Review of “Studio Exhibition”

Partial exhibition shot on the first floor of the EAC's "Studio Exhibition."

 

The “Studio Exhibition,” featuring an amalgamation of artwork produced by students of all levels, opened last weekend at the Evanston Art Center (EAC). This two-level exhibition includes an impressive range of work from students that recently completed an EAC class, and features paintings, sculptures, printmaking, jewelry and ceramics, among other media. Although the show reflects the EAC’s many course offerings, it also emanates creativity and offers visual variety for viewers.

 
“Studio Exhibition” is not visually overwhelming, despite about 80 artworks on show. Rather, the diverse media and skill levels displayed keep the exhibition interesting. On the first floor, visitors delight in juxtapositions of various subjects, from portraits to landscapes, on assorted media. Take the corner by the front window (pictured above). Two walls filled with brightly colored, mostly abstract works are juxtaposed with a variety of neutrally-colored ceramics placed on plinths of different heights. The variance in color and tactility are engaging, and so is the conglomeration of works by the base of the staircase nearby. This section is tastefully filled with five artworks evoking subtle movement, such as L.R.R. Vick’s “Move,” a three-part sculptural piece hung on the wall. It is a visual clue leading visitors to move upstairs to the second part of the show.
 
On the second floor, visitors delight in work by the EAC’s younger artists. Although the works displayed on the first floor are impressive for being polished and professional, it is refreshing to see sculptures and 2D works from younger folk. Their works burst with creativity and unabashed ambition.
 
Kinetic Sculptures from the Kinetic Sculpture Camp.
 
At the far end of the second floor is a table with a handful of kinetic sculptures, mobiles that move naturally or by machine. The hand-made quality reflects the children that ingeniously put these sculptures together and made them function; a well-placed fan causes the small propellers of these sculpture’s to rotate slowly. A selection of 2D works also occupies this floor. One piece worth noting is the “Visual Arts Camp Collaborative Project.” It is commendable for the bold choice of colors and the movement evoked on a long, vertical paper. 
 
(Multicolored vertical piece) Visual Arts Camp Collaborative Project.
 
The “Studio Exhibition” is important, since it “showcases the students,” says Debra Favre, an EAC Trustee, member of the Exhibitions Committee and EAC student. And indeed, the students are what the EAC is all about. So having a show revealing their work is only appropriate. At the same time, this exhibition is enjoyable, not only for the opportunity to see quality pieces of art. But also because viewers see the creative impulses and audaciousness in the work of children, which are important qualities in life and art.
 
“Studio Exhibition” is on show at the Evanston Art Center until September 8, 2015.
 
Amy Haddad is a Chicago-based freelance art writer and blogger. She contributes articles to Scultpure Magazine, Create Hub, Newcity and the Evanston Art Center.  Previous publications include: The Art House, Columbus Museum of Art and NTQ-Data Limited. She has a personal art blog, Art Diversions, and tweets about art @amymhaddad.
 

 

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Amy Haddad
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