Rose Camastro-Pritchett - November 2009



I am intrigued with the changes that occur in me when I live in different cultures - Europe, Saudi Arabia, China. With time, my cultural lines begin to blur: the exotic becomes ordinary and what was once familiar becomes foreign. My work is about this transition and change and the feelings that arise during the process. I am wise if I acknowledge them when they surface and lost if I do not. The cocoon is my metaphor for this journey. It is a protective covering, a wrapping; a casing for all that will be changed.

The cocoons in this installation were the result of performances, in which individuals were wrapped in yards and yards of sheer cloth, were sewn into it, forming a cocoon; at the end of the performance they were cut out. The cocoons have been reworked - the remains of this passage - into talismans that hold their stories. Cocoons originating at Jiujiang University, Jiujiang, China and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago are part of the installation.

This work is sponsored in part by Jiujiang University and the Columbia College Chicago Part-time Faculty grant.

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Pate Conaway - October 2009

Weave – An Exploration of Materials

A number of years ago I worked in a nursing home and something happened that dramatically influenced my art – the women there taught me how to knit! I began to explore the medium; knitting with cord, string, rope, and even wire. I created a huge pair of knitting needles (four feet long) and began translating the knitting patterns that I had been taught into large sculptures. I spent a month knitting a pair of cable-stitch mittens large enough to sleep in, which I did! My question was: Where do craft and art overlap?

In this current installation I use a technique that is something between knitting and crocheting. Instead of knitting needles or a crochet hook, I use my fingers. I have chosen array of materials from the hardware store. My goal is to transform these inert materials, to transcend the everyday.




Lucia Herrera Fortin - October 2009

October 19 through November 15 in the side window

“Dia de los Muertos, 2009”

Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is an extremely focused tradition in Chicago’s Latin Community.  This“ofrenda” is an installation piece in which I express and demonstrate love for those who have passed on.  This traditional ofrenda/altar is for my father, Nemecio Herrera who died when I was 9 years old.

The installation work is consistent with Dia de los Muertos, November 2nd.

I believe that the Humboldt Park/Logan Square community will appreciate the traditional style.  I grew up on PulaskiRd. and appreciate the opportunity to give back a bit of myself in this window installation on Armitage Ave.






Þórdís Alda Sigurðardóttir, Iceland - September 2009

Being (s) here

Jobs, customs, conduct, repetition, contrasts and the symbiosis of man and nature:  my works have diverse references and I want them to speak directly and frankly to the observer.  In some works I use question and answer.  The discussion throws light on the quest for knowledge, conditions, choices and conclusions.

The piece Being ( s ) here includes approaches which tend to typify my work, such as bundles of fabric, string, sewing threads and wires.  What is seen here is the ephemera of a performance piece done in Vilnius, Lithuania this summer.

Reusing objects in my work is another aspect of the ideology and philosophy I have chosen to apply and examine.  Irony has sometimes been mentioned as a feature of my work, although it is not a conscious aspect of the creative process for me. I see it as an added extra.

What are we asking today, and what answers are we receiving?

Being ( s ) here asks where we are going.

Being ( s ) here is perhaps a naive dream that the earth may be permitted to survive.

Being ( s ) here is about metamorphosis and development. How far have we progressed towards becoming what we should one day be able to be? When will we emerge fully-formed from our cocoon? When will we wake up? Will we wake up?

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Anna Eyjólfsdóttir, Iceland - August 2009

"Traveling Light "

"This work is all about the thoughts that fly around my mind when I am taking a journey in my head, and where I want to be free.  The free space I have is in a small part of my brain and these things pop out from there. 

"I give my thoughts life by making flying objects in light forms and materials.  Their forms and colors come from my dreams." 

Anna Eyjólfsdóttir lives and works in Iceland. She is president of the Icelandic Sculptor's Association.


Laura Ann Davis - July 2009

Cats inspired by Cats

Cats Inspired by Cats is a sculptural portrait of a colony of feral cats once cared for by the artist. The work celebrates the resourcefulness of these so-called “alley cats” and points to their scrappy individuality by using a variety of reclaimed materials and improvised construction methods.

“When something once valued, such as a pet, is no longer wanted and is discarded, it transforms into something that appears dark or menacing.  Domesticated animals that have retuned to a wild state tend to exemplify the aspects of that animal that people usually find unsavory.  I am attracted to these particular kinds of dirty.  This is what I refer to as the patina of the discarded.  In this installation, I structurally approximated one of Chicago’s feral animal population and their living conditions.”

