National Open Call Encaustic Art

CALL FOR ENTRIES – 7th Annual Encaustic Exhibition
Morpho Gallery, 5216 N. Damen, Chicago, IL 60625
Dates: August 24 – September 22, 2018

Entry Deadline: July 20, 2018
Opening Reception: August 24, 2018, 6pm – 10pm
Jurors: Kathy Blankley Roman and Dan Addington

About the Exhibition:

The exhibit is open to artists who work in the encaustic medium. Mixed media is welcomed, but encaustic must be the primary medium.

This year we will allow 3D work as well as 2D. Maximum 2D dimensions should not exceed 28″ per side, including frame or support, minimum size: 8″x8″ or 16 running inches (H+L).

3D works not to exceed 28″ in all dimensions including mount, if applicable.

About the Jurors:

After 6 years of successful shows, including: Hot Wax in the City, Wax(N)Blue and Unbound(ed), FUSEDChicago member Kathy Blankley Roman returns once again to jury our 7th Annual Encaustic Exhibition. Joining her, we are pleased to have Dan Addington from Addington Gallery on board as guest juror.

Kathy Blankley Roman is an award winning artist, whose expressive paintings have appeared in shows nationally, online and in numerous private collections since 2011. Using acrylics, encaustic or oil & cold wax, she is a process painter. Roman prefers a limited palette and works in layers, employing contrasts of texture, opacity and gesture to create tension and a sense of depth and history. Mostly small to medium in scale, her works have been described as “large paintings in a small space”. They suggest an intimacy which invites viewers to come close, to explore and experience them through their own personal filters.

Dan Addington is an artist and gallery owner who has been working with wax since 1989 and exhibiting encaustic work professionally since 1992. His work has been featured in-group and solo shows across the US, and is in numerous public and private collections. Dan is owner and director of Addington Gallery, located in Chicago’s historic River North art district, and has included encaustic painters in exhibitions there since organizing their first national encaustic exhibition there in 1996. Addington’s own figurative work incorporates materials such as fabric, oil, wax, tar, gold leaf and various printed matter. The accumulation and layering of these materials echoes his interest in history and the relationships between the stratification of cultures and the layering of memory. In these constructed, overtly physical pieces, Addington seeks to engage the viewer through their own process of physical and spiritual excavation.

The complete application is available to download on our links page at:

Connection: The Many Forms of Communication

Above: Julia Briggs, Gray Shirt

June 15th – July 18th Exhibition
Opening Artist Reception June 15th 6pm-10pm

June 2018 (Chicago) Ellen Sauter will be curating at Morpho Gallery and presenting selective pieces from John Bergin, Julia Briggs, Arlo Chapple, Lydia House, and Judy Weinstein.

A broad theme, communication and human connection, allows these five artists’ to let their own perspectives’ take control of the show. Ellen Sauter is an employment specialist for a scattered site-housing program on Chicago’s Southwest side, and she found through her direct service that communication in all its forms has become central to her life. From the smallest most obscure creatures in nature to human beings, we utilize language, verbal, written, visual, or non-verbal forms to communicate and connect with others.

It has become more apparent in my work as a social worker that nonverbal communication is the most telling; hidden in pauses and facial expressions one can understand what the other is saying without ever speaking. At its most basic form, communication can be seen in nature in the way that trees stay connected by creating an intimate network that shares nutrients and information. And in a broader sense, how our society depends on communication and connections with each other.

Each artist chosen to exhibit in this show expresses the ways communication affects their lives through their chosen medium. Some artists’ grapple with the role communication has in forming relationships, creating anxieties, and discomforts with others. Or how we communicate messages to the public through signs and physical actions both in Chicago and other area. Others contemplate our sense of community, and how we communicate with ourselves internally and in understanding how to establish their identity. And finally some are inspired by their heritage and communicate it through certain artistic styles and mediums.

