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When French surrealist, Renee Magritte famously wrote, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”) beneath the image of a pipe in 1929, he effectively connected words and images, creating a dialogue about the true ‘meaning’ of words in and about art that continues to this day.
In 2021. the constant barrage of words and images through social media, billboards, commercials, etc., forces us to question what we see, hear, and read. Words are carelessly ‘vomited’ at us without regard for their potential effect or truthfulness, often artlessly and without skill.
In the best of circumstances, contemporary art reflects life’s urgent societal issues while visual artists employ words/text with wordplay, polemics, meta-messaging, subverted advertising (Warhol, Banksy), appropriation, and by combining their images with poetry, music and/or video. The artist, therefore, is in a position to reinterpret words and text, to craft a message, to communicate ideas, ideals, social values and, hopefully, to inspire or provoke.
With ‘Words Matter’, The Art Center Highland Park selected art that exists in the intersection between visual art and language. A wide interpretation of the theme was accepted by our guest juror, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, allowing us to set the stage for a ‘conversation about Words’.
“What do you read, my lord?”
“Words, words, words.”
Hamlet, Act II, Scene II
Guest Juror/ Featured Artist- Makeba Kedem-DuBose: Chicago native, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, is a multi-published, multidisciplinary artist, curator, arts educator, Creative Director, and former gallerist. She studied interior design at Harrington College of Design, and completed a Visual Arts Certification Program in Curatorial Practices at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies at Hyde Park Art Center in 2017. She is a career artist practicing throughout greater Chicagoland, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally for over 30 years. Kedem-DuBose was recently nominated for the prestigious 3Arts Award, to be announced in November of 2021.
Contributing Artists: Simone Bailey Campbell, Nicholas Barron, BarrKeba, Sholo Beverly, Kelly Burke, Veronica Clements, Decheng Cui, Tarik Echols, Nona C. Flores, Michael Francis, Ronit Galazan, Michael Gallagher, Shelley Gilchrist, Vyncex Gorlami, “Buck!” Rodney Herring, Craig Hill, Indira Johnson, Mary King, Pauline Kochanski, Laura Kochevar, Mara Krumins, Carol Larson, Carol Spielman Lezak, Anita Ivy Miller, Lynnette Ojeda Mohill, Janet M. Mueller, Aisha Nailah, Deborah Newmark, Robert Nonnemacher, Aodan, Marty Ornish, Kathryn Pellman, Chris Revelle, Sarah Rieser, Tom Rosenthal, AnaSophie Ruju, Ruth Schneiderman, Stuart South, Anne Stagg, Sydney Vize, Vera VonHoldenberg, Lynn West, Debra Wright