Friday, January 5, 2024

MEMORY - Christopher Art Gallery of Prairie State College

Frances Cox, Memory of Watching Plants, 32x32 in, oil on canvas

A juried exhibition titled Memory, opened this week at the Christopher Art Gallery of Prairie State College. The exhibition, curated by Gallery Director Beth Shadur, includes a variety of work addressing the ideas of past experience and nostalgia. 

The school’s gallery guide points out, “Our ability as humans to make and remember memories is what makes experiences rich and defining in our lives. Actually, all living beings have memory, and this is evident by the mysterious ways in which birds migrate successfully, our pets learn our requests for obedience, and how activities for living beings become habitual. But for artists, the ability to process and then elicit memory is particularly profound.”

Frances Cox was raised in a Chicago neighborhood where her parents owned the local bakery. Some of her earliest memories were of drawings produced on an unlimited supply of brown wrapping paper acquired from the family business. She remembers family drives from the city, exploring the countryside and nature. As her work as an artist evolved, Cox redefined landscapes and nature-inspired still-lives.

The work of Frances Cox defines beautiful abundance. Cox orchestrates the repetition of form, pattern, and texture creating lavish compositions with her unique visual vocabulary and a seductive use of jeweled color tones. Each canvas persuades the viewer to renounce reality and immerse themselves into a new organic world. The distinctive contrasting color patterns create a lavishly orchestrated composition suggestive of an abstract cornucopia. 

Other artist included in the exhibition include Joan Ackerman-Zimny, Marcia Babler, Wayne Bertola, Pate Conaway, Helen Dannelly, Jeanne Garrett, Leslie Hirshfield, Pauline Kochanski, Alejandro Lugo, Mary Lynn Maloney, Janice Meister, Betty Ann Mocek, Karen Musgrave, Carol Neiger, Julie Rivera, Jihye Shin, Aaron Sims, and Colette Wright Adams.

The Memory exhibition continues through January 25 at the Christopher Art Gallery. A reception for the artists is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17, 11 am- 1:30 pm. The gallery is found on the main campus of Prairie State College, located at 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411. Learn more at

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