Meet Artist Leaders
Bryan Saner is an interdisciplinary art practitioner focusing on the creation of performances, activist art events, neighborhood evolution and appropriately designed objects. He teaches workshops, mentors and lectures locally, nationally and internationally on the subject of performance, the body, neighborhood design, movement and collaboration. He is currently an adjunct professor, mentor and advisor in the Interdisciplinary Arts graduate program at Columbia College Chicago. From 1995 to 2009 Bryan worked as a performing artist with the recently retired Goat Island Performance Group. During this time, the company toured internationally, performing at venues including the Venice Biennale, Bristol’s Arnolfini Theatre, the Eurokaz festival in Zagreb and the New Territories Festival, Glasgow. He recently worked with the creative collective project Watch Tower, and is currently performing with Every House Has a Door and dancing with Erica Mott.
Madeline Winter is a visual artist from Chicago, Illinois. Her paintings explore the challenges as well as the optimism required while mothering two young daughters. Works include reference to the current state of the artist’s home life through shapes reminiscent of the accoutrement collected during childrearing such as small toys and minuscule puzzle pieces, while also focusing on the female body during different stages of life and maturity. Bright colors reflect the buoyancy of childhood while sharp lines convey the strength of the female experience. Winter has shown work in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, and throughout Indiana. She has held residencies in Barcelona, Chicago, and Indiana. Winter received her BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Painting from Indiana University.
Maggie Puckett is an activist, educator, and interdisciplinary artist, combining art and science to explore the complicated history and future of anthropogenic effects on the Earth’s systems. Through handmade paper, artist’s books, and environmental works her practice navigates our planet from atmosphere to core, examining ecological history and visualizing predictions of future global change. She is currently collaborating with Melissa Potter on Seeds InService, a radical craft initiative inspired by Jane Addams that explores the intersections of the art of hand papermaking with gardening, social practice, community engagement, and creative pedagogy in Columbia College Chicago’s The Papermaker’s Garden. Maggie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from New York University and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Columbia College Chicago.
Meet Artist Residents
Nominated by Marwen Alia Williams is a multi-media artist who focuses on innovation and the ability to push boundaries. Inspired by the process of creation, Williams utilizes a variety of mediums including printmaking, photography, mixed media and metal work. By incorporating elements which stimulate the senses - most notably touch and sight, she establishes an avenue to integrate her audience into a more participatory role within the work’s final form. Alia is currently finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Champaign. Image: Polaroid, 2013.
Nominated by Northwestern University Amy Lee is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is influenced by psychology, time perception and memory. Time is the intellectual structure of a non-spatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. It can also be thought of as something that keeps everything from happening at once. Thus, a situation in which an object exists in various moments of its creation simultaneously may be the absence of time. (Un)fold considers the possibility of being both in time and outside of time and how that changes our perception of time. Amy Lee is a recent graduate of Northwestern University. Image: (Un)fold detail, Dimensions Variable, Poplar, 2013.
Nominated by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Argyris Angeli is a visual artist whose work reflects on the tensions between stability, disorientation, the definitive and the relative by studying human identities, perceptions and interactions. Focusing on gender theories and hermaphroditism as manifestations of the fluidity between the essence and external image of things, the space in-between intersecting polarities, Angeli creates hybrids inspired by male and female genitalia in combination with other geometric or natural forms. Additionally, he investigates the city’s urban and social fabric in quest of the relationships between our fellow humans and the spaces we inhabit, where he introduces happenings and and installations providing the context to question our basic prejudices such as race, religion and sex. Argyris is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Nominated by The University of Illinois at Chicago Bryce Jensen is a visual artist whose work explores issues of identity within the social context including acceptance or lack thereof. Inspired by his roots of being half African American and half Caucasian, Jensen creates fictional realities which provide an exaggerated perspective regarding the visceral aspects of life to emphasize feeling outcast during his youth. Bryce Jensen graduates from the University of Illinois at Chicago later this year. Image: Urban Renewal.
Nominated by The University of Illinois at Chicago Christine Harrison Frei is a visual artist whose practice focuses on stretching and pushing of photographic mediums as a means with which to explore our relationship with images. Examining the place where images exist as both objects and illusions, she constructs images that reflect the layers of mediation through technology. Attempting to decipher what is between the viewer and the image, Frei also wants the viewer to acknowledge that they are examining a technical image - one that is bound by the socio-economic stamp of the era and science that they were made with. Christine Frei is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Image: Sofia Luz Dorantes Closet Portrait, 30" x 40", Archival Inkjet Print, 2014.
