A Visit to Artropolis

I went to my first Artropolis yesterday and it was fascinating. There was so much art that I couldn’t take it all in.


Hiroshi Ariyama’s current series Our City, Our Neighborhood depict original point-of-view snapshots of cityscapes in screenprinted manipulations of light, color, and texture. Ariyama says, “My intent is to capture an emotional point in time within each scene that ranges from nostalgic reflection to current observation, or simply a happy glance into a moment’s fleeting possiblities.”

Daybreak, Courtesy of Hiroshi Ariyama

A highly perceptive artist, Jane Fulton Alt elevates photography to painterly images. Her Mourning Light series help us to observe safely the symbols of the “shadow” side of life. And yet, using the starkness of black and white, she forces us to search out the light to bring life into the dark recesses of our beings.

Incorporating metal, concrete, wood, and found materials, Mike Baur brings his large sculptures to life with unusual twists, bends, and turns. There is a definite organic quality to his sculptures, compelling us to touch them, and to know intuitively that they are somehow part of our inner landscape.

Mark Staff Brandl’s painting installation Panels Covers and Viewers, reminiscent of the high-energy comic book covers of the underground scene in the early 1970s, uses bold design and inspiring content perhaps to satirize our modern mantras. His new paintings, inspired by “Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Jacopo Tintoretto and superhero artist Gene Colan,” complement his painting installation with a pop art appeal.

Mark Staff Brandl Covers Explosion
Covers Explosion, Courtesy of Mark Staff Brandl
Mark Staff Brandl Superman
Superman, Courtesy of Mark Staff Brandl

Creating unique fairy-tale like stories in her etchings, Deborah Maris Lader, printmaker and director of the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, effectively uses a wide range of techniques and mediums — printmaking, drawing, photo transfers, and collage.

Michael Pajon’s tiny etchings reflect his interest in rural mythology and their gothic themes. We are drawn into his world of mystery, magic, and mayhem. His wonderful prints tell whole stories about the inhabitants who propagate urban myths, and his collage montages recall Americana themes of folklore and adventure.

Crows in the Corn
Crows in the Corn, Courtesy of Michael Pajon
Standard American XVII
Standard American XVII, Courtesy of Michael Pajon

Look for these artists in future ArtStyle interviews.


Sponsored by and benefiting Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, the Intuit Show features the sale of “self-taught art, outsider art, art brut, ethnographic art, non-traditional folk art, and visionary art.” Lonnie Holley, artist in residence at Intuit, will be creating site-specific works in the gallery from salvaged materials over a two-week period, starting May 11.

Participating Chicago Galleries and Organizations:
Ann Nathan Gallery
Arts of Life
Carl Hammer Gallery
The Center for the Arts at Little City Foundation
Checkered House
Corrine Riley
Douglas Dawson Gallery
Esperanza Community Services
Harvey Art and Antiques
Hypoint, 209 Club Circle, Lake Barrington, IL 60010, 847-842-0393
Judy A Saslow Gallery
Project Onward, Chicago Cultural Center
Ridge Art
Russell Bowman Art Advisory

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