Galleries to Display Multimedia Artists

Aug. 25, 2015  

Painting for Life, Zachary Cahill

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan’s Merwin and Wakeley Galleries will present “USSA: State Farm” by Zachary Cahill and “Orange Playground” by Emily Stokes Aug. 31 through Oct. 1.

An interdisciplinary artist, Cahill will present an artist talk Sept. 3 at 4 p.m. in the Joyce G. Eichhorn Ames School of Art building. A reception for Cahill will follow at 5 p.m.

Cahill is a lecturer and Open Practice Committee Coordinator in the University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts. His artwork and performances have been exhibited at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany; Aarhus Kunsthal in Aarhus, Denmark; Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago; the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art; and threewalls, Chicago, as well as others. His work was included in the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. In 2012 he was a participant in “The Retreat- A Position of dOCUMENTA” at the Banff Centre in Canada. Cahill is a regular contributor to and a member of the editorial group of the journal Afterall

Cahill’s exhibit at the Merwin Gallery brings together for the first time a selection of works from his USSA project, including works from “The Orphanage Project” at threewalls, Chicago (2011); “The People Palace's Gift Shop” at the Chicago Cultural Center (2012); and “The Wellness Center” at the MCA Chicago and the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014). Through the work exhibited at IWU, Cahill claims that farming is the primary scene of contemporary culture. “The Farm is not simply a ‘site of cultural production’ but a fundamental focus from which to consider our contemporary Lebenswelt,” Cahill said in an artist statement. “Put plainly: there is no culture without cultivation.”

Cahill has dedicated the exhibit at Illinois Wesleyan to David Foster Wallace. 

Box Agoraphobia, Emily Stokes

“Orange Playground” will be on display in the Wakeley Gallery. Stokes is an assistant professor of art at Northwestern College in Iowa. Although she spent her formative years in Ohio and Michigan, Stokes said in an artist’s statement that her “suburban understanding of ‘rural’ involved a Queen Anne house, rolling countryside framed by trees, and a good helping of Charlotte’s Web-style humanity regarding all things food chain.”    

She said her understanding was “romanticized and quaint,” but limited and inaccurate.” With the nation’s “most moneyed soil and a strong Dutch Calvinist work ethic, Northwest Iowa offers a definition of ‘rural’ that is far more nuanced; ‘flyover country’ this is not,” she said.

Using printmaking, drawing, painting and digital imaging, Stokes investigates her acclimation to rural Iowa through related bodies of work. Her Boxes series uses prefabricated wooden boxes to unveil stories of northwest Iowa. Tangent to the Boxes series is an ongoing collection of organically shaped blurbs of visual dialogue, some of which are linked in an accordion-style narrative.

Stokes holds a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 12 to 4 p.m., Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. The galleries will be closed Monday, Sept. 7, for Labor Day.