as a long project nears completion
Those of you who know me well have heard me speak ad nauseam about my series of paintings of Western Avenue in Chicago. Frequent blog visitors have tracked my northerly progress down the avenue with each new painting documenting a one mile stretch of the street starting at the southern border of the city (119th Street).
My work on the series began in January 2011. During the research phase, I walked the full length of Western in Chicago (24 miles), a fact of which I'm rather proud. On an unseasonably warm Friday in January, I walked the first 21 miles, making notes, taking photographs, and making quick sketches along the way. Two days later I walked the last three miles completing my journey from 119th Street to Howard Steet. Ever since I've been gradually making paintings in the series. To date, I have twenty paintings complete, with just four remaining.
The project represents a series of milestones for me. It is the first larger collection of thematic paintings I've completed, 24 paintings in all. It is the first painting project for which I have received a grant, actually two grants: the City of Chicago Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) Grant and the Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Support Grant. In providing formal credit I should say, this project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. As well as this project is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
Finally, the project represents my first solo exhibit in the gallery space of an organization dedicated to the arts. I showed two of the paintings in the a.DOT (architectsDOING OTHER THINGS) group show in October. The project will culminate this May with a solo show, "At the Heart of the City: Western Avenue in 24 Paintings," featuring the full series at the Beverly Art Center. I had a particular desire to show the paintings at a space on Western Avenue, so the Beverly Art Center, located at 111th Street and Western, is the perfect place!
It is incredibly gratifying to be near to the completion of this large project. I am so very appreciative of many of you--the support and encouragement you've provided has been invaluable in bringing this project to fruition, THANK YOU! I would be delighted if you are able to join me at the exhibit reception on Saturday, May 19th, from 7 to 9PM. The exhibit will be on display in the Atrium Gallery of the Beverly Art Center from May 5th-28th. The address of the Beverly Art Center is 2407 W. 111th Street (the corner of Western and 111th).