Press Release: Modified Trajectory, Group Show

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A Group Exhibition of New Work by The Art House Artists

A Group Exhibition of New Work by The Art House Artists

Join us for a curated exhibit of recent works by artists:

Stasi Bobo-Ligon (Artist in Residence)    

Micheal Coon

Christine Connor (Artist in Residence)     

Jan Fayhee (Artist in Residence)

Leah Hattendorf

Ken Hogrefe (Artist in Residence)

Julie Tierney (Artist in Residence)

Curated by Rebecca George, Director of The Art House

Hosted by Arts on Elston Gallery, 3446 N Elston Ave in Chicago

 

Opening Reception:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

6:00-9:00 PM

ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Refreshments served. Open to the public.     

Posted on August 21, 2017 .

Review: Intuitive Ink, Solo Show-Jan Fayhee


By Calley Nelson
May 17, 2017

Artist Jan Fayhee unveiled her latest solo exhibit last weekend. Fayhee’s show, represented by The Art House Gallery, will be on display at 3446 N Albany Ave in Chicago until May 20th. The 35-piece collection includes new ink and acrylic paintings on rag paper, cradled panel and canvas, along with older graphite works.

I attended the opening reception and viewed Jan Fayhee’s work extensively: many of her pieces evoke natural landscapes, the ink bleeding like lowering sunsets, crisp rains and full clouds. You can see the innate playfulness in many of her works-- tape marks and ink spots among contrasting color pigments spreading across the canvas.

Front gallery view, Intutive Ink

Front gallery view, Intutive Ink

 

It's hard to believe that Fayhee became an artist later in life, after taking graphite drawing classes at the Botanical Gardens. When her classes came to a close, her family urged her to continue experimenting with her artistic inclinations by gifting her a set of acrylic paints. With acrylics, she built works with texture and color in ways that she couldn't with graphite. Inspired, she started attending classes at The Art Institute for more instruction, where she met Rebecca George, her mentor and founding director at The Art House.

While painting for an evening class, Fayhee ran out of her acrylics and decided to try using ink instead.

"Those pigments were just so happy on the surface," Fayhee says when recounting her first rendezvous with ink. “It moves differently each time you put it on canvas, so I had to learn to let my intuition guide me."

Today, acrylic ink is her preferred medium.

Painter Jan Fayhee at her solo exhibit: Intutive Ink

Painter Jan Fayhee at her solo exhibit: Intutive Ink

With her years of professional interior and exterior design experience, Fayhee created her ideal workspace-- a well-lit private studio, where she keeps the windows cracked and classical music playing as she paints. 

Fayhee's first exhibit at the Art House in 2014. "Intuitive Ink" is her second one woman show, and she continues to be represented by The Art House Gallery at its physical location as well as on Artsy.net..

Intuitive Ink
New paintings by Chicago artist Jan Fayhee, represented by The Art House Gallery. 
Curated by Rebecca George.
3446 N Elston, Chicago
May 15-19, 2017, Viewing by Appointment
Closing Reception: Saturday, May 20, 2017; 1:00-5:00 PM
 

Calley Nelson is a freelance journalist working out of Chicago. Previous articles can be seen here: Chicago Magazine

Posted on May 18, 2017 .

Review: Abstract Workhorses Group Show

Review: Abstract Workhorses

April 29, 2017

By: Amy Haddad

“Energy and motion made visible—memories arrested in space,” Jackson Pollock expressively wrote. On April 29 similar themes emanated from the exhibition, “Abstract Workhorses,” at Arts on Elston Gallery in Chicago. Visitors were immersed by Ken Hogrefe’s mural-sized painting, “On Arriving,” which contained rapid brushstrokes of paint; relished the dance of color in Christine Connor’s “Untitled;” slowed to contemplate Rebecca George’s “Atmung;” and grazed on the refreshments placed upon pieces of furniture made by Arthur Connor. The show underscored that art is not just about what you see, but what you feel.

“Abstract Workhorses,” comprised of abstract painting and furniture, featured four artists with decades of art practicing experience among them. Rebecca, who in 2012 founded The Art House, a professional studio school, has been painting for more than 30 years. Ken, a consultant and industry expert for DuPont, is a lifelong artist and Artist in Residence at The Art House. Christine has exhibited work in several group shows in Chicago and is also an Artist in Residence at the Art House; she has more than 25 years experience as a practicing artist. And Arthur began his art practice as a painter; now he makes furniture—an art medium in itself. Their experience gave credibility to the works displayed.

Ken Hogrefe, “On Arriving.”

Ken Hogrefe, “On Arriving.”

Start with the front gallery, where Ken’s “On Arriving” commanded visitors’ attention by size alone: it spanned an entire gallery wall. Energy emanated from swift brushstrokes of yellows, blues, and reds, with large white swathes atop; it was also visible in the canvas itself. Instead of laying flat against the wall, small folds throughout the canvas mimicked a gentle wave-like motion.

Rebecca George, “Clandestine.”

Rebecca George, “Clandestine.”

Adding to the conversation were several paintings by Rebecca and Christine that hung on the opposite half of the gallery. These pieces were smaller, but the effect was just as powerful. Some paintings, including Rebecca’s “In Congress with Myself,” confined the vitality of abstraction with a frame. Most notably, though, was her painting “Clandestine.” Its mostly darker color palette, exposed medium, and modest size proved to be the perfect complement to Ken’s painting. Together, they created a welcomed visual tension.

Curated section of Christine Connor and Rebecca George's work.

Curated section of Christine Connor and Rebecca George's work.

Progressing through the exhibition, the side gallery contained several abstract works that required deep thought. Here, visitors found canvases with thicker and darker strokes of colors. An aptly placed couch was an invitation to sit and think about this work.

Visitors were richly rewarded in the hallway, as they traveled between galleries. Here, two contributions from Christine stopped people in their tracks. “Untitled” was visually arresting: a framed painting contained staccato movements of pink, yellow, and black colors with a hint of glimmer. “Burgeon” was similarly composed. A soothing dialogue resulted between them.

 

The back gallery offered an amalgamation of abstract paintings by Ken, Christine, and Rebecca. Moreover, sprinkled throughout the show were pieces of Arthur’s furniture, including a bench and chest. Several pieces were intentionally abstract, Arthur said, and influenced by artists from the 1930s, such as Ben Nicholson and Louise Nevelson.

Exhibition shot with Arthur Connor’s pieces.

Exhibition shot with Arthur Connor’s pieces.

Arthur’s furniture served a crucial role by making abstract art relatable. Traditionally, people struggle with abstraction. It can be challenging to make sense of lines, drops, drips, or strokes of color on canvas. That said, mixing his furniture with abstract paintings created a home-like feel: visitors could picture living with abstract art.

The show’s abstract theme was helped by a plurality of voices. Individually, each artist conveyed their notion of abstraction differently, be it through color, medium, or scale, and thus gave visitors a breadth of interpretations of nonrepresentational artwork to consider. Collectively, however, they conveyed the power of abstraction: engaging the viewer to have their own personal experience.

