Archives for category: Event


Drinking from the Snake’s Mouth is an exhibition of new collaborative works by Steven Frost and Steven Vainberg. The culmination of a seven-month long dialogue initiated during their time as residents of ACRE, in rural Wisconsin, this exhibition looks at the crossroads between the tender, the holy, the profane, the creative ego, aggression, “watersports,” and punk rock through paintings, sculptures, videos, photos, and a Tumblr blog.

Coinciding with the exhibition, a small catalog –developed from a collaborative Tumblr, D.f.t.S.M — will be published, including an essay by Dr. Andy Campbell (Senior Lecturer, Texas State University; Art Editor, The Destroyer Magazine).[Contains Explicit Content]

April 14-28

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 14, 4-8pm
Open Hours : By Appointment

The Plaines Project
1822 S Desplaines St, Chicago, IL, 60616

STEVEN FROST (b. Woodsville, NH) ) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and performance. Frost’s work explores the partnership of identity and objects by exploring literary works and queer archives. Frost was the 2009 recipient of the Lenore G. Tawney Prize, BFA, 2004, Alfred University, New York State College of Ceramics & Design, Alfred, NY. MFA, 2011, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

More information about Steven Frost can be found at

STEVEN VAINBERG (b. Philadelphia, PA) Lives in Chicago, IL. He is a multimedia artist who grapples with the notions of visual semiotics within personal identity, subculture, and nationalism through branding.. BFA 2007, Tyler School of art, Philadelphia, PA . MFA, 2014, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

More information about Steven Vainberg can be found at and


ACRE and The Plaines Project are pleased to present SOFT EDGES // new work by NICK LALLY, the next installment in ACRE’s year-long series of exhibitions by 2012 ACRE summer residents.


SOFT EDGES is series of prints, drawings, and videos based on a single mathematical pattern. This project began with drawings that represent Nick Lally’s faithful attempts to draw a precise mathematical pattern by hand based on a simple set of rules, analogous to a computer algorithm. Tiny imperfections reverberated across the page as the length and placement of each line affected all of its neighbors, a testament to the imprecision of the artist’s hand. The imperfections produced interesting perceptual effects;  playing with them quickly became the focus of the work. Lally then wrote a computer program which mimics the hand drawn pattern by creating intentional algorithmic imperfections in the drawing of the pattern. He has since been going back and forth between the two: computer imitating hand, hand imitating computer ad infinitum.

NICK LALLY is an artist and programmer interested in digital media, collaboration, participation, radical political theory, mathematics, education, space, and bicycles. He teaches at the California College of the Arts and The San Francisco Art Institute. He lives and works in Oakland, California.


More information about Nick Lally can be found at

December 1st – 7th

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1st, 6-10 PM

CAPACITY OF VOIDS is a presentation of works by Seth Sher and Michael Vallera. While in residence at ACRE, both maintained a daily regimen of documenting contingent landscapes through photography, using the specific environmental conditions of the region as a means to obscure perception. The primary source material was photographed at dawn, further ritualizing the process, while remaining detached from the social complex of the residency at large. However, what began as a joint investigation of the temporal body in the physical plane became a null pattern of waking, exploration, and introspection between two individuals. As a result, a project that was conceived to investigate a metaphysical relationship with the landscape became an experience of confrontation, repetition, and interpersonal isolation.


SETH SHER is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist/composer from Chicago, Illinois. His projects typically involve the use of dense polyrhythmic structures. Recently, he has explored the use of these compositions in installation based works that include elements of video and light. While in residence at the 2012 ACRE session, Sher began his first use of still photography as an additional media in the context of his work. Capacity of Voids will be the first public display of this facet of his practice.


MICHAEL VALLERA is a visual artist and musician currently based 
out of Chicago. He is one half of the duo Cleared (with 
Steven Hess) and has performed alongside such artists as David 
Daniell, Oren Ambarchi, and Rhys Chatham. His visual work primarily makes use of the photograph to explore relationships between formalism, personal narrative, and found structures in the landscape. He received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the spring of 2010.

In conjunction with ACRE, The Plaines Project presents OPAQUE LIGHT: New Work by Alex de Leon. Utilizing decollage and out of camera photography, the work in Opaque Light deconstructs digital screens and physical book covers. Working with these surfaces as information exchange venues, they are remediated and reconstituted as stages for a new legibility, part of the coup of visual pleasure over interpretation. This shift relieves them of their meaning, where they can become cultural trash or art objects. In flux there is reference to a utopian moment of future transformation, but in this moment: It is, as Osip Mandelstam would say in later years, the quality of sunlight on a wall. He was speaking of civilization.
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The exhibition features two series, Black Book (ISBN) and Screengrams 1-10, and a sculpture, re:de. Black Book(ISBN) is an installation of modified book covers. The covers are treated to reveal the shadow-play between showing and telling via a relatively simple process of obscuring and removing. The books have been re-designated new ISBNs to install them in an abstracted system of commodifiable products that exist beyond the gallery walls, where their new form takes on a serialized, iterative status. Screengrams 1-10, a series of photograms constructed from fractured, taken-apart iphone screens, utilizes techno-trash to explore early photographic tradition through the filter of the deadened luminescent screen.
In re:de, the radiant screen is again considered as a site with which to engage with the aesthetics of opacity and legacy of media decollage.

