The Finger is Also Pressed by the Stone Opening 12/1

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 7:00pm

The Finger is Also Pressed by the Stone
Soo Shin and Kate Hampel

Binaries are useful. They provide structure, they help us say firmly, “This is this and that is that.” They simplify a world that is chaotic, obscure, and largely unchartable. Paying attention to such clean, definitive lines allows us to put on socks and shoes in the morning, to live our orderly lives.

The cost of wearing shoes, though, is not knowing the feeling of the ground under one’s feet. The heavy cost of certainty is flatness. To be positioned too definitely in pragmatic order is to miss the richly indeterminate space where “this” and “that” become question marks, pulses, flows. This gray area, where multiple gravities compete, is a conceptual staging ground for Kate Hampel and Soo Shin.

In their work, both artists suggest body as the foreground where the dynamics of power, seeing/being seen, and knowing/not-knowing is constantly challenged. These works are at home in a day-to-day world of indeterminacy. They invite the viewer to move around them to look at and consider them, and to slowly walk into the borderless landscape that they engender. The finger is also pressed by the stone is a space of ambiguity where the rough, textured surface of the ground can be truly felt.


Kate Hampel examines the aesthetics of violence, from the individual to the institutional. Her current projects draw material from geopolitical power struggles, with all their attendant implications for the gendered or othered body, as well as from sensationalized narratives. Text works, sculpture and installations speak with multiple voices and implicate the viewer through their presence in the space.

Soo Shin (b.1981, based in Chicago) investigates the psychological experience of uncertainty and vulnerability in our search for certainty and translates these into bodily experiences. In her work, the idea of uncertainty has been emphasized as a potential space for new understanding and acuity. Her work provides physical space for the body and is presented as physical conditions for viewers. By suggesting work as a mixture of internal and physical experiences, she explores body as an abstract agency where objectivity and subjectivity is inseparable.

The viewer’s own physicality has a presence in the show, reflected in textures and activated by scale. These gestures are deliberate on both artists’ parts—for Hampel, as an examination and undermining of contemporary understandings of the gendered body, while for Shin the body serves as a locus for internalized struggle.

Alchemist Opening 12/1

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 7:00pm


Cole Pierce, Esau McGhee, Kelly Kaczynski 

Presenting three alchemical practices, each focusing on construction and speculative philosophy, working intuitively to transmute materials and language into the experiential equivalent of turning lead into gold. Coming from different contexts and conceptual bearings, these artists begin with base elements: simple geometry, primary colors, and raw materials.

Pierce implements a relief painting process by taping off geometric-based grids and applying several bold gradients of acrylic. The tape is removed to reveal rigid layers of accumulated paint that have formed triangle, square, and circular shaped patterning across the canvas. Although his use of geometry is informed by the Op Art movement of the late twentieth century, he dedicates his practice to confronting the expectations of the errorless, measured precedent set by Op Art. His subtle inconsistencies and evident brushstrokes violate this expected, calculated abstraction and lend itself toward a more unpredictable form. The interruptions circumvent the viewer’s perception and create a phenomenological experience by challenging the viewer’s ephemeral transition between comprehension and delusion.

Esau’s studio practice represents an archive. Years of accumulated and excavated material rest throughout the space similar to an anthropological study. This approach allows Esau’s work to move through materials and work across multiple mediums to invent new ways to give material form to language. Dealing with current concerns ranging from displacement to systemic violence on those deemed as other… There is a misnomer that through project “completion” some ideas are laid to rest, but over time these things are always present as material and remnants or actions are reassessed and reintroduced, catalyst are created between works from the past and present ideas.

Kelly Kaczynski is an artist working within the language of sculpture.


Cole Pierce received his MFA from Northwestern University and received his BSS in Art and Sociology from Cornell College. He has recently exhibited at THE MISSION, Roman Susan and Johalla Projects. He received a DCASE (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) grant in 2016 and was a SÍM (Association of Icelandic Visual Artists) resident in Reykjavík, Iceland. He recently completed a 60’x11’ mural in the Rogers Park neighborhood, funded by the 49th Ward. He lives and works in Chicago, IL.