Nominated by Harold Washington College Daniel Sanchez is a visual artist whose practice is influenced by nature, raw material and that which exists organically. Influenced by the intrinsic state of the planet, Sanchez incorporates raw and organic materials foraged from the outdoors, as a way to emphasize the importance of preserving the natural aesthetic. Daniel Sanchez currently works and resides in Chicago. He is a recent graduate of Harold Washington College. Image: Bowl and Plate Set
Nominated by The University of Illinois at Chicago “I believe in the cliché that anything and everything is art. l loathe being specific.” Eric Perez is a visual artist whose work is influenced by cliche and perspective. Finding comfort in being broad, covering a wide range of ideas and putting them to use, Perez’s work is influenced by topics ranging from the silhouettes of film noir to quirky cartoons. Eric is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Image: In Formation, 2011.
Nominated by Northwestern University According to Ethan McGinnis, painting is first a confrontation between painting and painter, and second, a confrontation between painting and viewer. A confrontation presupposes the confronter and the confronted. Mentally, the situation is played out a thousand times, and still never realizes itself as imagined. A lacking is always inevitable. McGinnis chooses to be a painter because he needs structures to work against. He needs limitations and rules, preconceived notions, prejudices, and above all, institutions. He needs to break them, in order to reconfigure them. The pieces of the pieces are interchangeable, they perpetually intermingle and coexist. The process is the work, and the work is always in process, until it is not. Ethan McGinnis is a recent graduate of Northwestern University. Image: Maledictus, Fabric, Strainer Bars, The Imprint of a Painted and Broken Mirror, Mirror Shards, Glass Shards, Shredded Artist Statement on Paper, Duct Tape, Masking Tape, Acrylic, Spray Paint, Tempera.
Nominated by Northwestern University Studies of sub conscious and subatomic conscious try to pry open the inner self, but this opening up, this exposure, readily creates another surface of outside things, which interact with what was once hidden and change it. The focal point of Huayi Wang’s work is the contact between the individual and another. Focusing on the way in which the different surfaces around us affect the surface presented to the world and how this affects the interface when the surfaces of one touches another. Through the use of different media, Wang searches through history, stories, and the expanding internet, piecing the answers together. As self described, at the core, it is all a very selfish path of stereotypical self-discovery/ feeling out the boundaries between me and not-me. Huayi is a recent graduate of Northwestern University. Image: Welcome (detail of site specific Installation Folding Hexagons on the Borders of High Noon and Other Such Place Curtains), Onasburg, Pearl Cotton, Floss, Poplar, 2013.
Nominated by Northern Illinois University Jaclyn Bae is a visual artist whose work integrates aspects of Asian and Western culture, expressing the unique variety of her life experiences based on heritage, cultural gaps, and memories. By pinpointing historical moments in Korean history and integrating them into her life at present, Bae highlights her identity as defined through these changing roles - a Korean immigrant assimilating to life in the United States, a former Buddhist now converted to Christianity, as well as a working mother and artist. Jaclyn Bae is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University. Image: Paper Hanbok, Hand-made Paper from Linen Shirt, Korean Text, Sumi Ink, 2013.
Nominated by Northern Illinois University “I want the viewer to have the same feelings while looking at my work as they do when their brother-in-law takes them into the garage to show them the 1996 Ford Mustang that he just bought.” Jake Racina is an interdisciplinary artist and musician who strives to make work that is impressively unimpressive. Working with a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, drawing, video and performance, Racina projects a sense of humor intended to be just foreign enough to cause a pleasant disruption in the viewer’s visual language. By romanticizing the tacky, wavering between cool and uncool, the tone is distinctly all his own, highlighting themes of failure, importance, self-awareness, objectivity and banality. Jake Racina is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University. Image: Swearter, Saw Dust, Wood Glue, Wood, Metal, Hinges.
Nominated by Marwen Katie Chung is a visual artist and designer whose work communicates as an optical concern of her own language delivered through imagery. A language which has been dawned by history and continues to grow with the present, Chung creates a language from leisure. And only when she has fully communicated herself, does the language becomes art. Seeking a creative balance, she shares her studio practice with design work and collaborative projects. Katie Chung is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Image: GRLTHNG, 11" x 15", Screen Print, 2013.
