The Art Center Highland Park Launches New Satellite Gallery Featuring Artist Norman Teague
The Art Center of Highland Park’s first of its kind satellite gallery, featuring the works of a visionary artist and furniture maker Norman Teague, will open on May 26, 2022, at 515-555 Roger Williams Drive, Highland Park, Illinois.
Teague, an African-American Chicago-based designer, and professor whose work and approach seek to represent a lesser told narratives of African American’s in the broader design industry and built environment in communities of color. Through consumer products, public sculpture, performances, and specially designed retail spaces, Teague explores representation and presence. With the help of lines, geometry, color, and craft-driven forms he uses Africa as his historical reference. Teague’s design practice intentionally engages local fabricators and communities of color to open doors to the design industry.
Teague’s past projects have included consumer products, public sculpture, performances, and specially designed retail spaces. Sinmi Stool, a prototype rocking stool conceived as an MFA student at the School of the Art Institute, explores the challenges and comfort of urban life through the use of bent wood application. The first Sinmi Stool prototype was initially acquired by The Art Institute of Chicago and is now in over ten museums nationwide. Through his Design Studio, he works with other architects, designers to produce boutique retail spaces and public sculpture projects in predominantly African-American communities.
“Design for me,” says Teague, “is an act of cooperation within community that requires empathetic listening, compassion and activation.”
Constantly pushing an informal aesthetic, Teague is best known for shaping and bending wood, typically garnering sexy edges, contours, and soft lines that serve as structural humanistic forms that hint at symbolism. Teague’s signature look carries a level of simplicity, curiosity, curves, flexibility, and modularity as well a display of community engagement.
Teague is currently represented by gallerist R & Company in New York with acquisition by MOMA and other museums across the county. Teague continues his work with Chicago-based artists Theaster Gates’ Prada / Experimental Design Lab, a new collective. Through Norman Teague Design Studios, he works provides design and millwork fabrication to Bronzeville Winery, The Silver Room, The Exchange Cafe, and Redmoon Theater small businesses and non-profit organizations on the South Side of Chicago. Teague was a consultant with the Ralph Applebaum & Associates Chicago design team for the Obama Presidential Center. As a UIC Professor, he instituted a high-school level design incubator at Tilden Career Academy in the Back of the Yards community. He serves as lead craftsman and co-founder of the Design Apprenticeship Program at the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator.
The exhibit will be available 24/7, using QR codes and a video, making a ‘guided tour’ available to anyone with a smartphone. “This way we can open micro-galleries in other neighborhoods around the North Shore without the limit of staffing or other costs associated with a traditional exhibit space,” says James M. Lynch, Executive Director of the center. “Of course, we’ll schedule times to meet the artist, but the first priority was sharing his work with a new audience. Norman is a superstar and we’re thrilled to introduce this new concept with his work.”