After receiving an MFA from Northwestern University in 2013, Esau has gone on to be a HATCH resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition. He’s also turned out challenging exhibitions such as Economy of Movement at Harper College, Blackitolism at Sector 2337 and 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s at Elastic Arts. Esau has also exhibited in New York and Los Angeles.

Kaczynski received an MFA from Bard College, NY and BA from The Evergreen State College, WA. She has taught with Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Kaczynski is currently a Lecturer with the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL.

This project is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Façades Artist Talk

Sunday, October 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

Walk-through of Façades with Ella Wearing and Frances Lightbound. 

Façades Opening Reception

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 7:00pm


An exhibition by Frances Lightbound and Ella Wearing

Ella Wearing and Frances Lightbound are UK-born artists who have been residing in the US for the past three years - Frances in Chicago, and Ella in New Jersey and New York. Centring upon a shared interest in notions of the façade - as it relates to appearance, perception and reality, as well as in the architectural sense - this exhibition shows recent sculptural, installation, and lens-based works by each artist, as well as works on paper. Having previously collaborated in 2014 on a three person show in London, in which they explored connections between their immediate urban environments of London and Glasgow respectively, the two artists come together to find new points of conversation amongst their approaches to urban space in their specific, but potentially disparate, locations. 

On recent trips back to London in 2017, Ella Wearing has been re-engaging with her home neighbourhood, which has featured as a point of research in previous work. She seeks to grapple with memories of home amidst ferocious urban change, and begins to look further back into the rich local history of her neighbourhood, and the monuments that have survived - namely a 151 foot Victorian clock tower that stands at the centre of it all. She uses google maps to create drawings and videos, which become virtual simulations of a memory, such as the walk to school. This once recurring route is mapped out onto its present architectural configuration of the area, since its past one is no longer accessible. By using devices of repetition and cyclical patterns in her work, as well as visual layering, merging, and fragmentation of architectural forms, Ella attempts to piece together some of the complex attitudes and associations we have towards our urban surroundings, and how these relate to other places we might have inhabited with varying degrees of intimacy; nostalgia, alienation, detachment, powerlessness, order, design, pathos, play - all become intertwining thoughts that drive her work. 

Frances Lightbound’s work examines objects, structures and materials that effect and enforce divisions of space with varying degrees of subtlety – barriers, fences, thresholds, window shades. Remaking, fragmenting and shifting the context of these familiar forms, she produces two- and three- dimensional work that employs degrees of abstraction to encourage multiple associations while retaining a critical subtext. Her work is driven by an interest in the spatial, social and linguistic roles of objects and structures: how elements of a built environment produce space in both the physical and psychological senses of the word, and how these objects materialize (and support the functioning of) more abstract systems such as law, capital and property ownership. Recent works combine domestic references with those drawn from urban space, introducing elements of uncertainty to delineations between personal and public spaces and considering the varying degrees of agency we may or may not have over our surroundings. 

Ella Wearing has exhibited in and curated various group exhibitions in the UK and the US, and was most recently included in an exhibition at Ille Arts in Amagansett, NY in April 2017, and an exhibition in London called Monopoles in October 2016. In 2014 she was a contributor for Central Saint Martins academic arts journal ‘Unknown Quantities’, before moving to the US to pursue her MFA at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, where she graduated in 2016. She obtained her BA (Hons) in Painting and Printmaking from The Glasgow School of Art in 2012.

Frances Lightbound is based between Chicago and Glasgow, Scotland. Her work has been exhibited in venues in the US and UK, including a solo exhibition at DEMO Project, Springfield, IL in 2017, and she has recently curated projects for Kruger Gallery (Chicago) and the Terrain Biennial at Enos Park (Springfield, IL). Frances has been awarded the Luminarts Visual Arts Fellowship, Field Notes Fellowship, EAGER Grant and the New Artists Society Award, and is a 2016–2017 HATCH Projects artist resident at Chicago Artists’ Coalition. She earned her MFA in Printmedia from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016, and a BA (Hons) in Painting and Printmaking from The Glasgow School of Art in 2012. 

Image, Provisional Construct I, by Frances Lightbound.

Not Knowing Artist Talk

Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 1:00pm

An artist embarks on her task without knowing what to do. There is some kind of energy that she is manifesting as she works, and it has a larger form. To know in advance as to what that form is, is to reduce it.