About the Artists 

John Bergin 
I am a nonbinary artist/creative currently based in Chicago, IL. My pronouns are they/them & if you want to address me formally, you can use the honorific “Mx”. I work with several different artistic mediums to fill my quiet spaces. All of these photos were taken in the past year, a year where I grew up out of myself while simultaneously growing down into myself. Each of these photos unpacks a piece of the year with the stories they tell. There is silence and reflection – alone with yourself, standing still. The deepest communication, the strongest connection, a relationship built on lasting foundation: these come from being quiet. Even in the noisiest photos, with clamor and color and love exploding, there is a silence: an opening of a door, for you to choose to peek your head in, to see what is there. I arranged these photos as a way to follow this quiet through each of its costume changes.

Julia Briggs 
My work illustrates a gawky skepticism towards relationships. The characters in my paintings and sculptures want what they are afraid of and fear what they desire. This contention revolves around companionship. The forced proximity of a community demands they be comfortable, but the characters are hesitant to settle in. They are puzzled together, creating an illusion of limited air, with shared and tangled limbs that emphasize their apprehension. This awkward mix actualizes the figures’ dilemmas: reluctance to be vulnerable, hence preventing them to be comfortable with one another.

The simultaneous fear and obsession for intimacy derives from my own experiences growing up in a household among relatives I did not relate well with. Forced together, we awkwardly tried to connect our differences. The illusion of limited space in the paintings and sculptures is a construct of the pressure I felt to be comfortable, but failing; and uncomfortable with the desire to belong. By gripping and holding one-another, the figures in my paintings and sculptures reveal a heightened urge for codependency.

My paintings are composed using saturated flesh tones of purple, rose, and blue hues to emphasize the somber nature of the content and the depth of the form. I use a quick hand while carving and painting, exercising the fear of violence that relationships may cause. My work is very “touchy”; hands and feet overlap in the unsure environment, questioning their own touch. The people are often anonymous in both mediums to relate with the vulnerability of being part of a crowd.

Judy Weinstein 
These images portray expressions of protection in the Texas hill country. Each has its own stereotypical, reductive reputation preceding– Texas’ affinity for firearms & Chicago’s propensity toward gun violence. This collection is not meant to serve as commentary, simply representative of my observations at the beginning of a deeper exploration of the two places in which I have lived long-term. Rather than accepting sensationalized coverage, my aim is to provide the viewer my experience, simultaneously local and transplant boots on the ground.

Arlo Chapple 
My artwork is heavily influenced by illustrations and drawings of the past while using modern media to create new, sometimes-strange forms. I draw inspiration from woodblocks from 18th century Japan, American cartoons of the 1980s and counterculture comics. In my work I create creatures and chimeras that are intended to resonate with the viewer by showing how the strange beings that live inside us all (whether they be microorganisms or micro-personalities and tendencies that operate within us) are actually all rather friendly, weird as they may be. I tend to work in media that allow for movement through time, such as animation, or media that can be rearranged and interacted with, like tabletop games. In all media I work in, I try to give access to a strange other world in hopes of helping the viewer look afresh at their own. I think of my tile creatures as a form of language or visual code, meant to be mixed up just like fridge magnets because the way we organize our language fundamentally changes its meaning.

Lydia House 
Lydia House is self-taught artist, following in the long tradition of global folk artists. She draws inspiration from her Russian heritage and time spent living in Virginia. She has grown up surrounded by folk art, where it be the stories her mother told her, the art around her home, or living in Colonial Williamsburg. You can see her work at the Andersonville Midsommarfest, the Bloomington Arts Fair on the Square or on Instagram: @lydia_inthehouse.

Morpho Gallery
Address: 5216 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, USA
Phone: +1 773-878-4255

“Spatial Ambiguity” at the Hofheimer Gallery

Above: Marcia Fraerman “Square One II”, Acrylic on Canvas, 40” x 40″

Artists: Marcia Fraerman and Julie Karabenick
Opening Reception: 6 July 2018, 5:00pm-8:00pm
Exhibition Dates: 6 July 2018- 28 July 2018

The two artists in this exhibition of paintings use abstract geometric forms placed in non-illusionistic spaces. From brilliant colors to monochromatic pallets, color and light set in motion shapes suspended in muted hues. The placement of each color produces continuous flux as it relates to adjacent colors. The carefully considered use, of both shape and color, creates an unexpected poetry of motion that captivates the eye and reverberates with brilliance and clarity.

