Claudia Bucher - December 2006

Claudia Bucher explores multiple individualities through layered self-portraits.  Long vertical charcoal drawings on paper rolls hang in the front gallery window, filling the space with a crowd of figures.  Bucher, a Swiss Artist in a four month residency in Chicago, untilizes charcoal affixed to a long stick, allowing her to feel the process of drawing using her whole body.  The figure drawings hang in disordered layers in the window like rows of people, moving in and out of view of patrons walking by.

On the 21st of January, Claudia Bucher will have a performance in collaboration with musician Paul Giallorenzo.  Bucher will tap and scrape out drawings with a microphone installed at the end of her drawing tool (developed with sound designer Christian Kuntner).  Giallorenzo will respond to the drawing sound, creating a dialog between the artist and the musician.


Kevin Kitner - December 2006

Myths and legends are with us everyday.  A dictionary definition of the word myth says it “…explains some phenomenon of nature…usually involving the exploits of gods or heroes.”  People, as natural phenomena, ask the eternal questions “Who am I?”, “Where do I come from?” and “Where am I going?”  We all have unknown myths within us to answer these questions and my work comes from that unknown place.  My myths come from everyday materials.  Once I’ve collaged paper bag, cardboard, etc into a canvas, I’ll round out a “Rorschach” image with pencil, charcoal and paint.


Meghan M. Burke - November 2006

I spent five months in Japan and it truly influenced the way I see myself in this world.  I never felt so alone and so different in my life.  No matter how hard I tried, I could not fit in. I was the outsider, the Gaijin. And the culture did not accommodate for my differences which only added to my vulnerability.

My series demonstrates the political and social struggles I encountered, and more specifically, that my feet encountered.  I let my paintings of feet and shoes represent the cultural struggles I experienced while in Japan. In the Japanese culture, feet and shoes express a great deal and because of that, I felt I could never fit in.  As much as I would try, my feet always got in the way. 

This series expresses the Japanese shoe fashion, and more deeply my struggle to connect with their culture.  The shoes are hidden stories, the protector, and the shield to hide the mystery unseen. 

The process and materials demonstrate the vulnerability of the cultural struggles.   I paint on large sheets of paper, which connects me to the memories.  Because of my limits to supplies, I painted only on paper and mostly newspaper when I was in Japan. So for this series, paper seemed only appropriate.

My painting style is to build up texture with the paint.  Drips, scratches into the paint, layers of gesso, oil pastels…many layers of texture.  I also use layers of color throughout the process to create vibrant colors.  In this series, I attached images from Japanese newspapers to amplify the emotional and political struggles I encountered.   The images drawn onto each painting are quick contour drawings with oil pastel. 

Oddly enough, my series helped me reconnect with Japan. Although the cultural differences will always be there, I no longer feel like the outsider.  Whereas I am not Japanese, I do not feel like the Gaijin either.





Rose Camastro-Pritchett and Thomas Plum - October 2006

“But can you get there from here?”

Look inside the glass window of Art on Armitage Gallery at 4125 W. Armitage during October to see Rose and Thomas as they map out their trip in this interactive journey with an installation and performances every Friday from 6:30 to 8:00.  Rose and Thomas invite adults and children to join them on this journey.

The artists are graduates of Columbia College Chicago. Thomas received his MA in 2002 with a concentration in sound and video installation. Rose earned her MFA in 2003 with an emphasis in performance, installation and artists books. Both teach at Columbia College

Rose has exhibited and performed her work internationally. Travel has been a big part of her life; she has lived in Wales and Saudi Arabia and taught in Italy and Cyprus. This is her third performance and installation at Art on Armitage. "Because of its location there is a direct and fresh interaction with the viewer which has become instrumental in the growth of my work. The gallery is very much a part of the neighborhood and it is great fun to perform there."

Thomas lives in the neighborhood and is excited to show his work here. He too has traveled extensively and is particularly interested in the mapping of physical and mental spaces. His work has recently been exhibited at the Santa Fe Art Institute and in the Hyde Park Art Center's Sound Canopy Project. 


Eduardo DeSoignie - September 2006


The story of the Saint Child of Atocha dates back to the 13th century in the town of Atocha, nowadays part of Madrid, Spain. As the story goes, the town had fallen under the domination of Moorish invaders. The local men were imprisoned and only children were allow to visit them, bringing along their only supply of food.  For days, they prayed to the Virgin of Atocha for a miracle, when the prisoners reported seeing a child coming into their cells at night with a basket filled with bread and a gourd of water.  The child was dressed as a pilgrim and since then has been represented seated with open arms.

The artist has used this old story as a point of departure and reference for his mural-size retablo painting.  Retablos are usually intimate paintings done by people who are not necessarily artists, to thank saints and virgins that came to their assistance during tragedy, illness and difficult moments. 

