Finding Meaning in the Space Between Artwork and Viewers

“Tête à Tête: Embodying Dialogues” Treats Movement as a Dialogue Between Artist and Visitor.

What effects do science and art have on our bodies? How can sci art as a concept assist us in imagining alternative realities and new futures? Join multidisciplinary artist Rory Scott, art historian and interdisciplinary artist Kevin Whiteneir, and curator and art historian Kat Buckley for a walk-through of Tête à Tête followed by a questionand- answer period in the contemplative section of the exhibition space.

CHICAGO – The Drama Science Lab is pleased to announce Tête à Tête: Embodying Dialogues a group exhibition that explores how viewers’ physical interactions with works inform their interpretations. Curated by Kat Buckley and directed by Filippa Christofalou, Tête à Tête features works by Ziv Ze’ev Cohen, Kristin McWharter, Michelle Murphy, Cathy Quintero, and Rory Scott. It runs from December 12, 2019 – January 4, 2020 at Zhou B Art Center and includes a Third Friday reception on December 20 from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Tête à Tête exists in the distance between artworks and viewers. Gallery visitors find meaning through stepping backward, forward, and around artworks, performing a dance of trial and error. Using objects as intermediaries, artists create both physical and intellectual space for exchanging ideas. In this way, artists and viewers are engaged in a dialog or “tête à tête” — a merging of minds, which becomes expressed through movement. This is an embodied dialogue.

Tête à Tête is the main event of Drama Science Lab’s Annual SciArt Festival. Now in its second year, the Annual SciArt Festival is the only festival in Chicago operating at the intersections of science and art, or SciArt . This year focuses on the body. How does somatic learning influence how SciArt information is processed? Over the course of Tête à Tête the festival will present an array of supporting events that
explore this question: talks, workshops, in-gallery experiences, games and more. The Zhou B Art Center is located at 1029 West 35th Street. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. For additional information please contact info@thedramasciencelab.com . Art direction and design provided by Nikoleta Balothiari of Skafandro.

Rory Scott is a multidisciplinary artist, whose work is recognized for its use of patterns, glitter and for its likeness to the Universe. Through both digital and handmade means, Scott explores the ideas of impermanence, the passage of time and the impacts of technology upon the evolution of humanity.
Kevin Whiteneir Jr. is an interdisciplinary artist and art historian whose work discusses the relationships between gender and queer experiences as they relate to race, the effects of (neo)colonialism, and its parallels with magic, religion, and witchcraft. Whiteneir holds a Master’s Degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism and a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Anthropology from Ripon College.
Kat Buckley is an independent curator of interdisciplinary art. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History with Concentrations in Curatorial Studies and Book Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Kat curates exhibitions with an eye towards reimagining societal canons and hierarchies. She believes in the power of art which questions dominant social hegemonies through a critique of the place of media and culture within the economy and in earth’s ecosystems. She currently serves as the Curatorial Fellow at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Friday, October 18th 7-10pm
PAINTING THE FIGURE NOW seeks to show quality painting that investigates the many ways we see the human figure now. Contemporary approaches to portraiture, narrative, and any and all visualizations focusing on the human form in life, action, play, work, and repose. We want to exhibit artists who understand the finest traditions of figurative art. We believe the human form is an endlessly interesting subject with inexhaustible potential. We want to see humanity with a relevant, fresh, and contemporary feeling.

Friday, September 20th 7-10pm

CENTERLINE is the official annual showcase for the Zhou B Art Center artists. The over 50 resident artists of the Zhou B Art Center represent diverse styles and media that include traditional forms such as painting, drawing, sculpture and photography.

Apprentice Showcase 2019

PERFORMANCE SHOWCASE : Sunday, August 11th, 7:00pm VISUAL ART OPENING: Friday, August 16th, 7-10pm


Taylor Rae Botticelli | Erin Evans Delaney | Dove | dyoskuri [Michael Lee Bridges + Terra] | Ashley Hollingshead | Lesley Keller-Reed | Kazumi Seki

Defibrillator Gallery + Zhou B Art Center proudly present

​Defibrillator celebrates our former apprentices – emerging artists who are energetically questioning and embracing exploration, discipline, risk, and hope – while thoughtfully considering what they do and why they do it. The artists in this program are remarkable for they have selflessly given their time and energy to other artists in order to learn, grow, and actively contribute to the legacy of Performance Art.

is an alternative pedagogical system of structured mentorship designed to provide professional experience, practical knowledge, and applicable skills to artists who want to be versed in the presentation of time-based practices. In exchange for this experience, DFBRL8R Apprentices provide the energy and labor necessary to sustain our non-profit, gaining insight into the inner workings – the struggles and triumphs – of a unique organization.

