2007

Marcy Sperry - December 2007

In my work I try to examine the political and social factors that shape my immediate world as well as our society at large. I start working by first looking critically at my surroundings, asking questions, and listening to multiple points of view. It's a process that involves communication and often collaboration with others. I then synthesize these findings into visual constructions and multimedia works that hopefully can serve as a means to start dialogue and critical inquiry into the communities and systems we live within.

Recently I have been working almost exclusively with recycled materials, primarily the fabrics and cast-off clothing (especially t-shirts with graphics) found in thrift stores. For years, t-shirt graphics have been a means of publicly conveying membership, participation, and the attitudes of the wearer. By taking fragments of these messages and reassembling them, they become a kind of lexicon to convey new cultural meanings that explore class, power, conflict, dysfunction, and joy.

I am strongly influenced by the DIY craft movement that has proliferated in the U.S. since the 90s as well as other forms of (so-called) "women's art." I am interested in exploring how traditional materials and techniques such as quilting, knitting, needlework, and textiles can be used to realize process-based conceptual endeavors. 

Contact this Artist

www.marcysperry.com

Elizabeth Granton - November 2007

"Spontaneity and impulsivity inspire the creation of my art, with risk-taking done in the heat of the creative moment. Exhibitions include the Athenaeum Museum of Art and Design in Schaumburg; the Du Sable Museum of African American History; the Chicago Cultural Center; "Free Expression Art," New York. Publications include The Chicago Tribune, World Magazine, Pioneer Press, Chicago Sun Times, and Chicago Public Radio 91.5."

My art is made without restraints in materials and processes. It explores a wide range of materials, mostly found objects that I collect at thrift shops. I use common household objects that people can readily identify with, to communicate my subjects: my everyday living experiences, my relationships, my emotions and feelings, and feminist/gender related issues.

y palette has been changing from the full spectrum of color to a limited use of color and gray. I find gray to be peaceful; expressing stillness and calm.

Lauren Levato - October 2007

“Charm” from the ENTOMOMANCY series

I use real insects in my art.  I am fascinated with insects and arachnids, an immense animal group with intricate social structures and routines.  Much like insects and plants, humans use codes and signals to convey complex thoughts and messages:  mating, navigation, locating food, calling for help, or signaling warnings.

Researching and investigating ancient codes and languages has influenced my thinking and approach to this work.  I am interested in The Druidic Tree Alphabet, a language comprised of leaves; Nüshu, the secret Chinese women’s script; the Incan Khipu method of record keeping, a system of knots; as well as my own code, written while I was a child in an abusive family.  My personal code evolved out of a traumatic time in my own life and involves insects, plants, poetry, myth, and metaphor. 

In this series the viewer can be likened to a reader, as in tarot cards, runes, or bones.  Insects and other parts of the assemblages make up a narrative that is open to interpretation based on what questions are asked and who is “reading” the boxes, reading the insects.  What if we used insects the way we use other objects or signs as telltales or warnings?  What if we tossed out some beetle shells to foretell our futures?  Instead of a queen there is a cicada, or instead of a fool there is a longhorn beetle.  Other occult ideas have also entered the boxes, such as knots, circles, and hair. 

Contact this Artist

laurenlevato.com

Mary Ellen Croteau September 2007

Bag World

I was trying to think what to do with all those bags that you get everytime you go to the store.   Even if you bring your own bags, they still try to put the stuff in plastic bags before they put it in the ones you brought.  And no matter what they tell you, these bags are not recycled.  They are just collected and put in dumps.  We are swimming in a sea of plastic.  We

are drowning in plastic. Worse, these bags are made from petroleum... Yep, the same thing we’re fighting in Iraq for.  I collected these bags over one year. 

 

So take one big step for humankind: carry your own bags to the store.

 

Contact this Artist

www.maryellencroteau.net

 

Rúrí - August 2007

Reykjavik, Iceland

 

 

ENDANGERED WATERS

 

 

Waterfalls, rivers and lakes;

these are like living beings.

We can not exist without them.

Water is the most important

element on earth

for the existence of human kind

and all life.

Around the world, thousands,

no: millions of people are suffering

from draught and the lack

of clear and unpolluted water.

 

Still, waterfalls and fresh water

sources have been exploited

and destroyed on a massive scale

all over the globe.

And more are being sacrificed

every day.

 

The waterfalls in this window

are or were in Iceland.

The three large images are falls

in danger of being destroyed:

Dettifoss and Dynkur,

the small ones have been destroyed

or terminated within the last year:

 

Eyjabakkafoss

Stedji

Ofaeruselsfoss–efri

Storalaekjarfoss

Ufsarfoss

Skakkifoss

Kirkjufoss–efri

Kirkjufoss

Hrakstrandarfoss

Gjalfrandi

Skufur

Smaelingi

Laedingur

Hattstapafossar

Fossatjorn

Gilseydir

Hylur

Sauda–Jokla

Stokkur

Seydir

Glettir

Hulufoss

Ketilfoss

Smaifoss

Kambur

Haddarfoss

Gljufurfoss

Tofrafoss

and

many

more

...

..

.

 

Contact this Artist

www.ruri.is

 

Stephanie Dean - July 2007

Sleeping Men        

         "When a man is asleep, he has in a circle round him the chain of the hours, the sequence of the years, the order of the heavenly host. Instinctively, when he awakes, he looks to these, and in an instant reads off his own position on the earth's surface and the amount of time that has elapsed during his slumbers; but this ordered    procession is apt to grow confused, and to break its ranks"

— Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past  

       I envy the abandon with which they do it. In the shade, on leather seats, on cold stone wrapped in a sunny day—vertical, cramped on a plane, in classic pose and practice, deftly avoiding drool on the train, in the corner at a party, in their own bed in work uniform at the end of the day— all the varied positions of male repose. Sleep comes easily to them. I love watching men sleep, especially in public. I envy them. They need not worry about strangers doing even stranger things to their relaxed bodies.