The event was punctuated by two very talented guests who contributed their own art form to relate to the show: Amy Hogrefe of Maggie's Daughter catered the exhibition with inventive and delicious abstract artist-themed appetizers and desserts, while cellist Teddy Rankin-Parker graced attendees with a powerful and emotional performance. Clearly the hard work of all paid off as the show turned out over 100 guests during its five hour reception. 

Teddy Rankin-Parker playing cello for a packed gallery during the Abstract Workshorses show.

Teddy Rankin-Parker playing cello for a packed gallery during the Abstract Workshorses show.

Amy Haddad is a writer at BigTime Software. She is also a freelance writer and blogger. Read her blog, Art Diversions, at artdiversions.com. And follow her on Twitter at @amymhaddad.

Press Release: The Art Awarded for Excellence

The Art House Awarded for Excellence

The Art House Awarded for Excellence

For immediate release: January 13, 2017

 

The Art House selected for 2016 Chicago Small Business Excellence Award Chicago,IL - January 13, 2017 — The Art House has been selected for the 2016 Chicago Small Business Excellence Award in the Art Schools classification by the

A special thank you to all the artists who have studied at The Art House. It is a privilege to work with you. Rebecca George, Founder/Director

Review: No Rest Group Show

Review: No Rest
By: Amy Haddad

December 17, 2016

The six artists that made up the show “No Rest,” which debuted on December 17 at Arts on Elston, had different aims. Ken Hogrefe* was interested in “non-traditional painting formats.”
Mary Dorrell* focused on abstraction in order to have a better understanding of color. Others mixed their own paints or tried new materials. However, one theme governed this show: experimentation. Each room of this three-room show tackled this theme differently.

The front room created a dialog between the familiar and unfamiliar. It was refreshing to see the influence of eminent twentieth-century artists applied in new ways.The rapid brushstrokes and dribbles of paint in Merrill Ehrenberg’s “Woman on a Chair” called to mind Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings. According to Christine Connor,* Jasper Johns inspired her two graphite and pastel pieces, both titled “Flora Study.” Other pieces recalled Franz Kline and Robert Rauschenberg.

 

The show’s theme continued in a neighboring room. Here, direct influences from established art luminaries were less obvious. Rather, the exhibiting artists turned inward on their own practices and challenged themselves by restricting their color palette, for example, or mixing their own colors. The results were laudable. 

 

Visitors gravitated toward Connor’s abstract painting, “Elevation,” and it was easy to see why. The viscosity of paint—created from a limited color palette of predominantly blues, grays and creams—and exposed linen resulted in a textured surface that was visually captivating. Elizabeth Wojcik’s nearby “Memoria De Cumpleaños,” another abstract piece, was a worthy juxtaposition. Teal and blue-green colors bled into the canvas, and created a softer, yet effective, response to Connor’s piece. These works were joined by Michael Lewis Bennett’s flower drawings, which were a welcomed visual variance in a room of abstraction. 

In the last room, and in the open space leading up to it, visitors saw paintings and drawings from all six artists. The experimental theme radiated, as the artists engaged with specific aspects of their art practices. Dorrell mixed figuration and abstraction in four paintings of her family; Wojcik deviated from rapid brushstrokes and incorporated clean, smooth lines in her painting, “Opening;” Bennett’s drawings incorporated a variety of subjects, such as a toy robot, figure studies and more flowers, and relied more heavily on shading.

The quality of work in “No Rest” was commendable. People enjoyed seeing Hogrefe challenge established painting practices: “violatingthe typical rectangular ‘picture window’ format that is commonly found in oil and acrylic painting,”described the artist.It was a point made clear by his collage, “Requiem and Elegy,” which consisted of large, geometric shapes adhered to a gallery wall—freed from the confines of a rectangular canvas.Others delighted in Ehrenberg’s large-scale abstract works. Above all, this show, curated by Rebecca George (Founder and Director of The Art House), was inspiring. The exhibiting artists moved beyond their comfort zones and experimented with specific elements of their art practice. Entering the unfamiliar is unnerving at times, but the results are usually well worth it—as this show attests.

*This artist is an Artist in Residence at The Art House.


Amy Haddad writes for Veritas Health. She is also a freelance art writer and blogger. You can read her blog, Art Diversions, at artdiversions.com and follow her on Twitter at @amymhaddad.

Posted on December 23, 2016 .

Review: In Partnership with S.H.E. Gallery

SOULAR SYSTEM, A Review

December 9, 2016

By: Jorie Senese


In a pleasant encounter with a new and developing organization, an enlightening and refreshing mission emerges. The mission and intent of S.H.E. Gallery is palpable and felt from the moment guests arrive at its most recent project. In this juried group show, Director Dulce Maria Diaz has curated a sense of communal inclusivity in the exhibition titled “Soular System” and its unity is immediately apparent. 


Walking through the door of Gallery 35, who so graciously provided the venue for this exhibition featuring artists represented by S.H.E. Gallery, a nonprofit founded and directed by Dulce Maria Diaz, visitors are greeted by small paintings of interpretations of the Chicago skyline and images of the CTA floating in space. One can safely assume that the artist of these works is a Chicago native, as the solidarity in hometown pride is clear. It is as if the city is within the artist's very being, yet the haunting composition leaves the viewer with a sense of loneliness. These details were the first clue to the aforementioned united atmosphere. Passing through the narrow hallway and into the main space, it is delightful to find artists from as far as California, New York, Canada and even Austria and Bolivia. Still the bonds of the exhibition are felt.  Chicago guides the visitor in but taking a further look and learning more about where these artists come from and why they create the work they do is enriching. The walls are scattered with cosmic scenes and figures floating in space; personal stories inhabit the canvases and surreal, contorting sculptures sit strongly on pedestals. The different cultural significances and pride are inspiring. What adds even more distinction, is Diaz seeks out artists who perhaps have never exhibited before and shows them right alongside established career artists; and with such fluidity that it is not evident who is a new comer and who is seasoned. She is truly taking leaps in driving forward who and what she believes is important and what will have a quality, lasting effect.


Arguably one of the more memorable moments could be work by established Chicago based artist Eduardo “EA” Alvarado. His interactive work encourages the viewer to take a crayon and draw directly onto the canvas using their non-dominant hand. Inspired by his daughter when she was young, Alvarado enjoyed the “honest, raw, and pure” childlike way she would experiment with materials. In this way she got to participate and feel included, and in turn has inspired Alvarado throughout his career. The inclusivity also speaks to the curation of the exhibition in a truly beautiful manner. Juxtaposed to an artist like Eduardo Alvarado is a first time exhibitor, Sandra, from California. Her eye for composition and imagination for adding creative photo shopped edits to her shots were a strong highlight to the entire exhibition. The sophistication in the content of what she captures translates beyond a young fresh artists view and into the depths and significance of what Diaz is aiming for.


