Suzanne is a sculptor and curator whose current work, constructed of wood, paper, wood veneer and tree roots, addresses homelessness and the uprooting of people worldwide! As a sculptor, Suzanne has worked in steel, resin, paper, wood, clay and glass, but no matter the media, her work is always figurative and increasingly, political.
In the past she has combined sculpture with text, video, and sound in large-scale multi-media installations, working with poets and video artists. She has exhibited her sculptures in numerous local and regional venues including a recent exhibition entitled, “Curators Create”at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago.
Suzanne sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago Sculpture International and Chairs their Indoor Exhibitions. She was also on the Board of the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City for 13 years.
Cohan-Lange spent three decades as an arts administrator, museum designer, and educator at Columbia College, Chicago where she founded the graduate Interdisciplinary Arts Department in 1976 and is a Professor Emeritus.
She is also a museum designer and was the co-founder of The Chicago Children’s Museum (then called, “Expressways Children Museum”) and was the designer of The Arti-Fact Center at Spertus Institute in Chicago.
She and her husband, Richard Lange are the owners of Blink Contemporary Art in Michigan City, IN, a unique studio-gallery that just celebrated its 10th Anniversary.
I began this work even before our government began ripping children away from their immigrant parents.
It is obvious that “uprooting” has become a world wide occurrence, complete with the hardships, terror and tragedy that accompanies the removal of a people from their homelands.
From the Slavic republics, to Palestine, from the countryside of China to Syria to South America and obviously, to our own border: whether through hunger, war, terror or politics, people are being forced to leave everything they know and understand.
When you lose your country and your home, does your identity and memory go with it?
Sherri Denault, born in Chicago and residing in Bourbonnais, Illinois, is an artist whose work is made with an exploration of materials: Paper, India ink, gesso, acrylic, and thread either on canvas or birch wood panel or as a sculpture. In her paintings you will find evident layers of these different materials that are built up, combining, repelling, veiling, and disguising each other and creating an organic, chaotic field of pattern. In her sculptural pieces, she explores with thread by knotting the thread and hand stitching paper or cheesecloth. The paper or cheesecloth used to create the sculpture or relief are manipulated, treated with medium and painted.
“When I think about society today and how fast paced it has become with the Internet constantly at our disposal, I envision a “mind-storm”. This whirlwind is not all bad and can be fun and exciting at times, but I find pauses are necessary.
To reset, I engage in the process of creating artwork, walks in nature, and through meditation. This offers a welcomed sense of peace where all the noise and nonsense is left behind. Some works are mainly about the process, the series of decisions, additions, and reductions that make it take shape, and some works are primarily about the entanglement and illusion of thought.”
Lora explores the subtle intricacies and intimacies of life in her drawings and paintings, which are often grouped to form wall-sized installations. She is best known for her distinctive graphic style that includes pen and ink on rice paper or silk, washes of subtle color, photo-transfers, collaged elements, and poignant and witty texts. She draws from her memories of childhood, the interrelationships of emotions, and her perceptions of mundane aspects of everyday life.
Lora Fosberg received her BFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has had numerous gallery and museum exhibitions, including at the Jack Fischer Gallery, Minnesota Street and at the William Brincka Gallery, Lubeznik Center for the Arts.
Presently, Fosberg is curator at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, IL.
Dr. Yaoundé Olu is a native Chicagoan, award-winning editorial cartoonist, illustrator, educator, and indie comic and graphic novel publisher who has used numerous media during her more than 40 year of creating visual and auditory art. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited widely and she has won numerous awards. Since 1980, she has been editorial cartoonist for the Chicago and Gary Crusader newspapers.
She was a visual arts delegate to FESTAC, the Festival of Black and African Arts in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1977. From the late 1960s until the early 1980s, she ran the alternative gallery, Osun, which she founded in 1968 in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. Her art is designed to portray an alternate worldview that is distinct from everyday life, but provides an objective mirror through which our lives can be seen.
From interview by Rebecca Zorach (Smart Museum) in August of 2013.
Deb was born in Michigan and raised in Indiana. She graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington with a BS in Art Education. After spending a few years in Washington DC, she returned to the Midwest to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago receiving an MFA in Visual Communication. Deb has exhibited in Chicago, New York and a few places in between. Her heart and imagery remain closely tied to the Midwest.
“My recent work explores abstraction through the assemblage of paper and thread. The colors and shapes come from photographs I have taken and I use them as I would use paint. I piece them together in a quilt like manner and then “draw” on the surface with thread. I am interested in energy and emotional response to source. Each composition stands on its own as a transformation, moving from the recognizable to a study of form, color and surface. I abstract from an original experience.”
Deb Flagel is curator at Womanmade Gallery, Chicago
The labyrinth is an ancient symbol that suggests a refuge or rite of passage going back in time to the mystery cults of Dionysus. The labyrinth can also function as a metaphor for a life-map. Since 1991, I have been developing a series of paintings and drawings that use the image of a labyrinth or maze. It is this understanding of the labyrinth, as a way of mapping one’s movement through life that imbues the content of my work. My past work has often dealt with themes of passage or redemption as some of my older titles would indicate: the Passage, Survivor, and Sanctuary Series.
Jorge Luis Borges suggests that the labyrinth is a form of sanctuary because we feel lost in the world and can lose ourselves in its embrace. In the earlier works I tended to locate an image in the heart of the labyrinth as a reward for the journey; in others, I superimposed the image of a maze over a landscape or tree, suggesting nature and culture in some kind of tenuous relationship.
