Apr 19th 2015

Spring forward on Sunday, April 19, when three new shows open at Hyde Park Art Center, including Jackman Goldwasser Resident Artist Susan Giles’ culminating exhibition “Scenic Overlook.” The day also will include a groundbreaking ceremony for The Guida Family Creative Wing, a re-design of 5,000 square-feet of previously under-utilized space that will become a physical home for the Art Center’s expanded programmatic initiatives later this year. The first Jackman Goldwasser Resident artist to benefit from the Creative Wing’s new studio spaces will also be announced during the remarks on that day, along with other programmatic highlights for 2015/2016.


Guida Family Creative Wing Ceremonial Groundbreaking
April 19; 2:30 p.m.

Exhibition Reception
April 19, 3-5 p.m.

Susan Giles: “Scenic Overlook”
Jackman Goldwasser Resident Artist Susan Giles explores observation and the modern-day megalith in her solo exhibition, “Scenic Overlook.” Using tower forms as key signifiers of place and identity, “Scenic Overlook” will activate the two-story gallery space at the Art Center with four large-scale wooden sculptures that borrow signature architectural features from the highest observation towers in the world: Tokyo Skytree, Canton Tower, CN Tower and Ostankino Tower. This work advances Giles’ investigation into tourism, architecture and the physicality of place by exploring aerial perspective and the individual’s relationship with these icons. Giles’ wooden towers, 20 to 25 feet in length, will be mounted horizontally on fabricated steel stands and “aimed” at viewers on the gallery’s catwalk, a permanent feature of the space designed by visionary architect Doug Garofalo. Several small sculptures made of paper and concrete will also be included in the show, dramatically shifting from mammoth to miniature, and challenging the viewer’s feelings in the presence of each building. Inverting the position and scale of these majestic structures provokes the critical examination of the technology and progress they symbolize. April 19 – July 26, 2015.

Nancy Lu Rosenheim: “Swallow City”
In this solo exhibition, Nancy Lu Rosenheim transforms Gallery 2 and the Lobby with a sensational new mixed-media installation. Through the sculptures and drawings on view, Rosenheim examines nature’s ongoing influence on structural design and architectural beauty, underscoring the capacity for nature to flourish and reclaim built spaces. The site-specific installation disrupts the horizontality of the hallway gallery with looming helix forms swirling towards the ceiling to create a man-made forest for visitors to navigate. In the lobby, plastered pods of porous bulbs made from plastic Easter-egg containers and other found materials hang under the central staircase. Despite her use of playful and cartoonish color, Rosenheim’s installations are not whimsical; rather, they explore the capacity for nature to become an all-encompassing—even destructive—force through its ongoing negotiation with humanity. April 12 – July 12, 2015.

“Nature’s Matrix” featuring work by Charles Heppner and Diane Jaderberg
Charles Heppner and Diane Jaderberg have both studied extensively at the Art Center where they have cultivated a unique artistic style in their respective media. “Nature’s Matrix” brings together the work of these two artists to highlight the ways in which they sample formal structures from nature and invent new patterns that reflect technology’s influence on how we perceive the environment. The geometric repetition in both Jaderberg’s and Heppner’s work is reminiscent of glitches (or visual stutters) in natural order, allowing the artists to abstract nature out of real forms and suggest other worlds. Jaderberg begins her sculptures with a solid piece of porcelain or stoneware, which she molds, pushes and deconstructs parts into twisting, feathery objects that depict fluid energy and movement. These objects are hybrid structures that conflate land, sea, and sky in an uncanny and timeless fashion. For Heppner, the tree presents the ultimate well-ordered system as well as a meditative icon. Using a single image of the sky through the trees, he mirrors and repeats the image in digital tiles to create an intricate circuitry of branches and blooms. Through July 5, 2015.

ArtShop: “Collective Possibilities”
ArtShop is part of a larger education initiative at the Art Center called Pathways, a K-12 learning pathway that focuses on a core group of South Side schools to develop students’ art-making skills, support them in becoming more engaged learners and facilitate the growth of their creative identities. Hyde Park Art Center launched Pathways in fall 2011 to address the fact that many youth do not receive arts education, especially in underserved south side neighborhoods experiencing historic disinvestment in arts and culture. Today, the program works with more than 800 youth from neighboring schools by providing year-long academic programs in every classroom at every grade level at elementary schools, intensive after school programs at middles schools, and two year-round teen programs at the Art Center, Youth Art Board and ArtShop. The “Collective Possibilities” exhibition, closing April 19, challenges students to look inward to explore the connection between myth and imagination in relation to the construction of personal identity. Each artwork contemplates the possibility of not only constructing one’s identity, but one’s reality. Closing April 19.

“Melika Bass: The Latest Sun Is Sinking Fast”
Filmmaker and visual artist Melika Bass expands the territory of her gothic world in a new installation using sound, 16mm/video, and architecture. Transplanted to Chicago from the south, Bass’s distinct, immersive artworks blend macabre and magical elements, revealing a fictional, fractured Americana. The solo exhibition, closing April 19, will feature a spatial narrative installation that delves, through movement, texture, sound and gesture, into the psychology of several reoccurring figures in Bass’ previous films; while also introducing two new characters, blending the past into the present. Bass alters the gallery, leading the viewer through a evocative memory of place, embedding the viewer in a timeless society of lost souls in a haunted landscape. Closing April 19.

During this important moment in the Art Center’s history, “Ground Floor” artists Daniel Tucker, in collaboration with Rebecca Zorach, an artist duo also known as Never The Same, invite the community to contribute items for a time capsule that will be embedded into the architecture of the new Creative Wing. Individuals are encouraged to contribute one item that addresses either something important to them today, or sends a message to the future. The capsule will be sealed on June 1, 2015 and is slated to be opened in celebration of the Art Center’s 100th Anniversary in 2039.

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