More than 150 people flocked to the Center Culturel d’Art de Noyes last Friday for the opening of Visible/Invisible, a new exhibition showcasing the work of local artists who explore different forms of violence.
The exhibition, which lasts until March 18, features over 40 different artists based in Evanston and Chicago and a range of two- and three-dimensional works. Curators Lisa Degliantoni, Indira Johnson and Fran Joy said they have worked alongside these artists for more than a year and a half to capture what the violence means to the local community.
“It’s a beautiful exhibit because while the goal was to show a simple thing of unseen violence, each piece evokes something different,” Johnson said.
Artists, families and residents of Evanston and Chicago of all ages attended the launch of the exhibit.
Chicago artist Sholo Beverly, whose piece “Blacktastic” is featured in the exhibit, said she was surprised and impressed by the wide range of mediums and messages represented.
“My article just shows the silence of what is happening with our black culture, with black men in particular,” Sholo said. “If you see the picture, there are a lot of pointy fingers, which shows how we hide behind our hands.”
Other articles have covered topics such as gun violence, body image, immigration and mental health.
Johnson said the idea to highlight overt and underlying forms of violence in the exhibit came from the people of Evanston. The curators hosted several community conversations in early 2020 and formed an advisory board of community members who discussed how these themes impacted their own lives.
Lynda Crawford, an Evanston resident who attended Friday’s event said she was touched by the exhibit.
“When there’s so much passion and anger and fear behind the theme, it’s very moving,” she said.
Degliantoni said curators have made an effort to also open the exhibit to younger members of the community. Claudia Marter, a junior at Evanston Township High School, has a piece called “Property” in Visible/Invisible.
Marter told audiences Friday that her works focus on themes of female objectification and how showing off your body can lead to both oppression and liberation.
“(The piece) symbolizes how men reconstruct certain women to be someone they weren’t before,” Marter said. “Or it could be her rebuilding herself after that kind of abuse to be who she once was.”
Curators plan to hold a family art workshop and community conversation in the gallery to explore the themes of the exhibition in March.
Johnson said she hoped the exhibit would raise awareness of different forms of violence.
“A lot of the violence that the artists talked about, we’re not really aware of,” Johnson said. “Now we can learn from them and hopefully take action that will change that.”
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