By Dave Coulter
Un-Natural Disasters - A Suite of Social Justice Themed Prints will be opening on Friday October 21 at Expressions Graphics gallery in Oak Park. The printmakers working at Expressions Graphics have a solid tradition of bringing attention to important issues of the day. Un-Natural Disasters promises to be one of their best exhibitions in some time. Oak Park printmaker Jill Kramer has organized the show, and I caught up with her to ask her about what made this exhibit special and timely.
Jill has been an artist for many years and Un-Natural Disasters came about from an increased desire to use the arts as a vehicle to speak to social justice issues. An active member of Expressions Graphics, Kramer approached the studio with her ideas about this type of exhibition. They teamed up and invited artists to participate in this themed show.
Apparently the concept struck a nerve: the show will feature prints from 20 artists from the Chicago area as well from other states, Mexico and Canada. As the prints arrived Kramer was surprised to learn that many of the artists already had been working on social justice issues that resonated to them. And the quality of the prints is outstanding.
I asked Jill why she thought this will be an important show. So many of these concerns that swirl around society are topics of everyday conversation: unemployment, education, the environment, hunger. The themes of this show are accessible and immediate to us in a way that fine art in a museum may not be. Kramer's print explores the issues of hunger and waste - a subject that to many may seem like a distant worry, but is in fact nearer to us than we care to imagine.
Kramer was proud to announce that one portfolio of the exhibition will be shown in Taxco, Mexico. And discussions are in the works with other venues in Texas, Canada, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
Un-Natural Disasters will have an opening reception on Friday October 21, 2011 from 6-9 PM at Expressions Graphics. They are located at 29 Harrison Street, Oak Park, IL 60304. 708-386-3552. firstname.lastname@example.org