Thursday, February 26, 2009

Art Against AIDS... one last time

It was announced, that tonight's "Art Against AIDS" benefit would be the last. As it is commonly known, Mother Teresa chose not to protest but to support a rally for a cause... so in 2010, The Heartland Alliance Benefit will take on the name "The Art of Human Rights". The new name seems to fit appropriately with the sentiment of Mother Teresa... Instead of being "against" AIDS, focus on the support of Human Rights. What a wonderful concept.

The University of California, San Francisco web site points out that: "The 1980s were extremely important in defining some of the connections between HIV/AIDS and human rights. By the end of the decade, the call for human rights and for compassion and solidarity of people living with HIV/AIDS had been explicitly embodied in the first WHO [World Health Organization] global response to AIDS. This approach was motivated by moral outrage but also by the recognition that protection of human rights was a necessary element of a worldwide public-health response to the emerging epidemic."

I hope you will join me in supporting the Heartland Alliance 2010 benefit... "The Art of Human Rights".

Monday, February 23, 2009

Art Against AIDS... Maggie Meiners

I met Maggie Meiners at an Artist's reception some five or six years ago. Since then, I have become one of Maggie's biggest fans. Not only is she an amazing women but she is also an amazingly talented Artist. I have included her work in a juried exhibition or two... produced a two-person collaborative show with the very talented, Jennifer Bisbing, and produced a recent solo exhibition at Gallery 180 titled "Childhood Contemplations". Her work is intriguing.

The above image is a piece titled "Three Bands", from Meiners' "Extractions" series. It will be available on Live Auction at The Art Against AIDS benefit, this Thursday at the River East Art Center. This piece comes from a powerful series of black and white abstractions, which can be seen on Meiner's web site: While there, take a look at the "Childhood Contemplation" series... They're pretty wonderful too.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

...Simple Complexity

A little background on the above image... In 2005, I created an exhibition titled, Complex Simplicity/Simple Complexity, for Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. Julie Karabenick's work was included in that group exhibition. I was intrigued by the images and the pristine quality in which they were produced.

In a earlier post, I mentioned receiving an email from Karabenick, suggesting that I see the William Conger Exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. She had mentioned that she had done an interview with Conger and that it was posted on I finally had the opportunity to read the interview and it's quite wonderful. If you have a moment, read Karabenick's interview prior to seeing the Conger Exhibition. The interview gives some wonderful insights into the history—and the mind—of the Artist.

Additional work by Julie Karabenick—and others working is similar styles—can also be seen on the Geoform site. Karabenick really creates beautiful imagery. It's worth taking a look.

Art Against AIDS... Rebecca Moy

The first time I had the opportunity to experience a painting by Rebecca Moy, was while selecting work for the Art Against AIDS Preview Exhibition at Gallery 180. Moy's obsessively complex and pristine composition is quite beautiful. The irregular patterns seem to be inspired by Gustav Klimpt, while missing or avoiding an obvious narrative. A rather young artist, her portfolio seems rather comprehensive. I look forward to watching her career. Moy's piece titled "Spring" [shown above] will be available at the Art Against AIDS benefit on Thursday, February 26th at The River East Art Center. Additional work by Rebecca Moy can be seen on her web sit at

Saturday, February 21, 2009

William Conger at the Chicago Cultural Center

I received an email from Artist, Julie Karabenick, reminding me to see the William Conger exhibition at the Cultural Center. The show is a fifty year retrospective and runs concurrently with an exhibition of current work, being presented at the Roy Boyd Gallery on Wells Street.

