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Featuring artists Catie Burrill, Spencer Gale, Juliette Morris, Jordan Miller, Lucia Calderon Arrieta, and Sarah Whyte

Curated by Samuel Schwindt.

 

No matter their identity, artists must adapt and challenge the environments they exist within — and there’s no better way than to re-align, reconstruct, and repair the liminal spaces citizen-artists exist within.

 

Curator Samuel Schwindt sought messengers of material manipulation in the Chicago area — crafting together an interdisciplinary group investigating space literally and figuratively. Through fabric, fur, neon, found objects, and print the artists in this exhibit manifest talismanic values out of interventions in time and space. The artists utilize passageways, portals, permutations, performances, and the primacy of crafts-people in communicating human experience to construct their work. They act as inventors of futurity within their own stories, yet as a group coalesce into a symphony of symbolism rife with complications.

Guest Curator

Curator Samuel Schwindt is a Chicago-based sculptor, writer, educator, and LGBTQ+ community organizer. Originally from Indianapolis, IN, Schwindt received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2019) and MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago (2024). Recent exhibitions and project-sites  include Gallery 400, Gender and Sexuality Center at University of Illinois at Chicago, Evanston Art Center, Boccarra Art Brooklyn, Jackson Junge Gallery, Chicago Sculpture International Project Space, Side Street Studio Arts, Leather Archives and Museum, and Epiphany Center for the Arts.

 

https://www.samuelschwindt.xyz/

Featured Artists

Artist Sarah Whyte is an interdisciplinary fiber artist and painter whose work questions her identity as a transracial, transnational, Chinese American, woman, adoptee. According to her paperwork, she was abandoned two days after being born. At twenty-one months old she was adopted from Jiangxi province China and brought to the United States where she was raised. Sarah received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2024.  She has presented in venues such as the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, Gallery 400, and Hyde Park Art Center.

Statement of Intent:

History is all but a bias always being perpetuated. Even as children there is a history being carved into our bones. Every story, every word, every interaction impacts our understanding of reality. Even children’s books are not innocent of this. For they too can be a tool of nationalism and empirical bias. What does it mean to be told that your displacement was for the best? That you belong in a different family and world than the one you were born into? That you should be grateful for being saved. The bodies of forced migration soon become a symbol of globalization, a promise of a multi-cultural cosmopolitan society to first-world nations. But can the transnational exchange of bodies truly be on equal terms when the countries themselves are not seen as equals?  Can a person grieve what they have lost when their body, story, and image become a symbol of “goodness” and “progress”? Immortalized as the perpetual child the displaced bodies become that of assimilated memory. If the body is all but a memory then what is left for us to hold? 

 

https://www.sarahwhytestudio.com/

 

Instagram: @sarahwhyteart

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Spencer Gale.png

Artist Spencer Gale is a Chicago-based light sculptor and installation artist. His work utilizes alchemies of space – transforming and combating built environments through multiple methods of light manipulation and various technologies. He received his BFA in Studio Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2022.

 

https://www.instagram.com/spencer.gale.16/

Artist Juliette Morris is a non-binary artist and printmaker working out of Chicago. They earned their BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2022, with a primary focus in printmedia. Morris's artistic exploration revolves around themes of generative queer abstraction and the queer dreamscape. Their artistic endeavors shed light on the topics of adaptation and the commodification of identity. 

 

Statement of Intent: 

Printmedia directly engages with notions of commodity. Through the lens of repetition and production, I explore the dissonance between creating unique, sovereign work within economic production and multiplicity. Within lithography, I am developing a large body of work delving into the notion of societal objectification. I offer glimpses into either the genesis or the dissolution of queer existence through static vignettes. By doing so, they address the issue of othering queerness within society while examining the birth and demise of non-heteronormative identity. The use of stone as a matrix for my prints addresses my own autobiographical questions surrounding identity, providing my drawings with a tangible “body” I wrangle as I work. This engagement between my own body and the temporary vessel allows for exchange foundational to my practice where I depict queer identity with notions of dignity and intimacy. My work captures the transient and subversive space where identity takes shape, acknowledging my subjectivity as a trans maker and how that imposes itself onto my figurative lithographs. 


 

https://www.juliettemorris.com/

@bisexual_nightmare_art

Juliette Morris.webp
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Artist Catie Burrill is a fiber artist and sculptor living and working on Chicago's south side. Her motley of life and work experiences – from touring the U.S.A.with a traveling circus to radical puppeteering in the woods of Vermont or working as a seamstress in a Chicago costume shop -– all manifest in audacious experimentations with a passion for public spectacles, kaleidoscopic joy, and old world handicraft.

Burrill is a current studio resident at Chicago Art Department and holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where she focused in the Fiber and Material Studies Department. Prior to attending SAIC, she worked in the entertainment industry as a private chef and toured in nearly every major & minor city in the U.S. and internationally in Tuscany, Italy. She has exhibited locally in Chicago at The Other Art Fair, Purple Window Gallery and Dock 6 Art & Design 15, along with apprenticing for Bread & Puppet Theatre Company, and Cabinet of Curiosity.

Statement of Intent:

I am eager to share my new project: FURGATE & The Stone of Folly.  A faux furred archway and robotic soft sculpture that viewers may interact with via traversing through and around as well as touching and brushing the tactile worm-like pillars and roving foliaged object. The work is inspired by portals, conspiracy theories and an early Renaissance era cure for madness.

 

https://catieburrill.com/

@yescatieburrill

Artist Lucia Calderón Arrieta (they/them) is a fiber artist & educational co-conspirator residing in the traditional unceded lands of the Potawatomi, Peoria, Miami, Ojibwe, and Oglala Sioux (“Chicago”).

Lucia learned to sew from Abuelita and learned to call it fiber art from Academia. They were raised by South American immigrants in the deep American South.

They have taught across community and academic institutions, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago State University, Lillstreet Art Center, CAPE, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Their work has been exhibited at the International Museum of Surgical Science, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Textiles Week, Chicago Art Department, and Heaven Gallery. 

 

Artist Statement

Lucia (they/them) explores visibility, vulnerability, and community through fiber art and worldbuilding. They reflect on their life as a queer, Latine/x, chronically ill, neurodivergent human creature by materializing metaphors of body, skin, and ocean. 

Gaze into the Gloop N Droop Dimension– an inner world where squishy weirdos are co-evolving to survive together softly. Where they seek each other out through the tenderness of touch. Whose pock-marked skins- no matter how thickened or bruised– remain energetically permeable hi. 

 

Materials

Naturally dyed wool roving, latex, artist’s human hair, wire, twinkle lights, paper pulp from artist’s diaries, safety blankets, organza, soil, mulch, sphagnum moss, mica, dirt from artist’s abuelita’s garden

 

https://www.luciacalderonarrieta.com/purchase-art

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Jordan Miller.jpg

Artist Jordan Miller grew up gazing at stars that are now obscured by a veil of electric light. His work is situated in the spaces both poetic and critical between streetlight and starlight – seeking a balance between the desire for light and the need for darkness. He is an interdisciplinary and conceptual artist based out of Chicago (Zhigaagoong, the traditional homeland of the Council of the Three Fires and many other native nations). Miller, originally from the town of Burkburnett TX, earned his Master of Fine Arts in Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017 where he had previously completed his Post-Baccalaureate Certification. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of North Texas' College of Visual Arts and Design in 2013. Miller is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.


http://www.jordanmillerart.com

Join us for the opening reception on Friday, August 2nd

6-9pm

Side Street Gallery

15 Ziegler Court

Downtown Elgin

Exhibition runs through September 1st.

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