Connie Noyes: we are built in water

Connie Noyes, we are built in water


October 2022

Evanston Art Center 2022 Exhibition




EXHIBITION DATES: November 12 – December 18, 2022

OPENING RECEPTION: November 11, from 5–8 pm

GALLERY HOURS: Monday–Thursday, 9 am–6 pm; Friday, 9 am–5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am–4 pm




The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is proud to present a new exhibition, we are built in water, featuring works by Connie Noyes.

"Grief is an ocean of tears formed over millennia -- a cumulative repository of our collective grief. We are built in water is an immersion into mourning."

Early in 2016, Noyes' husband and father died within days of each other, but that was only the beginning of her research. Work initially based on personal mourning quickly turned to collective grief as millions suffered losses from pandemic-related illness, war, violence, climate crises, and divisions of opinion. Her work became a salve for the daily ruptures and a meditation on what was lost or waning.

Noyes writes, "During these six years, a specific phrase, 'In the end, all that's left is love'–would surface at odd moments. I instinctively knew this was true. Through a deep dive into grief's chaotic rhythms, I found that grief is a sacred art, and it is impossible to grieve what we cannot praise or love. If the last six years have cemented one point, it is this; we are all intimately connected to the earth and our collective spirit. Love and praise of humanity with all its warts and problems is the ballast of peace. This mourning cry, this instinctive symphony of praise, is the sound of deep life-affirming love."


Connie Noyes, a multidisciplinary artist, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in Psychology and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University. Since 2016, Noyes has studied Butoh and mindfulness meditation. She has become re-licensed as a psychotherapist, trained as a death doula and Grief Recovery Specialist – experiences that supported her research into grief and mourning. 

Amongst Noyes' many notable solo exhibitions and residencies in the US, she has also gained international recognition and participated in the TransArt summer program in Berlin, Germany; attended residencies at Arteles, Finland; ChaNorth, New York; the Emaar International Art Symposium, Dubai, UAE; Thupelo International Workshop, Cape Town, South Africa; and was a selected artist for Art Abu Dhabi, representing Salwa Zeidan Gallery in the UAE. Noyes' work is in the collections of The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois; The Ekstrom Library of Photographic Archives Special Collections, Louisville, Kentucky; and the Greenville County Museum, South Carolina.

We are built in water will be on display in the Evanston Art Center's Second Floor Gallery + Atrium from November 12 – December 18, 2022, with an opening reception on Friday, November 11, from 5-8 pm. The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.

Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibitions, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives.

Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: Monday– Thursday, 9 am–6 pm; Friday, 9 am–5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am–4 pm. First and second-floor gallery spaces are accessible. Limited free parking is available. Masks are optional but strongly recommended for students, visitors and staff.

For more information, please visit us online at or contact Audrey Avril, Manager of Exhibitions, at 847.475.5300 or [email protected]. Visit the Evanston Art Center on Facebook:, follow us on Twitter:!/evartcenter, or on Instagram: @EvanstonArtCenter.


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