Nov 10th 2012

Making is the Mirror

@ Roxaboxen Exhibitions

2130 W 21st Street, Chicago 60608

Opening Saturday, November 10th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, November 24th


Jacob C. Hammes, Katie Hargrave, Laura Hart Newlon, and Erin Sweeny—each of the artists in Making is the Mirror possess a curiosity that frees them from allegiance to (reliance on?) a single mode of production. Whether investigating historical moments, ways of remembering, or strategies of framing vision, the work in this exhibition is the result of exhaustive research into a variety of archives. One could be forgiven for wondering why these artists take on the task of making new objects and experiences when they have amassed enough historical and biographical information on their subjects to fill a book that would be fascinating on its own. The answer lies in the space that is opened up for subjectivity through the process of making. Poet Frank Bidart offered an eloquent articulation of this urge when he wrote that, “Making is the mirror through which we see ourselves.”

The projects on display in this show reflect rigorous processes of inquiry and labor. As Hargrave constructs an historical flag by hand, she gains a special type of knowledge that is otherwise unattainable, but she also makes an object in which she is as present as the facts and narratives that guide her re-creation. Throughout this exhibition, artists reorient subjects that feel familiar through their chosen methods of production while also inviting viewers to think of history, memory, and experience as pliable materials with which to be engaged.


JACOB C. HAMMES has a BFA from the school of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 2006 he has worked at the Hyde Park Art Center where he is the Preparator and Media Technician.

More information about Jacob C. Hammes can be found at

KATIE HARGRAVE recently relocated to Minneapolis. She has an MA in Cultural Production from Brandeis University, an MA and an MFA in Intermedia and Video from the University of Iowa.

More information about Katie Hargrave can be found at

LAURA HART NEWLON currently lives and works in Chicago. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Washington and is in the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

More information about Laura Hart Newlon can be found at

ERIN SWEENY is an artist based in Los Angeles. She received her MFA in Photography from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2011.

More information about Erin Sweeny can be found at

ANTHONY STEPTER is originally from Grand Rapids, MI. He studied Sociology and Marketing at Grand Valley State University and is currently in the Visual and Critical Studies masters program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While at Grand Valley, Anthony was a participant in the Civic Studio, G-rad, nest, and co-founder of Stitchy: a sewing party. Anthony worked at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and Americans for the Arts before relocating to Chicago, IL. While in Chicago, Anthony has worked for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Teacher Institute in Contemporary Art (TICA) and Teaching Institute in Museum Education (TIME), as well as the Art Institute of Chicago’s Museum Education Department.

ROXABOXEN EXHIBITIONS is an artist collective run gallery and work space in the heart of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. We are dedicated to displaying work of awesome artists we encounter, providing a space for creative community collaborations, as well as distributing/acquiring ideas and information.

More information about Roxaboxen Exhibitions can be found at

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibition) was founded in 2010 with the ambition to provide the arts community with an affordable, cooperative, and dialogue-oriented residency program. The residency itself takes place each summer in rural southwest Wisconsin and brings together artists from across disciplines and levels of experience to create a regenerative community of cultural producers. Over the course of the following year ACRE endeavors to further support its residents by providing venues for exhibitions, idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.

More information about ACRE can be found at

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