--George Saunders on Not Knowing

Panel discussion with Claire Ashley, Karen Azarnia, Robin Dluzen, Dan Devening, Andreas Fischer, Celeste Rapone, Melody Saraniti, Ann Toebbe, Noah Vaughn, and Gwendolyn Zabicki.

Not Knowing

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Not Knowing

Writing is a process of dealing with not knowing, a forcing of what and how. We have all heard novelists testify to the fact that, beginning a new book, they are utterly baffled as to how to proceed...At best there is a slender intuition, not much greater than an itch.
--Donald Barthelme, Not Knowing

An artist embarks on her task without knowing what to do. There is some kind of energy that she is manifesting as she works, and it has a larger form. To know in advance as to what that form is, is to reduce it.
--George Saunders on Not Knowing

When inspiration strikes, it feels as if it comes from outside oneself. The process of making art involves a kind of subtle foreknowledge, an awareness of the work before it exists, and communication with neurological processes deep within the wordless mind. In the search for answers, an artist finds more questions lingering in that uncomfortable place of not knowing. The result of that discomfort, according to Barthelme, is the possibility that the artist might show the viewer, “the as-yet-unspeakable, the as-yet unspoken.” 

Good art is hard. An artist can over-think and become paralyzed, but to Barthelme, “Problems are a comfort” because it is through problem solving, or making choices, that the artist moves from not knowing to finding a unique and defining style. Take for example, the story of one of Chicago’s great culinary achievements-- the Italian beef sandwich. Essentially, poor entrepreneurs on Maxwell St. figured out how to turn salt, cheap cuts of meat, and stale bread into an inexpensive, delicious meal. They were constrained by cost and by what ingredients were readily available. Similarly an artist responds to and creates constraints, imposing limitations or rules within the work. Paradoxically, it is within these constraints where freedom and innovation are found.

Being an artist is to live within a series of constraints and limitations. Today, an artist must make her way in the world within structures that are in the process of collapsing, dissolving, or becoming irrelevant. The rigid gender roles of the past, normative definitions of family and caretaking, are all being renegotiated. The particular methodologies parent artists (and female parent artists in particular) have to come up with in order to continue to work while parenting are not yet standardized or obvious. They must be hammered out individually. The artists in this exhibition make a different kind of work-- thoughtful and contemplative art made alongside working, teaching, and raising a family. Overlapping limitations and opportunities define their style. They embrace “not knowing” in the way they make their work, but also in the uncertainty and the freedom of living in this state. They are: Claire Ashley, Karen Azarnia, Clarissa Bonet, Robin Dluzen, Dan Devening, Andreas Fischer, Celeste Rapone, Melody Saraniti, Ann Toebbe, and Noah Vaughn.

Artist Bios and Websites

Claire Ashley was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland and now lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Contemporary Practices, and Department of Painting and Drawing. She has an old husband, three children, two dogs, and a cat.
Her recent work investigates inflatables as painting, sculpture, installation and performance costume. She mines the language of painterly abstraction, monumental sculpture, slapstick humor, and pop art to transform mundane industrial materials into inflatable painted sculptures and performative props.

Karen Azarnia is a Chicago-based artist, educator, and curator. She received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Solo exhibitions include Terrain Exhibitions, Oak Park, IL; the Union League Club of Chicago, IL; The Riverside Arts Center, IL; with group exhibitions at the Chicago Artists Coalition, IL; Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE; and the Evanston Art Center, IL. She is a grant recipient from the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and her work has been included in Hyperallergic, the Huffington Post and Newcity. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Clarissa Bonet Lives and works in Chicago. Her current work explores aspects of the urban space in both a physical and psychological context. She received her M.F.A. in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2012, and her B.S. in Photography from the University of Central Florida.
Bonet’s work has been exhibited nationally, internationally, and resides in the collections of JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Photography’s MPP collection, the Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Haggerty Museum of Art. Her work has been featured on CNN Photos, The Wall Street Journal, The Eye of Photography, Photo District News, Juxtapoz Magaine, and many other notable online and print publications internationally. Bonet has received recognition and support for her work from the Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and Albert P. Weisman Foundation. Recently, she was chosen as one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2015 and selected as a 2016 Flash Forward Emerging Photographer by the Magenta Foundation.

