Thanks to everyone who came out for Murphysboro’s (first of 2019) First Friday Art Walk / Open Studios & Museum night! In the new Oak Street Art headquarters (photo below), we had a steady stream of visitors all evening. We love our great southern Illinois community and are proud to be a part of the Logan Historic Arts Neighborhood.
Visitors came just to look, talk, make new friends, enjoy munchies, and even to buy some local art by our members (jewelry from Sue Gindlesparger, ceramics from Darby Ortolano, weaving/textiles from Shirley Krienert, leather from Cathy Schmidt, and photography from Ann R. Fischer).
See map below for additional sites of September's First Friday, including the individual studios of Oak Street Art members Luca Cruzat and Rachel Malcolm Ensor, as well as the General John A. Logan Museum, Pat's Prairie Garden, and GeekBetty Vintage and More.
Onward to next month! Hope to see you for the second First Friday on Friday, October 4, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Five Oak Street Art Members' Works on Exhibit in 2019 LOCALITY Biennial at Carbondale Community Arts
Five Oak Street Art members have pieces included in the LOCALITY Biennial at Carbondale Community Arts in Carbondale, Illinois.
Oak Street artists Luca Cruzat (printmaking), Rachel Malcolm Ensor (painting), Ann R. Fischer (photography), Sue Gindlesparger (metalsmithing/jewelry), and Darby Ortolano (ceramics) all have one or more pieces on display.
The exhibit will be open for viewing through September 13. About half of the exhibit is in the CCA main gallery (Artspace 304 at 304 W. Walnut St.), and the other half is in the Civic Center Corridor Gallery across the street at 200 S. Illinois Ave.
The free public reception will be Friday, September 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. See the event page at www.facebook.com/events/643913182798007.
Two Oak Street Art members have art work (images below) in the 28th Cedarhurst Biennial at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon, Illinois: Painter Rachel Malcolm Ensor and ceramic artist Darby Ortolano.
The juror for the Biennial, Wassan Al-Khudhairi, was the Chief Curator of the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. The call area of submission for this competition was very wide: all of Illinois south of Interstate 80 (Chicago), as well as the metro areas around St. Louis, Evansville (Indiana), and Paducah (Kentucky).
The exhibit runs from July 28 through October 6, 2019 in the New Semantics Gallery at Cedarhurst (click for details). View the complete set of selected works here.
Ortolano and Ensor are both graduates of the Kansas City Art Institute, and each have held college-level faculty positions in the area. Both have studios in the Murphysboro Historic Art Neighborhood, home to the General John A. Logan Museum.
Oak Street Art painter Rachel Malcolm Ensor, whose paintings are hanging at the Longbranch Cafe and Bakery through July 1, 2019, will discuss African Americanisms: Aesthetics of Freedom. See the flyer below. Come join Rachel for the talk on Friday, June 21, 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Longbranch.
More congratulations are in order! Oak Street Art member Luca Cruzat has had additional pieces of her art accepted for inclusion in a national exhibit.
Luca's woodcuts Poema 1 and À Travers (Through), shown below, will be on display April 3 through June 22, 2019, in the 3rd Annual Egg Show at ArtVale Gallery in Oakland, California.
Visit artvalegallery.com/eggshow for more about the exhibit. The opening reception will be April 5 from 6 to 9 p.m., and the closing reception will be June 21 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Hurray, Luca! For more samples of Luca's recent work, see her Oak Street Art page or lucacruzat.com.
Works from Darby Ortolano and Luca Cruzat Selected for 2019 Shrode Fine Art & Craft Competition Exhibit
We'd like to congratulate Oak Street Artists Darby Ortolano and Luca Cruzat on having work selected for the juried 2019 Shrode Fine Art and Craft Competition Exhibit. A total of 199 works were submitted, and only 59 were selected for the exhibit, which runs from February 24 through April 28, 2019, at the Regenhardt Gallery in the Shrode Art Center (at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts).
Darby Ortolano’s piece,Vase (shown below), is part of her continuing focus on making pots for flowers. She has been making vases for over 30 years, and this latest form is inspired by the lovely layering of organic materials that litter the forest floor. The strong vertical lines reference the flower stems, and the small opening allows for a few fresh flowers to be held upright for all to enjoy. Congratulations, Darby, on winning a Merit Award for this piece!
