Maria Gaspar is an interdisciplinary artist born in Chicago. She has presented her work at The MCA Chicago, Jane Addams Hull House Museum, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, the Alpineum Produzentengalerie, and Artspace New Haven, amongst others. Recently, Gaspar was awarded a Creative Capital Award, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the National Museum of Mexican Art Sor Juana Women of Achievement Award, and residencies at the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago and Project Row Houses in Houston. She was featured in the Chicago Tribune as Chicagoan of the Year in the Visual Arts in 2014. She is an Assistant Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gaspar received her MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
Dan Ramirez been exhibiting Nationally and Internationally for over 35 years. A major influence in his work during his formative years was the Minimalist movement of the late 50’s and 60’s and a love for the art of Barnett Newman. Over time, his paintings developed into a synthesis of Geometric Abstraction coupled with the visual aesthetic of Minimalism. Dan tends to see his work as a form of Minimalist/Romantic/Baroque.
Dan is in the collections of numerous major museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, The National Museum of Mexican Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, MOCRA, St. Louis, The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, and Fundacion Llorens Artigas in Spain. There are numerous books and publications featuring his work and he is currently represented in Chicago by Zolla Liberman Gallery.
Mandy Cano Villalobos mingles cultural histories and personal narrative to make sense of nostalgic sentiments and life’s ephemerality. Her materials include dirt, human hair, and pig blood, which she employs as a dual symbol of filth and redemption. In the Sisyphus series, the artist repetitively marks the paper with circular patterns, thus transforming the action of painting into a meditative ritual. Erogenous and mournful, Modern Day Magdalene is a bed of burlap and human hair, a quiet reflection upon the disappointments and desires of an aging woman. Among these pieces and others, Cano Villalobos provides a thoughtful, somewhat sad pause, through which viewers might recognize their own vulnerabilities amidst her visceral materials and the stories she grafts into her work.
070 Artist Edra Soto shares her story and talks about the “Present Standard” exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Edra Soto (b. Puerto Rico, 1971) is a Chicago-based artist, educator, curator, and gallery director. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000, as well as attending Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2000), Beta-Local in Puerto Rico (2011), and the Robert Rauschenberg Residency Program in Captiva, Florida though a 3Arts Fellowship (2013), among others. She recently co-curated with artist Josue Pellot the exhibition PRESENT STANDARD at the Chicago Cultural Center. With her husband Dan Sullivan, she designed and fabricated THE FRANKLIN, an outdoor project space that they co-direct. THE FRANKLIN has received support from various institutions, including the Propeller Fund. Soto has received a commission from the Chicago Transit Authority, and her GRAFT project will be featured at the Western Avenue stop on the train line to O'Hare Airport. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and she is an instructor at the School of the Art institute of Chicago.
Artist Brandon Graving talks about experimental printmaking and surviving Hurricane Katrina. Brandon Graving is an artist whose focus is experimental printmaking and sculpture. She has expanded and contributed to experimental techniques in printmaking and been at the forefront of creating very large scale monoprints. Her print installation " Ephemera: River with Flowers" , is the largest monoprint made by a single artist measuring 10.5' x 32'. Collected by the Frederick R.Weisman Foundation, this work was on exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.