Kayla Anderson participates in the art world as an interdisciplinary artist, a critical writer, a sometimes-curator, a precarious administrator, and an aspiring educator. Their visual practice is time-based, spanning video (single channel, and multi-channel installation), interactive virtual environments (video games), as well as performance, installation, and publication. Their work explores the ways that subjectivity shapes, and is shaped by, technology. Growing up under the influence of US working-class capitalism, they value art as an arena for non-strategic modes of thinking, feeling, and communing with others. Through art, they practice ways of being with the world: uncovering its curiosities and rubbing up against its contradictions. Their work has been shown at Currents International New Media Festival (Santa Fe), HTMlles Festival (Montreal), Australian Centre for the Moving Image ART+FILM Festival (Melbourne), MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture (Brisbane); as well as galleries and itenerant spaces throughout the US. They have juried exhibitions of contemporary media art for Woman Made Gallery, IEEE Vis Arts Program, and SIGGRAPH. They received their MFA from Northwestern University, and is a Visual Arts Fellow of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation.
Secondary Image: Kayla Anderson Stay With the Body, single channel video, 16:42, 2019. An off-screen narrator searches for accidental fragments of photographer’s bodies on Google street view panorama, certain that their visual evaporation will help her solve her own childhood fantasies of disembodiment.
Nominated by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Kekeli Sumah is a visual artist whose work explores the cultural politics of globalization and the construction of identity, particularly the interrelationship between Europe and Africa. By mingling Western art historical traditions with what is often distanced as 'Other,' Sumah uses the lens of post-colonialism and hybridity to question the constituent characteristics of contemporary identity. As a result of introducing potent ready-mades such as chocolate and paper airplanes into the space of the art-event, he playfully reconfigures the history projected onto the objects, showing the inherent fragmentary nature of the component parts. Kekeli Sumah is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Image: Love Me Forever As I Am, 5' x 5', Oil, Gesso, Insulation Foam, Chocolate, Balloons, Gold Tape on Linen, 2013.
Nominated by Chicago State University Kevin Oronia's current work, Pinhole Portrait, is a series of photographs which use the camera obscura technique to depict individuals within spaces native to their daily existence. The juxtaposition of the camera obscura combined with light painting techniques, effectively creates a visual balance within the composition, as inspired through the works of Abelardo Morell and Man Ray, while shedding light on themes of societal roles, perspective and individuality. Kevin Oronia is a visual artist and recent graduate of the Art & Design Program at Chicago State University. He currently works and resides on the city’s South Side. Image: Leslie, 16" x 20", Digital Inkjet Print, 2012.
Nominated by Columbia College Chicago Kristen Kula's current work, unPhotograph, is a series of photographs which examines and deconstructs the traditionally taught photographic process. The predetermined procedure of taking a photograph is identified through emphasis on deliberate decision-making, and perfectly outlined techniques and methods, which lead to mechanical reproduction and an over-saturation of sterile images. Kula breaks down the commercialism of photography, effectively negating the perception that the product is greater than the process. Through the use of deconstructive techniques, Kula identifies and tests the structural potential of the light sensitive material, and embraces the unexpected - effectively dismissing the autonomous control of the photographer. Kristen Kula is a visual artist and curator living and working in Chicago. She is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago. Image: Scrap, Chromogenic development print, 15" x 15" x 10", 2013.
Nominated by Northern Illinois University Lauren McKee is a visual artists whose work is influenced by themes of nostalgia, necessity and cataloging. Through the use of pattern and imagery as a form of communication, McKee compares the past and the present. By dividing an existing image into two equal parts, she creates a double which displays the positive and negative result. This allows the work to posses a balance and flow that naturally guides the viewer around referential patterns communicating the basic needs - food, clothing, shelter, and self. Through the deconstruction and reassembling of imagery into pattern, the work plays with a combination of abstraction and realism, as vintage periods are juxtaposed with the present day. Lauren is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University. Image: Town House, Collage, 2013.
Nominated by The University of Chicago Lida Wu is a painter, critic and translator, who’s work is influenced by the relationship between the verbal and visual arts. There is no way to create paintings today without addressing the state of painting itself. A painting is color, form, blobs of oil on a stiffened piece of cloth. It is both an unpenetrable surface that wants to be touched and a portal inviting entrance. This space is exactly where it is, and yet it’s merely an optical construct. The work is apolitical, at times anachronistic, but never ahistorical. Wu explores the tension between traditional landscape and abstraction,addressing the subjectivity of perception, the impossibility of answering “yes” or “no.” The images create space and depth through color and form, evoking a specific place, although not one that is ever real. Maybe this image operates with its own set of spatial and material constructs, or maybe it is a Cartesian world with recognizable perspective. Lida Wu is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago. Image: Edelweiss, 12" x 16", Oil on Canvas, 2013.