S.H.E. gallery is taking active strides to push objectives like equality and opportunity to the forefront of their mission. Director Dulce Maria Diaz is using her platform to focus attention on the content of work and ensuring that the voice of the artist is not lost in the ever-spinning carousel that is the contemporary art world. Art can speak to everything throughout all cultures and Diaz is making sure that everyone who has something to say gets heard. She has taken on the task to operate as the voice and legs for artists who might not otherwise find opportunities to exhibit their work, and therein lays the importance of what she is doing. 
S.H.E. Gallery partnered with The Art House Studio and Gallery for this exhibition, including artwork from their Artist's in Residence Program and the work of the Founder/Director, Rebecca George, among others. More information about The Art House can be found at thearthouse.us. For more information on S.H.E. Gallery, visit their website at sharinghisenergygallery.net.


Jorie Senese received her B.A. in Art History from Northern Illinois University in 2013. After graduating she began working at an arts organization in the suburbs of Chicago called Water Street Studios. It was there where she initiated the WSS art blog where she was the sole contributor. She currently works at Linda Warren Projects in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood where she acts as Exhibitions Administrator and Registrar. Jorie now writes on a freelance basis. 

 

Posted on December 18, 2016 .

Interview with Art House Artist: Olena Marshall

Les Femmes Folles

WOMEN IN ART

Originally published on May 20, 2016

OLENA MARSHALL, ARTIST

Olena Marshall shares with LFF about her One Rabbit project, and ANEW, her collaboration with artist Itala Langmar on examining the legacies of women who made significant contributions as artists and style icons, and much more…

Where are you from? How did you get into creative work and what is your impetus for creating?

I live in Evanston, just outside Chicago with my two children who are twelve and fourteen. It was the end of my fifteen-year marriage that led me to making art. A few months into my divorce in May of 2010, I was looking for “a place to be” on the nights that my children spent with their father. An abstract painting course at the Evanston Art Center offered a refuge and an expression to the dormant need to be around art and artists.

Olena Marshall: One Rabbit (24x50), oil on canvas

Olena Marshall: One Rabbit (24x50), oil on canvas

Tell me about your current/upcoming show/exhibit/book/project and why it’s important to you. What do you hope people get out of your work?

Last summer I met artist Rebecca George who taught my painting class at the School of the Art Institute of ChicagoHer paintings and drawings depicting animals were intimate and expressive but devoid of kitsch and sentimentality, and pointed me to an entirely new way of seeing animals through fine art. I continued studying oil painting with Rebecca at the Art House, a school for emerging artists that she founded, and undertook a series of large-scale paintings of my daughter’s rabbit, Bean. The idea behind my One Rabbit project is to amplify the image of a small animal so a viewer is compelled to still and see the animal’s emotional states and agency, beyond the surface cuteness. Read more...

Posted on July 27, 2016 .

Review: Deliberate Impulse, Group Exhibition

Review: Deliberate Impulse for The Art House, at Arts on Elston Gallery
By: Amy Haddad

July 15, 2016

Expect the unexpected. This is a truism in life and art—underscored by five artists making up the show, “Deliberate Impulse.” On July 15, visitors delighted in an exhibition that cohesively brought together different artistic styles, culminating in a visual dance between abstraction and representation. 

The front gallery, which featured all five artists, packed the biggest punch. Upon entering, visitors were immediately drawn to Lisa Sulkin’s four-part piece, “My Four Weddings.” This is partly because of the unusual diamond hang. But,the distinct narrative scenes—one canvas for each of the artist’s four weddings—kept visitors lingering.

 Lisa Sulkin, “My Four Weddings.”           

 

Ken Hogrefe, “Cohesion” 

Ken Hogrefe’s “Cohesion” was a welcomed visual response to Sulkin’s work. It consists of four abstract panels, also arranged in a diamond shape. The juxtaposition was laudable. “Cohesion” encourages careful study of the hypnotic, gestural lines filling each panel. Together, the two diamond-shaped pieces, placed diagonally across from each other, created a dynamic, magnetic pull.

Christine Connor, “Red and Gray.”

The interplay between representation and abstraction was repeated throughout the space, albeit in different ways. Mary Dorrell and Christine Connor, an Artist in Residence at The Art House,both used distinct techniques suggesting stasis and movement. Dorrell captures the same inert empty city scene with two different color palettes: a warm one in “Acoma, A City in the Clouds,” and cool one in “Near the Stars.” At the same time, the colors imply temporality, as day turns to night. In contrast, take Connor’s abstract piece, “Red and Grey,” across the gallery. A deep red color stains a sizable portion of the canvas implying permanence; blue and red staccato dots indicate movement.

Another joy of the show was studying five different artistic styles. Alena Ahrens’s painting, “Untitled,” reflects her dance background. The movement of paint is soothing with a dramatic jolt of a yellow curved line. “Untitled” gives credence to the artist’s claim that her artwork is an “artifact of performance.” The show continued into a small side gallery, where visitors relished in abstract works by Connor and Ahrens; representational pieces by Dorrell and Sulkin filled the hallway connecting the two galleries. 

A common theme links the artists together. “[They] are all exploring the balance between invention and discovery in the painting process,” explained Rebecca George, the exhibition’s curator and Founder andDirector of The Art House. Instead of planning a painting out, Dorrell added, the artists responded to impulses as their painting developed. Each artist did this differently. Hogrefe, also an Artist in Residence at The Art House (“Deliberate Impulse” was the first exhibition of his residency), explained his process. In “Cohesion,” he deliberately chose thetools, colors and technique, but the brushstrokes themselves depended on impulse: “feeling and intuition.” The result was a show that radiated with energy, with a tacit reminder that letting go of preconceived ideas and relying on impulses can have unexpected, but worthy outcomes.


Amy Haddad writes for Veritas Health. She is also a freelance art writer and blogger. You can read her blog, Art Diversions, at artdiversions.com and follow her on Twitter at @amymhaddad.

 

Posted on July 24, 2016 .

Review: An Education, Solo Exhibition by Sarah Rieser

Review: An Education at Arts on Elston Gallery

By: Amy Haddad

July 15, 2016

Most people can attest to an influential class, teacher or educational experience. Artist Sarah Rieser credits The Art House. “Without The Art House, I wouldn't have an art practice,” she admitted. Rieser, who received her Certificate in Fine Arts from The Art House in 2013, is currently finishing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her solo exhibition on July 15, “An Education,” reflected her artistic journey during the past four years.

The 50-piece show suggested two major themes: Rieser’s development as an artist and her confidence to explore different media and subjects. First, Rieser reflected on her artistic growth. “I was unable to draw hands and feet that weren't plain awful, so I rarely attempted them,” she explained. Now, they are “some of my favorite subjects to paint.” Her charcoal figural drawings “Roger” and “Ecstasy” echo this development; they are drawn with grace and ease.

