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The Plaines Project is excited to present an exhibition of new work by Megan Stroech.

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“My work is about a common impulse: The anthropomorphizing of non-representational objects and shapes. I am fascinated by the tendency to assign human capacities like joy and aggression to patches of color and textured elements of collage. I construct unfamiliar arrangements of low-grade, readily available materials, subverting conventional understanding of their utility in order to spur new conversation between them. I am seeking a discomforting balance between whimsy and aggression, fully anticipating the viewer’s identification with the range of feelings evident in the work.

Recently while in residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, I began to utilize the floor in conjunction with the wall in order to suggest a greater narrative between space and object, but also painting and sculpture. Through employing specific color and formal relationships that mimic human interaction, I seek to create a shift between a material’s perceived use and meaning. By incorporating the floor of the gallery space, the viewer is invited to interact with each piece more directly, whether it be crouching down or standing tiptoed to discover hidden details in the work. Areas of paint on the wall breech the border onto the floor, shifting from a figurative or object-like reference to a flat map-like space that the viewer may investigate from a separate viewpoint.

In my work, I assign human traits to patches of color and elements of collage. Through careful arrangement of shapes and by subverting the known qualities of recognizable scraps from daily life, this work invites the viewer to identify with emotions manifested by these unlikely ‘players’. In presenting this range of feelings, relying on the quirkiness and surprise of this ‘theater’ setting, I intend to spark and highlight for the viewer, both positive and negative instances of recognition and reflection.”

The opening reception is Saturday, August 31st from 6-9 pm. The show will run until Saturday, September 7. Open hours are by appointment.

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The Middle East, perhaps more so than other geographic regions, lives on in the American imaginarium as a place of inherent discord and conflict. This characterization is in no way complicated by reductive news media outlets. In the interest of calling these portrayals into question, we have chosen three disparate nodes from which to begin a conversation about regional politics and poetics. Together, we hope, these texts will demonstrate a (by no means comprehensive) diversity of Middle Eastern experiences.

Readings:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/why_do_they_hate_us

Rabbat, Nasser-ARTFORUM article on Tahrir Square

http://www.scribd.com/doc/120372496/Poems-of-the-Islamic-Movement-of-Uzbekistan

Stretches Topless

 

Opening: Saturday, January 19th 7-10pm

Show runs through February 8th, open hours by appointment.

In partnership with Spudnik Press, The Plaines Project presents Trialogues, a solo show of work by Polly Yates, the spring artist in residence at Spudnik. Trialogues explores themes of desire, abundance and fecundity. In the complexity of the processes inherent to her practice of fragmentation and collage, she references the Baroque, excessive ornamentation and the folding in of the outside.

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Yates says, “I work in the exact opposite way to most print makers; instead of taking one image and making multiples, I take multiples and create one image. For the Spudnik Press residency, I have been working with processes of doing and redoing, doing and undoing – of showing and hiding. Taking photographed or found images I fragment, distort and weave them into one another to the point of abstraction. By limiting myself to certain techniques, colours and imagery, I am trying to gain as much difference with repetition as I can.”

Yates is a recent transplant to Chicago, coming from London, where she recently received her Fine Art MA at Central Saint Martins.

Trialogues opens Friday, October 5th with a reception from 7-10pm and runs until Friday, October 19th.

It’s finally warm and sunny out and we’ve been sprucing up the backyard in preparation for our exciting summer programming. Our calendar for the next few months is filling up quickly with exhibitions and studio visits (and maybe barbecues). Over the summer we will be having two solo shows, one duo show and one group show. Solo artists include Noah Furman in June and Lynnette Miranda in July. Jason Judd and Juan Fernandez will be having a show together in August, and six weavers from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s fibers department will be having a group show in late June. You can find more details about these shows through our Upcoming Events page.

We will continue to work with ACRE as a partner gallery. Over the summer we’ll be doing studio visits with ACRE residents and we will host new ACRE artists starting in September. We have just formed a new partnership with Spudnik Press, which we are thrilled about! We will be working with Spudnik’s artist in residence, Polly Yates to host an exhibition of her work in early fall. We have also been talking to Meredith Weber of Happy Collaborationists about a future collaboration between our spaces.

Over the summer we hope to post more updates and content including information about what we’re working on as well as photos and write-ups from our studio visits. Stay updated through the website or through facebook. You can also join our e-mail list to be reminded of events. Contact us at theplainesproject@gmail.com if you’d like to be included on the list or if you just want to say hi!

The Plaines Project and ACRE present an opening reception on Friday, March 23 2012 from 7-10pm at 1822 S Desplaines St, Chicago 60616. We have partnered with ACRE to host The Fidelity of Instrumentsnew works by Jesus Mejia, the next installment in ACRE’s year-long series of exhibitions by 2011 ACRE summer residents.

The exhibition is a reverie on distance traveled and the urge to continue.

JESUS MEJIA received his BFA from Columbia College in 2009. He currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

The show opens Friday, March 23 from 7-10 pm and will run until March 30th. Open hours are by appointment, please contact theplainesproject@gmail.com if you would like to schedule a visit.

The Plaines Project is a collective living and exhibition space in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, IL. For five years, the house has been hosting a variety of events including art exhibitions and music shows. The gallery has featured all types of artists from the local art scene, many of whom are associated with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College.

If you would like to propose an exhibition or event at The Plaines Project, please fill out the Event Proposal Form and e-mail it to theplainesproject@gmail.com. For any other comments or questions or if you are interested in playing a music show at The Plaines Project, please contact us at theplainesproject@gmail.com.