Boundary Issues Exhibition Recap
Boundary Issues began when David Rubman offered Lisa Degliantoni the use of his empty warehouse space for the month of June. Lisa began to envision a large scale group show of installation artists from Evanston. The only problem? Opening night was a month away.
But Lisa, being Lisa, managed to get her dream team of artists to agree to fill the empty warehouse with their unique voices.
There is a very large main space, with cavernous ceilings and a delivery door. To one side a small interior room with a glass half-wall. Other rooms were in various stages of emptiness. Some still had old indoor/outdoor carpet and there were concerns about tearing it up due to toxins. Walls were white-ish and pocked marked with wear and tear.
Lisa assigned a space to each artist, with as many 6 or 7 sharing the main space.
And on opening night, Boundary Issues brought together a wide range of work. Within the exhibition, one can see found-object installations, kinetic sculpture, fiber art, ambient video projection from a renovated delivery truck, and more.
The exhibiting artists are: Ben Blount, Melissa Blount, Vanessa Filley, Dave Ford, Joey Garfield, Ellen Greene, Dustin Harris, Erin Hayden, Anne Hayden Stevens, Mat Rappaport, Jeff Robinson, and David Rubman.
The exhibit runs from June 1-30 so there’s still time to see it!
Call to book viewings: 847-544-8205
West Evanston Industrial Park Warehouse, 942 Pitner Ave., Evanston, IL, formerly Chicago Ceramic Supply
Here’s what you’ll find at Boundary Issues:
Ben Blount – Eyes Wide Shut
In Eyes Wide Shut, which can be found in that small glassed in space off the main room, Ben Blount uses letterpress printed posters, wood, and house paint to, describe our relationship to white supremacy in the United States. It’s ubiquitous, yet unseen. Both monumental and myth. We try our best to close our eyes, to distance ourselves from not only the words, but their impact and meaning. Eyes Wide Shut is an examination of our relationship to this foundational aspect of the American experience.
Melissa Blount – fabric art
Melissa Blount’s pieces depict the faces of prominent black women embroidered in yarn, with one person for each letter of the alphabet. She uses humble dish towels as her canvases for faces like Assata Shakur, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells and Josephine Baker.
“It was fun because we got to do a lot of research and learn about people beyond Rosa Parks and the people you hear about every year in Black History Month,” Ben Blount said. “We got to kind of dig a little deeper.”
Vanessa Filley – Flight Plan
Vanessa Filley describes Flight plan as a constructed environment intended to invoke a sense of chance encounter, the potential of love and attraction, the magic of winter exploration and the possibilities of flight. It is the story of Linus & Matilda and the forest of the winter songbird. Over three years she letterpressed, painted and hand-stitched this world from worn out sweaters, blue jeans, vintage textiles and muslin using circles and lines as her compass .
At the time that she began this project her two daughters were 6 months and three years old. She had a fierce desire to protect them from the world and introduce them to it piece my piece. She wanted to start with the slow magic and wonder of existence, to provide a shelter and a sense of steady expansion. She wanted to share a certain foundation of possibility before they were steeped in contemporary reality and all that that entails. This project came into being over the course of three years while her daughters slept.
The twelve trees are swathed in handmade quilts using fabric from her father’s childhood pajamas, her great-grandmother’s moth eaten upholstery fabric, curtain’s from her aunts nursery, suiting from her grandmother’s attic and a smattering of other fabrics. Each quilt is hand-stitched and embroidered with a stanza of a poem about the winter songbird. Perhaps you can hear the echoes of her song.
Dave Ford – SeeSaw Organ
The idea of the SeeSaw bellows driven wind piece has been in his mind for several years. Ford’s friend Brian and he were brainstorming at work one day of companion playground equipment pieces to accompany Swing Set Drum Kit. The tonal qualities of this type of piece was perfect. He had always envisioned the SeeSaw involving garden type hoses leading to a collection of harmonicas but stumbling onto an octave of organ pipes at Evanston Rebuilders Warehouse he knew it was time for SeeSaw Organ.
Ellen Greene with Vanessa Filley – The Playroom
Photographs, painting and mixed media sculpture.
Ellen’s thoughts on process: “I work first and foremost intuitively. I like to approach the imagery and materials I use from this internal dialog that arises to a level of compulsion that creates the art. It’s like a nagging or longing or obsessive loop that says “make this” and I can’t feel settled until its made. It doesn’t arrive from any sort of intellectual or technical training. It can come in dreams or waking visions that just pop into my mind. Even though I went to art school I often identify as a folk artist or even as an outsider. And I know that it is a privilege place to be able to go to school and then say: “I’m outside of the system” but I am very rebellious by nature and refused anything that school was trying to teach me. I wasn’t buying contemporary theory or buying into any ism. I wanted to look at art made by people in insane asylums, tattoo and folk art traditions. I liked the unrefined self taught aesthetic of punk music. I liked DIY fashion. I wanted to connect to others that were giving the middle finger to convention. So this intuitive impulse changes overtime. That initial youthful middle finger to convention has turned to a more thoughtful middle aged middle finger to convention. My thoughts and body change over time. I am interested in mapping that. Right now I am at the end of rearing young children. My oldest is 16 and starting to assert her independence, her leaving home is a close reality. So my current work has to do with looking back at domesticity and motherhood through my surreal, unconventional lens. I am looking at the emotions that surround family- the domestic drama I like to call it. How can I represent that? What do I see when I look back at the photos of the family that I could not see when I was inside the experience? What larger truth can I draw out? How can I be more honest? And based on what I am looking to represent I may make a painting, or I may pick up an embroidery needle or write a poem. I have to trust myself unconditionally and that is the real work.”
