For the last year, The Art Center Highland Park has been extending work outwards into the community, from virtual exhibits to art in our city-wide storefront windows. Now, we invite the talents of artists to fill our walls (and floors) with the many ephemeral art processes that span the range of impermanence.
The formal definition of ephemeral art includes, “art that only occurs once, like a happening, and cannot be embodied in any lasting object to be shown in a museum or gallery.” With two Chicago locals, guest juror/ featured artist, Victoria Fuller and featured chalk artist, Nate Baranowski, TAC has broaden our interpretation of the theme. As ephemeral art often implies the use of material from the natural world, our expanded definition in Ephemera includes art that reflects the transient nature of things existing in the natural world. It is not mandatory that work use ephemeral material but rather address the power of what is ephemeral, impermanent, and fleeting.
Contributing Artists: Aviva Alter, Sandie Bacon, Lisa Barcy, alice becker, Mia Capodilupo, Marian Carow, Cleveland Dean, Erik DeBat, Sherri Denault, Jeff Evans, Susan Fireside, Christine Forni, Ann-Marie Greenberg, John Hatlestad, Alan Emerson Hicks, Suzanne Horwitz, Layne Jackson, Gary Justis, Kim Laurel and Fletcher Hayes, Alex Ledermeier, Ellen Lustig, James Lynch, Kelly Mathews, Renee McGinnis, Nancy Natow-Cassidy, Deborah Newmark, Marilyn Propp, Gina Robbins, Smith Robertson, Heather Sepanik, Camille Silverman, Allison Svoboda, Howard Tatar, Kathy Weaver, Lynn West, Toby Zallman
These are dynamic times! Due to Covid 19, The Art Center Highland Park Galleries had to adjust our exhibits to accommodate a changing schedule. This kind of fluidity has distorted our perspectives and shaken our foundation, inspiring the theme, Of Time & Place. The work explores how the pandemic has changed our perspectives of how we pass time, where we quarantine, and with whom with create bubbles of contact. The galleries have been adjusted to adhere to spacial restrictions, defying the confines of our usual gallery places. As a result, the juror, Victoria Marchio, was able to include outdoor works and installations.
Many of the pieces in the exhibit suggests a fleeting, ungrounded and fragmented shift in our notions of shelter and time, while others reflect the ‘bubbles’ in both literal and symbolic ways. While the shelter in place may have lifted, the altered sense of life post-pandemic has continued to alter perceptions. Time has moved both quickly and slowly. There exists an uncertainty, however, at the same time, there remains a constant in the reality of a global shared experience. The individual experiences can be different, but the international existence of a shared experience becomes the history that shapes who we are as a culture. It is incumbent on artists to reflect our responses to our situations that help us form meaning.
Voices & Visions, Standing on the Bridge Between Health and Disease will be on display August 14 through September 26, 2020, at The Art Center Highland Park (TACHP). The seventh biennial exhibit of V&V with the theme that aims to express the many ways cancer can be interpreted, literally and symbolically. TAC invited artists to submit works that address issues pertaining to cancer, from fear and facing mortality to finding strength and building community. Whether a survivor, previvor, caregiver, or just someone that has been touched by cancer or the fear of it, this exhibit seeks to find meaning and put into context how pain and suffering can lead to empowerment and healing.
Founder and TAC curator, Caren Helene Rudman poses a question for the community to answer which are exhibited along side of the artwork. In 2020, the question posed: ‘How have healthcare providers and/ or caregivers, friends and/or family members helped you through your journey in dealing with cancer and its effects? Share an act of kindness that stands out or resonates, and feel free to recognize those by name.”
What happens to a regional art center when everything shuts down? The museums with established artists are closed, the galleries with emerging artists are closed, the coffee shops with local artists are closed, but in spite of the closures, there seems to be a constant, unifying drive to do what artists have done throughout history. Artists continue to create!
The art Center Highland Park (TACHP) put out a call for artwork during the stay at home order asking if it is still possible to connect through art and if so how? Curator, Caren Helene Rudman’s own artistic endeavor during covid consisted of creating a new piece every day of the quarantine, and she noticed as she was posting on instagram, more and more groups appeared with many hashtags, including #quarantineartchallenge. It sparked curiosity about how artists connect in an era of separation, thus, leading to the theme of, ART IN THE TIME OF QUARANTINE.
The seventy-three artists from twenty-two states throughout the US, including one entrant from Russia, with over 160 works of art selected, express a range of ideas and emotions coming out of this time. As guest juror, James Lynch, Executive Director TACHP noted, “The work in the exhibit reflects the varied filters that artists applied to this situation from landscapes to literal reflections and interpretations of the virus.” How artists and galleries share their work may have changed, but the need to share reactions to the world are vital and continue to thrive as seen in this powerful virtual exhibit.
The Art of Ellen Sandor and (art)n
“Art Saves. Tough Art and Science Really SAVES.”
Ellen Sandor and her team at (art)n, Azi (Azadeh) Gholizadeh and Diana Torres, completely redesigned their work to accommodate an online virtual experience.
Viewed through the lens of today’s crisis, (art)n and Ellen Sandor’s work becomes more inspiring and relevant. Throughout her career, Ellen has worked with incredible groups of gifted artists, scientists, technologists and thinkers, resulting in intense collaborations, integrating other artforms, computer graphics, medicine and science. The intense content merged into totally new mediums, PHSColograms, which deal with topics from AIDS and Papilloma viruses, to breast cancer and autis
Ellen’s work is groundbreaking, and once again they have exceeded expectations, expanding their selected images to transcend the virtual and literal, the screen and brain, the image and observer. What she and her team share with us in this exhibit is the fulfillment of the possibility that the arts have to inform and influence other areas, science, medicine, with the courage to come at issues from an entirely new direction. They take us back into the gallery, perhaps not physically, but have managed to recreate the space for all of us to enter. Like a traditional exhibition, their incredible work informs, educates and especially entertains. By merging virtual art into a true experience, they also challenge and inspire us to all “Visualize in a New Light.”
In spite of the current situation, TACHP continues to connect through art by presenting virtual exhibitions. The Art & Science theme has never seemed more relevant in the situation we now face. Despite the shutdown of our physical gallery space, we support artists by continuing to share their great work virtually.
Art & Science have always been interdependent, from the chemistry of paint, the theory of color, to the visualization, illustration, and imaging within the field of science and research. TACHP sought work that addresses how art and science intersect and the ways we can interpret and manifest this intersection using the many mediums available to artists.