Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Preview Exhibition continues...

The Preview Exhibition for “The Art of Human Rights” at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art will be closing on February 11th. There are still a variety of wonderful pieces available for purchase with all proceeds benefiting Heartland Alliance.

Shown above [foreground] is a twelve-inch square, mixed media piece titled “They are Burning” by Caroline Anderson. Anderson’s painting is available for $650.

In the background—left to right—

Ted Preuss
“Forget-Me-Not #1”, 16 x 20” silver gelatin print, $650

Nancy Rosen
“No Thanks”, 22 x 30” mixed media, $2,400

Susan Berg
“Westward Bound” 11 x 20" black and white photograph, $250. - No detail available.

Works included in this exhibition range in price from $200-$3,200. Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is located at 180 N. Wabash—at the corner of Lake and Wabash—in Chicago’s Loop.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Art of Human Rights - Preview Reception

Last night’s reception for “The Art of Human Rights” Preview Exhibition at Gallery 180 was amazing. Prior to the start of the event, President, John Jenkins purchased “Impressions” by Indianapolis Painter, Lorraine Sack. The painting was the second of Sack’s to be acquired for the Permanent Collection of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. With an abundance of interest in her work, I have scheduled a solo exhibition of Sack’s still life paintings for the spring of 2011. Additional work by Lorraine Sack can be seen on her web site: I’m looking forward to working with her again.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Art of Human Rights Preview Exhibition...

It always seems to amaze me how quickly time rushes by. Seems like I just installed the Jankowski exhibition and now it’s over.

I spent most of today installing the Preview Exhibition for “The Art of Human Rights”. The Human Rights show is a benefit for Heartland Alliance. As you probably know, Heartland has a variety of medical programs and services helping people with HIV/AIDS. It’s a good organization. I’ve been working with the Junior Board for the past three years to give the community at large an opportunity to view and purchase just some of the pieces donated by Artists from around the country. Only a small fraction of the donated work gets selected for the Preview Exhibition at Gallery 180. This year, the list includes work by:
Caroline Anderson, Nanette Loeff Allen, Susan Berg, Audry Cramblit, Jim Dee, James Deeb, Liesel Fisher, Michael Jankowski, Darren Jones, Annie Onlin Law, Paula Kloczkowski Luberda, Catherrine Maize, Laura Matzen, Jackie Melissas, Rebecca Moy, Nancy Pirri, Ted Preuss, Amy Robinson, Nancy Rosen, Lorraine Sack, Melissa Sauder, and Jacalin Subrinsky.
There are many other wonderful works which couldn’t be included due to space limitations. As I reviewed the donations, I found myself repeatedly wanting to add just one more piece… but it's important to present a cohesive show. I believe that I did just that.

Generally, the Preview Exhibition projects a soothing, meditative theme which flows through the gallery. The image above shows Jacalin Subrinsky’s “Kismet” and Paula Kloczkowski Luberda’s “Walking Man”. “Kismet”—in short, fate or destiny—seems to present a positive journey with flowing soft blue and rich brown lines of mixed media. The peaceful winding strokes of intricate color, maneuvers the viewer around the canvas in an exploration of earth and sky. It is the perfect painting to accompany Kloczkowski Luberda’s “Walking Man”. The figure—created from found wood, and woven wire—seems to be a on a primitive journey of his own. The long-legged body projects confidence in his stride and the flowing lines of his extremities mimic the shapes within Subrinsky's work.

Probably the most controversial piece in the show comes from another Chicago-area Sculptor… Nancy Pirri. Pirri offers “Sometimes I Feel Like a Fallen Angel”, an abstract ceramic sculpture of a female torso presented with three feathers. A dagger-like barb has been thrust into the figure’s back [note the shadow] and holds a small thin ceramic fragment in place—like a piece of paper to a bulletin board. The fallen angel seems to have become a victim. The use of the feathers makes reference to native Indian symbolism of ascension and spiritual evolution to a higher plane. Is it a peaceful transition after a brutal end? In any case, the piece is quite amazing.

