Announcements

Open Doors Panel at the St. Louis Public Library

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sunshine Week, the Library is hosting Open Doors: Freedom of Information Panel Discussion and Workshop plus a discussion and viewing of select works from printmaker Kim Morski. The event takes place in Central Library’s Carnegie Room on March 18.

Sunshine Week is an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.

The program begins at 6:30 p.m. as artist Morski discusses her 2014 series “Populace Mechanics,” which was inspired by St. Louis Community College Sociology Professor Lisa Martino-Taylor’s research into the Manhattan-Rochester Coalition, a secret Cold War Era chemical weapons study in St. Louis.

At 7 p.m., an Open Discussion with panelists Grant Doty, Staff Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union; Lisa Martino-Taylor, professor of sociology at Saint Louis Community College; Kim Morski, award-winning Chicago based artist, printmaker, and bookmaker; Eleanor Tutt, co-captain of OpenDataSTL, a technology-based Open Government advocacy group; and Danny Wicentowski, staff writer at the Riverfront Times, examine the past, present, and future importance of an open government. The main topics of discussion include the importance of the Freedom of Information Act and Sunshine Laws; current threats to information access; and possible strategies for finding and making available timely government information.

After the discussion, participants can stay for Information Access Workshops, where they can speak with the panelists one-on-one to discuss methods for gaining access to information and ways to get involved with open government advocacy in St. Louis.

Alex Chitty + Unison Review on Chicago Artist Writers

Many thanks to Zsofi Valyi-Nagy for her insightful review of the Alex Chitty collaboration with Unison! Here is a short excerpt! 

Click here to read the full review.

While previous Unison collaborations have reinforced the utility of beautiful objects made for the home, Chitty reinterprets functionality. Her towel-size sculptures cannot absorb water, and her scans of candelabras and drinking glasses only exist as abstract compositions. These objects are deconstructed, even obscured, leaving us with constituents of their original designs. From the surface, we could claim that as Design is flattened, reconfigured, decontextualized, and finally stripped of its everyday functionality, it becomes Art.

Chitty’s pieces complicate such an easy delineation between art and design. To simply evaluate their lack of functionality is irrelevant to their intrigue. Their success as art objects relies heavily on the deconstruction of their underlying design elements. Inside Unison, art and design inform one another, and as Chitty flattens and alters the designed objects – her “collaborators” – this tension collapses neatly upon itself.
— Zsofi Valyi-Nagy for Chicago Artist Writers

 

 

New City Design Review of Alex Chitty + Unison

I recently had the great opportunity and pleasure to curate a collaborative project for Unison Home with Chicago artist, Alex Chitty.

Audrey Keiffer,  one of the brilliant minds behind The Patternbase, wrote the following, thoughtful review of Alex Chitty + Unison for New City Design:

Alex Chitty activates the store windows at Wicker Park’s Unison

Alex Chitty activates the store windows at Wicker Park’s Unison

RECOMMENDED

Unison, a home décor store in Wicker Park, stocks bold pieces for the kitchen, bath, living room and bedroom. The store is known for collaborating with artists such as Hillery Sproatt for a classic black-and-white tribal pattern and Alex Fuller for a Bauhaus-inspired Alphablocks pattern. The latest collaboration is with Chicago artist Alex Chitty. Conceived as an experimental exhibition, the work takes existing items in the store and reimagines them in photographs. Chitty interacts with the entirety of the retail space, creating an installation that disrupts, but doesn’t detract from, the clean showroom.

Unison’s aesthetic is about clean poppy red and black dot patterns, contrasting black-and-white abstract pieces and bold geometrics. Along with a Bauhaus feel, much of the store’s design is reminiscent of lively Marimekko fabrics. Chitty’s installation connects with the mood of the store, but updates a color scheme of muted grays, creams and mauves that differ from the predominant bright blues, yellows and reds.

For the installation, Chitty transformed objects from the store’s collection with a flatbed scanner and camera. In the resulting digitally altered photos, patterns, textures and shapes look both familiar and uncanny. Chitty references “mood boards”—collections of textiles used by designers—by showing side-by-side series of photos. In the store window, a checkerboard trellis hangs from the ceiling like fabric, framing the textiles and tiles within. (Audrey Keiffer)

Through February 21 at Unison, 1911 West Division 

 

Alex Chitty + Unison

I recently had the honor and great pleasure of curating a collaborative project with artist Alex Chitty for Unison Home, in Chicago. 

Alex Chitty alters found images and objects in sculptural and photographic arrangements that play on expectations of functionality and a sense of the familiar. From January 22 to February 21, 2015, Unison's Wicker Park store will serve as a temporary site for material experiments that parallel ongoing ideas in the artist's studio practice. Alex has selected domestic goods from Unison's spring collection to alter, deconstruct, and reinstall in new compositions that reference, but are removed from, their original utility.

Alex Chitty's work will be on view and for sale at Unison Home, 1911 W. Division Street, Chicago, IL through February 21, 2015.

DOUBLE // CROSSED

In 2014 I was one of three artists selected for a six-month Studio Fellowship at Spudnik Press in Chicago, IL. The focus of my project was to make three new artist book editions. DOUBLE//CROSSED, the opening reception for our work will be Saturday, January 17th, 6-9 pm at Spudnik Press.

Another print exhibition, Chasing Posada! A Macabre Populist in the City will be opening the same night. It's sure to be a visual feast. Hope to see you there!