Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Art Center-Highland Park ~ From Nature

Save the Date: Friday, May 22 from 6:30-9pm

Jody Berns, “In the Heat of the Night”, Digital Photograph, 12” x 12” 

This past weekend, I selected work for inclusion into the "From Nature" exhibition, to be presented at The Art Center-Highland Park this spring. With beautifully composed imagery created by conceptually driven fine artists, “From Nature” offers a fresh look at the world around us. The exhibition presents an exciting and alternative view of elements found within nature.

Highland Park resident, Jody Berns will be included in the exhibition with a twelve-inch square black and white digital photograph titled “In the Heat of the Night”. The image presents a confined thorny botanical composition utilizing strong chiaroscuro to silhouette the sharp yet inviting forms. The title alludes to the passions of the forbidden—like Joseph Cornell’s boxes—presenting the uncomfortable dichotomy of pleasure and pain.

James Tansley, “Hot Aspect”, Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 24”

“Hot Aspect”, a vibrant abstract acrylic painting created by Chicago Artist, James Tansley, will  also included in the “From Nature” exhibition. With complex botanical references, the intimate canvas combines gestural organic forms with a refreshingly spring color palette.

Other—more literal—interpretations of the nature theme will be seen throughout the exhibition including; a large format photograph by Ilza Arajs [Evanston, IL] of an ostrich fern unfurling, a simplistically beautiful photographic composition of an eggshell by Vera Todd [Evanston, IL], and a tightly-painted composition of seashells, situated on a highly polished surface, by Chicago Artist, Helen Oh. I'll be talking more about these artists in future posts.

“From Nature” will be presented at The Art Center-Highland Park from May 7 through July 10, with a public reception scheduled for Friday, May 22, from 6:30 to 9pm. The Art Center-Highland Park is located at 1957 Sheridan Road in Highland Park, Illinois. Gallery Hours are Monday through Saturday from 9am–4:30pm and Sunday, by appointment. All work in the exhibition is available for purchase. The exhibition continues through July 10.

The Art Center-Highland Park is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of contemporary fine art through exhibitions by both established and emerging artists. We foster creativity through the experience and discussion of fine art and offer extensive educational opportunities through a broad range of classes, panel discussions, workshops and lectures. A nonprofit organization, The Art Center-Highland Park connects artists with the community at large—supporting creativity at every level.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Art Shay at The Art Center-Highland Park

Muddy Waters and his wife Geneva in Chicago, 1951 Art Shay image

The Art Center-Highland Park will host a reception tonight celebrating the work of world class street photographer, Art Shay. The exhibition chronicles segments of Shay's life... from moments with his family and beloved wife; Florence, through his time in the military, and his work as a Chicago-based freelance photographer—which landed him thousands of assignments for Life, Time and Sports Illustrated.

Many of the images offer a nostalgic view of the 50's and 60's including beautiful celebrity portraits of Brando, Liz Taylor and a variety of music greats including Muddy Waters. But the images that stand out are those that seem timeless: Children playing on the back porches of a  ghetto, silhouettes of military men waiting at a train station, and the weathered faces of working class middle America. The exhibition is filled with emotion... a bit of humor and moments of interspersion.

The reception is tonight from 6:30 to 9pm. The exhibition continues through April 4th. All of the prints are available for purchase. The Art Center – Highland Park is located at 1957 Sheridan Road in Highland Park, IL 60035

For over 70 years, Art Shay has documented his life, combining his gifts of storytelling, humor and empathy. Born in 1922, he grew up in the Bronx and then served as a navigator in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II, during which he flew 30 bomber missions and 22 aid missions. From 1947-1949, while on staff as a writer for Life magazine, Shay wrote hundreds of bylines while helping out some of the greatest of Life's photographers. In 1949, Shay became a Chicago-based freelance photographer, landing thousands of assignments for Life, Time, Sports Illustrated and other national publications. Shay photographed nine US Presidents along with many major literary, business, entertainment, science and political figures of the 20th century. A world class street photographer, Shay wondered countless miles throughout the 1950s exploring the city with author Nelson Algren, the winner of the first National Book Award. Shay wrote weekly columns for various newspapers, several plays, children's books, sports instruction books and several photo essay books including "My Florence" which was released February 2015. Art Shay's photography is included in the permanent collections of museums including the National Portrait Gallery and The Art Institute of Chicago.