Dan Devening is an artist, curator and educator living in Chicago. He’s currently an Adjunct Professor of painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since the mid-1980s, his paintings and works on paper have been featured nationally and internationally. In the United States, his work has been featured at Autumn Space, Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago Cultural Center, Terra Museum of American Art, ebersmoore gallery, Threewalls and Julius Caesar in Chicago; Kinkead Contemporary in Los Angeles and Launch F18 and Printed Matter, Inc. in NY among many others. Recent projects include exhibitions in Germany at the Kunsterverein Recklinghausen, Museum Kurhaus in Kleve, galerie oqbo and Scotty Enterprises in Berlin, dok25a in Dusseldorf and Renate Schroeder Gallery in Cologne. Other international group exhibitions include shows at Art Metropole in Toronto; De Appel in Amsterdam; Secession in Vienna and Galerie des Multiples in Paris.

Robin Dluzen earned her BFA from Adrian College and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. Her work has shown at The Hyde Park Art Center, Burt Green Fine Art, Harper College, and the Chicago Artists Coalition. She has written for Art F City, the New American Paintings blog, New City, and the Reader. She is currently the Exhibitions and Operations Manager at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

Andreas Fischer is a Chicago-based painter and Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Illinois State University (Normal, IL). Over the past ten years, his work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in New York and Chicago, including a 12 x 12 solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MFA and MA in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and studied at the Universität der Künste Berlin. He was awarded an Artadia artist grant in 2004. His most recent solo show was The Ghost in Your Shoe at Andrew Rafacz Gallery in 2015.

Celeste Rapone Celeste Rapone was born in 1985 and raised in New Jersey. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007 and her MFA in 2013 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been in group and solo shows at Zolla Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Expo Chicago, The Hyde Park Art Center, Roots and Culture (forthcoming), and the Union League Club of Chicago. Her work was featured in the 2013 New American Paintings Catalogue. She currently teaches painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Melody Saraniti grew up in Ohio and has a BFA in painting from Kent State University. She received an MFA in 2009 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited her work in Illinois at the Union League Club of Chicago, Thomas Masters Gallery, Riverside Arts Center, Hyde Park Art Center and Comfort Station. She has received six grants from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and has been the artist in residence at SIM in Iceland, Jentel in Wyoming, Oxbow in Saugatuck, Michigan and Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. Her work has been reviewed in Art LTD. Magazine and on the Bad at Sports website. In 2014 she began a curatorial project called Trigger where she invites one artist to select and write about another artist who has informed or challenged their practice. She curates their work together to create a heightened dialogue about the influential relationships that shape artistic practice. The first iteration of this project took place at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago.

Ann Toebbe was born in 1974 in Cincinnati, OH. She earned her MFA from Yale University in 1997 and her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1995. In Chicago, she has shown at Threewalls, EBERSMOORE, The Suburban, and The Hyde Park Art Center. In New York she has shown at Monya Rowe Gallery and Joshua Liner. In 2015 her solo show was reviewed by Roberta Smith for the New York Times. She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Noah Vaughn earned his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993. He has exhibited throughout Chicagoland and has been interviewed for Chicago Magazine, Belt Magazine, BLDGBLOG and North by Northwestern. He mostly keeps to himself.

Curated by Gwendolyn Zabicki 

Artist talk
October 1

Sedentary Fragmentation

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Sedentary Fragmentation

In 1952 an Iranian-Assyrian student Hannibal Alkhas came to the U.S to study medicine, but decided instead to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There he studied under Boris Anisfeld, one of his most influential teachers. After returning to Iran, Alkhas helped modernize the pedagogy of painting in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran, where he taught many prominent Iranian artists. In 1963 another young artist, Mehdi Hosseini, came to Chicago and enrolled in the painting department at the School of the Art Institute. Having experienced the Midwestern art scene, he returned to Iran and started teaching at art universities, becoming one of the pioneers of Iranian contemporary art. Though he is not heavily represented on the market, he is one of the leading historians of Persian painting and is on the faculty of the University of the Arts in Tehran.

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, many families moved to the U.S to seek a better life. These families stayed and gave birth to children who are now second generation Iranian-Americans. A few members of this generation have chosen to pursue art and have been constantly challenged by issues of identity due to their dual heritage. Many have struggled against art criticism that uses their heritage as an interpretive lens for their practice, which raises the question: Why have art critics, curators and audiences persisted in identifying these artworks with a particular region?

