Esteemed Chicago artist Carole Harmel is guest curator for the exhibit “Considering the Circle” at Bridgeport Art Center (November 16, 2018 – January 4, 2019). She has been a major contributor to Chicago’s art scene for several decades, as a founding member of the women’s cooperative gallery Artemisia, long-time instructor and Art Department Chair at Truman College, and writer about photography for publications such as Exposure, The New Art Examiner and Afterimage.
Carole’s photography may be found in important collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mary and Lee Block Museum of Art in Evanston, Wellesley College, the Illinois State Museum, and others. Much of Carole’s work during the 2000s explores the idea of collaboration. It is in this context that I myself became better acquainted with her work, as I was honored to be invited to participate in two of her recent projects: Another Iliad (shown at Printworks Gallery, 2016) and A Clowder of Cats, 2018.
Somewhat of a rarity among contemporary artists, Carole is a true intellectual who approaches art with wit and humor (in addition to an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she holds a PH.D from Northwestern University in film studies). Carole Harmel loves puns and plays on words and has a special interest in surrealism. She publishes catalogues for many of the shows she has curated (including Considering the Circle).
For Considering the Circle, Carole has invited 32 artists to contribute art works about the theme of the circle. At a time when young and “emerging” artists are the center of attention in the art world, it is gratifying to view a show like Circle, that also presents work by a generally older cohort of Chicago artists, demonstrating that creativity continues as long as the artist is capable of working, bringing with it a life-time of accumulated knowledge, experience, and skill.
-Lelde Kalmite, BAC curator