July 19th, 7pm – 10pm
Second Floor Exhibition Space

An art exhibition by artists of Filipino and Mexican heritage co-discovering significant shared histories through art. The exhibition explores contemporary issues and ideas in all areas of everyday life from social, political, emotional and/or philosophical nature. Curated by Cesar Conde and Sergio Gomez for the Zhou B Art Center, Chicago

The Acapulco – Manila Galleon Trade (1570-1815)
“The languages spoken on the trip to Acapulco were Spanish and Tagalog. The languages spoken on the trip back to Manila were Spanish and Nahuatl. The ships usually laid over at Acapulco for three months, allowing the Filipino crew to disperse and go to other towns of Mexico where they usually got married to local girls. The Filipino crews were usually replaced by Mexicans, usually Nahuatl—Indians and Mexican creoles (Spaniards born in Mexico), and mestizos of Spanish and Mexican parentage. There are about a thousand Nahuatl words spoken in the Philippines today, words such as tianggui (weekly fair), palenque(market), zacate (grass fodder for horses), zapote (a kind of fruit). There are also many Filipino words in the Mexican language, such as palapa (coconut leaves), tuba (coconut sap juice), ylang ylang (a variety of fragrant flower), mangga (mango).”

Maria Cristina Barron Soto, scholar, professor, and historian. (This study by Prof. Barron Soto was quoted from the book Manila Men In The New World by Floro L Mercene; Published by The University of The Philippines Press.

A series of critical responses by Jennifer Huang, Molly O’Connell, John Tennisson, Maire Witt O’neil and Cassandra Davis

June 21st, 7pm-10pm
Lower Level North

What does it truly mean to support emerging artists?

How do we support one another, over and above the framing of work within the white cube?

In conversation with peers, issues of self-care, exhaustion & financial precarity often arise. Working more than two to four jobs to financially sustain arts practices or moving cities to align with steady employment opportunities in an unsteady art world; the pressure on emerging artists and curators is rising. Somewhere between acceleration and an exit, artists, writers and curators are searching for new forms of resilience, creating their own worlds, networks and collaborations, establishing self-determining hybrid careers in an attempt to dissolve familiar systems. What then does it mean to have an artistic practice today?

It is impossible to talk of resilience and the individual agency of an artistic practice without considering the capitalization of art and artistic labor. It has become harder for artists and curators to sustain their practices without a commercial practice to make a living, even in academia. Working at the peripheries of the art

world – practitioner’s function within a capitalist reality while constantly trying to present themselves with the challenge of dedicating their fundamental practices to the field of art. It becomes of a question of how their so called “other” lives are considered or deliberately overlooked – upholding the status quo in the precious singularity of an “art world”.

This exhibition proposes how do we maintain the agency to remain open, to think of alternative structures within which we operate?

Alternatively, artists present in this exhibition respond to the theoretical prompt; where does the intersection of livelihood and artistic practice meet? Here, a unique display of forms unfolds; propositioning the viewer to think what new ways of doing could look like in the art world. Instead of presenting a solo or large group exhibition, we propose a formation of wildly discursive artists, who work well together, unafraid of addressing their

“other” professions within the format of the exhibition. We set out on a mission to daydream collectively.

This is not to re-imagine alternative economic models, or more cerebral exhibitions, or more vibrant cultural programming. It is to work with radically different artistic practices and livelihoods, to find results that are weirder and provide more fertile ground for recontextualizing our relationships to art and labor.

When speaking about art and financial precarity, there is latent pressure on cultural workers as the conversation becomes less about art and autonomy and more about having a sustainable work/life balance. With the professionalization of practices, concerns regarding rent, career-building-strategic-moves… an increasingly stressful environment forms the conditions in which we work. Neoliberal subjectivity, financial precarity and sustainable income – shift the position of practices from one that is critical, rooted in theory, to one that operates from an art world center.

