Jan 14th 2014

The President’s Gallery at Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, presents “dig. mine. core. erase.,” showcasing Chicago-based artists Amy Babinec, Marissa Lee Benedict, and Erin Washington. This free exhibition that’s open to the public features the artists’ talents for exposing otherwise hidden histories, like abandoned mines or erasure marks on a chalkboard. The artists’ pieces include painting, drawing, photography, video, collage, and sculpture. Washington involves visitors to the exhibition to participate by writing on a chalk panel.

• Amy Babinec has spent the past few years investigating abandoned, collapsed coalmines in southern Illinois and the resulting phenomenon of subsidence that causes giant sinkholes, which can devour houses and ruin the landscape. She documents the sites and scavenges debris (old bottles, ceramics, photographs, etc.) for use in her meticulously crafted paintings and drawings.

• Marissa Lee Benedict researches and experiments with various scientific functions. She has recently been employing dendrochronology, which uses tree-core samples to analyze the tree rings for the purposes of dating climate change and past geologic events. She presents her work as documentary photographs and videos, alongside aestheticized presentations of the core samples from a wide range of tree types.

• Erin Washington submerges to psychological depths to reveal hidden layers of emotion and discomfort. She extends her practice with this exhibition by inviting members of the Harold Washington community to contribute to a daily routine of writing on a chalk panel. She also presents small paintings and collages.

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