Recently I have begun to explore our passage from modernism to postmodernism, from a centered self to a decentered self. Frederic Jameson refers to this loss of centeredness in the blur of global technological change as the postmodern sublime. In these drawings and paintings, I have employed utopian images of modernity–a Mondrian painting, a space shuttle, a communication satellite–that suggest cultural and technological progress. These same images are juxtaposed with the Ebola virus, one of the most deadly viruses to emerge in recent times. The virus becomes a metaphor of our loss of control over nature and modernism’s dream of that conquest which began with the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. Moreover, this thematic exploration of the death of modernity has led me to investigate, through a series of new paintings, the visual possibilities of city maps as urban condensers of control and signifiers of civilization with all its inherent conceits and, also, as maze-like images that suggest metaphors for life’s passages.
My work has been primarily geometric, inspired by the great utopian notions of late modernism (the cult of the right angle). More recently, I have adopted a curved matrix that intertwines, creating a maze-like form. To this entangled network I introduced circles and ovoid shapes that often invade or attach themselves to the coiled pathways. The resultant image suggests a myriad of possible interpretations: ominous growth, viral or cellular activity, internal organs, forms of nature.
The Tango Series is a group of paintings I have been developing since 2009. It grew out of the Labyrinth Series and continues to explore the theme of unpredictable passages through ones’ life. For this recent body of work I have focused on one motif, the intertwined oval configuration. I am continuing to use abstraction semiotically to express concerns of entanglement, puzzlement, connectedness, and disconnectedness. The personal metaphor also moves to a larger context of the global and the present day multitude of world problems. The painting’s images of intertwined, disconnected ovals reference a Global state of complication, confusion, and perplexity. Moreover, the paintings are, like their title, about the dance; its movement, precision, and seduction.
Of course the above is a moot point if the paintings do not work visually as compelling objects. There are obviously many formal decisions in the making of the work; decisions of color, design, scale, and medium. Finally, my concepts for the work are what generate it initially, but it is always open to the viewer to interpret the work as they see it.
Dan Addington is an artist and gallery owner who has been exhibiting his work professionally since 1992. His paintings have been featured in group and solo shows across the US, and are in numerous public and private collections including but not limited to the Chicago Cultural Center, Contemporary Art Workshop, the Evanston Art Center, the Highland Park Art Center, the Riverside Art Center, the Beverly Art Center among others. Dan has served as visiting artist at colleges across the US, recently exhibiting work and teaching workshops at St. Cloud State University, MN, Ball State University, IN, Arkansas State University, John Brown University, AR, and Judson University, IL
In addition to his role as practicing artist, Dan has served as curator and director of various galleries since moving to Chicago in 1995. He has been owner and director of Addington Gallery in Chicago since 2007. Dan has sat on panels and spoken about art and his work at LUMA (Loyola Museum of Art), the St. Louis Art Center, the Karitos National Conference on Art and Spirituality, Kendall College of Art and Design, MI, the Chicago Artists Coalition, and the International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown MA. He has also served as juror for exhibitions at various colleges and art centers. Addington has sat on the board of the Chicago Artists Coalition and is a member of the Chicago Art Dealers Association.
This year I had a number of opportunities to curate exhibitions outside of the gallery, and to participate with other institutions jurying shows and presenting new artists. I also spent time at a number of colleges, speaking both as a curator and as an artist, teaching workshops and participating in critiques. These “extra curricular” activities have become a very important aspect of my vocation for me. I love getting to contribute to these students’ experiences in the same way that visiting artists and curators did for me when I was in school.
An Illinois native, Christina Warzecha completed an MFA in Ceramics and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from NIU in 2016. Since then, she completed artist residencies at Touchstone Center for Crafts and at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and was awarded one of four annual Windgate Museum internship grants completed in 2016 at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. She was the Gallery Director at the Rockford University Art Gallery from 2016-2018, and is currently the Gallery Manager at Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center in Chicago.
Christina has exhibited internationally at institutions such as the Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center in Cincinnati, OH; the Hite Art Institute in Louisville, KY; the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, IL; and Gallery UNO in Berlin, Germany. She was also the recipient of the Second Place Graduate Award at NCECA’s 2015 National Student Juried Exhibition in Providence, RI. Christina’s professional interests and studio practice align in the interest of investigating contemporary craft media, their histories, and their role in the exhibition. She strives to create fluid compositions that investigate space, explore form and material, and create a balance of organization and intuition.
In my collages, I re-configure found images into ambiguous narratives that often refer to the source, but mess around with the original message. Visually I respond to the operatic sparkle and complexity—the grandly narrated spectacle—that is the history of western art. I want to continue that high key drama in my work. My background in anthropology and art history informs how I construct these collages. I’m tethered to the possible of the story within the fragment. I play loosely with symbols and metaphors from art history, language, and religion to create new images that are strongly representational, with an attention to precise cutting and visual consistency, and a nod toward absurd, implied narrative.
Doug Stapleton is an artist, curator and educator. He is an Associate Curator of Art with the Illinois State Museum and a former adjunct faculty in the Interdisciplinary Arts graduate program at Columbia College Chicago. Stapleton’s work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago in 2012. A former Artistic Associate with the Chicago based contemporary dance company The Seldoms. he had worked on eleven evening length dance performances in the capacity of dramaturg and as a performer. Prior to his work with the Seldoms, he has performed in over forty solo and collaborative performances since 1989. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989, and a BA in Anthropology from University of Delaware with a minor concentration in Art History and Ceramics.