TACHP GALLERIES ARE OPEN Monday-Friday, 10-4 Saturday, 12:00-4:00
June 18-July 31, 2021
Artist Reception: July 23, 5:30-8:00pm
Is it possible for the world to experience both the hyper-connectivity that comes from social media, the internet, and blurred world boundaries; while at the same time feel disconnected from family, friends, and the world at large?
Art, by its nature, is a conduit, merging artists’ ideas into physical entities, connecting to its audience and bridging community. The role art plays in connecting people takes the manifestation of thought and emotion, acting as a springboard to build greater levels of communication and ultimately, interconnectivity.
Interconnectivity explores the connections that make up our lives, from our relationships to each other, to nature, to community, to the universe, and especially to ourselves.
Guest jurors/ featured Artists, Juliann Wang and Julie Rotblatt Amrany are both established Chicago artists, whose work emcompases the theme of interconnectivity in different but complementary ways. The two women come from different places, Juliann from China, Julie from Highland Park. Yet, their work reveals how the individual is both isolated and connected to something greater. Using paper rather than canvas and creating installations that fill the space, the artists show how fragile (like paper) life is but at the same time, they are leaving their mark. Juliann’s paper cut-out world of trees ground us in nature, while across the room Julie’s installation links us to a cosmic subatomic world.
Juliann Wang is a Chicago-based artist, performer, designer, and culture activator. She writes, “As a bicultural Chinese-American artist, my work reflects how culture, time, and location influence individuals and society as they grow and change. The works evolve based on observations about identity, search for connection, sense of belonging, fragile impermanence, and even isolation. Through an interdisciplinary method that utilizes different approaches and materials specific to each project, my creation embraces moments of fleeting beauty and connectivity of life.” Her early influence of Eastern thought plays a significant role in her practice, considering humans as part of the natural world tied to the unanswerable mystery of life and existence, thus creating a sense of connection to a greater whole.
Julie Rotblatt Amrany grew up in Highland Park, returning in 1989 where she has worked and collaborated with her husband/ artist, Omri Amrany. The couple founded the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany, and was famously commission for the bronze statue of basketball player Michael Jordan at Chicago’s United Center. After battling breast cancer, Rotblatt Amrany’s work deepened her interest in consciousness and how it integrates with matter, on how matter and energy transform, and on the evolution of human intelligence. In her statement she writes, “I have the intension to depict the dichotomy between the subatomic and the cosmic universe. On a grander scale, there is an interconnectedness of all living and nonliving things surrounding us. There is no true degree of separation. In the center of one of the hexagons is a fiber optic neon light to represent life, the pulsation of breath.”
As guest jurors, Juliann and Julie selected 22 artists, mostly from Illinois and the Midwest. The works range from digital media to drawings on paper, from collage to sculpture, exploring how our relationships are intertwined.
In a post pandemic world, our sense of connection has been tested. This exhibit works to pull us back into community with a realization, that no matter how isolated we may feel, the reality is that we remain part of a greater expanse. The swirling sense of energy that comes out from our walls remind us that we are all interconnected to a universal whole.
Participating Artists: Sara Peak Convery, Michael Dinges, T.C. English-DuMont, Jennifer Evans, Jeanne Garrett, Donna Goetzke Bliss, Cynthia Goldring, Lauren Harlowe, Mary King, Elaine Miller, Lynnette Mohill, Kean O’Brien, Jim Parks, Karen Ross, TEMO, Sherwin Waldman, Dina Walker, Linda Weber, Alyssa Weimer, Serene Wise, Valerie Xanos, Sunny Yeung
Opening Reception: August 6, 5:30pm
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 though 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 is searching for art that exists in the intersection between visual art and language. A wide interpretation of the theme may be accepted by our guest juror, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, as we attempt to collect ideas and proposals that will allow us to stage 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.