          The somnolent citizen is subject to the same photographic rights as a waking citizen. Thus, I may photograph any and all men that I find sleeping in public. I have a collection of them. It consists of all different types of man; all sharing one thing: their shameless, worry-free public slumbers. 

Contact this Artist

www.stephaniedean.com

 

 

 

Mia Capodilupo - June 2007

June 2007

 

The Garden of Eden

I have used steel, fabrics, foam, cast rubber, clay and plaster, food

and castings of real plants to create the Garden of Eden, an installation

that transports the viewer to a seductive, unknown and contradictory fantasy world that is beautiful and dangerous. The installation investigates the primal idea of the Garden of Eden, paradise or a utopia, our perennial

longing to return or escape to such a place.

The piece is made of synthetic products that reflect hours of human

labor (including the artist’s, in the hundreds of cast and string-wrapped

individual pieces) but as a whole references natural formations. It combines human-made elements of the urban landscape with the forms of nature, becoming an oasis or imaginary world within a busy city street/ neighborhood while also turning familiar objects into a strange alien world where the viewer might escape the ordinary and mundane.

Contact this Artist

www.miacstudio.com

Philip Hartigan - May 2007

"Coal Curtain”

I was born and raised in a mining town in the north-east of England. My father died when I was five, after which my mother, brother and I lived with my grandparents. My grandfather was still a working miner. My grandmother liked to cook a lot, in the small kitchen that had the only running water in the house. There was no door to the kitchen, but only a bead-curtain. This piece is an homage to that life, and to the shadows cast by memory.

Contact this Artist

www.philiphartigan.com

 

Christopher Dureno Thomas Plum - April 2007

Christopher Dureno

Copper Grove (right window    Fruit (left window)

This is how I learned to solder. I can't guarantee that these joints hold water but I think they make nifty shapes. I've walked up and down the plumbing aisle at home depot for years wondering how I could put these tubes into a piece. Then I found the pressure plug. And I guess I’ve always marvelled at the beauty of the log while stacking firewood. Copper and wood, fascinating in a raw sense. I see it as a cross between chipotle wall hangings and sprinkler art. It is midwest style, simply done in a basement on a sunday afternoon. Enjoy.

 

Thomas Plum

Hold (center window)

Medicine plays a prominent and pervasive role in our culture. From the recommended ‘check-ups’ many people dread to the potential discovery of an illness they never knew they had. For the sick, the ubiquitous orange pill bottle might signal relief, restoration, or relaxation through pills, tablets and capsules.  Darker readings may include dependence, a high-risk lifestyle, or fragility. My recent sculpture ‘Hold’ is a six-foot tower made of pill bottles. To hold-out, hold-up or hold-in?

Suvi Konttinen, Helsinki, Finland - March 2007

I get the ideas to my paintings from everyday life; I react to things around me. Most of them originate from a strong feeling I had about something, like domestic violence, racism, polluting the environment, poverty, or being a foreigner in another country.

The viewer usually experiences my paintings as strong - or even violent – but the main subject the viewer sees might be very different from mine. I like to leave a freedom to feel and to interpret. I am not trying to make everyone experience what my experience was.

My paintings are between abstract and representative. I use faces and especially the eyes as a way to communicate my idea to the viewer. I think my paintings can be experienced both as abstract and representational. I use stenciled text as a structural element as well as another way to represent my idea.

I love to paint on large canvases and build up layers with mixed media, collage and combining painting and drawing. I want to paint what is at the same time aesthetically and intellectually appealing to me.

Elise Blue - February 2007

Atom Bomb Series 

Operation Buster-Jangle, Operation Crossroads, The Manhattan Project: these are the names of the projects that developed the worlds first atomic bombs. The individual blasts have their own names, such as Trinity, Charlie, and Dog. The period from 1945-1963 witnessed dozens of nuclear tests that were all well documented by the military. Clouds scatter across the sky as the blast sucks the earth up into a vacuum and the mushroom cloud billows forth. These are stunning apocalyptic images. The sky recedes like a scroll…. 

My work had previously dealt with mortality, disaster, the apocalypse, and impending doom. It was only a natural progression for my work to stumble upon the nuclear age. There is no more tangible and certain threat than that of atomic weaponry. This is a self-imposed Armageddon with credible consequences in the current political climate.

The focus of my work is the atomic cloud itself. Some follow the classic mushroom formation while others such as underwater tests appear to be giant exploding sea monsters. I have studied and interpreted all of them, connecting the explosions by a common visual thread. The images in the installation range from loosely rendered sketches in languid earth tones to the sweet, candy-colored washes that dominate the current series. The individual panels vary in hue and sharpness, but there is a succinct implied mockery of the subject matter or perhaps it is a lighthearted attempt to contemplate an otherwise unthinkable fate.

 

Catherine Forster - January 2007

Roja Portraits 

Roja, Latvia, is situated at the estuary of the Roja River and the Baltic Sea. A virtually untouched natural environment surrounds the area. The local fishing village has become a destination for tourists post Soviet occupation. The locals are reserved and cautious, an outcome of years of abuse and surveillance. In an attempt to meet the people of Roja, I decided to document a day spent in the village, videoing my interactions with the environment and the local people. So as not to intrude, I focused the camera lens on my feet and those feet I met during the day.  (ink jet prints on aluminum)

Contact this Artist

 www.catforster.com