A Snapshot of the Fall Art Season by Yolanda Green

September 6th, 2010

September offers tons of opportunities to see great artists and artwork. I’m excited to see the wide range of talent hosted at these exhibitions. What better way to fully encounter Chicago’s undoubted diversity and artistic spirit than to visit a few of these openings over the big opening weekend? Here is a short list of galleries opening on September 9th and 10th that caught my eye.

Nicole Gallery.

Nicole Smith, with hard work and dedication, has kept her gallery of contemporary Haitian and African American art going for almost 25 years. I had the opportunity to visit the gallery for the “Haitian Artists for Haiti” exhibition. Represented there were artists such as Alexandra Barbotart, whose colorful oil paintings depict the people, places, and culture of the Haitian and African American experience. Dedicated to art that is nothing short of high quality, Nicole Gallery’s next exhibition will present fine, detailed pieces of art. This art will not only inspire beauty, but be a window into a very rich and vibrant culture. Artists featured in this opening reception are Salah Mubarek and Dorian Sylvain.

-Alexandra Barbotart
Location: 230 W. Huron St. Chicago, IL
Exhibition: September10 (Reception: 5pm to 8pm) – October 30

Roy Boyd Gallery.

Established since 1972, this gallery represents a wide range of talents, including artists from Chicago.   The work featured at Roy Boyd Gallery also stretches across many mediums, a characteristic that I find very intriguing. Going to a gallery that is dedicated to one medium is great, but there is something very engaging about observing a variety of materials and methods in one gallery. For the fall, Roy Boyd Gallery features Firat Erdim and Mario Trejo. Firate Erdim’s work in sculpture includes elements of architecture and speaks to “the transformation of things – and of places – between the states of Nature, Raw Material, Construction and Ruin.” Also, Mario Trejo’s work using the sgraffito technique, showing amazing skill and precision, will definitely make for a great exhibit.

-Post Series, Firate Erdim
Location: 239 North Wells St. Chicago, IL
Exhibition: September 10 – October 26

EC Gallery.

Again, the use of a variety of materials always catches my attention, so EC Gallery’s “Poignant Trash” exhibition this month is definitely on my list of things to see. The opening features the work of Connie Noyes, a Chicago-based artist who uses “garbage” as a starting point for her pieces. The EC Gallery website explains, quite beautifully, that the series, “references the many disparate elements encountered in daily urban life – a metaphor for the way in which dark affects light and vice versa, how the sweet can become sickly if overdone and how close proximity to millions of people, diverse cultures and visual images can both inspire and overwhelm.”

– HP with Hesitation (Beeswax on Canvas), Connie Noyes
Location: 215 N. Aberdeen. Chicago, IL
Exhibition: September 10 (Reception: 6pm to 8pm) – October 23

Catherine Edelman Gallery.

Focusing on contemporary photography, this gallery features husband and wife duo Robert and Shana Parkeharrison for their September 10th fall opening. Entitled “Beginnings,” the exhibition presents work made during their previous “The Architect’s Brother” collection. Not only are their black and white photos haunting with startling imagery and strategic lighting, but they successfully stretch the medium into something unique. The eccentric scenes produced are not digitally altered. Layering, cutting, and pasting different images together create very interesting pieces of art. I would love to see more at the gallery opening.

-Pollenation, Robert & Shana Parkeharrison
Location: 300 W. Superior St. Chicago IL
Exhibition: September 10 – October 30

Habatat Galleries Chicago.

Habatat Galleries starts the fall with artist Christina Bothwell’s glass figurines and sculptures.  In her artistic statement, Bothwell admits that she is fascinated with what shapes humanity – “birth, death, and renewal.” She also states that she loves exploring the juxtaposition of different themes and elements. One thing that’s great about her art is the very fact that she works with glass. This allows the viewers to see “through” the material and compelments Bothwell’s objective – to expose what is “unseen and reveal what is “below the surface.”

– Lover of Birds, Christina Bothwell
Location: 222 W. Superior St. Chicago IL
Exhibition:  September 10 (Reception: 5pm to 8pm) – October 31

Rhona Hoffman Gallery

On September 9th, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, which features artists from a variety of backgrounds and mediums, will host an opening reception with Kehinde Wiley. I’ve always admired Wiley’s thought provoking paintings, depicting young African American men in front of immortalizing backdrops. He paints with startling realism and nods to different elements of art history within his work. His exhibition this fall is called “The World Stage India-Sri Lanka” and I’m definitely looking forward to it. His paintings are simply memorable and definitely worth a view up close.

– Kehinde Wiley
Location: 118 N Peoria St.
Exhibition: September 10 (Reception: 5pm to 7:30pm) – October 23

Ann Nathan Gallery

I’ve always been a fan of surrealism and the exploration of subconscious thought through art. The Ann Nathan gallery, another venue that specializes in different mediums, hosts Stephen Cefalo, an artist who tackles the mind’s mysteries with vibrant colors, strange imagery, and creative, detailed execution. Cefalo expresses in his artistic statement, “It is important to me that every element surfaces naturally as an outgrowth of my experiences rather than being forced or contrived.” The authenticity within his work draws me in and holds my attention. I can’t wait to see more pieces from him in the gallery.

– Stephen Cefalo
Location: 212 W. Superior St.
Exhibition: September 10 (Reception: 5pm to 8pm)

Packer Schopf Gallery

This gallery features contemporary art of all kinds and this fall, Packer Schopf gallery hosts three very different, exceptional artists. One artist in particular is painter Eric Stotik. His paintings feature bold, eye popping colors and depict provocative imagery that is ripe with symbolism. His illustrations borrow a bit from some comic book styles. His paintings are also done in a way that sparks imagination. Each piece of art contains a narrative which is only driven by the viewer’s own creativity. Other artists featured in this exhibition include Frank Trankina and Michael Ferris Jr.

– Eric Stotik
Location:  942 W. Lake St.
Exhibition: September 10 – October 30

Of course, there are many other exhibitions that are absolutely phenomenal, opening not just on the 9th and 10th but throughout the fall season. Hopefully, this post helps you create your own list of galleries you’d like to see this fall!

-Yolanda Green

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