Luca Cruzat's print, Neither Bee Nor Cicada (below: collagraph, screenprint, and colored pencil), was also chosen by juror Doug Johnson. This print comments about paths that women could take when becoming a woman. Some choose paths more like bees, while others' paths are more like cicadas. Here, neither way was chosen.
Congratulations, Darby and Luca! Both artists will also be participating in the upcoming 2019 Oak Street Art Fair on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
If you have been keeping up with Oak Street Art, you know that this year we have been involved with an educational outreach program in Murphysboro.
Metalsmith artist Sue Gindlesparger presented a lesson to three second grades at General John A. Logan Attendance Center on Wednesday, February 20th. The focus of the lesson was Adinkra Cloth (with roots in Ghana), and the personal symbols found on the traditional cloth.
Students created their own symbols using a base of styrofoam, and then printed their creations on cloth squares. The squares will be displayed together creating classroom quilts.
You can see from the pictures that the students are enjoying the art lessons - lots of learning and creativity involved!
Teachers participating in the outreach program will be heading up our Children’s Art Tent at the annual Oak Street Art Fair on Saturday, April 27th.
"Reverie #1" from Oak Street Art member and ceramic artist Darby Ortolano was selected for inclusion in the juried "Attention to Detail" exhibit at Art St. Louis. See image below.
To see Darby's beautiful piece in person, the exhibit runs from January 12 through February 13 at Art St. Louis, 1223 Pine St. in St. Louis, Missouri, with an opening reception on Saturday, January 12 from 5 to 7 p.m.. You may also view the exhibit for free weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed on major holidays and Sundays).
We invite you to read Darby's artist statement, immediately following the photo of her piece., below To see all included works online, check out the Facebook photo album here.
Growing up in both the tropics of Trinidad and the lush landscape of New York State gave me a rich visual repertoire of nature's sensual and evocative influences. Residing now in rural southern Illinois continues to feed the wellspring of these passions. My current work in clay is sculptural; wall hangings and table top sculptures which embody nature’s forms into complex, abstract microcosms. I work spontaneously to elicit an interior world which is then made visible.
Rachel Malcolm Ensor's "American Quilt Series #2" Selected for National Biennial Exhibit at St. Louis Artists' Guild
Oak Street Art member Rachel Malcolm Ensor is thrilled that her painting "American Quilt Series #2," shown below, was selected for the Ann Metzger National Biennial exhibit (see flyer below) hosted by the St. Louis Artists' Guild.
The exhibit is an all-media, all-content juried exhibition which brings together modern and contemporary art from artists across the United States. Exhibit juror Hannah Klemm is the assistant curator of modern and contemporary art at the St. Louis Art Museum.
The opening reception is Friday, January 11th at 5 p.m. at the St. Louis Artists' Guild, 12 North Jackson Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri. The awards ceremony is at 6:30 that same evening.
A series of paintings by Oak Street Art member Rachel Malcolm Ensor will be on display at the Varsity Center in Carbondale, Illinois, from February 8 through March 5, 2019.
Rachel has chosen the title "Sojourn: American Quilt Series" for the show and will be glad to meet you at the artist's reception on Friday, February 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Varsity Center (418 S. Illinois Ave. in Carbondale). Please see the flyer below.
Given the influence of art from the African Diaspora in Rachel's work, it is especially fitting for this show to run during African American History Month (February). We invite you to read Rachel's artist statement below, immediately following the flyer.
by Rachel Malcolm Ensor
After a career teaching art history I have returned to my original passion, which is
painting. Color is a language that I use to express ideas, thoughts, and goals. The
American Quilt Series reflects on my depth of experience and knowledge
regarding modern art, the African Diaspora, and textile traditions handed down
to me from my grandmothers. This series reflects a strong parallel with African-
American folk quilters, especially their use of asymmetry and irregularity of form.
Time spent with my grandmothers and their textile traditions, quilting-tatting-
embroidery-pattern making provided a foundation for my work. Influences of
early twentieth century modern painters, American abstract expressionists,
African writing systems, textiles, and the African Diaspora in the Americas all
contribute to my work.
Oak Street Art