In 2010, despite financial hardship and sanctions, the next generation of artists came from Iran to pursue their graduate degrees in American art schools, which had been an uncommon choice for the previous 30 years. The lack of Iranian artists in the Western art scene sets narrow expectations for these recent immigrants, who were forced to respond to their experience in a new environment.

“Sedentary Fragmentation” tries to bring together Iranian voices, generations, and alumni who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but whose practices are individual and different. This exhibition will show how these nine artists subtly use and reveal their identities in a politically complex milieu. Showcasing archival materials from the artists’ experience in both Chicago and Tehran, this exhibition offers challenging points of view about several generations of artists who are often misrepresented by having identities placed upon them that do not define them as artists. 


Curated by Kimia Maleki


Hannibal Alkhas (1930, Iran)

Hannibal Alkhas (1930-2010) painter, sculptor, writer, poet and translator. Alkhas began his artistic training as a child in Iran and went on to receive his Master of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1959. In addition to over fifty years as a professional painter, he had a long career in Iran and in the United States as an art professor and mentored many aspiring artists. He also established the successful Gilgamesh Gallery, one of the very first modern art galleries in Iran. His works have been exhibited in Iran, Europe, Canada, Australia, Israel, Dubai, and the US. He published art criticism, collections of short stories, children’s books and memoirs in Farsi, and composed many poems in his native Assyrian (Syriac). After attending his 80th birthday retrospective exhibition in Iran, Hannibal Alkhas died in California on September 14, 2010. He wrote and painted actively until his final illness.


Mehdi Hosseini (1943, Iran)

Mehdi Hosseini is a faculty member at the University of the Arts, Tehran. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1968 and MFA from Pratt Institute of New York in 1970. Hosseini is a permanent member of The Iranian Academy of Arts and an honorary member of Iran Painters Community. He has supervised many graduate students at the Ph.D level. He has shown nationally and internationally. Hosseini has received “Grade 1” degree of excellence in visual arts by the Academy of Arts in Iran.


Raha Raissnia (1968, Iran)

Raha Raissnia (b.1968 Tehran, Iran) creates complex works which combine painting, film and drawing. Much of her work is focused on exploring the intersection of these different mediums and how each informs the other in terms of their materiality and their respective processes of making. Raissnia lives and works in Brooklyn and is represented by Miguel Abreu Gallery in New York, Ab/Anbar Gallery in Tehran, Iran, Galeria Marta Cervera in Madrid, and Galerie Xippas in Paris. She received her BFA from the School of the Art institute of Chicago in 1992 and her MFA from Pratt Institute in 2002. In 2015, her work was included in All the World's Futures, 56th Venice Biennale curated by Okwui Enwezor. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Ab/Anbar Gallery (Tehran), Miguel Abreu Gallery, Galeria Marta Cervera (Madrid), Galerie Xippas (Paris), and the Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Art (Isfahan, Iran).


Azadeh Gholizadeh (1982, Iran)

Azadeh Gholizadeh, is a Chicago-based artist and architect. Born in Tehran, Gholizadeh received her MA in Architecture and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. In her current practice she explores tensions and challenges of diaspora. Defining boundaries and blurring the lines that demarks her identity are the subjects that she reflects in her practice. Gholizadeh was a resident at the BOLT Residency Program at Chicago Artists Coalition and the Center Program at Hyde Park Art Center. She has shown in different venues such as Efrain Lopez, Soap Factory and Hyde Park Art Center.


Yasamin Ghanbari (1984, USA)

Yasi Ghanbari is an artist using an interdisciplinary practice living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BA from Oberlin College and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Film, Video, and New Media. Ghanbari has shown her work nationally and internationally at venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), NURTUREart (Brooklyn), and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York).


Nazafarin Lotfi (1984, Iran)

Nazafarin Lotfi is a visual artist based in Chicago. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and her BA from the University of Tehran in 2007. Solo exhibitions include: Poiesis at Fernwey Gallery, Chicago; White Light at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago; Love at Last Sight at Brand New Gallery, Milan; Circles at Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago. Recent group exhibitions: This here at Regards Gallery, Chicago; the Particular Poetics of Things at Goldfinch Gallery, Chicago; Resonant Objects, Logan Center Exhibitions, Pattern Recognition, Ana Cristea Gallery, New York. Lotfi was the Artist in Residence at the University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life Program during 2015-16.


