March has been Madness, to say the least! Every day and every weekend there is so much to do in Chicago, that sometimes having to chose between events is the hardest decision. I've been gallery hopping, going to screenings, attending nonprofit events, and of course making time to have some fun too. I'm trying to find time to take in everything around me and stay up to date with the art world, and sometimes the spontaneity of going to an event last minute is the thrill itself. After class ends, I'll look up what's going on around Chicago and decide in the moment to attend an exhibition instead of taking the Red Line back home. Here's what I've been up to, be prepared it's a long post!
Couple weeks ago I attended a screening of the documentary, Between Madness and Art: The Prinzhorn Collection at the Intuit, The Center for Intuitive and Outside Art. The documentary is about the link between psychological states and the creative process of mentally ill patients, all archived by Dr. Hans Prinzhorn. It was interesting to see how the artworks of these patients was a catalyst for the Modernist artists such as Dali, Picasso, Klee, and Ernst. They were all inspired by this work and the archive created by Prinzhorn is quite possibly one of the best contributions to Modern Art. I'm definitely going to be looking more into this and I'm even more intrigued to learn about how drawing and painting is encouraged in mental hospitals today. The common thread between the artworks of the mentally ill patients shows a desperate need to reconstruct order in a state of chaos they were trying to escape, both physically and mentally. If you're interested in learning more you can read more here: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-prinzhorn-collection
While at Intuit, I also took the time to look at their collection of outsider art. As I'm currently taking the Art History: Better Homes and Garden course, I've been more aware of outsider, folk, vernacular art, or artists who work outside of the mainstream. You can find more information on their website: http://www.art.org/
I attended the opening of Not Just a Drawing: A Line with Intent at the Arc Gallery to see the work of one of my colleagues, Ambrin Ling. The first two pieces are hers and the rest are of the participating artists whose works also made it into the show. This has to be one of my favorite exhibitions because for those of you who know me, know that I love contour line, so it was interesting to see how each artist approached working with line, and specifically a line with intent. For me, line is the simplest way to express powerful emotion. It's the truest way to strip a visual image down to its core and record what you see in the world on paper through gestures and movement of just line alone. It has a life of it's own, and most importantly, a powerful intent. To see more of the exhibition: http://www.arcgallery.org/not-just-drawing-a-line-with-intent/
For my Art Therapy class, we were required to attend the International Museum of Surgical Science on Lakeshore to learn about how art and medicine are parallel and then create a one page comic inspired by what we saw. I have to say this is probably the coolest museum I have ever been to, and the fact that it was previously a mansion turned museum was just the icing on top! I learned a lot about Medical Illustration and the important role art had in medicine. My comic was inspired by the advancements in lithography to chromolithography, or the use of colored ink in prints, that helped diagnose different kinds of diseases. Please do not laugh at my comic, as I am an amateur to this genre and am still trying to learn how to communicate in images. This class has so far been one of my favorites this semester and I know I said I would share more of my journal entries, promise I will get to it! But if you're ever in Chicago, do check out the museum: https://imss.org
Let's keep going, I told you, it's been March Madness! Since we're on the topic of comics, one day after class I quickly stopped by the opening of Comix: Pencils to Panels at Columbia College, which is literally next door to SAIC. This was a good opportunity for me to meet with comic artists and get a first hand look at how they create their story boards. The artists also displayed their sketchbooks, which I think was the best part about the exhibit. When do you rarely get a chance to see the creative process or journal of the creative mind of an artist?!
In the vicinity of the universities is the Museum of Contemporary Photography. I've been to this Museum before and am always fascinated by the photography. This time they are showcasing the stories of families torn apart by WWII in Libya in the exhibition Traversing the Past: Adam Golfer, Diana Matar, Hrvoje Slovenc. I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves, but I will say, the narration of such a difficult topic in pictures brings to light the aftermath of the ripple effect war takes on families for generations to come. http://www.mocp.org/index.php
Bringing it back home, aka SAIC. My school has some serious talent as well! The current exhibition at the SITE Gallery at SHARP building is called How to Dig a Hole Outside of Itself, and it takes the viewer directly into the creative mind of the artist. The exhibition is an exchange between the two creative minds of Jasper Goodrich and Alden Bruke, and what transpires in a space between artist and curator. Walking into this was not only exhilarating, but refreshing to see the process of the creative process. http://sites.saic.edu/sugs/exhibition/how-to-dig-a-hole-outside-itself/
The last exhibition I went to was the Spring Undergraduate Exhibition. I didn't have much time to see everything, but I will leave you with what I did see. I plan on going back when I have more time to fully look at each piece and learn a little more about the artists.
Lastly, I did make some time for fun and socializing. I had the opportunity to attend the Muslim Women's Alliance Brunch and honestly I am so impressed with the work Chicago Muslims are doing out here. I'm hoping to get more involved and possibly look into more Muslim nonprofits in the area! http://mwachicago.org
This isn't the end, there's still many more events coming up and projects I'm working on that I can't wait to share!