Monday, September 7, 2015

Visiting Galleries

Since I sent off the EGA Challenge piece, I've not been working seriously on anything. We have been having fun vising local galleries on weekends.  Last weekend we visited the Illinois State Gallery in Lockport.  There's a really exciting show there, thanks to local artists and the city of Lockport. And No Thanks to the Illinois state government.  

Governor Rauner wants to close all of the Illinois State Museums.  A few short years ago when this issue came up, there was huge public outcry and they did not close. This time--silence!  

The show is really wonderful. The state cancelled the insurance for the galleries, which means they had to take down the (just installed) regular show.  Lockport's mayor stepped in and added the gallery building to the city's insurance. A call went out to artists for works and, as you can see below, they got wonderful response.
This flier explains about the show.
Here's another photo.  The gallery is set to "go dark" on September 30th; the employees have been sent layoff notices.  The show is full of such good energy and well worth a visit.
This weekend we headed east instead of west and visited Valparaiso University's Brauer gallery.  They have a thought provoking exhibit on friendship dolls that were exchanged between America and Japan both before WWII and continued more recently.  The dolls are very sweet and the descriptions had me looking at them very carefully.  The exhibit documentation also discussed issues in care and conservation of material objects from different perspectives.
 My husband is enjoying the friendship dolls. They are surprisingly large. The little things in the case to his right are the doll's accessories--including a full tea set, hand-made fans, shoes, lacquer trunks, and sweet sewing boxes.
This is a traditional display of dolls set up for Girl's Day each year---the Emperor and Empress are at the top, and each layer is a bit lower in status.  The third layer is musicians with instruments.  The display explores dolls in Japanese culture and Japanese culture in the west.
This sculpture display is also at Brauer.  The exhibits close December 13.

1 comment:

Jenny Woolf said...

That is shocking about the gallery layoffs and closures. This has been happening in Southwark, London, too. Two excellent museums have been closed down by the local council (they are not bold enough to be upfront about it though - it's been under pretexts) and it is so sad. What wonderful things in the show.
You have seen some great stuff. I never quite got it about friendship dolls, although once someone gave me some tiny ones in a matchbox. I forgot who gave them to me though, so much for the friendship :)