Second, the show’s range of artwork pointed to Rieser’s unabashed mode of experimentation. Paintings, drawings, found objects and fiber-based pieces are among the media used to explore various subjects. “Suburban Wunderkammer,” for example, is a cabinet filled with objects—including repurposed small pieces of art, trinkets and handmade handkerchiefs—that Rieser purchased, salvaged or reclaimed. “I am questioning what remains when we decide something is no longer art worthy, folk or otherwise,” she explained.

“An Education,” exhibition shot.

In contrast, “Quilt For A House Divided” evoked a handmade quilt made from politically-based pieces of junk mail complete with buttons on top. It is a response to smear campaign flyers being “forced upon” her, Rieser said. Its central placement on a wall before entering the gallery emphasized today’s inescapable political culture and constant flux of information. Indeed, the show’s diversity proved beneficial: keeping visitors engaged both visually and intellectually.

Although it has been a few years since Rieser studied at The Art House, she recalls its value and impact on her practice. “Studying with Rebecca [Founder and Director of The Art House] has afforded me the skills to succeed and the confidence to try everything, even if I fail.” Attendees to this exhibition would undoubtedly attest to the value of an education.

Amy Haddad writes for Veritas Health. She is also a freelance art writer and blogger. You canread her blog, Art Diversions, at artdiversions.com and follow her on Twitter at @amymhaddad.

 

Posted on July 24, 2016 .

Third Coast Review: Rebecca George

Rebecca George: Turn the Other Eye at the Arts On Elston

By Nicole Lane on April 20, 2016

He could tell by the way animals walked that they were keeping time to some kind of music. Maybe it was the song in their own hearts that they walked to.”

― Laura Adams Armer

The solo exhibition, Turn the Other Eye, which featured 75 pieces created by Rebecca George, invited viewers to engage with the artists ability to work with various mediums and the strength in which she has to compose pieces in a multitude of styles. From more traditional and realistic, to figurative and abstract, George’s vast oeuvre from 2011-2016 is incredibly diverse, while her subject matter remains rooted in her compassion and connection to the relationship between animals and humans. Georges work is infiltrated with the theme of loss and its expressive nature is represented through painting, printing, drawing, and sculpture.

Read entire article...

Curatorial Interview: Turn the Other Eye

By: Amy Haddad, Arts Journalist

April 15, 2016

Rebecca George—artist, adjunct faculty member at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of Chicago and founder and Director of The Art House—opened her one-night solo exhibition, “Turn the Other Eye,” at Arts on Elston Galleryon April 15. In addition to seeing nearly 75 pieces of art, guests enjoyed food and drink, along with music by Shaun Zimmerman and Matt Woodhead of Windy City Classical Guitarists.

The interview that follows, which provides details about George’s newer works and the exhibition, includes comments from art historian Virginia Voedisch, who wrote the show’s catalog essay; the show’s designerBeth Borum; and curators Christine Connor, Mary Dorrell, JoAnn Hayden, Arthur Connor and Ken Hogrefe.

 

Rebecca George’s “Turn the Other Eye” exhibition at Arts on Elston Gallery.

Q: Virginia Voedisch, you write in the catalog essay: “Coinciding with the animal-themed works are lush, figural paintings that more deeply probe the issue of identity and transformation.” In eeping with the ideas of identity and transformation, the exhibition takes place during the spring—a time associated with rebirth and renewal. 

In your opinion, how does this transformational theme relate to George’s exhibition overall and to her newer works in particular?

A: Transformation plays an essential role in the exhibition. The show examines themes of transition between life and death through George’s animal works. It also reflects a personal transformation for the artist herself: the relationship with her animals as mother, guardian and caretaker.

Being an artist is to be immersed in transformation. In part this means transforming an idea into a visual image. It also refers to transforming as an artist—not only creating, but also learning how to manipulate your tools of expression. At the same time, there is the idea of bodily transformation: how we see our physical selves at different stages of our life; and determining whether our physical selves help or hinder us from our accessing our spiritual selves.

Q: Why is it important for some of George’s earlier rabbit pictures to be exhibited in conjunction with her newer works? How does this pairing advance the exhibition’s theme?

A: “Turn the Other Eye” is about George’s identity as a painter and person, according to Hogrefe.  The souls she shares her life and space with are going to creep into her work. Dorrell shares a similar view, acknowledging George’s exploration of identity and connection to her animal companions are not separate experiences.

Both Hogrefe and Dorrell recognize how the artist’s incorporation of animals has evolved. George’s last show, “Have Many Rabbit,” was more straightforward, whereas the current show integrates animals into a larger narrative. “Reveal Thyself,” for example, is a meditation on the passing a particularly loved rabbit, Ollie, where Rebecca recasts herself in the funeral pose of her companion. Moreover, Dorrell adds that visitors will find companion rabbits or cats woven into the canvas of George’s figural paintings.

Q: Beth Borum, how do you envision visitors moving through the space and experiencing the exhibition?

A: Arts on Elston Gallery feels like you are walking through someone’s home. There is a sense of intimacy as you weave from room to room, viewing George’s work. Each room is anchored with work that confronts the visitor, albeit gently. The closeness of the walls where the art hangs offer solace and privacy as visitors look, interact and experience the George’s work.

Exhibition shot of “Turn the Other Eye.”

Q: Given the variety of subjects and media making up “Turn the Other Eye,” how is George’s work organized within Arts on Elston Gallery?

A: Dorrell explains the exhibition's organization from the visitor’s perspective. Upon entering, Dorrell describes, visitors are introduced to Rebecca’s recent transitional and lush figural work, along with her large, transformative abstract ones. Visitors are then guided through George’s rich collection of paintings, prints and drawings in the remainder of the gallery. These pieces document her love and loss of animal companions, as well as a continued revelation of self in her figural paintings, Dorrell summarizes.

The five curators focused on the stylistic and emotional relationship in George’s work during the hanging process. Hogrefedraws a parallel between curating art and the act of painting on a canvas: in both instances “you look at what's happening and decide, based on what the painting is telling you, what the next move should be.”

Q: Arts on ElstonGallery consists of several small rooms—some of which have decorative accents, such as crown molding. The overall space looks and feels different from a “white cube” gallery. To what extent did the space influence your curatorial decisions?

A: Arthur Connor, Director of Arts on Elston Gallery, says the several rooms making up the gallery work to the show’s benefit. This is because each room offers a different feeling or sensation, thereby telling a different story. Hogrefe also comments on the space, noting that Arts on Elston Gallery offered a sense of discovery and opportunity for surprise.

Exhibition shot of “Turn the Other Eye.”

Q: Five curators were involved in this show. How did the curatorial team work together? 