Venue: Hofheimer Gallery
Address: 4823 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625
Phone: +1 847-274-7550


Stuart & Co. Gallery is pleased to announce interspace, an exhibition of new works by Samantha Fickel. Through large-scale kinetic installations and light manipulation, Fickel immerses the viewer with unexpected sensory experiences that invite us to consider the ways technology influences how we understand and occupy a place, and question where we begin and end in our environment. Recalling Robert Irwin’s coined phrase “Our reality is confined to our ideas about reality,” Fickel strives to set up situations that challenge our cognizance in order to expose links that exist between experience, consciousness, and perception.

The title interspace quite literally means a space between objects. Works such as The Bend in a Body focus on the physical body’s hyper-awareness as well as make tangible the “empty” space that surrounds us. Projected on a delicate piece of reflective Mylar is a simple contracting and expanding bar of light. The reflected light dances around the entire room and is caught mid-air by suspended pieces of sheer fabric that amplify and reflect the physical gestures of the viewer. In this way the installation acts as a large analog sensor, an extension of our senses, and the artwork is shaped by the nature of its viewer locking the two in a system of information.

The same is true of Split Screen, which alters the familiar experience of looking at a monitor into endless variations of imagery evolving with each shift of the viewer’s gaze. The piece consists of a curtain of polarizing filter strips flanked on either side by the televisions from which they were extricated. At first glance both screens appear to be blank, but when viewed through the curtain of polarizers, a skewed version of the animation playing on each screen becomes visible. Playing with polarized light, Split Screen reveals the depth of possibility hidden within the physical properties of a device to serve as mediums for crafting unfamiliar ways of seeing.

The experience of space and time is being shaped in new ways as digital habits leak into everyday life. One cannot help but think, act, and see the world through a mediated perspective. Fickel attempts to uncover these veiled boundaries where the physical realm meets the digital. Utilizing installations that live and breathe with the audience, Fickel’s works act as mere proxies for our senses, making the tangible virtual and the virtual tangible – simultaneously. interspace is a celebration of light, providing rare insights into the imperceptible and the complexity of absence.

Samantha Fickel grew up in Southern Ontario, Canada. She attended OCAD University in Toronto where she majored in Sculpture and Installation. There, she also obtained a minor in Integrated Media. It was here that she took her first electronics class and has been do-it-yourself hacking ever since.

Fickel moved to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received her MFA in Art and Technology Studies. It was during this period of study that Fickel combined her love of sculpture with her interests in electronics to create work that attempts to unravel her relationships with technology. She is engaged with the idea that it’s not just bits of data we send around a network, but we’re also sending ourselves. Fickel is currently working and creating out of her studio in Chicago.

Maintaining a contemporary vision, Stuart & Co. Gallery strives to represent emerging and mid-career artists at the forefront of expression. Since its inception in 2012, Stuart & Co. Gallery has been home to innovative, pioneering exhibitions across a multitude of media and genres. The gallery embraces multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and cross-genre art forms in addition to traditional practices.

Please join Stuart & Co. for the opening reception of interspace on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018, from 7-9pm.

For more information please contact Britney Lipton at (312) 487-1850 or via email at

Stuart & Co. Gallery
2250 W. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60612

“Other Rooms” at the Hofheimer Gallery

Above: Kevin Blake “Her Free Yolk Stilling His Wonder Curse” 90” x 52” Oil on Paper Mounted on Canvas

Artists: Kevin Blake, Nancy Delman, Joyce Marcus, Erwin Overes, Dobrila Pintar
Opening Reception: 1 June 2018, 5:00pm-8:00pm
Exhibition Dates: 1 June 2018- 29 June 2018

This group exhibition examines the concept of disconnect. These paintings and sculptures chronicle human interaction through ambiguous space with a fusion of concrete and abstract images. Alternative universes, created with careful interaction, layer time and space.

Hofheimer Gallery
Address: 4823 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Phone: +1 847-274-7550