What Matters (better late than never)

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Last year was an eventful one for Team CG. We started up the year with awesome shows like Present Standard at the Chicago Cultural Center curated by the wonderful artists, Josue Pellot and Edra Soto. This show served as a contemporary survey of Chicago Latinx artists and was also one of the best curated shows of 2016. The images below were taken in front of Diana’s piece, Fleco.

See the following links for more press, images, and info on the show:

The Annual at Chicago Artist Coalition, also curated by Edra Soto ran at the same time as Chicago Art Expo. It was a big weekend in Chicago with lots of art to see and artists to meet! See images of both events here:

The StArt Up Art Fair was another very interesting event happening at the same time as Expo and The Annual. Artist and art guru, Paul Klein talks to artists, Edra Soto, Magalie Guerin, Juan Angel Chavez, Jenny Lam, and Tom Torluemke about What Matters. What are some of the core concepts that matter to this diverse group of relevant Chicago artists, and how money, professionalism, and community impact their practices.

Lastly, we wanted to dedicate this post to Diana’s aunt, Emmita. She was a mother to those of us who who needed one. Always there and up for anything. She was a friend, art supporter, and a late blooming artist, herself. Her parting was devastating but the void in our hearts will overflow with all of the beautiful memories and love she left for us. Rest in Peace.

Emmita with Sabina Ott’s ‘Because Mountains Are So High’ at Chicago Art Expo

Dual World: Templo Girasol

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Templo Girasol

Dual World comes from W.E.B. DuBois’ concept of Double Consciousness. The title of the series is a play on the gaming term, dual wielding, for fighting with a weapon in each hand. The double exposure photos were made in-camera by shooting twice before advancing the film.

Templo Girasol, or Sunflower Temple, was shot last winter on Sunflower Lane in Hoffman Estates. The first exposure is my shadow over a temple that we carved out of a snow pile. The second is the reverse view of a sunset between the houses across the street. After developing, I liked the way the sky in the first shot came out as a rich and dark blue, making the orange of the sunset pop, as if it completes the sky in the second frame. I was also happy about the way the rooftops in the second frame broke up the color of the snow in a geometric way.

I get my color film developed at CSW Film Systems; the best kept secret in town.

Art at Morton College. Erin Hayden

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Erin Hayden received BS in art education and studio arts from Illinois State University and is a current MFA candidate in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

My paintings hover in the space between pictorial representation and the actuality of the painting as object. Through the use of paint, papers, and fabrics, I create spaces where the identities of materials shift and merge into one another while also conforming to pictorial representation. My paintings directly link to image matter that has a place within the history of painting, depicting commonly known images that can be identified by a wide range of audiences. I am engaging a long tradition of painting still life objects, landscapes, animals, etc., while also highlighting the materiality of the paintings as objects.

By choosing common image types, I am able to push paint and material to its limits in a variety of ways while still conforming to the conventions of picture making. The collaged areas bring a direct representation of the subject, and in some instances, the materials transform identities. For instance colorful dresses become tulips, cookies form the backside of a dog, or a night sky is transformed into a mountain. The paintings deliver instances where the image coheres and yet falls apart as the different materials become apparent. The paint density also plays an important role in asserting the fluctuation between image and object. Washy areas of paint are used to create infinite space, opaque paint makes flat assertions of surface, and thick impasto paint enters into the viewer’s physical space. With this layering and absence of different materials, I want to question our everyday visual experiences in hopes of bringing to light the phenomenon of simply looking.

Erin’s work will be up from November 3rd through December 19th.
Morton College is located on 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804 Building C, first floor across from the Book Store.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Curated by Diana Gabriel

Art at Morton College. Karen Murphy.

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Karen E. Murphy is a sculptor born and raised in Oak Park and currently living in Schaumburg. She earned a BS in Business from Indiana University and recently graduated from Northern Illinois University with MFA concentrating in Ceramics. She has been a resident artist and received a Kiln God Award at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME. Her works have been published in Lark Book’s 500 Prints on Clay.  Karen exhibits her work nationally.

I use clay as my primary material to create abstract geometric images. I explore my interest in systems of structure and relationship through geometric form as a method of examining the conceptual process of organizing perceptions about boundaries.
Clay is typically used for its properties to create or cover objects of volume. This body of work examines clay’s relationship to form and surface in a low relief, 2 dimensional manner that relates to painting, printing or collage. The clay is used as a medium for the expression of mark and the unique surface of glaze. Utilizing repetitive geometry, references to nature and patterns from design, the selection of material and focus on process questions the hierarchy of material in art.
In some of the work 3D printing techniques were used to create originals that were then molded into clay. The contrast of new technology with the earthy ceramic medium is intended to provoke consideration about the nature of progress and technology.

Karen’s work will be up from November 3rd through December 19th.
Morton College is located on 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804Building C, Second floor across from the Student Union.

Artist contact:

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Curated by Diana Gabriel


Art at Morton College. Alfredo Martinez

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Born in Venado, San Luis Potosi Mexico.  Alfredo Martinez received his bachelors of fine arts degree in 1987 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago He’s participated in numerous art shows in the Chicago area, as well as in regional and national art exhibitions and competitions. Martinez received The “ Curator award” in a national exhibition and competition at the “Wedge Gallery “ in Rochester, New York in 1988.

Upcoming Exhibitions:
Ormond Memorial Art Museum, Ormond Beach, Florida June 13- August 25
Nicolas de Jesus and Alfredo Martinez. Prospectus Art Gallery, Pilsen  September
Prairie Center for the Arts, Schaumburg  October
Prospectus Art Gallery, Pilsen  October
Beverly Art Center, Chicago December


About the work

I was a student at the School of he Art Institute of Chicago when I happened to see this great exhibit of Mexican masks in the school gallery. It was a big show organized by the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum. All the pieces were a compilation from Chicago area private collectors. They were hundreds; all one of a kind. The great majority made out of wood, some incorporating other materials like leather, tin ,hair etc.

At the time I was working at a printed circuit boards factory setting up and operating machines, where I saw a machine repair man discarding a metal piece from an old motor. I picked up the piece and  saw a “face” in need of some surgery. Using a black marker, I outlined the shape and features of a face and with a set of files, drill and bits, and hack saw, I started to define this mask.

I occasionally I find a piece of scrap metal or discarded object that I can turn into a mask. An old liquid soap dispenser, faucet  from my bathroom, or a piece of rusted steel found on a Chicago street etc. Currently, I’m using bolts, screws, nuts and all kinds of metal objects for eyes, noses, mouths etc. Some faces are more challenging, yet others may require only eyes, a nose or mouth. Sometimes I feel that these displaced pieces are waiting for me to rescue them, to inject “life” to them, to give them a second chance for their continuity, or “reincarnation” this time in the form of “faces.”

You can view Alfredo’s Work at Morton College. 3801 S. Central Avenue, Cicero, Illinois 60804. Building C Second floor, across from the Student Union. This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Curated by Diana Gabriel