online opening reception on Zoom
While in college I discovered the writings of American geographer John Wright who coined the term “geopiety:” geo from the Greek for earth and piety from the Latin pietas meaning sense of duty of filial love. This word so perfectly expresses my love and sense of devotion to the places that have filled my life. The landscapes of Georgia, New England, Florida, and the Midwest; the waters of the Great Lakes, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico all figure prominently in my work.
Although my work edges mostly on abstraction, I have always thought of myself as a landscape artist. Artists like Eva Hesse, Anselm Keifer, and Cy Twombly inspire me. Cartography and asemic writing are devices I rely on to explore my subject matter. Through line, color, material and gesture I attempt to honor the landscapes that I am deeply attached to. These landscape explorations are filtered through both experience and memory. Imagination plays an important role as well.
At times these abstracted landscapes can be internal mappings of the human body on a cellular level – a way of finding myself in the world. Other times they verge on more macrocosmic abstractions – a landscape as big as a galaxy. Often they navigate the space in between. It is within that space that I find balance between destruction and renewal, entanglement and order.
In this body of work, maps themselves become the vehicle to explore these ideas. Where am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? These questions are at the heart of the manipulations of the maps. They become transformed by my wanderings, both literally and symbolically.
ERA OF PREPARATION AND DESIRE Virtual Opening Reception – Sat. Apr 3, 4-5pm