Sam Kirk’s “Multicultural America” on exhibition at Elephant Room August 21st through September 27th

"Multicultural Flag" Sam Kirk giclee print on artist matte paper 12 x 12

“Multicultural Flag”
Sam Kirk
giclee print on artist matte paper
12 x 12

Elephant Room, Inc. is excited to be working with Chicago-based artist Sam Kirk once again for her exhibition of newest work entitled “Multicultural America”. The exhibition runs August 21st through September 27th with an opening reception on Friday, August 23rd from 6:30 to 9:00pm. Elephant Room, Inc. is located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, in the center of the newly recognized Wabash Arts Corridor.

“Multicultural America” is a series of framed screen prints and giclee prints celebrating the many different cultures within America through historical, political and popular character references. Sam Kirk has always found it important to address culture in her work and this new body of work emphasizes America as a culture made up of many.

As many of Sam’s counterparts celebrate their own culture through their artwork, Sam asks us to consider celebrating our diverse make-up as a culture of its own. “Every city I go to has segregation issues. While creating this work, I was trying to grasp why in America there are Americans that don’t have the same legal rights as other Americans. I wondered if we would ever look at each other as one and bridge our differences.” – Sam. “Multicultural America” is an exhibition of work that speaks to a diverse audience by addressing our segregation issues when it comes to race, class, sexual orientation and gender inequalities.

About the Artist

Provocation is a common theme for Sam Kirk, a multidisciplinary and multicultural artist. It is at the center of not only her work but also her personal journey. Unintended at times and wielded at others, Sam uses art to provoke people to feel, see or understand things differently.

After graduating with a BFA in interior architecture and marketing, she got a job in advertising. This was her bread and butter. At the same time she worked her way into an artist community through gallery connections and studio interactions. Attending readings and lectures taught Sam about mediums, brushes and how to handle the materials she works with today. Using moments of mentorship as a guide, she discovered how to extend materials, play with texture and perfect her creative process as an artist.

In Sam’s world, the art she creates is meant to create change and then celebrate it. For this reason, Sam will continue to push boundaries and generate awareness to help causes that help people. She will continue to create art that is accessible to all, especially those who inspire her work.

Website: www.elephantroomgallery.com

Ojero: A Character of Culture

“The Ojero Got Frida”
Sam Kirk
acrylic on strathmore paper
16×20

“Ojero: A Character of Culture” is a solo exhibition by artist, Sam Kirk. The exhibition runs November 2nd through January 5th with an opening reception on Friday, November 2nd from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. The reception is free and open to the public and will take place at Elephant Room, Inc. located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago

“Ojero: A Character of Culture” is not just an exhibition but also a celebration of the merging of multiple Latino traditions. The skeletons of Dia de Los Muertos combined with the superstition of Mal de Ojo, or the evil eye, create a character Sam calls an Ojero.

The Ojero is Sam’s interpretation of the process in which Mal de Ojo is given and received. Combining the traditional Halloween practices she participated in as a child and the Latino traditions that she was surrounded by, Sam created this version of a calaca. Ojeros make their way out into the world to hypnotize, bewitch and bewilder as many innocent people as they can. It’s a game complete with costumes, dancing and debauchery.

This exhibition, different from Kirk’s other Ojero exhibits, requests the participation of visitors. “Ojero: A Character of Culture” mixes in the symbols and signs of Lotería cards and includes a custom altar which visitors will contribute to in true Dia de Los Muertos fashion. The artist asks that you don’t just celebrate culture but that you provoke it by becoming a part of the show. Makeup, costumes and making mischief is highly encouraged.

As the weather gets colder and the day of the dead comes and goes, spirits are believed to be more present and aware than ever. “Ojero: A Character of Culture” is the perfect way to join in on this tradition.

About the Artist

Provocation is a common theme for Sam Kirk, a multidisciplinary and multicultural artist. It is at the center of not only her work but also her personal journey. Unintended at times and wielded at others, Sam uses art to provoke people to feel, see or understand things differently.

Throughout her academic career Sam learned about divine proportion, scale and visual aesthetics. However, when it came to creating her artwork she learned by doing, experimenting and practicing. She sought out help from other local artists in the community and learned how to create by giving her brain what it needed, hands on instruction.

After graduating with a BFA in interior architecture and marketing she got a job in advertising. At the same time she worked her way into an artist community through gallery connections and studio interactions. Using moments of mentorship as a guide, she discovered how to extend materials, play with texture and perfect her creative process as an artist.

“The way I experience painting a canvas is in my mind. I put myself into the piece. My emotions spread out on the canvas to re-experience the memories and culture that existed in neighborhoods that have since been gentrified, to re-experience people that I have met at one time or another.”

The process of placing herself into a piece started when Sam was a young girl. She painted what she knew, what she saw and that was the South side of Chicago. Her environment was full of the physical manifestations of her own multicultural upbringing. Mexican, Puerto Rican and European heritage gave her an identity she loved and celebrated. Experiencing these cultures in the people and places surrounding her let her brain and imagination sink further into them.

Website: www.elephantroomgallery.com

Sam Kirk Solo Exhibition for Chicago Artists Month in October

“Colored Hands” acrylic on wood crate top, 50″ x 50″

Elephant Room, Inc. is proud to present “Product of My Environment”, a solo exhibition by artist, Sam Kirk. The exhibition runs October 1st through October 31st with an opening reception on Friday, October 5th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. The reception is free and open to the public and will take place at Elephant Room, Inc. located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago.

“Product of My Environment” is an exhibition of illustrations, paintings and prints that explore how people are impacted by their own communities, thus becoming products of their environment. The work features specific neighborhoods in Chicago as well as characters representative of the people who live there. Sam is certainly a product of her environment and is adamant about sharing these ideals through her artwork. She is not at all a stranger to having her work reflect her personal opinions about politics, culture and society and this new exhibition of work follows suit. This year’s Chicago Artists Month of “Art Block by Block” falls in line with “Product of My Environment” as Sam will show us the Chicago she knows in an unafraid and illustrative style of new work that pays homage to her environment.

The exhibition is part of Chicago Artists Month 2012, the seventeenth annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant visual art community presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For more information, visit www.chicagoartistsmonth.org.

About the Artist

Provocation is a common theme for Sam Kirk, a multidisciplinary and multicultural artist. It is at the center of not only her work but also her personal journey. Unintended at times and wielded at others, Sam uses art to provoke people to feel, see or understand things differently.

Throughout her academic career Sam learned about divine proportion, scale and visual aesthetics. However, when it came to creating her artwork she learned by doing, experimenting and practicing. She sought out help from other local artists in the community and learned how to create by giving her brain what it needed, hands on instruction.

After graduating with a BFA in interior architecture and marketing she got a job in advertising. At the same time she worked her way into an artist community through gallery connections and studio interactions. Using moments of mentorship as a guide, she discovered how to extend materials, play with texture and perfect her creative process as an artist.

“The way I experience painting a canvas is in my mind. I put myself into the piece. My emotions spread out on the canvas to re-experience the memories and culture that existed in neighborhoods that have since been gentrified, to re-experience people that I have met at one time or another.”

The process of placing herself into a piece started when Sam was a young girl. She painted what she knew, what she saw and that was the South side of Chicago. Her environment was full of the physical manifestations of her own multicultural upbringing. Mexican, Puerto Rican and European heritage gave her an identity she loved and celebrated. Experiencing these cultures in the people and places surrounding her let her brain and imagination sink further into them.

See also: www.elephantroomgallery.com