Joey Garfield – MOUNDTOWN
Mounds pop up everywhere-during every season. It has become Joey’s mission to profile these pile-ups of debris found in the corners of our world one mound at a time. They are all made naturally out of dirt, snow, wood chips and other organic material. A mounds lifespan is fleeting and in order to capture these mythical creatures in their natural environment he has to act fast. He scales walls, climbs fences, and sneaks through alleys to get the shot. And he’s only cut himself twice!
If he points to some kind of internal influence or artistic guidance when creating mounds it would be equal parts Jim Henson, Maurice Sendak and nature artist Andy Goldsworthy.
This series of work is called DRIFTERS. These pieces of wood are plucked from the rivers, lakes, oceans, and forests that surround all of us. Each one is given a chance to shine in a new light. He is most interested in pieces that have their own style, flow, and attitude. He finds the wood but also, the wood finds him and together they find the wheels.
Dustin Harris – Speaker Boy and his Boom Box will return!
Found object (wood) sculpture, video projection
The BOY was first introduced to the world in 2006, through an epiphany of his own enlightenment. Then he went away, and it was not known if he would ever revisit again. The show Boundary Issues has changed this, and ignited his creator artist/muralist/sculptor Dustin Harris to reimagine a new world for all to see, hear and share. Don’t miss his reawakening in a fresh environment, a throwback to the future.
Erin Hayden – Forever?
2019, vinyl banner, foam, wood, latex, dimensions variable.
Erin Hayden is an interdisciplinary artist predominantly working in painting, performance, poetry, video, and installation. Her work has been exhibited in various cities across the US and abroad including at Stony Island Arts Bank, and Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Torino. Solo exhibitions of her paintings and video work has been shown at Mana Contemporary Chicago, and Randy Alexander Gallery. She has been an artist resident at the Ragdale Foundation, the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity and is a Luminarts Fellow. She has been featured in reviews and publications such as, Frieze, Chicago Tribune, Lori Waxman’s 60wrd/min art critic, and NewCity Art as a 2018 Breakout Artist. She received her MFA in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University and is currently living and working in Chicago.
Mat Rappaport – Range Mobile
Utilizing a box truck, mounted with multiple external cameras, images from the surrounding environment is live captured, mixed with pre existing video and projected onto a screen mounted in the back of the truck. Sitting in the passenger seat of the truck, the artist “remixes” the environment in real time, performing a moving intervention into architectural space. The truck follows a looping path through the city and pauses at anchor locations, inviting passengers to ride along and have their image mixed into the video. range thus continues artist Mat Rappaport’s effort to shape the experience of urban environments through media-based interventions. As tenured Associate Professor of Interactive Arts and Media Department at Columbia College Chicago, a co-initiator of V1B3 (www.v1b3.com), and throughout his artistic career, Mr. Rappaport’s work has steadily sought to unearth the historically embedded, psychological and perceptual contingencies of the built environment. As an active, mobile intervention into lived architectural space, range presents visitors to the Architectural Biennial with a shift toward a more enriched, layered experience of public space.
Jeff Robinson – Minimum Fine
2019, wood, vinyl, metal leaf, fabric, and acrylic, dimensions variable.
Jeff Robinson is an artist and curator based in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. He holds an MFA from Illinois State University. Robinson has exhibited independently and collaboratively at numerous venues including Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), RomanSusan (Chicago), Ski Club (Milwaukee), University Galleries of Illinois State University (Normal), Outhaus (Urbana), and E. Tay (New York). His work has been published in New American Paintings, and his practices have been featured on Daily Serving, in NewCity Magazine (Chicago), FLOORR Magazine (London) and in the Riverfront Times (St. Louis), among others. Robinson is a curatorial resident for HATCH Projects at the Chicago Artist Coalition (2018-2020). Robinson has worked as artist-in-residence at Ragdale (2017) and ACRE (2017). In addition to his studio practice, Robinson serves as Instructor of Art at the University of Illinois Springfield and as Director of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery. He also served as co-director (and co-founder) of DEMO Project until its demolition in early 2018.
David Rubman – Wooden Sculptures
David transforms trees into sculpture – sometimes on a lathe, other times with a grinder. Textures accomplished with high-speed rotary tools, including a 300,000 rpm dental drill. Finishes are acrylics and milk paint.
Anne Hayden Stevens – The Philosopher Walks
A full room installation of prints titled “The Philosopher Walks” based on a yearlong study of Chinese landscape painting.
I am a narrative landscape painter and my conceptual focus is women walking in the landscape. I am currently working on two parallel bodies of work: a set of oil paintings, and a set of digital print series titled Women & Mountains which reflects on women’s experience in our current political landscape.
My oil paintings are oil and alkyd medium on gessoed panel. I protect my paintings with a cold wax varnish. My archival prints are large scale digital collages that remix fragments of my completed paintings with 3D models, photographs and drawing. I build the digital images as vector-based artwork so the collages can be scaled and applied to walls and building surfaces.