In their two-person exhibition, Not Afraid, Janice Elkins and Gina Lee Robbins have created a symphony of canvases, sculptures and installations that render the human experience in abstracted, yet vividly emotional ways. Using bold imagery, fractured form, and rich layers of texture, Elkins and Robbins have captured an uncensored psychological response to these restrictive and bewildering times.
Both artists live and work in Oak Park, IL, and for the past decade have forged a friendship that has spilled over into an intergenerational dialogue through their art. Organic forms in Robbins’ ceramic sculpture inspire the figures in Elkins’ paintings, and vice versa. With little formal training, both of these self-taught artists have found their voices through fearless experimentation and play.
For the last 22 years, Elkins has owned and operated Gallery PINK, a mainstay in the Oak Park Arts District where she has featured many mid-career and emerging contemporary artists, as well as her own work. Her expressionist use of color and distorted figures reveal the alienation of urban and domestic life. Her work has been exhibited in locales such as University of Illinois at Chicago, Fort Wayne Art Museum, Koehnline Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, and Rockford Museum.
Robbins has been creating ceramic sculpture for over 25 years. Combining wonky hand-built ceramic forms with found and reclaimed materials like wood, leather, latex rubber and hair, she inspires a visceral reaction in even the most abstract forms. She has exhibited and curated solo, invitational and juried group shows and competitions nationwide, in locales such as Harold Washington Library, Bradley University Galleries, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Jack Olson Gallery at Northern Illinois University, Rockford Museum of Art, and University of Wisconsin Union South Gallery, among others.
During the exhibition’s opening weekend, visitors will be able to reserve timed entry slots here. For any members of the press who would like to view the exhibition outside of those times, please contact UIMA’s Operations Manager, Ulyana Dmytriv, at email@example.com to set up an appointment.
Opening Reception February 20-21 2021
Top Image: Janice Elkins, Detour Ahead, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 36 × 36”