Alex de Leon is an artist, arts organizer and educator in Chicago, IL. Her work utilizes photography, text, installation, and a variety of form-fit mediums in order to respond to fractured hermeneutics, opaque systems and ideology, and a perceived limit to what we can understand and know. She studied at Columbia College and the College of William and Mary, where she earned a B.A. in English Literature. She currently works in Chicago Public Schools as a teaching artist with Columbia College’s CCAP program.

Truth and Being draws parallels between the work of Juan Fernandez and Jason Judd. Both artists are drawn to the ideas of reality and perception, which they investigate through photography and video. Juan’s photographs challenge the notion of truth through the manipulation of architectural environments leaving the viewer to question, not only the photograph as a document, but their own perceptual bias. Jason’s video and photographic work finds metaphors that lie inside reality. Using these metaphors allow him to speak of imagination and limitations, in a way, not to define, but to describe what it means to ‘be’.

Truth and Being finds its visual cohesiveness through the quiet aesthetics the two artists exemplify. This quiet aesthetic is disarming; allowing the poignancy of Judd and Fernandez’s ideas of perception and existence to be met with appropriate contemplation. The two artists’ work reinforces one another by subtle allusions and references that the viewer may find it easier to feel than to articulate.This duo show will open Friday, August 10 from 7-10 pm at The Plaines Project. The show will run through August 18th. After the opening reception, open hours are by appointment and can be scheduled by contacting

One of the oldest technologies in the world, weaving joins two sets of tensioned threads at right angles to form a cloth. Weavemaker Pro is an expose of seven different personalities working from within the construct of a class to explore this grid. As weavers, we all start with this foundational structure and investigate concepts including play, irony, contrast, party, and melancholy, using a variety of different materials and techniques. We are investigating weaving as a medium, exploring what a woven cloth can be, utilizing craft for art’s sake. 

The seven weavers included in the show are students and recent graduates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago:

Bryanna Bibbs
Krystal Difronzo
Susanna Dotson
Chelcie Laggis
Melissa Leandro
Moira O’Neil
Etta Sandry

Photo by Paul Germanos

Opening Friday June 29 7-10 at The Plaines Project.
1822 S Desplaines St, Chicago, IL.
The show will run until Friday July 6. Open hours are by appointment, please contact to view the show.

I don’t know what I want to say, but, to try to say something, I think I want to try to think. I want to try to see what I think. I think trying is a big part of it, I think thinking is a big part of it, and I think wanting is a big part of it, but saying it is difficult, and I find saying trying and nearly always wanting. I want what I want to say to go without saying.

-Martin Creed

Noah Furman is a Chicago-based artist working in painting, drawing, sculpture and performance. He has exhibited at The Hills Esthetic Center, Roxaboxen Exhibitions, and Knock Knock Gallery. He is also a member of the performance collective “Husband”.

Tonight from 7-10pm, followed by a music show featuring Fat History Month, T’Bone, Life Partner, Giving Up, and Lil’ Tits. The show will run until June 15th. Opening hours after the reception are by appointment. Please contact to arrange a time to visit the gallery.

The Plaines Project presents ULTRAVIOLETS: a solo exhibition of new work by Ellen Nielsen.

Ellen Nielsen is an interdisciplinary artist whose work includes sculpture, photography, performance, and video. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008 and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Characterized by absurd humor and uncanny visual transformations, Nielsen’s diverse body of work explores the conventions of kitsch, femininity, and artificial nature. She lives and works in Chicago.

The opening reception will be held from 7 pm – 10 pm on Saturday, May 12, and will be followed by a basement afterparty with MTZ and DJ Jean Shorts.

The show will be up until Saturday, May 19. Gallery hours are by appointment. Please contact if you would like to see the show after the reception.

January 20 – Dressing the Loom Alex Miller and Lorraine Barger

Dressing the Loom is a large-scale installation that takes inspiration from weaving and presents it in an abstracted sculptural form. By breaking down weaving into basic concepts; line, tension, organization, building and layers, it emphasizing the beauty of the warp at the point before weaving begins.  Walking with the warp provides quiet meditation and an exploration of the state between tension and potential.

ACRE and THE PLAINES PROJECT present a closing reception on FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2012 from 6-8pm at 1822 S Des Plaines St, Chicago 60618. ACRE has partnered with THE PLAINES PROJECT to host DRESSING THE LOOM: new works by ALEX MILLER + LORRAINE BARGER, the next installment in ACRE’s year-long series of exhibitions by 2011 ACRE summer residents.

Photos from the November Stuff Swap:
“Did you recently open your box of winter clothing and find that it is all sooooooooo last year? Do you have a pile of things in your closet/corner/basement that you keep meaning to bring to the thrift store but never do? Have you been searching for just the right end table, but haven’t found it yet? Maybe you just have an overabundance of mugs?

We’re here to help.

Bring your STUFF to the Plaines Project. Tell your friends to bring their STUFF too. And SWAP!

✇ ♕ ✄ ☂ ☃ ♘ ✏ ☎ ✿ ✎

November 10, 2011 7PM – 10PM”