“I attempt to approach all art objects as part of our material culture -- not above or beyond the

"Oceans Unravelled" - June 2009

“Oceans Unraveled”

The Chicago Coral Reef

A collaborative installation by Aviva Alter, Mary Buczek, Mary Ellen Croteau, Jessica Stapp and Amber Reyes

“Oceans Unraveled” is a woven testament to both the beauty of the reefs and to the fact that the amount of plastic and waste we are putting into the ocean (along with global warming) is threatening the coral reef system at an ever growing rate.  By using an ever-repeating crochet stitch, yarn and plastic are brought together to re-create this natural wonder.

This exhibit is a response by artists to the fact that 30% of The Great Barrier Reef is dead. It is estimated that 70% of all coral reefs around the world could perish by 2050.  The coral reefs are vanishing even more quickly than the tropical rainforests, and along with them the food chain that sustains us.

Under the current environmental stress corals ‘bleach’, they release algae, their source of food, and starve to death. The once colorful and vibrant world of crenulated living coral becomes white and lifeless. Forms that began growing over 50 million years ago are becoming extinct.  It is now up to all of us to participate in stopping this destruction of our oceans and our planet.

Oceans Unraveled is a sister reef of The Hyperbolic Coral Reef Project created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring (www.theiff.org.)  ‘What began as a tiny seed in the Wertheims living room has morphed organically into a worldwide movement;’ with exhibitions in New York, LA, Chicago, Flagstaff and London..








Hyun ja Shin - May 2009

Rainbow: after Michael Craig-Martin’s "An Oak Tree"

The window contains glasses filled with rainbow-colored water on a shelf. Through the month, the water will evaporate, leaving colored traces behind, drawing rings on the surface of glasses. The viewers will be able to observe the evaporation process as they travel by the window during the month.

Using An Oak Tree (1973) by Michael Craig-Martin, as the subtitle of the installation, Shin questions the overgrown ideology and over-stretched intellectualism in contemporary art.

Hyun ja Shin received a BA (Honors) in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2004, followed by a MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008.  She currently lives and works in Chicago.


Eric J. Garcia - April 2009


Every warrior has a weapon and mine is my art. In my work I try to visually examine the versions of “American” history that have been overlooked and whitewashed. History, culture, and politics are three key issues of my work. I politically charge allegories of my cultural history in hopes that the viewer will learn and also react. I want to create dialogue about the issues that shape our histories, and in turn shape our identities, and our futures.

I call my painting style “comic baroque”. It is shaped both by the early childhood influences of comic books and later by Colonial Baroque paintings.  Like a comic book cover, I try to tell a story with just one crucial scene.

Eric Garcia is from New Mexico, and is finishing his Master’s degree in Fine Arts at The School of the Art Institute. 

Other works by Eric Garcia can be seen at www.southvalleyart.com






Sara Massarik - March 2009

These acrylic paintings present a mythological landscape of Fantastic and Gruesome Goddesses - an imaginary place dominated by graceful, spectacular and sometimes cruel goddesses, replete with their pets, accessories, allies and servants, weapons, fears, hobbies, and aspirations. My sources of inspiration come from many types of art, including surreal and fantasy art, folk arts of Africa and South America, and 19th century movements including pre-Raphaelitism, symbolism and romanticism.

I am a self-taught artist, reinventing myself after nearly two decades of soul-crushing work in business. I earned an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the University of Chicago and worked as a corporate banker, warehouse manager, and project and systems manager. These experiences have given me little guidance in how to paint or compose a picture, but gave me the discipline to learn new things with passion - such as the many movements in the history of art, how to develop my own style of cartoon-like figure and landscape drawing, and the brush control necessary to paint intricate designs.

Kim McCarten - February 2009

Kim McCarten’s recent works are assemblages utilizing waste materials: plastic grocery bags, packaging, soda pop bottle, labels, and other seeming ‘detritus’.

"I gave myself the challenge of using only the materials I had on hand," said McCarten, "and I was noticing the beauty in the structure of packages."

Her aim is to have the viewer see what we call ‘garbage’ in a new way.

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Karen Hohman - January 2009

The idea that a picture can be dissected into an infinite number of variables fascinates me.  I utilized this allure as a tool to create visual media; particularly abstract photography.  However, I am not always satisfied with photographs as an end result.  Thus, I decided to take the images to another level, which evolved into the current process I employ.  The use of photo transfer onto canvas allows me to explore a significantly deeper level of my creative vision.  I use this art form as a means to develop a visual narrative of my family, travel and everyday surroundings. 

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