8/3/10

Mural for Nomadic Studio at DePaul

This week I'm creating a 468 square-foot mural for The Stockyard Institute's "Nomadic Studio" at DePaul University in Chicago. Please join me if you can for the "unveiling" along with artwork and presentations by some very talented artists: Nomadic Studio Reception Thursday, August 12, 2010 | 5pm – 8pm 2350 N Kenmore Avenue, Chicago Featuring: - Rob Funderburk & Dayton Castleman - Susan Hall - Nikki Jarecki - Christophe Roberts - Jay Ryan: silkscreen demo at 6pm - Tom Stack - Erik Stenberg - Diana Sudyka - Zikr: live music at 6pm The Stockyard Institute is an interdisciplinary collective that explores education and progressive social engagement in public spaces. Nomadic Studio is four months of rotating exhibits and innovative programs that highlight the incidental and provisional places where art and culture are produced. Through November 20 at Nomadic Studio, Stockyard Institute has thoroughly transformed the DePaul gallery into a functional art space with interactive stations for work and play, collaborative projects from progressive thinkers, a recording studio, and Stockyard's own temporary office. Nomadic Studio is part of a massive initiative called Studio Chicago, underway since October 2009 with assessments and celebrations of the sites where art is made, effectively disrupting the persistent myth of the "tortured artist" who works in isolation to create meaning. Nomadic Studio makes clear with participatory examples how artists rely on shared inroads, resources and infrastructures to sustain thriving creative practices. In August, Nomadic Studio pays homage to AV-Aerie, a multidisciplinary arts venue operating in Chicago from 2004 to 2009 (formerly Open-End). As a resident artist with AV-Aerie, I would periodically transform the interior space with large-scale murals in support of a range of performances (see examples here and here). These murals were meant to invigorate the space for performers as well as audiences with bold, physically immersive visuals -- cerebral jungle gyms, let's say -- leaning toward sculpture more than scenic or decorative painting. The curators of Nomadic Studio have invited me to replicate this mode on a broad wall in the DePaul gallery space, and have provided an interesting challenge: fixed in front of this wall are fully-dimensional sculptures of a half-scale fighter jet and life-size goose by artist Dayton Castleman… so, I'm beginning with these as points of departure. (Dayton, I promise I'll try my best not to add any colors to your work!). Another challenge is designing for a second stage, a subsequent "reveal" -- a few weeks after opening, Dayton's work will travel elsewhere. My intent is to respond directly to Dayton's precedent, bring something of the spirit of the AV-Aerie murals in play with DePaul's space and the activities therein, and ensure that the mural holds up on its own after the plane and bird exit. Functional criteria. Creative challenges. Great confluence of people. It's a very exciting project already. I'll post updates here as we proceed, and this Saturday, August 7, at 6pm, I'll be presenting a status report as part of a joint presentation with The Dil Pickle Club and The Op Shop at 5226 S Harper Avenue, Chicago -- for more info, see Op Shop's calendar or drop me a line.