Barry Lorberbaum - January 2016

Picture This

When I start to create something from wood, paper or paint there is very little in the way of planning other than materials. I think of everything during the creative process other than what I’m doing. And the result is the finished piece.

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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

Justin Grey - May 2015

"Sprayz in the Hood"

For some kids growing up in the streets, some activities may be exploring the city as an urban playground and connecting to the arts of the Hip-Hop. From street fashion, rap music, dance, writings on the walls, and DJ’s playing music, this is the universal culture of many young people and adults in the hood.

The installation displays a video game graffiti cartoon world with letters, buildings, colors, backgrounds, characters, and surroundings, all created to reflect the spirit of Hip-Hop, the hood, and street knowledge. All work is created on found objects, wood-cut outs and recycled canvas materials.

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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.

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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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Alicia Forestall-Boehm - December 2014

Transformed Spaces

The encaustic and fiber sculptures of Alicia Forestall-Boehm reduce larger images and concepts into elegant simplified forms.   She pares down basic elements of color, shape and movement to acknowledge another kind of space.  Transformed Spaces considers the symmetry of the urban landscape and explores the physical and mental boundaries of the public and private spaces we inhabit.

Infinite Possibilities is a wall installation consisting of 30 unique wall cubes, each utilizing similar and familiar materials yet each recognizing its own distinctive space.  Spaces We Inhabit is an installation of a dozen, twelve foot high columns of encaustic and fiber sculptures created by altering 2-dimensional paintings.  This transformation acknowledges another kind of space; one of visual repetitiveness and change.

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Fern Shaffer - November 2014

Gingko Leaves

Gingko is a genus of highly unusual non-flowering plants.  The scientific name is also used as the English name.  The genus first appeared in the Permian, 250 million years ago, possibly derived from “seed ferns” of the order “Peltaspermales.”  The Gingko is a living fossil. A single tree can live as long as 1,000 years and grow to 120 feet.  The Gingkos are tough and hardy trees – they can live in most climates, therefore, they have been cultivated all over the world.  For thousands of years, leaves from the Gingko Biloba have been used in Chinese medicine.  In the U.S., many people take Gingko supplements in the belief that it will improve memory and sharpen thinking because Gingko improves blood flow to the brain.

This tree represents the plant kingdom to me, and I paint the leaves as a way to show respect and tribute to its strength and endurance.  Plants can survive without humans, but humans cannot survive without plants.  Our existence depends on these species.

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Lelde Kalmite - October 2014

Burning Earth

If creating art is a personal search for meaning, art cannot escape reflecting the spirit of the times. Our own historical period is characterized by increasing pollution and destruction of the air, water and soil – resulting in a rate of extinction of plants and animals that threatens the very future of the world as we know it.  War and exploitation of the land and oceans for human needs and desires have wounded the earth and all life that depends upon it.  My imaginary landscapes express anxiety about this destruction of the natural world.

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Lars Jonnson & Giovanna Aguirre - September 2014

Finding Order in Chaos

In chaotic and irregular play, by bits and pieces a giant grasshopper evolves. Small men running by with briefcases symbolize our minds searching for a perfect idea, or the “missing link” in the big puzzle. A new statement is on its way.

When chaos appears, order appears also. We see something and call it harmonious and orderly, but someone else can see the same thing and call it chaotic and discordant.

Chaos and order are related in our perception. When we see chaos, we also see order.

Lars Jonnson and Giovanna Aguirre reside in Orebro, Sweden

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DOEprojekts - August 2014

Landmark Series “home”

DOEprojekts is a collaborative project of Deborah Adams Doering & Glenn N. Doering

This “home” is for the birds!

DOEprojekts presents an installation which explores the cultural keyword “home,” one of over 100 cultural keywords cited by social scientists as having qualities of “significance but difficulty” in both public discourse and a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.

Here, the keyword “home” is presented as a playful “visual cue” for avian friends, such as homing pigeons, who find their way back to their origin through the use of visual landmarks, smell/odors, the earth’s magnetic field, and the sun’s azimuth.

These four homing methodologies are represented by four repeated signifiers/symbols stenciled directly on the window, accompanied by silhouettes of birds who may (or may not) be looking for their way “home”.

This installation is presented simultaneously with DOEprojekts’ participation in the group exhibition “Avian Spirits” organized by the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, IL.

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Jack O'Hearn- IV - July 2014

Believing in Monsters

In this installation,  Jack O’Hearn IV explores the lasting affects of one’s cultural upbringing, while appealing to the nostalgia of anyone who grew up in the 70’s or 80’s. The gallery’s storefront window space is converted to another era with a decor of wood paneling, old TV’s, radios & toys. Hung on the paneled wall are masks, sculptures and jewelry that reference collectible objects, yet seem overtly inauthentic. All the while, the TV stations continue to alternate between static and incredibly tense scenes of fear from children’s movies. For the viewer, what begins as remembrance and nostalgia, ends as a creepy and elusive dream. For O’Hearn, this represents the state of mind when something studied and learned becomes entangled with subjects from our cultural past, where the real and the imagined become increasingly difficult to distinguish.

Believing in Monsters explores our inability to distinguish the real from the imagined and how this affects our fear of others.

“Believing in Monsters is a composite of images that have run through my mind when learning about subjects outside my personal experience. It represents the state of mind when learned knowledge becomes entangled with my own cultural history, where the real and imagined become difficult to distinguish.”

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