Jan 29th 2022

Niki Grangruth + James Kinser: Muse: Artists’ Talk

@ Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery

32 E Quincy St, Riverside, IL 60546

Opening Saturday, January 29th, from 2PM - 3PM

On view through Saturday, February 19th

Muse – Niki Grangruth and James Kinser
Riverside Arts Center
Freeark Gallery
32 East Quincy Street, Riverside Illinois 60546

Artists’ Talk
Saturday, January 29th at 2pm
In-person and via zoom

Join Zoom Meeting

Exhibition continues through February 19, 2022
Galleries are open Thursday, Friday, Saturday 1-5pm.

Proof of vaccination, masks, and physical distancing required.

The Riverside Arts Center is pleased to present Muse, an exhibition of photography and costumes by Niki Grangruth and James Kinser in the Freeark Gallery.

Muse, a collaborative body of work by visual artist Niki Grangruth and multimedia artist James Kinser, explores non-conforming gender identity by reimagining and reinterpreting well-known paintings of female subjects from art history. Through the use of a male subject, gaze, and hand-made costumes, each photograph questions common gender-specific beauty ideals, disrupts the pervasive construct of binary gender identity, and explores gender as a non-linear and ever-changing performative act. These challenges to socially constructed gender norms are juxtaposed with overt references to art history, which grounds the work in the familiar and accessible.
– Niki Grangruth and James Kinser


Niki Grangruth and James Kinser have been collaborating and exhibiting together for well over a decade. Their exhibitions include the Griffin Museum of Photography (Cambridge, MA), Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO), Grunwald Gallery, Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), and University of St. Francis Art Gallery (Joliet, IL). They have received alumni residencies from Columbia College Chicago along with top honors from the Kinsey Institute, Cloyde Snook Gallery, and the SohoPhoto Gallery. Their work has been published in Surface Design Journal, Windy City Times, and Chicago Magazine and is included in numerous public and private collections.

Niki Grangruth is an artist primarily working in photography. Grangruth received her B.A. in Studio Art and English from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, MN and her M.F.A. in Photography from Columbia College Chicago.

James Kinser is a Chicago-area multimedia artist. Kinser earned a B.A. in Art Education and Fine Art from Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art at Columbia College Chicago.

Muse: 2009 – Present

This project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts


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