Sep 15th 2023

ornament IS – Arguments On Ornament in Design

@ The Bridgeport Art Center, Fourth Floor Gallery

1200 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609

Opening Friday, September 15th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Friday, November 3rd

4th Floor Gallery Sept 15 – Nov 3

“ornament IS”  will document through drawings, paintings, essays and artifacts, the dominant and discarded movements of architecture and design, as well as the diverse resources of architectural ornament throughout the world history. The other goal is to exhibit an exploration of new possible theories of ornament in architecture and design and to display them as renderings, writings and artifacts.

We propose an invitational exhibit, both real and virtual, of original writings, texts, illustrations, sketches,

watercolors, paintings, photos, maquettes, mock-ups, renderings, carving, reliefs and sculpture: Exploring a wide range of scales, considering architectural form and space making while cataloging applications to many  parts of the built environment

The curators imagine two categories of submittals:

“Recorders” These are the observers of the bounty of architectural and design ornaments still existent all over the world. “Recorders” create as drawings, paintings, watercolors and photographs, as only the visual arts can, ornament and its contribution to design and architectural form & space.

For this category, The curators will consider paintings, drawings, watercolors and photography. All work must meet the entry requirements listed on the entry form.

“Creators” We are seeking architects and designers interested in presenting a window to their point of view how of they might “unmute” architecture. Our hope is to learn for what purposes and reasons ornament can be “decriminalized”! Special consideration will be shown work that is fabricated in 2 and/or 3 dimensions using laser cutting, laser etching, multi axis C&C machines; 3d printers and other available technologies.

Invitation to artists, designers and architects

Hand drawing, painting, or carved material will be very welcome. Also of special interest is how parametrics and AI can be implemented in the process of formulating ornaments design. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is what the message is, its importance to our culture, and its role in our society.

For this category, the curators are seeking mock ups, sculptures, maquettes or reliefs, which will fit on a pedestal x by y x z which will represent in 2 and 3 dimensions the theory behind the form. One rendering showing the object in context 8” x 10” and an explanatory text no longer than 120 words should be included in the submittal. All work must meet the entry requirements listed on the entry form.

The “ornament IS”  curators want to invite any interested artists, designers, and architects to contact Stephen Wierzbowski and/or 312-909-9215) please visit to learn more.

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