Whether paying for healthcare or rent for an apartment or studio, each of us are committed to perform within a system not because it is asked of us, but because it is necessary for us to work outside or at the peripheries of the art world. In order to continue living on the basis of what we want to do- artists, administrators, critics, curators, and the likes, find ourselvesstraddling roles within the field of art and outside of it. While much of the ‘work’ central to art practices is often perceived as a source of pleasure, vis-a-vis work, we suffer the same capitalist fate as everyone. Student debt, loan payments, a desire for an improved quality of life…. pressures mount with time and circumstance, serving as triggers, splitting artists practices in two.

The inextricable discrepancy of what you want and what is societally required of you finds its roots in the Marxist dialectic on art and labor. At present, the split is not only between artists’ primary and supplementary pursuits but rather, an intrinsic split of constantly harboring a fear of what is expected of an artist versus the unheeded demands of their artistic aspirations. Burning an unreasonable amount of hours working at art world peripheries to get by, artists and cultural workers are exhausted.

What lies beyond exhaustion? Amidst the constant demand to produce, there lie anxieties and depressions that are no longer individual, but collective. What then gets made and shown leads to the critique of the artwork, feeding back into a never ending loop feeding the center. In sharing these anxieties, or expelling them, there lies a space ripe with latency. The show is imagined as a space for rejection of the center in order for experimental practices to emerge in a system of no rest or release

How then do we begin to leverage existing art world structures to use exhaustion as a point of departure to form solidarity networks? Networks that are in-‘active’ and non- productive of creating new platforms for articulating the potential of an exhausted community? A community that does not act within institutional frameworks, a community dedicated to building and articulating its potent sense of latency, of alternate means of making, reading and moving beyond the edifices of the art world… Perhaps the other side of exhaustion gives artists the opportunity to leave traditional frameworks of producing institutional work, in a move towards platforms beyond the white cube. Perhaps the potential of latency allows artists and art workers to move towards meditation, meaningful exchange, deeper engagement, and alternate conditions for artistic endurance to keep moving them forward.

Chicago I June 2019

​A Performance Art festival celebrating the Bridgeport neighborhood


Santina Amato | Jessica Elaine Blinkhorn | Óscar González-Díaz | Carlos Salazar | Lemont | Giulia Mattera | Smeza+Keegan | Diana Soria | Nicolina Stylianou | Ieke Trinks

DAY 1 | THU 13 JUN | 7-9PM | cross-pollination: Community Partnering | Location TBA
Co Prosperity Sphere | 3219 S Morgan Street | Chicago IL 60608

DAY 2 | SAT 15 JUN | 5-9PM | in_visible: In Situ Performances around Bridgeport.
Guerrilla-style: Follow instagram for times+locations: @DFBRL8R

DAY 3 | SUN 16 JUN | 7-9PM | inner.action : Live Art Event | Zhou B Art Center | 1029 W 35TH ST

​FRI3RD | FRI 21 JUN | 7-10PM | [re]action: Visual Art Opening | Zhou B Art Center | Lower Level

This project celebrates the Bridgeport neighborhood and is an homage to Chicago’s rich labor history and how it relates to and influences the local art community. Bubbly Creek is a part of the Chicago river that forms the western border of Bridgeport. It derives this nickname from gases bubbling out of the riverbed from decomposing animal waste dumped into the river a century ago by the Union Stockyards. It still bubbles to this day. Brought to notoriety by Upton Sinclair in his exposé on the American meat packing industry, The Jungle, the contaminated river is a revolting reminder of the harshness of industrial capitalism, exploitation of [often immigrant] labor, and disproportionate concentrations of wealth in America. From the Haymarket Affair in 1886 to the Pullman railroad strike in 1894, labor issues were at the forefront of late 20th century social concerns and are [obviously] still relevant today.
Statement by Curator, Angeliki Tsoli

May 17th, 7pm-10pm
Second Floor Exhibition Space

Steven Alan Benett | Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt

This year’s exhibition at the Zhou B Art Center is being curated by Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt and it features figurative diptychs. The multi-panel works of art, usually a diptych or triptych, provides enormous creative opportunities for visual artists because it supplies expansive and varied ways for an artist to speak using juxtaposition, contrast, comparison, expansion, connection and separation. From the Roman Empire to today, artists both known and unknown have used the multi-panel work to make statements that are both subtle and obvious, complimentary and conflicting. The accompanied exhibition will include a catalog of all the artworks exhibited.