Nominated by Chicago State University Influenced by his upbringing in an impoverished area, subsequently witness to the city’s violent nature, Marcus McCoy’s graphic design focuses on effectively bridging the city’s cultural differences through visual representation. Highlighting the apparent disconnect between communities, McCoy's work intends to creates a universal perspective and communal understanding of society. With a self-described aesthetic of “commercially inspired with penurious influence,” McCoy views graphic design at the catalyst for art to become more accessible and tangible for a broader audience. Marcus McCoy is a graphic designer and recent graduate of the Art & Design Program at Chicago State University. He currently works and resides on the city's South Side. Image: Gentrification is the New Segregation (Revive Chicago Poster Series), digital print, 17’’ x 22’’, 2013.
Nominated by Marwen Maria Murczek is a visual artist whose work focuses on the geometry of the photograph through line, shape and form. Historical and traditional references combined with an obsessive attention to detail, guide Murczek to depict the architectural reality within her frame. Interests in community engagement and education lay the foundation, inviting viewers into the photographs, offering experiences outside of their normal realm. Her recent work highlights the architecture of Chicago Public High Schools as a way to discuss the concept of education and explore the nostalgia within. Maria Murczek currently lives and works in Chicago. She is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago. Image: Lane Tech College Prep High School, locker room, 4x5 black & white negative, virtual drum scan, inkjet print, 13” x 10.5”, 2012.
Nominated by The University of Illinois at Chicago Martin Hernandez Rosas is a video artist whose work explores universal emotions and the relative relationship between any two given counterparts. Focusing on Cinema Verite, he proceeds to capture the emotional framework that binds us together, nostalgic relationships - between people, places, and things. Martin Hernandez Rosas is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Image: Detail from The Further He Strays, Digital Video, 2012.
Nominated by Harold Washington College Michael Conway is a visual artist who utilizes illustration and printmaking to bring a sense of humor to his work. Having been diagnosed with ADHD and self described as having a terrible time sequencing tasks, Conway finds solace in the meditative nature of the printing process. In the same respect his prints cast attention on the light hearted and ironic nature of the day to day mundane. Michael Conway is a recent graduate of Harold Washington College. Image: Shut Up, Mom!, 10.5" x 13.5", Screen Print, 2012.
Nominated by Columbia College Chicago Monica Pizano is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice functions as reflection - the physical creation of an analysis. Influenced by her identity as a first generation Mexican American, Pizano sees her position as being compromised by disequilibrium, essentially the embodiment of negotiation. Language, symbols, ideologies and experience become the catalyst for this notion - two generations ago, the language only existed orally, on generation ago the culture was transplanted. As the generation suffers a disconnect, trapped between opposing realities - one fixed, and the other constantly in flux, the work becomes a process of bridging, which seeks to harmonize her identity. Monica Pizano currently works and resides on the city’s South Side. She is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago.
Nominated by Northern Illinois University Inspired by the intricacies found within the organization of the universe, Natalie Tarnowski combines print media with experimental techniques and mediums, in an effort to use prints as three-dimensional elements. By integrating materials such as gelatin, it specifically affords the added challenge of giving the prints a “life-span” in which they are born, live, and then die. Tarnowski’s Road Kill series highlights the inherent order found within chaotic processes, such as disintegration or destruction. As is typical of human nature to perceive disintegration or destruction as concepts without a rigid structure or system, juxtaposing a highly mathematical, man-made construct upon a natural construct, we begin to visualize an imaginary order that helps us to dismantle organic substance that, in a realistic scenario, would not be dismantled in such an orderly fashion. This in turn allows for a more easily acceptance of entropy as something integral to the natural function of the universe. Natalie Tarnowski is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University. Image: Raccoon Leg Muscle III (Day 1), 12" x 12", Screen Prints in Gelatin, 2013.
Nominated by Columbia College Chicago. Pilar Amado's practice addresses the history of conflict and its consequences in her home country of Colombia. War is ambiguous territory, and often leaves us with the desire to place blame, find a solution, an answer - an end. Examining the past fifty years, Amado’s work addresses her perception of the issues and consequences which have plagued her home, as she guides the audience into a participatory role as a means to establish a comprehensive perspective. Pilar Amado is a visual artists currently living and working in Chicago. She is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago. Image: Underway Civilization (detail), Cement, Polyurethane Resin, 2013.
Nominated by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Yanping Wu is a visual artist whose work is influenced by her upbringing in a small village of the urban-rural fringe where the traditional way of living was preserved. Summer nights spent listening to folktales have paved the way for both conscious and unconscious reflection of self and the surrounding natural environment. Yanping Wu is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Image: The Spirit.
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