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PAST COURTYARD EXHIBITS:
 
2016
 
Over the Wall
October 14 - November 20

 
2015
 
 
 
Terrain Biennial
August 23 - September 30, 2015

As a hub for creativity, it is not surprising that Oak Park is a place called "home" for many artists and art educators and we at OPAL are very excited to be included in an upcoming creative placemaking project spearheaded by Columbia College professor, artist and Oak Park resident - Sabina Ott.  In August, Ott's Terrain Biennial exhibition will partner artists and curators to create site-specific public art, situated in yards and on porches across Oak Park and in other cities across the country.  Through this unique project, Ott will bring contemporary art practice into the daily lives of our vibrant community, which will foster dialogue and active engagement about art in an accessible way - through the neighborhoods where we live.  Ott hopes to gain the attention of what she calls "incidental viewers" - those out on a neighborhood stroll, who stumble into these art-infused sites that are meant to both provoke conversation and offer opportunity for developing an aesthetic.  How fantastic for neighborhood kids, right?!

 

In OPAL's role as a host site, Sabina will be partnering us with curator, SAIC professor and artist Tom Burtonwood (tomburtonwood.com), who has selected Chicago artist Bernard Williams (bernardwilliamsart.com) to bring his large-scale sculpture to our garden courtyard.  

 
 
 Sculptural Awareness
April 30 - August 1, 2015
Features the work of five local artists whose contributions to OPAL's courtyard exhibition both engage with nature and raise awareness about environmental concerns. Woven work by Oak Park fiber artist Karen Gubitz ornaments a parkway tree, her chosen materials made of the earth and give back to the earth as the sculpture naturally deteriorates.  Oak Park sculptor Margot McMahon's avian-themed trio perch on a fallen branch and deliver a message about the state of our natural environment.  Chicago sculptor Josh Garber's large-scale sculpture of tree branches and plastic shrink wrap speaks of human consumption and how mankind intersects with the natural world.  Oak Park artist Susan Nadis knits with recycled plastic bags and T-shirts to create three-dimensional complex forms that echo a natural river along the garden fence (June installation). Oak Park glass artist Bryan Northup uses recycled glass bottles as vessels for history - glass "pods" with a collection of notes, artifacts, mementos and other ephemera contributed from OPAL Artist Members, which at the conclusion of the exhibition will serve as a time capsule and go below grade for a future unearthing at the Art League's Centennial in 2021 (Installation mid-May).