Dec 2nd 2022

Water Signs

@ ACRE Projects

2439 S Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Friday, December 2nd, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Friday, January 14th

Water Signs
New works from Margot Becker, Rachel Leah Cohn, Sophia Haid, Nate King, Layla Marcelle, and Better Lovers.
December 2 – January 14, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, December 2, 2022

Water Signs is a group exhibition of weaving, sculpture, photography, and video. The show continues a series of conversations that began while bathing in a cold creek in Wisconsin. It was the summer of 2021, and the water was a gathering place to reconnect our physical bodies to our environment and community after a year of Covid isolation. This exhibition considers connection and networks flowing and changing, essential to our being and simultaneously under threat. The work responds to our experiences together and what has happened since.

Artists Bios:
Better Lovers is the moniker for the evolving artistic practice of Layla Marcelle + Jacob Raeder. Currently they are applying contemporary dance methodologies to object making. Choreographers designing ceramics and ceramists making films, they are committed to the entanglement of material processes with things, and assemblages of humans and non-humans in complex topographies of being and becoming. The banana does not decay, it just becomes dirt. Their exhibition Urschrei is currently on view at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia through December 31st.

Layla Marcelle is an interdisciplinary artist and dancer engaged with the body, choreography, writing, image-making, object-making, antagonism, synesthetic logic, materialism, realness, homonyms and other doubles, maps, and the aesthetics of pleasure. Her work has been presented and performed in the US, Europe and Canada. In 2019 she/The Party launched OK Object, the earth’s first and only intergalactic anthropo-inclusive boutique matchmaking site in Amsterdam. Other initiatives include an experimental symposium of art practice and theory called CAMP, a bicycle dance tour in the Northeast United States, and WATERFALL FALLING FOREVER AGAIN, an on-going post-internet dance media project that explores social choreography and collective rhythm in city spaces. Layla’s education includes an MFA from Simon Fraser University, professional contemporary dance training with Modus Operandi, and an MFA in ceramics from Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Currently she lives in Philadelphia.

Margot Becker is an artist, weaver, and educator based in Hudson, NY. Her work explores sense of place, the natural environment, and the connection between the individual and the communal subconscious. Through tactile processes, she questions our understanding of sustainability, the value of labor and the role of handcraft in late capitalism. Her weaving practice originated from a desire to understand the origins of cloth and the lives affected by it. In 2010, Margot embarked on a study to understand the process of creating textiles from start to finish. Following the belief that to know your production line, you must be your production line, this project became an all-encompassing life practice- incorporating animal husbandry, yarn spinning technologies and fine hand weaving. Her work has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She received her BA in studio art from Bard College in 2009 and her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2020.

Nate King is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on digital media and animation. He mixes digital and analogue methods of production to create collage style time based media. Nate’s  work explores ideas of identity, particularly in relation to themes of queerness and how queerness can inhabit urban, rural, and digital spaces. Recent projects have examined cowboys, camboys, and gay pups. His work Fly Mask, created at ACRE, was part of the exhibition Growing Up Queer in the South at the Greenville Museum of Art in North Carolina. He holds an MFA in Digital Arts and Animation from Pratt Institute and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Creative Technologies department at Virginia Tech.

Rachel Leah Cohn’s work is also concerned with themes of communication as well as mythology, rituals, group dynamics and structures of reality. Projects often attempt to give a physical form to something that is ephemeral, through painting, sculpture and installation.  Recently, she lived in the desert where she was building lamps simulating mirages as an analog for memory and loss. Lately her research has been focused on Jewish mysticism and protective magic, including amulets and strategies for connection in difficult times. Rachel exhibits her work internationally, including recent exhibitions in collaboration with the Qatar Museums, the Istanbul Design Biennial and Aterlierhaus Salzamt in Linz, Austria.  She has attended many international artist residency programs, recently including Signal Culture, Otis College of Art and Design and the Fire Station in Doha, Qatar. She holds an MFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently Assistant Professor of Art and Foundations Coordinator for the School of Art at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.

Sophia Haid is an artist and archivist from Dallas, Texas. Using found and appropriated media and her own family’s ephemera, her work explores the social life of vernacular images and the material boundaries of archiving and image-making. She holds a BA in Film and Media Studies from Yale University and is currently an MA candidate in the Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image at the University of Amsterdam.

ACRE Projects Gallery is located on the ground floor of the Drama Club building, there is a single step up to access the gallery. Bathrooms are accessible via a staircase on the lower level of the building. ACRE can secure a ramp for the front entrance and an accessible bathroom in a neighboring business. Your accessibility coordinator for the opening event is Programs Director Tiffany Johnson who can be reached at

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