Apr 20th 2017


@ Connect Gallery

1520 S Harper Ct Chicago, IL 60615

Opening Thursday, April 20th, from 6PM - 8PM

On view through Saturday, May 20th

Connect Gallery  is pleased to present Start: a group exhibition curated by Thomas Meerschwam with works by Gabby Davis, Juliet Eldred, and Ellen Ma. The exhibition addresses the relationship between young artists and the development of a signature style. The works highlight the experimental nature by which an artist develops a means of artistic communication as they expand their audience beyond an academic environment. Painted and photographic works are being shown publicly for the first time and have been selected to display the dynamics between institutional instruction and personal style.

There will be a conversation with the artists at the exhibition space on Friday, May 5th, 2017 at 2pm. Space is limited; to reserve a seat please contact Thomas Meerschwam (thomasmeerschwam@gmail.com)

Gabby Davis is interested in how the accidents and the randomness of mark making can depict something familiar. She typically begins with undifferentiated and abstract marks, but then hones in towards a specific representation as the work develops. Certain collisions of marks can begin to look familiar and can act as a simulacrum of her real-world experiences. For Davis, finding likeness in the abstract is deeply embedded in what is familiar. Familiarity to her is the everydayness of handwriting, language, and memory. These subjects thus influence her decisions and help to construct a visual fiction that is irrational, illegible, and childlike.

Juliet Eldred derives inspiration from both geography and the visual arts. Her work often lies at the intersection of these disciplines. Some of her primary focuses include photography and cartography, collage, mixed-media installation, and video. Eldred uses art to explore the gaps between lived experience and institutional or technological record, such as the gap between one’s recollection of an event and a photograph of it. Recent projects include “Intermodal,” an experimental documentary of Eldred’s experiences on a study-abroad program in Hong Kong, and “Where Google Maps Told Me I Was,” a series of digital maps depicting the erratic patterns of movement captured by her phone’s GPS.

Ellen Ma works as the in-house graphic designer for streetwear boutique Leaders 1354. Through Leaders 1354 she has collaborated with Chance the Rapper as well as Red Bull, Zumiez, Sir & Madame, and New Era. In addition, she held a solo art show in downtown Hyde Park that she personally curated, funded, and promoted to attract over 200 attendees. Ma also recently started working for artist Hebru Brantley. Ma’s paintings address a number of topics, but the ones displayed at Start: focus on her blend of pop culture icons with abstract compositions (“pop-surrealism”). Her characteristic mixing of modern iconography with surreal landscapes creates a sense of both eeriness and familiarity.

All the artists currently live and work in Chicago, Illinois.
For further information please contact Thomas Meerschwam at thomasmeerschwam@gmail.com. All works and images are subject to copyright. All rights reserved.

Please join the conversation with Start: on Facebook (@StartGalleryChicago), Twitter (@StartGalleryChi), and Instagram (@startgallerychicago)) via the hashtag #StartGalleryChicago.

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