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

Expressionist Treasure

Morpho Gallery Presents
“Expressionist Treasure”
May 18th- June 13th Exhibition
Curated by Sarah Braden

Opening Artist Reception May 18th 6pm-10pm

Featuring:Sarah Braden, Amy Rodriguez, Jesy Grose, Zac Franzoni and Kerry Lange

Morpho Gallery is pleased to announce its “guest curator” program continuance, with “Expressionist Treasure” Exhibition. We are exhibiting 5 local creative artists, each with their own style yet all very compatible. Sarah Braden will be guest curating at Morpho Gallery and presenting selective pieces from Amy Rodriquez, Jesy Grose, Zac Franzoni, Kerry Lange, and herself.



Show dates: April 6th- May 12th
Opening Reception: April 6th 6-10pm

Morpho Gallery is pleased to announce its 13th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition. We are exhibiting 23 Photographers from the nationally publicized open call, from April 6th thru May 12th.

Featured artists: Anthony Iacuzzi, Brad Perkins, Denise Orlin, Jeanne Lauziere, Kathryn Gapinski, Lara Joy Brynildssen, Lauri Novak, Leonard Jewler, Magda Bowen, Maria Rebelo, Noriko Buckles, Patrick Carr, Paul Malinowski, Rebecca Flowers, Stephanie Lehr, Stephen Butzlaff, Suzanne Shumaker, Tony Hutson and Whitney Bush.

Each year our gallery has submissions nationally to choose for this exhibit. This year we have selected photographers from ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­–Vermont, Indiana, Ohio, Colorado and Illinois.

Juror : Angie McMonigal

An award-winning fine art photographer, Angie’s work has been internationally exhibited and published. Her photos have been showcased by galleries in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Barcelona and other destinations.

Her Urban Quilt series is now part of the Catherine Edelman Gallery’s Chicago Project. Publication credits include National Geographic, Departures, and SHOTS Magazine. Angie has received awards from the International Photography Awards (IPA) and Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3), among others. She frequently works with art consultants, designers, architectural firms, and private collectors to provide compelling photographs for their collections. She has collaborated with national and global brands, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Stir, and Icebreaker, creating distinctive images to complement their brands. She is available for commissioned, one-of-a-kind projects for both individual and corporate collectors. Creating images that draw out the organic interplay between design, structure, environment, and society, Angie offers a fresh viewpoint that fulfills clients’ commercial and creative needs.

5216 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625

13th Annual Emerging Artist Exhibitions

Opening Reception: Friday, February 16th, 6 – 10 PM

Morpho Gallery is featuring a variety of different artists for its annual Emerging Artist Exhibitions. The gallery features many different medias, from ceramics to etchings, paintings to sculpture.

Each year we select 3-5 artists from each exhibit in a group exhibit during Chicago Artist Month in October 2018.

Morpho Gallery is dedicated to the advancement and exposure of emerging local artists. We offer our space as non-competitive, supportive system, open to all types of artistic media and age groups.

We are in our 14th year of EMA exhibits, giving young local and second career artists exposure. We offer our space as a stepping-stone to procedures in the art world and how to exhibit and present your art in a professional manner.

These exhibits bring artists into an established gallery, most for the first time, giving them experience and making connections, networking with other artists while trying to break into the ever-difficult art world.

These are no commission shows based on a nominal fee only after being accepted into the show. We will be having more exhibitions thru the winter months.

Additionally, we offer leasing packages at affordable prices for artists, musicians and artistic groups who wish to stage their own shows or rehearse. We are active members of the Andersonville, Bowmanville, and Ravenswood communities, and are dedicated to their enrichment via the visual arts.

Join us on opening reception night for some appetizers, drinks and fantastic new artwork. Shows featuring different artists and will be taking place throughout the winter months. See our website for updates and applications.

About Morpho Gallery:

Morpho Gallery prides itself in seeking talented artists who are on the cusp of being discovered by the mainstream art community. We invite local artists to exhibit their work in a creative and non-competitive atmosphere where artistic experimentation and development are encouraged. By creating a blank palette inside the gallery, we offer infinite possibilities for an array of colors, textures and media to come together.

Kathy Blankley Roman Solo Exhibition: “New Explorations”

December 1st Opening Reception from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Show Open: December 1st – January 2nd

Chicago artist, Kathy Blankley Roman has been making art of one kind or another as far back as she can remember. Mostly self-taught, Roman learned her craft through classes at local art centers and workshops. Her personal art making was mostly relegated to spare time status until her retirement in 2010, when she finally had the time to pursue art for herself. It was then that she stumbled on a course in expressive, nonobjective painting and has never looked back.

Her preference for an earthy palette reflects a connection felt since her childhood introduction to the prehistoric cave art of Lascaux. She still carries with her that first sense of awe and wonder and references to it often appear in her paintings. Influences from Kathy’s background in calligraphy are also evident in her work. She uses acrylics, encaustic or oil with cold wax medium, scraping or dissolving back through the layers to reveal what lies beneath, exploring gesture and contrasts in texture and color. Her expressive paintings pulse with energy, history and a sense of depth, often evoking feelings of peace and calm.

ARTIST STATEMENT – This collection is a compilation of works resulting from experimentation with new materials and processes…encaustic and oil on paper, acrylics on TerraSkin (a paper made from stone), monoprints, ink brushwork and the combination of some of these elements. Essentially, as with all of my work, the paintings are about gesture and memory and often evoke a sense of place. Words, feelings, and “aha” moments: things that make an impression on me become the source that I draw from when I paint. Responding intuitively to random marks, I am driven by an exploration of the materials as much as by my emotional response to the evolving painting. Ultimately, it is all about the process: finding a sense of order, refuge and letting go, becoming immersed in the moment, the visceral physicality of engaging the surface and then finding just the right balance between intention and intuition to bring the composition to a satisfying conclusion. I don’t plan a painting when I start. I respond intuitively to the marks, strokes and textures that have been laid down, editing now and then for composition and what “feels right.” Mostly, I let it take me where it will. I’d like to think that others might respond to the dance and the meditative aspects of my work and perhaps be drawn past the surface and into the painting, to experience it through their own personal filters.

Kathy’s paintings have appeared in juried, solo and small group shows nationally and online. She was awarded finalist status in the Annual Competition of The Artist’s Magazine 2014 and 2016 in the Experimental/Abstract Category and was accepted into the highly competitive biennial National Art Encounter 2015, von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL. She recently won the Bronze Award in the Abstract issue of ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal, Vol.26, August 2017. Kathy currently has work on exhibit in the 14th Annual Regional Juried Exhibition of the Freeport Art Museum, Freeport, IL.

5216 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625