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21st Evanston and Vicinity Biennial

Congratulations to the Biennial artists who received solo show and juror's awards: Scott Carter, Stephen Cartwright and Emily Hermant were awarded solo shows in 2013 and Tom Burtonwood, Margaret Crowley, Wolfie E. Rawk, Todd Reed, and Nicole Seisler received cash awards.


Curator’s Statement:  Selecting artists for the 2012 Evanston Art Center Bienniel was sincerely challenging. The breadth of work, and the strength of the applicants were remarkable, proving that Chicago continues to nurture the careers of an incredible number of artists.


As with any competition, particularly one where there is only one juror, applicants wonder why their work wasn’t chosen. For me, this process involved the slow finessing of an exhibition that started with multiple, compelling possible participants. What emerged as I revisited slides again and again is an exhibition that represents a variety of mediums, but more importantly, attempts to tap into and collect a particular mood prevalent in applicants, and by extension, one might speculate, the city.


The work strikes me as moody, revealing anxiety, tension and anticipation. At the same time, that tension is relieved with humor, goofiness even, through pathetic forms, cheap materials and a little bit of mess. Are artists or artworks cultural barometers? Does the mood in here translate and picture the mood outside; our politics, economy and social lives? What an audience reads in this work will always be unique to the viewer: the reader after all, brings their previous experience to every new one, their past coloring their view of the present. Perhaps as such, it is my own feelings of anxiety and anticipation that I’m seeing here – borne out of a sense of instability or precarity in the economy, running a not-for-profit, and my own personal life. As such, my view is colored: by my professional and personal life, my political views, my citizenship, my immigrant status, my education, my family, my lover. While I strove to choose strong work, I found myself continually drawn in, twisted even, by the work here because of the nature of its material aesthetic and craft decisions. Decisions to me, that felt grounded in a deep engagement with affect; decisions that were capable of eliciting emotion, connection and maybe even irritation and repulsion.


I hope that the audience for the Bienniel will find in these selections images and objects that conjure up some of the visceral response I felt in my review, and through this work are able to make their own connections between the works, between the work and the world around them, and importantly, between the work and themselves.


Shannon Stratton


Congratulations to the following artists for the acceptance into this year's Evanston Biennial exhibition:

Mark Adkins, Oak Park; Alberto Aguilar, Chicago; Jane Fulton Alt, Evanston; Marissa Benedict, Chicago; Daniel Bruttig, Chicago; Robert Burnier, Chicago; Tom Burtonwood, Oak Park; Scott Carter, Chicago; Stephen Cartwright, Urbana; Andrew CopperSmith, Oak Park; Margaret Crowley, Chicago; Matt Davis, Chicago; Michael Dinges, Oak Park; Diana Gabriel, Hoffman Estates; David Giordano, Chicago; Emily Hermant, Chicago; Alexander Herzog, Chicago; Matt Irie, Elk Grove Village; Barbara Jeanne Jenkins, Evanston; Stacee Kalmanovsky, Buffalo Grove; Julia Klein, Chicago; Barbara Koenen, Chicago; Morgan Krehbiel, Evanston; Katie Loomis, Chicago; Ivan Lozano, Chicago; Jorge Lucero, Champaign; Bobbi Meier, River Forest; Jackie Melissas, Evanston; Holly Murkerson, Chicago; Julie Oh, Chicago; Joel Parsons, Chicago; Karen Perl, Evanston; Cole Pierce, Chicago; Melissa Ann Pinney, Evanston; Wolfie Rawk, Chicago; Todd Reed, Bolingbrook; Patricia Rieger, Oak Park; Nicole Seisler, Chicago; Lindsay Sherman, Chicago; Soo Shin, Chicago; Geoffry Smalley, Chicago; Alex Tam, Schaumburg; Xavier Toubes, Oak Park; Rafael E. Vera, Chicago; Sarah Williams, Chicago; Robin Woodsome, Glenview; and Kaylee Wyant, Chicago.


To see images of the art and the exhibit, click here.