A: Christine Connor and JoAnn Hayden both comment how the idea of community brought the curators and the show together. While the curators worked collectively and by consensus to curate and hang the show, Hayden explains there were also individual responsibilities. Hayden secured the musicians, for example; Christine, who is quite familiar withArts on ElstonGallery, offered expertise on lighting and the use of small spaces.Borum designed the invitations and exhibition catalog.

Q: Arthur Connor, some of the furniture you made is seen throughout Arts on Elston Gallery. How did you organize the furniture within the gallery, and how was it used?

A: The furniture pieces, such as small table-like pieces, work well in the gallery because of their neutrality and functionality. They do not take away from the artwork, but add something to the space itself: making the space more inviting. From an art perspective the furniture is like a still life, but it also served a purpose: as a gallery bench, for example.

Q: Ken Hogrefe, when curating “Turn the Other Eye,” how did you decide which artwork to include? 

A: George has been on a mission to reinvent her practice continuously over the past ten years; she has been almost relentless in exploring who she is as a painter. That said, it was foremost in everyone's minds to document George’s artistic evolution. Visitors can see the dialogue between personal meaning and expression countered by technical experimentation and expression in her painting style.

The show also has a number of smaller, more intimate pieces of art. These works round out George’s personality as an artist. Many of them are representational and exquisitely executed. These smaller works frequently depict details of George’s life with her companions—the rabbits and the cats. You feel a deep sense of love and gratitude for her "family" circle. It feels right to present both of these sides because, more than likely, you don't have one without the other.

Amy Haddad is a writer atVeritas Health. She also writes about art and technology on her blogs, Art DiversionsandTech Diversions, and contributes articles to Sculpture Magazine, Newcity and Create Hub.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview: Turn the Other Eye

Les Femmes Folles

Women in art

March 22, 2016 with 2 notes

        tags: Rebecca george. les femmes folles. women in art. arts on elston gallery. Chicago art.

Rebecca George, artist

Rebecca George was interviewed last year on LFF; and is featured in Les Femmes Folles: The Women, 2015 anthology; she comes back now with a solo exhibit opening April 15, 2016 from 6-11 PM at Arts on Elston Gallery in Chicago, to share with LFF about her studio practice and latest work in the show including collaborations, what it’s like to be an artist in Chicago and much more…

 1) How would you describe you studio practice?

It is important for me to not play it safe with my work - seeking opportunities to tune into and try new ideas without fully conceptualizing them beforehand has allowed me to remain in a state of becoming, where invention and discovery are balanced on the edge. At the same time, I’ve learned that I’m looking for myself in every piece. Not in a literal sense, but in terms of ultimately recognizing myself by revealing a truth in the work.


2) Tell me about your upcoming show/exhibit and why it’s important to you. what do you hope people get out of your work?

Turn the Other Eye, A Curated Art Party is a solo exhibit of nearly 200 pieces created in the past 2 years. The work spans large-scale to the intimate in painting, drawing and printmaking. I hope the work shares my experience of the sacredness of everyday life and the impact paying close attention to each moment has on recognizing that. We make choices and in making them, we eliminate the possibility of others for a time. Through my choices. I create the structure of my day to day experience: commitments, obligations, chores, habits, routine. The artwork is honoring what I’ve chosen by consciously presenting it as a mirror.

3) Does collaboration play a role in your work - whether with your community, artists or others? How so and how does this impact your work?

 For this exhibit I am collaborating with quite a few artists: Artist and Designer Beth Borum is designing the exhibition materials and gallery layout, Arthur Connor (director of Arts On Elston in Chicago, the gallery hosting “TURN THE OTHER EYE) and artists Christine Connor, Mary Dorrell, JoAnn Hayden and Ken Hogrefe are co-curating the 6 room exhibit. Virginia Voedisch wrote an introduction to the exhibition catalog; an art historian and adjunct lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ginny’s viewpoint on the body of work being presented in the show is intriguing and perceptive. I value their input and contribution very much - they are each thoughtful and skilled artists who work in multiple mediums and have witnessed my recent progression in the studio. Their influence is welcomed as I am confident in their insight and expertise.

4) Do you think you city is a good place for women in art/writing/etc? What do you think is the best thing about your city for artists, and how might it be improved?

Chicago, IL has a large numbers of alternative exhibition spaces for visual artists - people interested in curating, exhibiting and reviewing/interviewing visual art collaborate and provide opportunities to show work that don’t exist in the commercial gallery scene.

5) Artist Wanda Ewing, who curated and titled the original LFF exhibit, examined the perspective of femininity and race in her work, and spoke positively of feminism, saying “yes, it is still relevant” to have exhibits and forums for women in art; does feminism play a role in you work?

 In the sense that I am a woman and I cannot separate my womanhood from my work, yes. Although being a women does not comprise the sole subject/content of my work. Feminism achieved so much for women artists, including space and freedom so they may move in and out of gender specific content, exploring other areas of self and the world with the established right of returning to it at any time.

6) Ewing’s advice to aspiring artists was “you’ve got to develop the skill of when to listen and when not to;” and “Leave. Gain perspective.” What is your favorite advice you have received or give?

That the path or journey of life is fluid and impermanent - “this too shall pass” flickers through my mind often, reminding me that I am always in a state of becoming. Not seeking an outcome or solid definition for my work keeps me focused on gaining and maintaining liberation in my practice.

www.TheArtHouse.us
www.Rebecca-George.com

~Les Femmes Folles is a volunteer organization founded in 2011 with the mission to support and promote women in all forms, styles and levels of art from around the world with the online journal, print annuals, exhibitions and events; originally inspired by artist Wanda Ewing and her curated exhibit by the name Les Femmes Folles (Wild Women). LFF was created and is curated by Sally Deskins.  LFF Books is a micro-feminist press that publishes 1-2 books per year by the creators of Les Femmes Folles including the award-winning Intimates & Fools (Laura Madeline Wiseman, 2014) and The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales (Laura Madeline Wiseman/Lauren Rinaldi, 2015). Other titles include Les Femmes Folles: The Women 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 available on blurb.com, including art, poetry and interview excerpts from women artists.


2) Tell me about your upcoming show/exhibit and why it’s important to you. what do you hope people get out of your work?

Turn there Other Eye, A Curated Art Party is a solo exhibit of nearly 200 pieces created in the past 2 years. The work spans large-scale to the intimate in painting, drawing and printmaking. I hope the work shares my experience of the sacredness of everyday life and the impact paying close attention to each moment has on recognizing that. We make choices and in making them, we eliminate the possibility of others for a time. Through my choices. I create the structure of my day to day experience: commitments, obligations, chores, habits, routine. The artwork is honoring what I’ve chosen by consciously presenting it as a mirror.

3) Does collaboration play a role in your work - whether with your community, artists or others? How so and how does this impact your work?

