Central Illinois is where I grew up and is fondly referred to as the “Heart of Illinois” by those who live here. These people work in retail, insurance, law, medicine or tractor manufacturing at Caterpillar. It is an area that has experienced steep ups and downs with changes in these industries. Despite these changes it is also a place where gentrification is held at bay by a glut of available real estate left by whatever industry is on the downward trend at the time. When I grew up the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer company left town and Caterpillar was having labor disputes. Now Caterpillar is moving their HQ while leaving a manufacturing plant operational north of the city.
The ups and downs here have left many downtown warehouses available for artistic intervention just as they have been in other cities. I think the difference here is there are still some companies operating on the periphery of big industry. These companies support a smaller labor force and their larger industries. This leaves a scattershot of operating businesses and artist studios in the industrial southwest of the city. This is where my friend and colleague Bill Conger has initiated a small art space called HEARTBREAKER.
It is a 12 x 16′ space on Washington and Persimmon street. We will be showing POLISHED, opening on September 1st, 2017. I’m very happy to be showing with Bill because we both like to play with established norms of thinking. We like to take the established logic of appearance use it as a medium. Notions of embarrassment, shame, guilt generated by doing something different divide us into those who are good and bad. I think Bill and I both say we will happily be different and it will be glorious!
Come on by, if you are in town!