Chicago's next art stars

These three artists are among the most promising recent M.F.A. grads at HPAC's new show.
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Photograph: Lizz Sisson
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Photograph: Lizz Sisson
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Photograph: Lizz Sisson
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Photograph: Courtesy of the artists
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Photograph: Caitlin Arnold
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Photograph: Courtesy of the artists
By Lauren Weinberg |
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WHAT Check out M.F.A. grads’ works in “Ground Floor”
WHEN Aug 29–Oct 31
WHERE Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S Cornell Ave, 773-324-5520, hydeparkart.org)

Local M.F.A. shows are a great way to discover up-and-coming Chicago artists, but it’s impossible to see them all, says Hyde Park Art Center exhibitions director Allison Peters Quinn. So, why not put on one big show with some of the best grads from schools all over the city? “Ground Floor” highlights work by 20 recent graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago and at Urbana-Champaign, Columbia College, Northwestern and the University of Chicago. Quinn hopes the show will become biennial—and that it will persuade people to stop asking her who the next Chicago Imagists will be. Here are three of my predictions:

Maria Gaspar, 30
Hometown Chicago
M.F.A. UIC 2009
Kudos Gaspar had a UBS 12 x 12 show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in October 2009.
Plans Gaspar will teach sculpture at SAIC this fall. In September, her work will appear in group shows at Woman Made Gallery, Columbia College’s Center for Book & Paper Arts and Illinois State University.
Most unusual material she’s used Papel picado (pictured), a traditional Mexican hand-cut paper—today, more often a mass-produced plastic—used to make party banners
“Ground Floor” piece A monumental installation inspired by papel picado. “It’s based on the detritus of a cultural celebration. I’m interested in the notion of ‘authenticity’ [and] the issues with that term,” Gaspar says.

Emily Hermant, 30
Hometown Toronto
M.F.A. SAIC 2010
Kudos Hermant’s Lies, Lies, Lies—an installation featuring dozens of embroidered fibs—appeared in “Pricked: Extreme Embroidery” at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design. It’s also been shown in Canada, Italy and Turkey.
Plans Hermant’s looking forward to a September solo show at Montreal’s Articule Gallery and a fall residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
“Ground Floor” piece An untitled, mostly wooden sculpture that Hermant relates to her SAIC thesis project (pictured, above). “It’s this play on material that’s supposed to be very hard and structural, rendered as something soft and pliable,” she says.
How Chicago influences her “It’s hard for me to imagine making this work that’s so architectural and so inspired by architecture without being in this city.”

Michael Sirianni, 27
Hometown Utica, New York
M.F.A. UIC 2010
Kudos Sirianni just won a prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation M.F.A. Grant. In 2009, his video art was shown at Vancouver’s Antimatter Film Festival and the Onion City Film Festival in Chicago.
Plans Sirianni hopes to travel to Scandinavia, where he’d make work responding to the region’s unusual cycle of light and darkness. He’s also developing a video and performance project inspired by smoke signals (pictured, right).
Influences Félix González-Torres, Wolfgang Tillmans and UIC prof Doug Ischar. “I look at my work as continuing a lineage of queer identity art,” Sirianni says.
“Ground Floor” piece Almost Over the Rainbow (pictured, above), which reflects his disillusionment with the gay community. Inspired by “the adolescent act of putting stickers on a mirror,” according to the artist, it suggests an unachievable “utopian state of being queer.”

NEXT>>Bonnie Fortune

 

Chicago’s next art stars | Chris Ofili at the Arts Club of Chicago | Kelly Kaczynski at threewalls | But wait, there’s more…

 



 

Check out the other sections in our 2010 Fall Preview: RESTAURANTS & BARS | SHOPPING & STYLE | AROUND TOWN | ART & DESIGN | BOOKS | CLUBS | COMEDY | DANCE | FILM | GAY & LESBIAN | KIDS | MUSIC | OPERA & CLASSICAL | THEATER

 


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Bonnie Fortune, 31
Hometown Nashville
M.F.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010.
Kudos “Every Body!”—a fab exhibition that Fortune cocurated for UIUC’s now-closed Chicago gallery last year—travels to Minnesota’s Carleton College in 2011.
Plans Fortune’s about to move to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Most surprising way she’s paid the bills After earning her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Fortune “worked as a doula in Chicago for two years, off and on.” The artist says the listening skills that she developed as a doula still influence her art practice. “It’s something I’m considering going back into now that I’m done with school,” she adds.
“Ground Floor” piece Some Comfort, an installation featuring seven sound clips. (You can listen to them toll-free at 888-320-5020.) Fortune created it by interviewing women “who work in the care industry,” including doulas, nannies and yoga teachers, she explains. At the artist’s request, the women recite sounds “that they make as part of their daily work, [or phrases] they find themselves repeating to convey comfort to the people they’re working with. I was interested in the way they provide emotional support as part of a commercial transaction.”

View Fortune's previous work in the slide show, above, and at twentytworeviews.bonniefortune.info and letsremake.info.

 

Chicago’s next art stars | Chris Ofili at the Arts Club of Chicago | Kelly Kaczynski at threewalls | But wait, there’s more…

 



 

Check out the other sections in our 2010 Fall Preview: RESTAURANTS & BARS | SHOPPING & STYLE | AROUND TOWN | ART & DESIGN | BOOKS | CLUBS | COMEDY | DANCE | FILM | GAY & LESBIAN | KIDS | MUSIC | OPERA & CLASSICAL | THEATER

 


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