I spent some time—this morning—exploring the Conger exhibition at the Cultural Center. It's a wonderful exhibition but seems to require a larger space. I shared the gallery with only four or five other art lovers and yet the space seemed a little too cramped. The intensity of the paintings—my favorites filled with shards of rich color—were all competing for my attention. When you visit the show, take some time to sit and focus on each individual painting... They are beautiful.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Art Against AIDS... Ted Preuss

I was first introduced to the work of Ted Preuss when I juried an exhibition titled "Human" for The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. The group exhibition was presented in Gallery 350 during 2005. Preuss presented an image of a beautiful woman running her fingers through her long blond hair. The figure was photographed as a sculptural still life—nude—placed on a fabric-covered table—relaxed—in a moment seemingly meant for herself. The photograph, titled "Refine", defined a sense of peace while clearly being an exploration the way in which light falls of the human form. The work sold at the opening reception. Preuss was awarded a solo show, which was be presented in November of 2007.

Ted Preuss has generously donated a piece of his work to the Art Against AIDS benefit event. The piece titled "Desert Oasis I" [shown above], will be available at the main event on Thursday, February 26th at The River East Art Center. Additional work by Preuss can be seen at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Art Against AIDS

Last week, the Art Against AIDS Preview Exhibition was removed from Gallery 180. The next chance to see and purchase the work is at the main event, which will be in one week... Thursday, February 26 at The River East Art Center. The exhibition and auction will include some seventy-five works of art donated by Artists from across the country. Included in the exhibition is a signed hand-pulled lithographic print by the late Ed Paschke as well as a "who's who" of Chicago Artists.

Some of my favorite works include: Carolyn Mullany's expressionistic "Stipe"; Brian Graves' exploration of the written word in "Material World"; Elvira Dimitrij's hard-edged abstraction titled "Yellow Screen" and Jason Messinger "Amber Magic" a wall-hung ceramic piece which also explores letter forms. You can see some of the pieces which will be available at the main event on Additional information for the event can be found at the Heartland Alliance web site. Tickets for the event are $125 in advance and $150 at the door.

Art Against AIDS
Thursday, February 26
6pm at The River East Art Center
435 East Illinois Street, Chicago Illinois 60611

Monday, February 16, 2009


I spent the morning hanging the Robert Bornhuetter exhibition on the freshly painted walls of Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. This series of hand-pulled lithographic prints are wonderfully intriguing in their complexity. Bornhuetter’s multifaceted imagery has been influenced by time spent working as a visiting artist at the Ymagos printmaking studio in São Paulo. The colorful, lushly ornate tropical environment of Brazil is clearly apparent in the cleverly twisted imagery found in this series of lithographs.

The exhibition runs through April 17th with a reception on Friday March 27th from 5:30-7:30pm. Gallery 180 is located at 180 N. Wabash, at the corner of Lake and Wabash in Chicago’s Loop. The show is free to the public and the exhibited work is available for purchase.

The Robert Bornhuetter exhibition is presented in conjunction with The Southern Graphics Council Conference, March 25-28.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Amazing Lace

I ran into Yvette Keiser-Smith at a reception at the Fine Arts Building this weekend. It was great to see her and catch up on the new work she’s been producing. You may remember an exhibition she had at Gallery 180 in 2005. The work was—and continues to be—created by crocheting fiberglass and then forming the fabric prior to solidifying it with a polyester resin. The structures she created for Gallery 180 were beautiful. The structures that she is currently creating are even more amazing then before. The newest of the lacey structures are based on Yvette’s fascination with numbers. “Identity Sequence e Black” is shown above. Visit her web site at to see additional work. Or if you are near DeKalb, take the time to stop by the Northern Illinois University Art Museum to experience Yvette’s work in the group exhibition “Crossing Threads, Crossing Boundries.” The show runs through March 6th.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Koscianski at Carl Hammer Gallery

I did a little gallery hopping this weekend. While waiting for Gino to finish with one of his clients, I spent some time doing a quick overview of some of the shows going on in the River North gallery district. I received a card earlier in the week, announcing an exhibition of new paintings by Leonard Koscianski. I remembered the images of angry white wolves he had painted in the eighties, when he was with the Phyllis Kind Gallery. Well... Koscianski is still painting some angry dogs and I still find them intriguing. Take the time to see the show. Koscianski has expanded his subject matter to include bats and butterflies. There is a great quote by a critic—on the Hammer Gallery's web site—which define the work as alluding to "the dark emotional turmoil of life in suburban America." The work is truly unexpected and worth a visit. Carl Hammer Gallery is located at 740 N. Wells, in Chicago.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I met an interesting artist at a reception a few weeks back. After discussing the work—which was on the walls—we began to talk a little about our own work. At the end of the conversation, I asked if she had a web site where I could find some of her images. She pulled a business card from her bag, wished me well, and moved on to the next conversation.

