Mixed-Media Works on Display in Art Galleries

Feb. 18, 2016

Genrich artwork
"Pentatonic" by Mark Genrich

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Mixed-media works, including works by Bloomington installation artist Mark Genrich, will be on exhibit beginning Feb. 29 at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Merwin and Wakeley Galleries.

A 1983 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Genrich is also an adjunct faculty member in IWU’s Ames School of Art and this fall will teach as part of the University’s new Design, Technology and Entrepreneurship program as a visiting professor.

His work as an installation artist has been exhibited in galleries in the Chicago area, central Illinois and Indiana, and has been reviewed in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader and The New Art Examiner.

He will present a gallery talk on his work at 4 p.m. March 3.

“I explore issues of perception by building devices that create subtle changes in lighting or some other perceivable element in an environment,” said Genrich.

He said the work includes a repeated fixture and an engineered structure. “The fixture incorporates small motors, lights or some interactive quality,” he said. “These are installed in a larger structure, which is engineered from different materials like aluminum, plastic or oak. Parts are often designed and produced using a CNC router or some other mechanical production method.”

Heath artwork
"Pump Away" by Jeff Heath

Genrich noted equipment or specialized tools are sometimes referred to as “instruments.” The title of his IWU exhibit, “Instrument,” refers to the mechanical nature of the work and what happens when the distinction between the tools, jigs and software used to make the piece and the finished piece itself begin to blur. 

The Wakeley Gallery will feature the mixed media sculptures of glass artist Jeff Heath. Based in Algonquin, Ill., Heath is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, 3-dimensional emphasis.

Heath uses the process of flameworking to create a network of small glass rods that come together to create a large piece assembled from a variety of media. His sculptures analyze the depletion of natural resources and that relationship to urban expansion.

“I have found it nearly impossible to escape issues like social class, population, energy crisis and the growing scarcity of natural resources,” said Heath.

In his exhibition “Urbanization,” Heath uses art as a way to escape feelings of societal guilt while bringing these issues to light. He expresses himself through the process of making art while also making a commentary on society and the lifestyle that comes with urban living.

An opening reception for both exhibits will be held March 3 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The exhibits will remain on display through April 7. The galleries will be closed spring break March 12-20 and Easter Sunday March 27. Hours are Monday-Friday 12 to 4 p.m., Tuesday 7 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m.