Steven Alan Benett established The Bennett Collection of Women Realists in 2009. The Collection is limited to figurative realist paintings of women by women artists and includes work by some of the most exciting women painters currently working: Margaret Bowland, Aleah Chapin, Andrea Kowch, Alyssa Monks, Katie O’Hagan, Pamela Wilson and dozens of others on the cutting edge of figurative realism. Bennett bases the Collection on two similar but different beliefs. First, while women painters have produced remarkable work for centuries, they have not received the same degree of acceptance as their male counterparts. Second, in addition to gender discrimination, figurative realism is disfavored in many art schools, universities and galleries, which have ignored or repudiated the realistic depiction of persons or figures. Thus, Bennett has limited the Collection to women figurative realists to celebrate the fabulous work that these women are creating. In 2013, Bennett and his spouse and co-curator, Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt, began discussing the creation of an art prize that would enable them to address discrimination against women painters and support and promote figurative realism. Over a period of several years, the Bennetts refined this idea, ultimately endowing The Bennett Prize Fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation. The goal of the Prize is to celebrate and honor women figurative realists by encouraging their work and helping to launch or propel their careers as fine art painters. Bennett has a BA in Art History from the University of Notre Dame and pursued a fine arts degree at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt spent her work career facilitating the education of younger students. As teacher and administrator she was involved in creating learning environments for students with special learning needs. Elaine is now spending her time and energy on a number of other projects she holds close to her heart. She lives with her husband, Steven Alan Bennett, in San Antonio, Texas. She and Steven are art collectors who specialize in realist paintings of women by women artists. This undertaking has afforded them the opportunity to create a collection of women experiencing various emotions from all walks of life as well as to meet many creative artists. The couple recently launched The Bennett Prize, designed to propel the careers of women painters who are or seek to become full-time professional painters. The first prize winner will be announced in May 2019 in conjunction with a show featuring all the finalists’ work called “Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realists” at the Muskegon Museum of Art.

Dr. Schmidt also was one of the curators for the successful show “Visions of Venus/Venus’s Visions” held at the Zhou B. Center in 2018. Current and future art related projects include co-curating the exhibitions.

April 19, 7:00 pm
Second Floor Exhibition Space and Lower Level Space
Gallery Hours: Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm

The IMPACT Performance Festival showcases MFA and BFA Candidates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who are presenting work in live performance and time based media. This year participating artists include: Aram Atamian, Wanbli Gamache, Li-Ming J. Hendrix, Christopher Huizar, SUNGJAE LEE, Helen Lee, Kyra Lehman, Chloe Yu Nong Lin, Katie L. O’Neill, polina protsenko, Zachary Sun, Lariel Joy, Phaedra Beauchamp, Maria Luisa, Marie Peña.

Free open to the public.

The associated exhibition highlights the many forms through which contemporary performance work can be presented. ​IMPACT is co-presented by the SAIC Departments of Exhibitions and Performance.



062 Gallery
Lower Level North

For “boat,” I trusted the characters and forms that I have worked with for a while and fell into their logic. I enjoy when making gets away from me and follows its own decisions. It is like climbing a tree really fast or rocks rolling down a hill. Ideas and forms pick up elements of each other as they collide. This is a world of magic, music, rhythm, spirituality, myth, multiplicity, possibility, intuition, big feelings, hope, and fantasy.
Through repetition in paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures, I learn about these characters as they gain meaning, memories, and stories. This show chronicles three of these characters, the boat, the house, and the hole, as they meet for the first time.


March 15th, 7pm – 10pm
Lower Level South

Out of Nowhere is about artists who harness the unexpected; conjuring magical moments from thin air. The artists in this exhibition have in common their use of everyday objects and their skillful manoeuvres to transcend the quotidian. Improvisation, participation, risk, and all things unexpected come together in one evening of performance art.

Defibrillator Gallery is proud to launch our Artist In Residence [AIR] program in March 2019. International artists are invited to spend three weeks in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago to make and show artwork and engage with the community. With a focus on performance practices, visiting artists are asked to exhibit visual art as part of Zhou B Art Center’s popular Third Friday; present live Performance Art in a shared program; and engage with the community through a workshop, artist talk, discussion, screening, or collaboration.

Tomasz Szrama [Finland] | Gabriele Longega [Italy ] | Vicente Ugartechea [Chicago]


Gallery Hours: Mon – Sat, 10am-5pm
Second Floor Exhibition Space

EXTENDED HOURS FOR SATURDAY 3/30 & CLOSING NIGHT, FRIDAY 4/5: Due to popular demand, “61 at 61” at Zhou B Art Center will be open Friday, April 5th, from 10 am until 10 pm. Michael G. Bush will be present for a free “Meet & Greet” during the afternoon & evening hours. Also, please check out Michael’s TV appearances on “Chicago Tonight” March 27th at 7 pm (WTTW Channel 11), and “Windy City Live” March 28th at 1 pm (ABC Channel 7).