 For this exhibit I am collaborating with quite a few artists: Artist and Designer Beth Borum is designing the exhibition materials and gallery layout, Arthur Connor (director of Arts On Elston in Chicago, the gallery hosting “TURN THE OTHER EYE) and artists Chris Connor, Mary Dorrell, JoAnn Hayden and Ken Hogrefe are co-curating the 6 room exhibit. Virginia Voedisch wrote an introduction to the exhibition catalog; an art historian and adjunct lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ginny’s viewpoint on the body of work being presented in the show is intriguing and perceptive. I value their input and contribution very much - they are each thoughtful and skilled artists who work in multiple mediums and have witnessed my recent progression in the studio. Their influence is welcomed as I am confident in their insight and expertise.

4) Do you think you city is a good place for women in art/writing/etc? What do you think is the best thing about your city for artists, and how might it be improved?

Chicago, IL has a large numbers of alternative exhibition spaces for visual artists - people interested in curating, exhibiting and reviewing/interviewing visual art collaborate and provide opportunities to show work that don’t exist in the commercial gallery scene.

5) Artist Wanda Ewing, who curated and titled the original LFF exhibit, examined the perspective of femininity and race in her work, and spoke positively of feminism, saying “yes, it is still relevant” to have exhibits and forums for women in art; does feminism play a role in you work?

 In the sense that I am a woman and I cannot separate my womanhood from my work, yes. Although being a women does not comprise the sole subject/content of my work. Feminism achieved so much for women artists, including space and freedom so they may move in and out of gender specific content, exploring other areas of self and the world with the established right of returning to it at any time.

6) Ewing’s advice to aspiring artists was “you’ve got to develop the skill of when to listen and when not to;” and “Leave. Gain perspective.” What is your favorite advice you have received or give?

That the path or journey of life is fluid and impermanent - “this too shall pass” flickers through my mind often, reminding me that I am always in a state of becoming. Not seeking an outcome or solid definition for my work keeps me focused on gaining and maintaining liberation in my practice.

www.TheArtHouse.us
www.Rebecca-George.com

~Les Femmes Folles is a volunteer organization founded in 2011 with the mission to support and promote women in all forms, styles and levels of art from around the world with the online journal, print annuals, exhibitions and events; originally inspired by artist Wanda Ewing and her curated exhibit by the name Les Femmes Folles (Wild Women). LFF was created and is curated by Sally Deskins.  LFF Books is a micro-feminist press that publishes 1-2 books per year by the creators of Les Femmes Folles including the award-winning Intimates & Fools (Laura Madeline Wiseman, 2014) and The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales (Laura Madeline Wiseman/Lauren Rinaldi, 2015). Other titles include Les Femmes Folles: The Women 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 available on blurb.com, including art, poetry and interview excerpts from women artists.

Press Release: The Art Guide, Rebecca George, Turn the Other Eye

Rebecca George Solo Exhibition, Turn the Other Eye: A Curated Art Party

Visit Arts on Elston Gallery on April 15, 2016 to view a new solo exhibition of recent work by Chicago artist Rebecca George. Exhibition designed by Beth Borum. Co-curated by Arthur Connor, Christine Connor, Mary Dorrell, JoAnn Hayden and Ken Hogrefe. Live music by the Windy City Guitarists. 3446 N Albany, 6-11 PM. RSVP: ttoe@thearthouse.us.

Posted on March 9, 2016 .

REVIEW: Far-Flung, Contemporary Art of the Midwest

Review by Stephanie Coate

December 10, 2015

FAR-FLUNG: Contemporary Art of the Midwest

This exhibition featuring 40+ Midwestern artists was a partnership event between The Art House and Arts on Elston and opened on Saturday, December 5, 2015. I went to the event alone, yet was approached and welcomed by many other individuals, curious to know who I was, and eager to converse. It was quickly made clear that this was a very welcoming space and just by being there you were friend/family. This welcoming environment consists of two living rooms with leather couches, a kitchen area where people of all ages casually conversed and introduced themselves, and five smaller surrounding rooms. Each of the rooms comfortably displayed a selection of the 40 artworks that were selected to participate in the exhibition, Far-Flung, Contemporary Art of the Midwest. Additionally, two of the surrounding rooms serve as studios for the two Artists in Residence of The Art House, Beth Borum and Christine Connor. Both had work on display which complemented the overall exhibition.

Rebecca George, founder and Director of the Art House, and Arthur Connor, Director of Arts on Elston uniquely partner their two spaces that are kitty-corner from each other on opposite sides of the Elston & Albany intersection in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. The two join their missions together to jury and curate exhibitions regularly, building the creative community. "These exhibitions are a lot of work for the few of us who take the project on, and as such, are a labor of love," stated Rebecca when asked about the selection and curatorial process. “As artists ourselves, we (Rebecca George and Arthur Connor) take artists very seriously and want to support frequent opportunities for the public to view the high quality work of these artists”.

The only requirement to submit work was geographic to the Midwest. "Many levels of experience are displayed. Some new artists, some developed in their career, are all juxtaposed together" stated Connor. "Not lacking in quality or originality." 

Upon entering the gallery, the variety of artwork is cleanly lined at eye-level across three walls in the front room. Works by Aurua, Il artist Domingo Parada, James Chrazn's "Self Portrait" and Margie Criner's, Felt Sculpture "Departure" were perfectly balanced together in a room of abstract styles.

Becca Homes’, "Birdcage" broke up the abstracts with a more figurative and surreal impact between the rooms just before entering the kitchen area. Featured in a recessed shelfRobert Skwarts’ "The Wish Box" was on display, made of glass and metals. A divine, transparent device. Just before entering the second living room of a more salon-style layout was a delicate drawing by Harnet Matzdorf titled "Sisters", complimented by an intriguing sibling portrait painted by artist and author, Carol Anshaw. Moving through the second living room, Chicago artist Lynn Basa was on display with a contemporary, thick, latex-like painting and vibrant colors with "Forget Me Not" among a lovely variety of paintings of dancers, abstractions, Radiohead tributes, self portraits and animals.  

When entering the back room my mood shifted from lighthearted, to curious and harmonious. Chicago artist Soo Shin, "Eye of the Beholder" had a large sculptural work with an open composition constructed of welded metal, and leveled weight and movement who's lovely counterpart to "Untitled" by Ann Blaas, a larger abstract painting with green and earthly palette. A meditative space was created between the two.

It was hard to leave the exhibition as I enjoyed walking into spaces and accidentally meeting artists during discussion over pie, or walking into various art-filled rooms where serious conversations about where the contemporary art world is headed took place. The art was both professional and approachable, filled with "color and balance", with the hospitality and character set by the space and curatorial decisions that enhanced the overall exhibition - very (Contemporary) Midwest.

Press Release: Far-Flung

Far-Flung: Contemporary Art of the Midwest

Exhibition Partnership between The Art House and Arts on Elston in Chicago's Avondale Art District

Over 40 artists from the collective Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin will be represented in this group show. The exhibition is juried and curated by Arthur Connor, Director of Arts on Elston and Rebecca George, Director of The Art House.