Elnaz Javani (1985, Iran)

Elnaz Javani (Iran) is an artist, researcher, and educator. Her studio work consists of sculpture, installation and sound works which take domestic materials as their point of departure into a larger discussion on trauma, memory and violence. Her work is devoted to the micropolitics of everyday life and the ways by which one can uncover the latent narratives within objects, events and collective experiences. Javani holds a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Tehran Art University of Iran. Her work has been exhibited internationally in USA, Spain, UAE, Germany and Switzerland.


Maryam Hoseini (1988, Iran)

Maryam Hoseini (b. 1988 Tehran, Iran) is an artist currently living and working in New York. Her work explores the subtle relationships between bodies, architectural space, and politics of narrative. She holds an MFA from both the Milton Avery School of the Arts, Bard College and the School of Art Institute of Chicago.


Sophie Loloie (1993, USA)

Third culture child raised between Iran, Canada and the United States, Sophie Loloie graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), with a focus in Visual Communication Design and Photography/Video. She is working between the intersections of Image-Making and Design. Her work seeks to bring elegant simplicity to complexity to communicate an idea and experience. She is currently interested in exploring stories of femininity, her culture and language through typographic and visual methods.




Friday, May 26, 2017 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Curated by Kate Bowen & Raven Falquez Munsell

Kayla Anderson
Alexandra Antoine
Marina Balko
Catron Booker
Burning Orchid
Colin Timothy Dickson
Ben Driggs
eric fleischauer
Kate Klingbeil
Heather MacKenzie
Allen Moore
A.E. Pattera
Julie Potratz
Aay Preston-Myint

ACRE (Artist Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) is an organization founded and run entirely by artists for artists. Each summer ACRE transforms a farm in Wisconsin into a proving ground for community making and participatory learning. With creativity at the core of the organization the potential sites for experimentation are endless and beyond studio time and workshops also take the form of dinners, dance parties, impromptu nail salons, ad hoc parades, tubing excursions and, even, daily administrative tasks.

The residency is staffed by artist-volunteers with diverse creative backgrounds. Together their varied perspectives are combined to build a dialogue-rich and exploratory space for summer artists in residence to grow, focus, and learn from one another. For the two-week residency, ideas between staff, residents, and visiting artists co-mingle and collide as we socialize, brainstorm, and create together. 

In this spirit, staff members from each department at the residency (printmaking, fiber studio, ceramics, A/V, recording studio, wood shop, and kitchen) were asked to invite a recent resident with whom they connected or worked closely while at the residency. Summer Sessions is an exhibition built from mutual admiration and fruitful experimentation. 

MARINA BALKO is an artist and the Director of Institutional Engagement for AS220, a multidisciplinary community arts organization in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Primarily exhibiting in mixed-media installations, Balko’s artistic disciplines include film, video, 3D modeling and animation, creative coding and interactive design, digital and darkroom photography, fibers, costume design, food art, performance and curation. Balko starting working with the ACRE kitchen in 2013 and has returned every summer since. She has made food themed to the exhibitions at the ACRE Gallery and contributed to the publication of Kadabra, the ACRE Kitchen’s annual artist cookbook. 

JULIE POTRATZ is an artist whose performances, videos, and celebrity impersonations take a phenomenological look at what it means to inhabit a body. With excesses of material, drama, and grotesque cartoons, she slips between the fantastical and the everyday, while continually undergoing physical and psychological transformations. Potratz was a resident in 2012.

COLIN TIMOTHY DICKSON is a native of the Midwest. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Indiana, he received his BFA in Sculpture at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Dickson works in Chicago as a skilled craftsperson and builder, generating a range of objects including mid-century modern-inspired furniture, utilitarian cabinetry, and an expanding collection of cat furniture/sculpture. Dickson began working with ACRE as a resident in 2013. He returned in 2014 and 2015 bringing his carpentry skills to the woodshop.

