Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blog Installation No. 3: Ossia Fine Arts Space

This blog installation is part of Chicago Connection: The 5 Artists Project, showing through November 1, 2008, at Ossia Fine Arts Space in the Fine Arts Building. For the duration of the show, anyone coming into the gallery on Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. will be part of the blog.

Brenda Thomas, painter and mixed media artist, who happens to have a neighboring studio, which she shares with Karen Tichy, mixed media artist, stopped by to view the show. She said, "It's amazing that five people with such diverse approaches with their art hanging side by side can look wonderful together. They all relate. Maybe that's why the show is called Chicago Connection."

Jennifer Thomas, book and paper artist, visited the show this afternoon. She also said, "I'm amazed at how disparate the techniques are and yet they flow and connect in terms of color and form. I'm responding to the torsos [Iris Goldstein] because they're so beautiful -- they're organic and you can still see figures as well."

Jennifer grew up in small towns in North Carolina and Virginia before moving to Chicago, where she earned an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Art from Columbia College and spent a year at Landfall Press. She calls herself an interdisciplinary book and paper artist, making sculptural artist's books that are board games, cascading books that function as hangings and sculpture, and more traditional books and prints. Most of her work combines handmade paper and various printmaking methods, usually letterpress or screenprint. She showed me her fabulous interactive board game For Rent, which depicts the ups and downs a renter faces before home ownership.

Jennifer Thomas. For Rent. 2003. Handmade cotton/abaca paper, letterpress, screen print, 16" x 42" (open view). Edition of 10.

Influenced by pop culture and current social issues, she has recently exhibited in Sugarcraft, a group show at Kasia Kay Art Projects, with her I Do (I Don't) wedding cake / board game; and Fictional Characters, at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, featuring her wearable Harry Potter masks. Her upcoming solo show, featuring corsets, at Vespine Gallery in Pilsen is scheduled for May, 2009.

Jennifer Thomas. I Do (I Don't). 2004. Handmade cotton/flax paper, letterpress, 23" x 14" x 14" (closed view). Edition of 10.

Please visit the following websites to view more of her art.

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