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Art Sun Dec 07 2014

Mend Thine Every Flaw Exhibition at Heaven Gallery

Gapers Block1.jpgLocated in the midst of Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, Heaven Gallery is exhibiting the work of Shawn Creeden, Marshall Elliott, and Rachael Starbuck. Heaven, a contemporary art gallery which serves as an exquisite, yet affordable, Vintage Shop during the day, features musicians and visual artists throughout the year. The current exhibition, Mend Thine Every Flaw, is in partnership with Artists' Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions (ACRE), a non-profit which offers artists an open platform for discussion, support, and development for their visual practice. The artists featured in the current exhibition at Heaven Gallery are the summer of 2013 artists in residence at ACRE.

The three artists exhibited in the two gallery spaces in Heaven (plus the tiny room on the left, don't miss it!) are focused on video, experimental painting, performance, and sculptural techniques. The works are cohesive in terms of craft and attention; embroidered pieces hang on the walls, a rock is created from pulp, resin and plaster, and a tractor pulls several canvases through mud and muck. Each individual artist in the exhibition features work that invites patience, intimacy and understanding, in conjunction with visual manipulation.

Rachael Starbuck's work features the natural world and our connection and relationship to the objects discovered through geotic and spacial encounters. Two video projections display a figure's hands and a round object in the center frame -- in one video the hands lovingly caress a smooth surface, while in the adjacent projection, the hands rub an orange shape until it begins to flake and deteriorate. Both videos push and pull between the strength and the delicacy of the tangible object which is created from artificial materials to duplicate a rock found in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the sun which the artist holds in place of the true sun. Rachael Starbuck is an artist living and working in Austin, Texas. She received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011.

Similar to the meditative and humble work of Starbuck, Marshall Elliott embodies the American life through craftsmanship, farming equipment, and the repetitive rituals completed as a symbol for American patriotism. Elliott's work displays a video of a subject arriving at a church, post-office, city hall, and several other locations, where the flag is raised, lowered, and raised once again to fulfill a cultural tradition. In another room, the American flag is disassembled in a piece titled Retired Flag -- the stars are cut out and neatly stacked, the red and white stripes are folded below the blue fabric which presents empty frames where the stars typically rest. Marshall Elliott is an artist from Oakland, California where he recently competed his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute.

In addition to Elliott and Starbuck's interest in our culture and landscape, Shawn Creeden's visual pieces feature illuminated fishtanks and sterling embroidered works which depict vast landscapes. Both visual practices completed by Creeden reflect landscape and humanity through craft and tools. Located in the first gallery, Creeden's two fish tanks with glowing personalities exhibit murky water in blue/green hues. The two pieces resemble a lava-lamp-like structure and the living algae inside of the tanks float amidst the fish-less environment. The viewer, possibly searching for a living object inside, is disappointed and disheartened at the stark reality of industrial agriculture and the human activity that continues to destroy and pollute our waters. In contrast, Creeden's embroidered pieces bring forth hope and optimism for the American landscape and the future of the land. Shawn Creeden currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. He received his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003.

Heaven Gallery is located at 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. on the 2nd floor. The gallery is open Saturday from 1 to 5pm or by appointment.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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