BURNING ORCHID is the meeting of the multidisciplinary practices of Rosé Hernandez and Efrén Arcoiris, which exists as a third entity and moves towards a faceted crystalline form. Hernandez brings experience in performance, movement, and Butoh; while Arcoiris incorporates sculpture and installation. They were residents in 2015 and have volunteered in various and very helpful ways in Chicago ever since.

BEN DRIGGS was born in Pekin, Illinois. He received his BFA with a focus in sculpture from Columbia College Chicago in 2004. His work relates to the countryside and everyday art objects. He is currently rehabbing a building in Little Village where he lives with his partner. Driggs was a resident in 2010 and kitchen staff in 2011. He returned in 2012 and 2013 to work in the wood shop. In 2015 he, along with fellow ACRE alumni Wolfie E. Rawk, successfully proposed and built a ceramics studio at the residency.For summer 2017 he plans to introduce a raku kiln to the studio.

KATE KLINGBEIL is a multi-disciplinary artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up on a farm in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she spent her childhood surrounded by animals and riding horses. Her work spans the mediums of painting, sculpture, ceramics, and animation, and investigates sexuality, feminine power, memory, personal experiences, animal/human communication, secrets and movement. Klingbeil was a resident in 2016.

eric fleischauer is an artist, curator, and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. fleischauer utilizes conceptually-driven production strategies to be read as an aestheticized form of media theory and criticism examining the nuance of technology’s pervasive influences. fleischauer was a Visiting Artist to ACRE in 2011 and 2012, and became staff in 2013. He has worked with the A/V department from 2013-2017. He has also served as a member of the ACRE Admissions Committee in 2016 and 2017.

KAYLA ANDERSON is an artist, writer, and organizer based in Chicago, Illinois. Using a playful approach to methods of excavation, her work engages with cultural artifacts of the past in order to propose parallel worlds. Anderson was a resident in 2015.

HEATHER MACKENZIE is an artist and educator with a research-based and concept-driven practice founded in hand weaving. Her research takes both theoretical and practical forms as she experiments with materials, processes, and loom technologies. MacKenzie was a resident is 2012 and joined the residency as staff in 2013. Starting in the kitchen MacKenzie helped at the beginning the residency’s first fibers and weaving studio in 2014. She has continued to work in that department in 2016 and 2017.

CATRON BOOKER is a video and performance artist originally from Chicago, Illinois and currently living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her work has screened at Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Seattle Local Sightings Film Fest, Artists' Television Access (SF) and Cologne International Videoart Festival. Performance works have been presented at Lexington Art League and in Obsidian: Literature & Arts of the African Diaspora. Booker was a resident in 2016, while there her performance was featured in the Boscobel Dial, a local newspaper.

A.E. PATERRA is a drummer, synthesist, and composer born, raised, and currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He co-founded the synth-prog duo Zombi in 2001, who have since released 6 full length albums while touring the world extensively. Paterra came to ACRE in 2011 as a visiting musician under his solo project Majeure. He returned to the residency to work in the ACRE kitchen in 2012. In 2013 Paterra moved to the recording studio working closely with residents to record music and experimental sound projects from 2013 to 2017.

ALLEN MOORE is a Black American visual and experimental sound artist born and raised in the small village of Robbins, Illinois, just south of Chicago. His work converses with the signifiers of African American culture and popular culture; bringing into view the underlying themes of racial, emotional and socio-economic conditions. Moore was a resident in 2015. He returned as staff in 2016 and 2017.

AAY PRESTON- MYINT is an artist, printmaker, and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. Their practice employs both visual and collaborative strategies to investigate memory and kinship, often within the specific context of queer community and history. Aay was staff in 2010 ACRE’s first year a resident in 2011 and returned as staff in 2015 in the screenprinting studio. They have served as a member of the ACRE Admissions and Equity Committees.

ALEXANDRA ANTOINE is an interdisciplinary artist from Orlando, Florida who now resides in Chicago, Illinois. Her work addresses the themes of identity and culture through the use of typography, line and portraiture. She uses the portrait as a tool to re/present individuals of the African diaspora while exploring her relationship to them within the larger narrative of her Haitian identity. Antoine was a resident in 2016.

