Richard Medina - November 2015

American Paint

These works blend collage, assemblage, abstraction, and expressionism, influenced by the geography and folklore of the American southwest.

Richard Medina is an artist, curator, and filmmaker. His work has been exhibited at Kitchen Space, Corner and the 2nd Terrain Biennial. He lives in Palatine, IL.

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Yoonshin Park - October 2015


As part of Chicago Artist Month 2015, Art On Armitage presents new work by Chicago based book and paper artist, Yoonshin Park. These constructions blend book binding, papermaking and dying techniques to achieve the sense of water.  Ink is brushed on the handmade paper strips and washed with water and then the strips are sewn to a cloth backing to achieve the texture and color of the surface of water.

“Tied” is a phonetic pun on the tide of the rising horizon and the paper pages bound by thread. As the water rises and falls, pages of our daily experience add and subtract to and from our memory.

Our daily life permeates our memory just as the ink is absorbed into each page and creates new shapes and patterns onto what once was a clean slate of a blank page.

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Kathy Weaver - September 2015

War Devours Us

In this series, Weaver burns and stitches layers of paper, then airbrushes and paints the charcoal figures. At seven feet tall these totems tower over neighbors passing by on the sidewalk. Trapped by war, tormented by drones, or transformed into the evil perpetrator of the carnage itself, Weaver’s robot-like beings show the damage caused by war to the civilian population and to the environment.

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Corinne D Peterson - August 2015

Cairn and Cloud II
a collective expression of trauma and hope

This work is a collaboration by Corinne D. Peterson, director of the Cairn Project; Marsha Baker, co-director; and workshop participants.

The rocks and cloud pieces in Cairn and Cloud were carved and shaped by adults, teenagers and children who participated in Shaping Clay, Shaping Life workshops. They shaped the clay rocks to incorporate their memories of trauma, and created the porcelain “tokens of light” to represent their inner beauty. Viewed together, the dark rocks and white cloud stand for transformation of individual experiences of loss into a collective expression of healing.

On Saturday, August 8th from 4 to 6 pm, BodyCompass Dance Project, directed by Sarah Gottlieb, performs Tones of Belonging during the reception—in, behind and in front of the window.

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Alpha Bruton - July 2015

Grandmother's Circle: A Tribute to Mama Crecy and Sallie Alpha "Holding Glass up to the Light, Where it Can Sing"

An installation about bottle imps – a 3,000 year old Arabic tradition, handed down to Sub-Saharan Africa. Brought by African slaves to America, they appear in Southern yards as bottle trees. It is believed that the bottle can trap bad spirits and that shiny things around the house would attract evil things away from the family. Cobalt blue bottles are coveted because they repelled the evil spirit and trapped night spirits to be destroyed by the rising sun.

This installation is a simulation of a ceremonial purification circle, in which objects and images are selected to serve as cultural mirrors. Alpha Bruton believes that objects in the public sphere serve to communicate and reinforce certain cultural narratives, hierarchies, and social mythologies.

Helene Smith Romer - June 2015

“We were then living in a world that nobody with any sensitivity could accept or approve”….Hannah Hoch, Artist/Dadaist…@1920

The Gift Shop: An Homage

What is the best thing about visiting the museum besides the art that one has come to see? Yes, it is the gift shop, filled with a collage of sparkling treasures of objects of desire. All appealing to one’s sense of wanting and possessing. Indeed passion, as Walter Benjamin observed, is an obsession and collecting is the obsession of memories. Yet memories are not only individual but also collective. The Gift Shop from The I Due Art 4 You Museum is the unofficial historical diary of America.  Upon examination of these items, one unexpectedly discovered another America – its violence, bias and inequality – integrated with the nostalgia of recollection. Indeed, these items(coined “Pop Alreadymades” by Madame S. Harry founder of the museum) are mass-produced objects – poetic icons, modern day hieroglyphics – that record in an unorthodox manner the precise and authentichistory and ideology of society.

Helene Smith – Romer’s imagery has its lineage and spirit in the Dadaist movement of the early 1900’s. As she has written “I must have been born a Dadaist, a moderate one, its seems to be hopelessly embodied in my heart.  It is an attitude toward the absurd mingled with a humorous disrespect for the status quo…” Smith-Romer continues to investigate and probe the possibilities and construction of the medium of collage itself. The Gift Shop: An Homage continues her pursuit and orchestration of chance, synchronicity and play. Yet Smith-Romer’s work is also a reflection: Do we not exist amidst the atmosphere of chaos and tragedy happening at a reckless and uncontrolled pace?  Art On Armitage provides a site for investigation of these items, a focal point for reflection and contemplation of humanities past and future. Should one laugh or cry or remember?

