Jan 28th 2022

One Show, Two Cities: Engage Projects launches Arts & Conversations (Chicago, IL/Palm Beach, FL)

CHICAGO/PALM BEACH – Experimenting with overlapping shows at two sites, Engage Projects launches Arts & Conversations, featuring 11 mid-career and emerging artists, with works ranging from painting to photography to sculpture. Like the name suggests, Arts & Conversations blends not only a variety of artworks, but also discourse surrounding the often obscure business world of art. If other shows tend to overwhelm, then Arts & Conversations clarifies: “We want to make things less intimidating on the market, both for artists and collectors, and that’s why we’re thrilled to join Regan Rohde’s series in Palm Beach,” says Jennifer Armetta, director of Engage Projects.

In May 2021, Engage Projects teamed up with Regan Rohde in her Palm Beach space – itself called Arts & Conversations – for a successful test program: bringing the artwork and education from Chicago to Palm Beach. While last year’s conversation focused on the broader aims of Engage Projects and how it chooses to support one artist over another, this year’s Palm Beach show goes further: Centering the artists themselves in an open discussion, text-based painter-photographer Adam Daley Wilson and multi-disciplinary artist Chris Larson will share the singular details of their entries into the art world.

An associate professor of art at University of Minnesota and Founder of the nonprofit residency program Second Shift in Saint Paul, MN, Chris Larson’s breadth is reflected in his current occupations as much as in the depth of his near thirty year, intercontinental show record, to which he is adding Arts & Conversations, with work drawing from found time cards, industrial garment thread, and Ralph Lauren shirts repurposed on canvas. On the other hand, breaking from the modern standard – Undergrad, MFA, gallery representation – Adam Daley Wilson forged an idiosyncratic path to becoming a professional artist, leaving behind a career in the legal field to pursue art full-time just five years ago, and frequently emphasizing mental health in his pieces. Their conversation will be recorded and available online after the Palm Beach opening reception, February 8th.

Whereas the Palm Beach opening brings together two artists for one conversation, the Chicago show spotlights three gallery artists for individual events across its opening days and closing days: Jean Alexander Frater at 6 PM on Friday, January 28th, Chris Cosnowski during an Open House from 12 – 5 PM on Saturday, January 29th and Edra Soto at 6 PM on Thursday February 17th. Built on the foundation of Engage Projects’ podcast series 1:1, the Chicago show hosts live conversations between these artists and director Jennifer Armetta.

Adam Daley Wilson (Portland, ME) investigates the consequences of mental illness through painting and text based work. Alejandro Figueredo Díaz-Perera (Los Angeles, CA) conceptually connects personal and universal ideas through multiple mediums. Cameron Gainer (Scottsdale, AZ) uses photography and video to illustrate a metaphor for the organization of the universe. Chris Cosnowski (Chicago, IL) creates platforms for discourse in his witty-titled paintings of uncommon trophy heads. Chris Larson (Minneapolis, MN) is a multimedia artist whose current work repurposes found garments and artifacts of industrial labor. Jean Alexander Frater (Chicago, IL) experiments with the materials inherent to painting and then integrates other histories, traditions and language into this form. Sharon Louden (New York, NY) recently has created arrangements of multicolored glass and painted in styles highly textured and chromatically simple. Edra Soto (Chicago, IL) is an interdisciplinary artist whose recent work is motivated by civic and social actions, prompting viewers to reconsider cross-cultural dynamics, the legacy of colonialism, and personal responsibility. Hasan Elahi (Fairfax, VA) examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and the challenges of borders and frontiers. David Leggett (Los Angeles, CA) is heavily influenced by popular culture, documenting both personal and cultural relationships. Derrick Woods Morrow (Chicago, IL) meditates on deviation and disruption, on language and representation, the laborious and playful. Jovan C. Speller (Minneapolis, MN) creates unique photographic works tied to both personal and historical experiences.

Chicago: January 28 – February 19 at Engage Projects Wednesday – Saturday 12 – 6 PM
864 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Palm Beach: February 8 – 28 at Arts & Conversations Monday – Friday 12 – 3 PM or by appointment
1608 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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