When I got home that night, I went through the cards, which were passed on to me. The discussion of the Artist’s work was still in the back of my mind. I found her card, logged on, and spent the next 20 minutes sifting through images of her work, reading her statement and reviewing her resume. I was intrigued. I composed a quick e-mail to request a studio visit. I wanted to see the work in person.

I was invited to visit the Artist’s studio a few days later. We sat and talked, discussing the history and the concept of her work. She was charming. We eventually wandered around the space to look at the recently-hung work. She described the technique for creating these multi-faceted jewels. She explained that the work is created from painted X-Rays and MRI scans which are torn into interesting shapes and reconfigured, then stapled into place. I noticed that the shards of painted film tend not to lay flat. This slight buckle creates the dimensional aspect of the work. Light plays on the surfaces allowing the viewer to get lost in the image. The image becomes a meditative experience.

At the conclusion of our visit, I offered the Artist a solo exhibition at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago during the 2010 season. She agreed. The Artist is Deanna Krueger. You can find her work at …enjoy.

Presentation Does Matter

I have reviewed literally hundreds of exhibition proposals throughout my career. Compiling the requested materials—in an organized fashion—is half the battle in acquiring a slot on the gallery’s exhibition schedule. Presentation is important. Content is everything.

Typically a proposal consists of 12-20 images of the work to be shown, An Exhibition Statement, Artist Bio, and Exhibition Resume. I suggest that these elements be created as a series of collateral pieces. They will reflect the “personality” of you or the exhibition. Think of it as branding a product for market. For example, everything related to apple …ipod, iphone, powerbook… they all have a similar look and packaging. There is a reason for this. It’s to etch the brand identity into the mind of the consumer. When you send a proposal to a Curator, you want them to remember your presentation. The way in which the work is presented will help to etch it into the Curator’s mind. When submitting work for solo exhibitions, remember the importance of presentation.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Call For Artists...

I am constantly interested in finding venues to exhibit my work. Over the years, I've found a variety of good online resources that publish exhibition opportunities for various galleries, universities, and museums. I have listed some of the sites that I frequent. I hope you find them helpful.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Art Against AIDS Preview Exhibition & the main event...

You only have a few more days to visit Gallery 180 to see the Art Against AIDS Preview Exhibition. The exhibition closes on the morning of Friday, February 13. The show is free to the public and the exhibited work is available for purchase. All proceeds from the sale of artwork will go directly to support Heartland Alliance's extensive network of supportive HIV/AIDS services. 

If you miss the show, you will still have an opportunity to see the variety of work donated by Artists from around the country. The main event, Art Against AIDS, will take place beginning at 6pm on Thursday evening February 26 at the River East Art Center. Tickets for the event are $125 in advance and $150 at the door. Additional information can be found at:

The images shown above are by Maggie Meiners, Mary Chiaramonte, and Jennifer Jackson.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What's to Come...

I plan to use this blog to share general information as well as personal insights regarding my experience in the Chicago Art World. I'm also going to use this venue to shamelessly promote the various exhibitions at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago.

That said, please be aware that there is a call for submissions for a National Juried Exhibition titled, "From Nature". This exhibition is an exploration of all things found in nature... landscape, the figure, still life and abstraction are all valid entries. The exhibition is a benefit for The Ragdale Foundation, which has generously provided a two-week artist residency as one of the show awards. The entry deadline is March 14. Download the full prospectus at