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Helene Smith-Romer

The I Due Art 4 You Museum

Rita Grendze - April 2015

Songs Like Water

Songs Like Water is an installation made of vintage choral sheet music that has been cut, drawn upon and reassembled to create waves and nets. Having spent hundreds of hours manipulating the pages, the printed lyrics and musical annotations have become abstract, allowing me to respond formally to the color and tone of the paper, to the density and boldness of the marks. My intent is to depict music as a pervasive force that can move even the most passive listener, can alter the perception of self and surroundings.

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Mary Ellen Croteau - March 2015

Shells, Oil Spill

I have been making artwork which comments on the state of our environment since 2000.  I have been working with non-recyclable plastic waste since 2003.  I first worked with plastic bags, riding, crocheting and sculpting them into ropes, rugs, coral and waterfalls.

I began collecting plastic bottle caps, whose colors are so vivid and beautiful, but which like bags, not recycled. This piece is made from an image from the internet of sea shells in a refined oil spill.

Plastic is made from petroleum (i.e. oil). Think of it this way: we go to war so we can have plastic bags and bottles to throw away.

I urge everyone to rethink their reliance on plastic containers, especially bottled drinks and bottled water. Chicago's water is clean and safe, you do not need to buy water in bottles that is not even required to meet any purity standards that our city water must.

Humans do not need hydration 24-7. That is a marketing need which has arisen only in the last few decades of human existence. Plastic bottles are an enormous strain on our fragile environment, from digging oil out of the ground to refining it, shipping it and making it into plastic, to disposing of it in landfills. Even recycling causes pollution.

Contact this artist via Steve Bild: Bild_Steve@yahoo.com

Victoria Szilagyi - February 2015

Roller Derby

The human figure in art, particularly the female form, has traditionally been created by and for the consumption of men. Only in the last century have a small percentage of women found their voice by becoming artists and authors representing their own sex. Even so, self manufactured female images are frequently more socially accepted by the overall misogynist culture when women choose to objectify themselves sexually or cast themselves in the microcosm of culturally permissible roles of mother, wife or sister, wherein their value lies only in relation to another, rather than on their own well deserved merit.

Roller Derby is unique because it evolved from a form of sports entertainment, into a legitimate international sport dominated by female players and female leagues. Though they have still maintained theatrical character names as well as flamboyant and brilliant clothing and uniforms, they are under consideration for the 2020 Olympics. With a tongue in cheek approach including elements of camp, kitsch and the tradition of figurative painting, Szilagyi playfully pits her roller derby characters as soldiers on the front line against the "War on Women."

Victoria Szilagyi is a Chicago based visual artist and performer. The daughter of Hungarian immigrants, Szilagyi descends from a family of traditional Hungarian artisan woodworkers and musicians. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited in various shows locally, nationally and internationally. Her visual art includes painting in both oil and encaustic, drawings, embroidery and ceramic sculpture.

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Nelson Armour - January 2015

At work/At Home, En el Trabajo/En Casa

Lake County, Illinois, is an excellent place to live. The County boasts of many wealthy suburban communities along with its largest city, Waukegan. Overall, the County is racially and ethnically diverse with a Hispanic/Latino population of over 14%, African American population of almost 7%, and an Asian population of close to 4%.

Yet, depending on your home community, residential diversity is lacking. In many Lake County communities, most of the service workers are minorities, Latinos or African American. For example, in my town of Highland Park, a majority of landscape crews are Latino. Many first generation immigrants have started their own landscape businesses or found employment in these enterprises. Today, many Mexican Americans have pursued the "American Dream" through landscape businesses, either as owners or workers.

The hard work and effort of these small businesspeople and workers are evident in the well-cared lawns and gardens of the area. These workers contribute to the high quality of life in these communities, but rarely live in them; their homes and communities are often separate from many Lake County suburbs. While visible on the job, they are sometimes invisible as individuals.

In At Work/At Home, En el Trabajo/En Casa I highlight these workers. Through formal portraits, I hope to bring out their individuality and hard work. Each portrait is paired with another taken at the person's house or in the community. This pairing of "at work" and "at home" provides recognition of each individual's work and personal life. This work was inspired by Milton Rogovin's series, "Working People."

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