KATE BOWEN is an artist, curator, and arts organizer in Chicago, Illinois. She runs an experimental screening series called Video Playlist at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and is the Exhibitions Director for ACRE. Kate was a resident is 2011 and began working for ACRE as a curatorial fellow in 2012. As a summer residency staff member she started in the kitchen, and now works in the AV Department from 2014-2017.

RAVEN FALQUEZ MUNSELL is a writer, curator, and arts administrator in Chicago, Illinois. She is cofounder of the late artist bumper sticker project and mobile gallery Trunk Show and currently co-directs Third Object, a roving curatorial collective. She started with ACRE as a curatorial fellow from 2013-2015 and has worked at the summer residency in 2015, 2016 and will work in 2017.

Heaven Gallery is a non-profit gallery and multi-disciplinary arts space in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood that encourages, mentors, and presents new and emerging artists, musicians, and filmmakers to audiences throughout Chicagoland and beyond. Heaven has been a sister organization to ACRE since its inception. They have generously hosted exhibitions and fundraisers with ACRE since 2010. 

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) is an artist-run non-profit based in Chicago devoted to employing various systems of support for emerging artists and to creating a generative community of cultural producers. ACRE investigates and institutes models designed to help artists develop, present, and discuss their practices by providing forums for idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.

Image credit: Still from SetOutputWorld, virtual environment, Kayla Anderson, 2016, Courtesy of the artist

Universal Love - 17th Annual Benefit & Art Auction

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 7:00pm to Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 12:00am

Universal Love
17th Annual Benefit & Art Auction
Saturday, May 6
7:00pm - 12:00am
$5 door

Heaven Gallery marks 17 years with a silent art auction and dance party, featuring works by some of Chicago's most talented visual artists. Universal Love is about celebrating our multi-cultural city. Our strength comes from our diversity and we become empowered by honoring our differences. Heaven is a place of Universal Love for all people, always.

Come be uplifted by the riddim and dance away the political darkness to reggae: a global music of healing that ignites unity and love. Sip on tropical libations while listening to Simmer Down Sound, one of Chicago's diverse reggae and dancehall nights from the Double Door. SDS selection is strictly vinyl with resident DJsThe Graduate, Rad Brian, Marcuslyah and King Tony.
Special performance by Cosmos Ray from Akasha!

Food & Beverages by
Big Star
Revolution Brewery
Lagunitas Brewery

Auction Artwork by
Ali Aschman
Ann Chen
Annette Hur
Annie Kielman
April Martin
Aram Han Sifuentes &
Verónica Casado Hernádez 
Aron Gent
Brendan Luchik
Chris Meerdo
Cole Pierce
Danielle Campbell
Delaney DeMott
Edra Soto
Hillary Weidermann
Howard Fonda
James Kao
Jason Lazarus
Jeffrey Michael Austin
Jessica Caponigro
Judith Brotman
Kayla Anderson
Leo Kaplan
Leslie Baum
Lindsey French
Liz McCarthy
Mel Cook
Mika Horibuchi
Morgan Sims
Rafael Vera
Rana Siegel
Raul de Lara
Robert Burnier
Ruffino Jimenez
Sarah Mosk
Soo Shin

Shelter, likewise / Bulk Discount

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Shelter, likewise
James Kao

Sounds fade and time disappears when looking dominates the senses. Landscape motifs give way to this kind of seeing and unfold the eccentric forms that humans have carved into our world. When a dialectic between nature and consciousness mirrors one between observation and representation, the observed world becomes an imagined world, and between unaffected trees and domestic gardens, there is a wild serpent, a flock of fowl, something animate. This new world portends all that is child-like, animal-like, and angelic.

Shelter, likewise presents recent paintings and drawings made while James Kao was in residence at the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists in Lehon, France.

James Kao is a Chicago-based artist, co-director of 4 th Ward Project Space, and Assistant Professor of Art at Aurora University, in Aurora, IL.

Bulk Discount
Evan Stoler

Evan Stoler highlights materials and objects overlooked in everyday life and decontextualizes the familiar– from discarded eggshells to a row of staples. All items featured can be purchased in bulk, and instead of breaking them down into normal usages such as a piece of tape or a sleeve of Smarties, he embraces the army. Capturing motion and bridging spaces are themes that Stoler explores with the different sets of building blocks. He also seeks to intertwine industrial consumption with motifs of the natural world.