The painting is layered with references to Santeria, the syncretism of Catholicism with Yoruba beliefs, where the Saint Child of Atocha is associated with the Orisha Eleggua in his role as the gatekeeper, patron of prisoners, owner of the road.  It also points to what seems like eternal conflicts and unresolved religious and cultural issues between Islam and the Catholic Church.  Atocha is also the name of the train station in Madrid where the terrorist act of March 11, was perpetrated.   800 years after the Islamic Moors lost control of Spain, the conflict between Christians and Muslims re-manifest in modern times.

Michael Angelo Gagliardi - August 2006

When I enter the studio to paint or sculpt it becomes a journey inward.  It is an inward journey to find a simple truth about a feeling or emotion.  I hope to create works that are simple truths.  I want the viewer to say “this work understands what I am feeling”.  I want this to happen without words or definitions.  I want it to happen deep within the viewer on a subconscious or primal level. 

Michael Angelo Gagliardi was born in New York City in 1962 to Irish and Italian Parents.  He received a B.F.A. in painting and sculpture and a M.A. in Theatrical Design from C.W. College of Long Island University in 1985.  He has, since 1989, lived in Chicago where he works as a Stagehand doing sets, lights and props for Broadway Musicals.



Michael Angelo Gagliardi was born in New York City in 1962.  He received a B.F.A. in painting and sculpture and a M.A. in Theatrical Design from C.W. College of Long Island University in 1985.  He has lived in Chicago since 1989, where he works as a stagehand doing sets, lights and props for Broadway musicals.  

Charlie Spear - July 2006

Good Boy/Bad Boy

An Account of Manic/Depression

My work is two-pronged, ranging from the humorous and absurd to the

dark brooding of introspection.

Even though I take prescribed meds my work slips out between the cracks of my calm exterior. I have always been a manic /depressive and would not want to change to be 'normal'. The 'tip-point' on my work thrives on this duality.

I met an artist from Mexico, Lucia Maya.She too was manic-depressive. She had a profound influence on my work in accepting this duality as a font of creativity. These duality components are socio-personal actions-reactions vs the comical absurdities in life.

I want viewers to see a reflection of their own pitfalls and concerns, bringing recognition that we all are in the same condition and share that duality together.

Danny Mansmith - June 2006

I use the sewing machine as a tool to put materials together, sort of like a collage. The idea of juxtaposition is really exciting to me, and I try to push myself to mix together different materials.

The idea of collage for me is sewing together paper, like junk mail, old newspapers and receipts, and other everyday items with fabric to make a number of pieces such as dolls; household objects, like cups and tea pots; to abstract shapes and garments that are not meant to be worn. 

My affinity for the human figure has inspired me to make clothing. I see clothing as sculpture and art, and by experimenting and using mistakes that happen I sew together patch worked pieces of fabric to make up garments that I think appear to be more like sculpture or art rather than just a garment.

I find the process of making things with my hands in a improvisational manner really satisfying.

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Jackie Moses, Skokie, IL - May 2006

Art is my mode of expression, the way I communicate my ideas and feelings to others. I am very conscious of my surroundings and know that each person experiences similar situations differently. I believe that anger and/or avoidance are often the way many try to deal with problem situations. For society to evolve, we need a more honest approach if improvement and healing are to take place.  

More recent paintings deal with integration and transitions. Landscapes are often altered and painted in bright colors to give the observer a view of possible underlying problems, but with the hope of expressing optimism and the need to adapt to the changes occurring worldwide.





Beth Shadur - April 2006

Tikkun Olam Mural(Heal the World) 

During the month of April, I will be painting a mural in this window.  You are welcome to watch as I work.

My works are narrative in nature, telling stories and creating connections through symbols and sometimes jarring combinations of images.  The work combines plant forms and other forms from nature, architectural references, objects both real and imaginary, objects traditionally associated with women through history, and most currently, the hand, to weave a narrative that is oblique, often personal, and sometimes political or issue-oriented. 

The works are intended to create prayers for world healing. 




Austin Special Artists- March 2006


Austin Special was founded in 1953 by a group of parents as a community-based social service agency.  Today the agency offers a variety of services from job training to residential programs that serve a population of over a 100 physically and developmentally challenged adults who live mostly in the west side of Chicago.

The Art Program is almost ten years old.  Twice a week I meet with 20 to 30 artists from the Work Center.  The artists range in age from 30 to 75 and work in a variety of mediums and sizes.  The idea of the windows came with one of the clients who saw other artists using discarded windows as canvases.

The windows selected for this show are a representation of the art that is produced at Austin Special.  The installation is based on the idea of a mosaic of places, people and interests that reflects the different artists participating in this project.