​Zhou B Art Center presents 61 at 61, a debut solo exhibition from Rock & Roll photographer Michael G. Bush. 61 at 61 will be on view on the second floor exhibition space from March 15th to April 5th, 2019.

​61 at 61 is an explosive debut for Michael G. Bush, with “61 at 61” referring to both the 61 photos being exhibited along with Bush’s age. Celebrating 40 years of shooting concerts, Bush is sharing his extensive collection of onstage and offstage images for the first time ever.

Armed with his trusty Nikon camera equipment and his film of choice (Fujichrome), Bush captured musical moments in time that can never be replicated or duplicated. All photographs in this exhibition were taken with a hand held 35mm film camera with no automatic settings, a challenge that propelled Bush to learn and strive for excellence all on his own.

“I am proud to be partnering with the Zhou B Art Center to host my first ever photo exhibit. I have personally handpicked my images of the hitmakers, idols and legends from the original

Rock & Roll era, and I’m excited to be finally sharing them with the world. With no formal photography training, I thrust myself into the Rock & Roll world, and learned by trial and error. I witnessed firsthand the ‘Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll’ lifestyle, and managed somehow to stay in the background and just take my pictures,” said Michael G. Bush.

Michael G. Bush has been photographing live concerts since the late ’70s. He has shot superstars like The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Queen, The Who, The Bee Gees, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Santana, James Brown, Paul McCartney and David Bowie, but he was partial to the Pioneers of Rock ‘n’ Roll like The Everly Brothers, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Bo Diddley, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Ricky Nelson. When Chuck Berry’s 1987 autobiography was published, Bush had more of his photos included than any other photographer. The Beach Boys used his photographs in their press kit, and he was the featured photographer in their 25th Anniversary tour program. Bush’s portfolio reads like a Who’s Who of the Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Era, shooting nearly every charting act and teen idol of the ’60s from Herb Alpert to the Zombies, as well as Doo Wop legends, the ’60s Chicago music scene and hit-makers of the ’70s and ’80s, including Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, The Police and KISS (without makeup). Bush has also been a road photographer for several tours, traveling with The Monkees during the ’80s and ’90s and providing photos for their official tour programs. Bush was so popular with the fans that in 1988 a fan club was started for him & he also appeared in “16” magazine. He has formed close friendships with many of the artists, and has been called “The best kept secret in Rock & Roll Photography.” His work has also been featured on album covers, in newspapers, magazines, and on many artists’ websites. A Chicago native and resident, Bush is planning to publish a series of books and limited edition prints featuring his photography in the coming years.

Michael G. Bush will be appearing in person for a free meet and greet on Opening Night, March 15th from 7-10 pm, and on all three Saturdays (16th, 23rd & 30th) from Noon-5 pm of the exhibit’s run.


Gary Lewis (of the Playboys) said: “Mike and I have been friends since 1985. I met him when he was taking photos of the first Happy Together tour and doing a great job of it. His stuff is all quality, and I’ve used many of his photos on my website and for promo shots. I will be there to wish him well on his first showing!”

David Somerville (lead singer of The Diamonds) – called MGB: “The rock star of rock photographers.”

Davy Jones (of The Monkees) – called MGB: “The best kept secret in rock & roll photography.”

Radio legend, Dick Biondi – called MGB: “The greatest rock & roll photographer in the country.”

Jim Peterik (Grammy winning member of The Ides of March, formerly of Survivor, and of .38 Special fame): “I’ve known Mike Bush since 1983, and was immediately impressed by his amazing eye behind the camera to capture the very essence of live performance. That is a talent that goes beyond mere technique and goes deeper to his appreciation of music and a passion that rivals the passion of the performers onstage. ’61 at 61′ will prove to be a must see treat for everyone that shares the same enthusiasm for capturing those magic moments”.