This 2 day exhibit is open to the public and will feature sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and mixed media.

Posted on November 9, 2015 .

REVIEW: Illuminating the Obscure & Works on Walls III

by: David Lineal, Obscuro Chicago

Fresh Art On a Hot Day On the Old Trail

Do you know unassuming Elston Avenue, which lopes through the northwest of Chicago along the river? People have been going on it since before our civilization, as a high ridge trail through the onion-y swamp, then a plank road. Today it is called after an 1830s businessman and houses a menagerie of mysterious old bulky spaces. Life has been walked into this path, and it feels like an apt locale for the type of magic seeing needed to produce art. Indeed on the 3400 block we find (looking to each other across the street) a gallery and an art school/gallery.

J. Faun Manne

J. Faun Manne


What happened at that gallery last Saturday only?

For the length of last Saturday only, Arts on Elston gallery (3446 N. Albany Ave) hosted a double exhibition sponsored by The Art House and curated by Rebecca George: the first solo show of J. Faun Manne, and also a group show of artists from the Art House advanced studio course: “WORKS ON WALLS III”. A selection of art to observe the length of this afternoon only, fringed in July sunlight slanting through the windows.

Works of J. Faun Manne numbered dozens, all of fresh 2014/5 vintage, images she netted in the dark of recent nights. In a massed crowd of Manne’s visions, we witness her mind’s eye seeing similar types of images, her heart speaking in the same palette. (A tan tea-stain color into ocher – this earthiness, this sickliness – the heart goes somewhere out in this dense band of feeling, hashed over with the distant smokiness of memory — and how this color wears blue around it!)

 J. Faun Manne at her solo exhibit, graduating from The Art House with a Certificate in Fine Arts. July 25, 2015
J. Faun Manne at her solo exhibit, graduating from The Art House with a Certificate in Fine Arts. July 25, 2015
Images of what? Ladies, bodies, mouths, hair. Often a solitary figure, but sometimes many more. Animated in acrylic, with playful grit of texture and fabrics. Sensuality hangs heavily to the figures — their curves shoot beams. But clearly the figures are totems and not people; they do not quite live in our world.

This show commemorates J. Faun Manne’s reception of a Certificate of Fine Arts from The Art House, the art school and gallery space at 3452 N Albany Ave.

WORKS ON WALLS III, the other half of the exhibition, showcased the diverse artists of the Art House. These adult students of art study with Rebecca George, who supports the fruitful flow of their images. Their 2-D works, though of many dissimilar hands, had a coherent spirit of the passion and wholesomeness of emerging artists.

Artist Charles Echols at his group show: Works on Walls III, June 25, 2015

Artist Charles Echols at his group show: Works on Walls III, June 25, 2015

At age 80 Barbara Hopkins takes up the brush to paint realistic portraits of her grandchildren (an image of yourself from the past rendered in the hand of your grandmother and given to you by her as a gift: here is a magic object). Timothy Curtin brings wry humor, as a vision of the city in gray stripes of cloud; Bev Borum scratches in the paint, digging feelings into it with words. And Charles Echols goes between large-scale colorful abstraction, and gray-scale pop art, vectorized enough to look screen printed but in fact painted free hand. The joy and vividness of life sounded through the whole show, for this one afternoon only in the dog days of Chicago summer.

Posted on August 4, 2015 .

REVIEW: Art by America

Art by America at The Art House: Trends and Traditions in Two-Dimensional Contemporary Art 

By: Amy Haddad

The list of great 2-D artworks over the past two centuries is endless, from Paul Cézanne’s “Mont Sainte-Victoire” to Jackson Pollock’s “Number 1 (Lavender Mist).” Increasingly, 2-D contemporary art competes with art that comes off the wall—inhabiting visitors’ space or tacitly asking for physical interaction. Yet 2-D art was the focal point in the June 6 opening of “Art by America 2015 Juried Exhibition: A National Review of Two-Dimensional Art,” co-sponsored by The Art House and the Arts on Elston in Chicago. The 2-D theme, along with a size constraint (20” x 20” x 4”), unified the 250 artworks submitted by 145 accepted artists from around the United States, including Texas, Oregon and New York City.

The Art House, a Chicago-based art organization that offers studio classes, professional practices, support and exhibition opportunities for the visual arts, initiated “Art by America” to assess America’s tendencies and practices in 2-D contemporary art. Rebecca George, Founder and Director of The Art House and co-curator of the exhibition, also explained its focus on the artist: this juried exhibition “provides exposure for a wide range of artists, including those who may not have sufficient opportunities for recognition due to limitations to exhibit or present their work locally.” That said, “Art by America” offered artists of all levels the chance to have up to two pieces of art reviewed by jurors, win cash prizes in four award categories and have their work professionally curated and exhibited. Undoubtedly an extraordinary experience for artists, the show’s opening was a joy for more than 300 attendees.

Exhibition opened at 2 PM on June 6, 2015

Exhibition opened at 2 PM on June 6, 2015

Upon entering The Art House, one of two locations where the show was on view, visitors delighted in hand embroidery, ink and charcoal, watercolor and graphite pieces, among a host of other 2-D artwork. The Art House provided a fitting location—quiet and intimate—to view these more fragile pieces. And its emphasis on space added to the experience. Visitors took in the detail and quality of the work, given the generous space allocated between the pieces and ample room to stroll in the gallery’s open environment.

Ginger Ware, “4 Friends.”

By way of contrast, Arts on Elston, where the exhibition continued diagonally across the street from The Art House, offered a different experience in an eclectic space. Visitors crowded in its front gallery, enjoying nearly thirty pieces of art—such as abstract, figurative and still life paintings on a variety of media—that hung side-by-side. Chief among them was Ginger Ware’s oil painting, “4 Friends.” Through this scene, Ware, who received a Certificate in Fine Arts from The Art House, recalled the love and affection four teenage boys had for each other during her travels in Africa. She shared this front gallery space with works by Christopher Cosnowski, Teresa Eck, and Stephanie Holtnecht—all of whom received awards in the four prize categories and were recognized by the jurors at the opening. Intermixed among the winners included a mélange of other top works that captivated visitors; so did the room itself. Contemporary art in a traditional room—complete with elaborate crown molding, a patterned ceiling and a dark wood floor—was a satisfying juxtaposition, while the light-gray walls softened the mood. Quickly put at ease by the atmosphere and pleasantly surprised by the quality of the contributions, visitors continued on.

The organization of the four galleries, hallway and open spaces that followed was broadly thematic. According to George, themes included portraiture, pattern, texture and abstraction. One portrait worth noting was Carol Anshaw’s “Rotogravure,” a profile of Vita Sackville-West, an English novelist and poet. This piece is part of larger series about this woman’s notorious life. Anshaw reveals the woman’s flawlessly styled black hair, rosy cheeks and prominent jawline against a bold red background. 

