2010 Chicago Art Open

Chicago Art Open
Chicago Art Open - River East Art Center 2010

It was so incredible to be chosen to exhibit at the River East Art Center for the 2010 Chicago Art Open hosted by Chicago Artists Coalition.  First of all the River East Art Center is such an exquisite gallery space to visit…but to have work there too…sublime.

Gathered were 350 works of art by various artists with varying degrees of experience and a multitude of media.  It was hung salon style and I was so delighted to see my piece in the center of the wall!!!  There was an entire room of paintings, flanked with rooms filled with mixed media and drawings.  It was all a feast for the eyes.

I’ve personally come to the conclusion, over this past year, that being an artist is similar to what I imagine having a bi-polar disorder would be like.  These past two weeks I have been on such a manic high.  I have experienced amazing things in my career and I know in a few weeks when things are slower I will be craving the rush of these past 15 days.

The Discovery Ball was an amazing event!! It was like being in a fairy tale.  The Friday before (23rd) as I was installing the auction gallery artwork, I was walking behind a couple of people.  As they entered the gallery set up one looked at the other and said “Wow…this gallery is SO much better than last year!”.  Music to my ears!  I had accomplished what I had envisioned for this years artwork offerings.  The rest would be gravy for I knew if it was better than last year than surely people would purchase the artwork providing funding for cancer research and the like.  Success…..  Actually half of the artwork was purchased and the other half will be offered this summer at the ACS Skyline Soiree which information can be found at SkylineSoiree.  Please consider attending if you are the Chicago area for this event is a young urban professional event and a TON of fun.  It’s being held at the Harris Theater rooftop in Millenium Park in the loop.   I have to graciously thank the amazingly generous artists who all contributed to the success of this event’s gallery!  Unlike last year, this year’s gallery became a gathering place for people.  It was so exciting to see people congregate in the gallery and discuss the artwork along with a range of other topics.  Here’s a picture of the crowd from an upper balcony and a picture of people in the gallery…

Discovery Ball from above.

Discovery Ball Gallery

A week after the fairy tale event was my next opportunity.  I organized and curated an art sale that was being held as part of the TriCity Family Services Art of Giving first annual event.  This wine tasting / art sale was being held to raise money for TriCity to continue to provide counseling services for people who cannot afford it in the TriCity area of Batavia/Geneva/St. Charles in Illinois.  TCFS partnered with Water Street Studios and we were honored to have ten of their artists put their artwork on display with 30% of the sale proceeds being donated back to TCFS.  I too was able to include a painting.  We had over 100 people in attendance and I was even interviewed by the Daily Herald in a story about what I am hoping to make a career out of along with a connection to the event.  The article can be found HERE if you wish to read it.  We had some artwork sell…of course its never nearly enough.  🙂

So…during these past couple of weeks I’ve had the success of two events helping others, a published interview, and a painting in the Chicago Art Open.  Now if I can only sustain this….that’s what I’ll be working very hard on.

As a reflectionary note….thank you to anyone who has come to see my blog over this past year.  We are quickly coming up on my one year anniversary of my BFA graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I am so thankful to all who have been so supportive and given me an opportunity to make a difference or show what I am made of.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring…..

Until then I remain….artistically optimistic!

What I want to be when I grow up…

Hi everyone!

I know I have been away for a while, but I am back.  I had an aunt pass away recently…another voice silenced by cancer.  Death in our family is a double-edged sword.  During the wake, cousins from 5 factions come together in a common bond.  The span of ages, of all these cousins, is about 20 years between the oldest and the youngest.  In my family, I have 18 counsins total.  It’s quite a gathering and there is always a celebration of our childhood involved; sharing stories of my aunt and uncle who are now rejoined somewhere we cannot see.  We talked about all the adventures we had as kids in my grandparent’s tavern named Chuck’s Wagon; laughing about the Charlie Pride or Mac Davis songs on the jukebox, the toaster oven cheeseburgers grandma made us, or the Thanksgiving KFC served on the pool table because grandma forgot to turn on the oven to cook the turkey.  We had so many great times being together every weekend at the tavern.  Can you honestly imagine 15-18 kids every weekend running around a tavern?  It was the best, but I digress.  As fun as the wake evening is (to see everyone and reminisce), the funeral day is crushingly sad because of the loss we all feel.  The loss of our loving aunt and the loss of being those carefree children.    I will miss her.

But another thing that this past week or so has shown me, is how important the fight for cancer is and how the fight must continue.  I have collected artwork to auction off at this year’s Discovery Ball in April.  16 artists, including myself, have donated just under $18,000 of artwork for the event.  I could not be more proud of the work collected.  In this journey I have realized that this is what I am really good at.  I really care about the artists I meet along this path and I am passionate about what they produce and why.  I am also good at business and have interlaced non-profit work throughout my life.  Curating for a cause just seems like a natural direction for me.  I am excited about artwork and just as excited about a good cause.

This blog is to canvas my path after graduation and I would like to curate auction galleries for fundraisers.  Artists have a voice and their voices can be shared to make great changes in this world.  Art should never just decorate a wall, it should always be an extension of the artist’s heart and mind.  It may not scream it’s intentions; often a whisper is just as strong.  We are taking steps forward…

Exotic art or artistic exo?

Just as the Bangles proclaimed “It’s just another manic Monday…I wish it were a Sunday…’Cause that’s my funday…My I don’t have to runday……..

Yesterday got completely by me.  I’m thankful to be so busy, but sad that I didn’t have a chance to update this for all who read it.  This week’s curiosity for me is the idea of art and the exotic.  I spent the past week really focused on how I was observing and perceiving artwork that I saw.  I went to this FABULOUS gallery that everyone should run to see.  The gallery is called Simply Chicago Art and is owned and managed by Mary Berg.  I was introduced to Mary by an artist named Patricia Beauchamp who is generously donating a piece of her artwork for the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Ball.  Patricia understood an added opportunity to display the artists and their generously donated work for the event and made the connection between Mary and I.  So I went to the gallery on Saturday.  Mary is currently exhibiting artwork from 40 artists…ranging from the small to the grand.  The gallery is located at 1318 Oakton Street, Evanston (near the intersection of Oakton and Asbury.  Mary has new artwork on display every 4 weeks.  But I digress…

In looking at the artwork she had exhibited; I noticed that I was more drawn to things that I haven’t seen before.  There were some beautiful fabric art pieces using innovative stitching patterns and barely readable text on the patterned fabric.  I tried to discern what was the most basic attraction I had to these pieces and then take a wider stance to all the artwork that I am attracted to.  What I discovered, for myself, is that I find art to be located in the exotic.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines exotic as “Intriguingly unusual or different; excitingly strange…”.   I don’t necessarily feel as though only things I haven’t seen before are “art”, but instead I feel that I can find “exotic” moments in all art.

What do you think?  Can art be found in the common everyday?  Or can it be seen in the mundane?  Feedback about this please as I am not sure what to make of it.