If you’re in Chicago, stop by Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago and check out the exhibition. Take your time... there are many wonderful pieces. All of the work is available for purchase and all proceeds with go directly to Heartland Alliance. Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is located at 180 N. Wabash—at the corner of Lake and Wabash—in Chicago’s loop.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jennifer Bisbing... "Lenswork"

Last week, I received an invitation to an upcoming exhibition at the Chicago Artists’ Coalition’s new, “Coalition Gallery”. The gallery is a new cooperative space, which represents twenty-one member artists who were juried into the gallery for a one-year period. The gallery opened a few months back but I haven’t had an opportunity to visit. Now I have a reason…

Curator, Susan Aurinko is presenting work by Jennifer Bisbing in a three-person exhibition titled “Lenswork”. I have exhibited this talented photographer in the past, so I look forward to experiencing her new work. Her imagery is intriguing because she sees her subjects as elements… line, shape, form… and presents them as wonderful graphic compositions playing with tension and balance. She leads us around the picture plane, exploring crisp edges made crisper by the presence of soft areas. The elements are brought together to imply a surreal environment—but yet—not so far removed from reality.

“Lenswork” combines the talents of photographers Jennifer Bisbing with Julian Gordon and Michael E. Smith. The show opens on January 22 with a reception from 5:30-8:30. The exhibition continues through February 20th. The Coalition Gallery is located at 2010 W. Pierce Street in Chicago just one block south of Damen, Milwaukee and North.

Friday, January 8, 2010

John Fraser at Roy Boyd Gallery

I attended Graduate School at Northern Illinois University in the late eighties. I was lucky enough to have been awarded a “Talented Student Scholarship” which paid for my advanced study of Fine Art… Painting to be specific. The school's assistantship program was amazing. All I had to do—in return—was to teach two Beginning Drawing courses each semester… that’s where my love of teaching began and that's were I first met John Fraser. We were fortunate enough to be included into a small group of budding Artists which were being groomed for survival in the world of fine art.

I have followed Fraser’s career over the past twenty years—on occasion—attended his receptions and even exhibited one of his pieces at Gallery 180. Well… John Fraser has a show opening this weekend at Chicago’s Roy Boyd Gallery. The work, defined by Paul Klein as “elegant, reserved, and reduced” is amazingly quiet even when presented in a large-scale format. Fraser’s mixed media collages—with influences of Mondrian—contain a variety of objects including segments of books and other found objects. The minimal intricacy of Fraser’s work has the wonderful effect of stimulating deep introspection.

If you’re in Chicago—or plan to be here within the next month—make the effort to drop by the Roy Boyd Gallery at 739 N. Wells. John Fraser’s show will be on display though March 2nd. Additional work by John Fraser can be seen at Take a look... the images are simply beautiful.

Image: John Fraser, "Grey/Pink Relief (With 45 Degree Rule)", Acrylic and Mixed Media Collage on Wood Construction, 27.375" x 27.375" x 1.375", 2008

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Andrea Harris at the Brushwood Gallery

Imagery perfect for Chicago, at this time of year. An exhibition of large-scale encaustic landscape paintings—created by Andrea Harris—will be opening this Sunday, January 10th from 1-3pm at Brushwood Gallery in Deerfield, Illinois. Harris continues her exploration of wooded terrain in the company of intimate organic sculptures by Vivian Visser. Both artists are exploring the concept of shelter and refuge in the natural world.

The Opening Reception is free to the public and the Brushwood Gallery - Ryerson Woods, is located at 21850 Riverwoods Road in Deerfield. The show—and the reception— should be wonderful, but if you're unable to attend, check out more of Harris' work at:

Image: Andrea Harris, "Winter Moment," Oil & Cold Wax on Canvas, 38" x 38"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Save the Date... Friday, January 22

The Art of Human Rights ~ Preview Exhibition
Benefiting Heartland Alliance
Reception: Friday, January 22, 5:30-7:30

Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago will host this year's Preview Exhibition for "The Art of Human Rights" to benefit Heartland Alliance. The Exhibition will open at Gallery 180 with a reception on January 22nd. The event is free and exhibited work will be available for purchase. All proceeds from this event will help Heartland Alliance's HIV/AIDS programs and services.

The Preview Exhibition will include just some of the pieces that have been donated by generous Artists from around the country. The entire collection of donated works will be accessible at Heartland's February 19th benefit, which will be held at the River East Art Center. Additional information on that event can be found at:

Please join us from 5:30-7:30 on Friday January 22 for the Preview Exhibition at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. Gallery 180 is located at 180 N. Wabash—at the corner of Lake and Wabash—in Chicago's Loop. "The Art of Human Rights" Preview Exhibition will continue at Gallery 180 through February 11th.

Above: Nancy Rosen, "No Thanks" mixed media, 2008