Interspersed throughout were tables created by Art Connor, Owner and Director of Art on Elston and co-curator of the show. These tables added a 3-D presence to the show’s 2-D works. Take the second gallery on the left. Connor’s table, measuring the length of the gallery’s end wall, added stability to a room otherwise filled with mostly abstract art containing bright colors, movement and energy. Sandi Miot’s “My Insanity,” which depicted tightly wound swirling circles, and Bernard Bahr’s dance of lines in his “Hurricane In Spring” were two such examples. The 20 artworks that filled this space work better in tandem, rather than in isolation. The vivacity of each piece amplified those of a similar style.  

artsonelston

Partial exhibition shot at Arts on Elston.

When moving between galleries, visitors could not miss the framework of a re-purposed pool table, also created by Connor, leaning vertically against a wall intermixed with the exhibition’s 2-D artwork. The curators’ decision to combine 3-D with 2-D was a welcome addition. It was a creative means to display a number of pieces, while adding visual variance to the show.

As the exhibition progressed, the quality of work was maintained. The sole gallery on the right side of Arts on Elston offered a contemplative environment to look, consider and reflect on Georgie Cunningham’s “Red Leaf Falling,” an intricate design consisting of handmade flax paper with paste. Or visitors may have studied the variety of antique stamps from around the world in Peter Bullock’s “Blue Star.”  

marysaran

Mary Saran, “Abstract Cluster A.”

So, what are the trends in 2-D artwork in the 21st century? “Exhibitions such as Art by America are not curated in the usual sense of the term, they're an exercise in selecting the best and most interesting work from a pool of applicants,” said James Yood, Director of the New Arts Journalism program and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the two jurors. This being so, there were two key insights from the show. The first was the subject matter. “I was struck by the number of artists working with pure abstraction, which suggests to me a more general re-engagement with the practice,” observed the second juror, Ginny Voedisch, art historian and Adjunct Lecturer at The Art Institute of Chicago. To her point, Mary Saran’s aptly titled “Abstract Cluster A” was just one of many abstract works filling the galleries. A centralized ball of sorts contains brushstrokes of various colors, including white, black, taupe and teal. Bits of color burst out to the edges of its red background. Second, the majority of artworks included in this show used traditional materials, such as oil on canvas, rather than digital ones. In a world inundated with digital technology, an exhibition with little of it proved refreshing.  

“This exhibit is the first time I've had the opportunity to co-curate across two gallery spaces, each with its own strengths and unique elements,” George shared. This curatorial approach worked well. George and Connor effectively used two different spaces to facilitate one show: the openness at The Art House complemented the distinct galleries at Arts on Elston. To that end, “Art by America” achieved its aim of uncovering the trends and traditions in 2-D contemporary art. At the same time, the show visually and intellectually engaged visitors. The artists benefited, too: not only from the process, but they also received the sale proceeds. Indeed, “Art by America” is a compelling show for visitors to see and artists to participate in.

“Art by America: A National Review of Two-Dimensional Contemporary Art” is on show through June 30, 2015.  Exhibition is by appointment only. To set up an appointment, please email Arthur Connor, Director of Arts on Elston: decorativeworkinc@att.net

See photo album on Facebook

FAR-FLUNG, Contemporary Art of the Midwest” is the next juried exhibition featuring works from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin in October. Please see The Art House’s website for participation details (www.thearthouse.us). Also please check this website for studio classes, local and long-distance studio/professional instruction, artist in residence program and the certificate in fine arts.

Amy Haddad is a Chicago-based freelance art writer. She currently writes for Newcity and the Evanston Art Center, and has contributed to the Columbus Museum of Art and NTQ-Data Limited..  
 

Posted on June 18, 2015 .

Exhibition: Art House Artist Ginny Voedisch

2-Person Exhibition at The Celtic Knot, Evanston, IL

May 22-June 19, 2015

"YEARNINGS" OPENS MAY 22 AT EVANSTON'S CELTIC KNOT Neither Susan Romanelli, of Evanston, nor Ginny Voedisch, an artist of The Art House who resides in Skokie, is of Scottish descent, yet each artist finds inspiration in Scotland’s terrain, history and legacy. Paired together, their paintings, though stylistically different, create a potent sense of longing for a place cloaked in myth, romance and an essential, primeval wildness. Titled Yearnings, the exhibition opens on May 22 with a reception from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the Snug at the Celtic Knot, 626 Church Street, in downtown Evanston.   Prior to becoming friends, the women had explored Scottish themes in their artwork. Delighted to learn of their shared interest, the women decided to see what their paintings looked like side by side. They were surprised by the way in which the paintings resonated with one another despite the difference in their approach to the content. Working in acrylic paint, Romanelli creates landscapes that are simplified to their most essential, peopled by figures whose identities are veiled. Abstract and formal, Voedisch’s tartans look deeply at the mesmerizing play of color and line found in these iconic, woven designs.   The exhibition runs through June 19.

"YEARNINGS" OPENS MAY 22 AT EVANSTON'S CELTIC KNOT

Neither Susan Romanelli, of Evanston, nor Ginny Voedisch, an artist of The Art House who resides in Skokie, is of Scottish descent, yet each artist finds inspiration in Scotland’s terrain, history and legacy. Paired together, their paintings, though stylistically different, create a potent sense of longing for a place cloaked in myth, romance and an essential, primeval wildness. Titled Yearnings, the exhibition opens on May 22 with a reception from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the Snug at the Celtic Knot, 626 Church Street, in downtown Evanston.

 

Prior to becoming friends, the women had explored Scottish themes in their artwork. Delighted to learn of their shared interest, the women decided to see what their paintings looked like side by side. They were surprised by the way in which the paintings resonated with one another despite the difference in their approach to the content. Working in acrylic paint, Romanelli creates landscapes that are simplified to their most essential, peopled by figures whose identities are veiled. Abstract and formal, Voedisch’s tartans look deeply at the mesmerizing play of color and line found in these iconic, woven designs.

 

The exhibition runs through June 19.

Posted on May 14, 2015 .

Interview with Rebecca George

Les Femmes Folles

WOMEN IN ART

May 11, 2015

Interview with Rebecca George by Sally Deskins

Rebecca George is exhibiting in Feminism Plural at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, opening Friday, May 15, 2015. She generously shares with Les Femmes Folles about taking her career in her own hands founding The Art House, feminism in her work, stellar advice for being an artist, and much more…


Where are you from? How did you get into art?
I’m from the south side of Chicago– I’ve been interested in drawing since I can remember. I pursued it throughout high school and college, which led to teaching art as well.


Tell me about your upcoming show and why it’s important to you.
Feminism Plural at Woman Made is an opportunity to exhibit with a group of talented and innovative women artists around the subject of being a woman. In recent years, my work has explored related themes of the female body, identity, cultural conditioning and impermanence. This will be the first show I’ve participated in where all the artists are women and the work is all related somehow to being a woman.

Continue reading...

Posted on May 14, 2015 .