Jimy Sohns (The Shadows of Knight): “Michael is an amazing photographer. He has the ability to capture every side of me, and there are many! He captures the soul of everyone he photographs. MICHAEL G. BUSH FOR MAYOR! I’d vote for him…”

Ronnie Rice (The New Colony Six): “Anyone who’s met Michael knows he loves his craft, and it shows in his photos. He’s a nice guy with a big heart, and he’s been a loyal friend.” Carl Giammarese (The Buckinghams): “The artistry that Michael Bush shows in his photographs is because of his innate talent and his devotion to the music of our generations. Combining his devotion to his art and love of music, Michael channels his focus on the heart and soul of the performers he photographs. His pictures have that “something else” factor that distinguish his talent. For four decades, The Buckinghams have enjoyed his photographs and our friendship. I look forward to his “Legends” photo exhibit at the Zhou B Art Center.”

Tommy James (Shondells): “I have known Mike for decades, and he is without a doubt one of the most talented and nicest people you are ever going to meet…He has a way of getting intimate expressions and moments from the people he photographs, and really captures who they are. I am very proud to call him my friend, and wish him great success on this wonderful project.”

Second Floor Exhibition Space

The best 1,000 student artists from approximately 125+ Illinois high schools will converge to showcase their art and vie for more than $43 million in college scholarships at the 5​th​ annual Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE). Over 1,000 of the most talented students from 120 High Schools have been selected to showcase artwork at the exhibit and qualified to earn one of the available scholarships. The show runs from Monday, February 11 through Friday, March 8 at the Zhou B Art Center and Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.

​A Public Opening and Silent Auction Fundraiser will be hosted on Friday, February 15 as the Zhou B Art Center’s monthly Third Friday special event as well as at the Bridgeport Art Center. The Exhibition’s Main Event and Ceremonies are on Sunday, February 24. The Zhou B Art Center will host the General Exhibition, Vendor Symposium, and first ever Live Art Throwdown event. The Bridgeport Art Center will showcase the Senior Scholarship Exhibition, feature 2 ceremonies for both Exhibitions with early college & seniors scholarship announcements & awards presentations, and the college recruitment fair.

The IHSAE includes multiple display venues beyond the Zhou B Art Center, the sole host partner for the first three years, because of its burgeoning success. Some 4,000 students, teachers, college representatives, and school district administrators are expected to attend the state’s largest high school student art exhibition that is also widely considered the gold standard amongst high school student art exhibitions nationwide.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Sergio Gomez of NextGen Arts.

“The scholarships will continue a robust IHSAE tradition that has facilitated $125-million-plus cumulatively for more than 1,000 students since our first event in 2014,” said Chris Sykora, co-creator of IHSAE, which uniquely collaborates with public, private, and charter high schools and more than 40 college art schools nationwide.

“Although art education has been largely eliminated from standard school curriculums due to ever-tightening budgets, a growing number of schools – including the Chicago Public Schools – are undergoing a renaissance focused on extending comprehensive art programs due to the wide-ranging developmental benefits. The IHSAE advocates those extra efforts with exhibitions and other incentives for creative exploration and connection to innovative careers,” Sykora said.

“The Zhou B Art Center is honored to help nurture the world’s future artists by hosting this very special exhibition. Our involvement is consistent with the center’s philosophy to provide a community and environment that supports emerging artists of all ages, walks of life, and countries – including the center’s resident artists — through collaboration, education, networking, innovative thinking, and exhibitions,” said Michael Zhou, the center’s executive director.

The Illinois High School Art Exhibition is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is the advancement of visual arts education through exhibition. Developed by teachers for students in 2014, the organization is run by full-time art educators who collaborate with corporate sponsors, art schools/colleges/universities, and participating city, suburban, public and private high schools to celebrate and award the artistic talents of Illinois high school art students. The IHSAE cultivates further connections through a variety of community art programs, such as the Art Educator and Central Illinois High School Art Exhibitions, Small Works Show, IHSAE Traveling Show, Capitol Building Art Show, Blick in-store events, presentations for art teachers at venues such as School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Art Education Association Conference, school programming support, collaborative connections with Illinois School Boards, Art Educator Grants and more. For more information, go to:

7 – 10 pm, January 18th
Second Floor Exhibition Space

The artists in Painting with Fire explore contemporary content utilizing the ancient technique of painting in encaustic. Encaustic is an ancient medium that combines beeswax, pigment and heat. It is the use of heat that creates the encaustic – burning in – and fuses each layer. From extreme dimensionality to the inclusion of text and other materials, the contemporary artist working in encaustic has taken this antique medium into the twenty-first century expanding upon tradition and pushing the boundaries of the medium in creating contemporary work.