About

Elaine Luther in her studio, photo by David Pierini, courtesy the Forest Park Review

Elaine Luther in her studio, photo by David Pierini, courtesy the Forest Park Review

Elaine Luther is an artist, jeweler, public speaker and public artist in the Chicago area.

She uses assemblage, collage and direct sculpting to get her message across.

 

She writes:

I work with found images and objects in my collage and assemblage. With found objects, which are sometimes literally found on the ground, and other times I know what I’m looking for and I go and get it – with those objects, I often like to transform them first into a metal. Usually silver or bronze.

 

Taking a common object, like the baby shower decoration plastic baby and casting it in silver transforms your experience of it. It’s familiar, yet strangely, not.

 

Larger objects, I’ve taken to silver leafing, to keep the cost down. But the goal of transformation is the same.

 

Now I’m also working in bronze, the material of medals and monumental sculpture. I take an everyday object, like a plastic or carved bone button and cast it in bronze and suddenly it’s monumentalized. It’s become something else. The overall message of these transformations is that women’s daily lives, domestic work, has value. My life.

In her paintings she uses image transfer, metal, photographs, images she hunts down and thrift store finds.  She studied jewelry making in college, trade school and through two apprenticeships.

Starting in 2015, she took her social justice teaching experience and gave that a new twist, beginning to create public participation art projects, such as a Before I Die… wall (a replication of the Candy Chang project, done with permission). More projects will take place this summer.

More about me

She has taught since 1992 at a number of art centers including Lillstreet Art Center and the Indianapolis Art Center. Her sculptures have been exhibited at those art centers and Gallery I/O in New Orleans, LA and Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL. Recent shows include a solo show at Harold Washington Library and a group show, Modular 22 at 22 in Berwyn, IL. Elaine’s students at the Chinese American Service League have had art in the 20 Neighborhoods Show at WomanMade Gallery. Elaine has taught hands-on art and art history at Marwen Foundation in Chicago.

Elaine served as a charter member of the board of The Chicago Metal Arts Guild, founded in 2001, and served as president of the board of directors from 2010 to 2012. She is currently serving as a member of the Advisory Board for Woman Made Gallery.

She has served as a juror for the Old Town Art Fair and the Hinsdale Center for the Arts.

She was recently awarded a Professional Development Grant by the Illinois Arts Council.

She has had articles published in Art Jewelry Magazine, Studio PMC and been interviewed by The Crafts Report, Fusion, Authority on Jewelry ManufacturingBead and Button and Studio PMC. In September 2012, she was profiled in her local paper and at JCKonline.

In 2012 she participated in the four day National Seminar for Teaching Artists, developed and hosted by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Elaine has been blogging at All Things Metal Clay since 2007 and on this site since 2013.

Since 2013, she has been a speaker each year at Creative Chicago Expo (to become Lake FX in 2015) and the Self-Employment in the Arts Conference. See the Speaking tab to see all the organizations she’s spoken to and her current list of available topics. Use the Contact Us –> form on the right to get in touch about speaking for your event.

Exhibitions

INSTASHOW, DECEMBER 2015 – JANUARY 2016
Silicon Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

VISAURAL OCTOBER 2015
Nave Gallery, Boston, Mass

EXPLORE installation, JULY – AUGUST 2015
Forest Park Public Library, Forest Park, Illinois

BEFORE I DIE… Wall Installation, FEBRUARY 2015
Self-Employment in the Arts Conference, Naperville, Illinois

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? FEBRUARY 2015
Zenith Art Studios, River Forest, Illinois

SOLO EXHIBITION, OUR LADIES OF PERPETUAL HOUSEWORK, FEBRUARY 2015
Green Home Experts, Oak Park, Illinois

ONGOING
Illinois Artisans Shops, Chicago, Illinois
Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

Exhibitions 2014 and previous

Exhibitions 2014 and previous

HOLIDAY SHOW, DECEMBER 2014
Zenith Art Studios, River Forest, Illinois

REVOLUTION CRAFT SHOW, NOVEMBER 2014
Salvage One, Illinois

SOLO EXHIBITION, OUR LADIES OF PERPETUAL HOUSEWORK, JULY 2014
Oak Park Public Library, Dole Branch, Oak Park, Illinois

SOLO EXHIBITION, OUR LADIES OF PERPETUAL HOUSEWORK, MARCH 2014
Chicago Public Library, West Englewood Branch, Chicago, Illinois

TEXT, SEPTEMBER 2013
Gallery 659, Whiting, Indiana

PUBLIC/PRIVATE SHOW, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2013
Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

MODULAR 22, OCTOBER 2012
Studio 22, Berwyn, Illinois

20 NEIGHBORHOODS, OCTOBER 2012
WomanMade Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, MARCH 2012
Flourish Studios, Chicago, Illinois

MAMA SAID, MARCH 2012
Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho

SOLO SHOW, YOU OUGHTA GET A MEDAL FOR THAT, JAN.-FEB. 2012
Harold Washington Library, Chicago, Illinois

POINTE OF DEPARTURE, JANUARY 2012
Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, Illinois

PETRI DISH SHOW, DECEMBER 2011
Target Gallery,Torpedo Factory, Alexandria,Virginia

A TESTIMONY TO BEING, OCTOBER 2011
Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago, Illinois

ARTIST OF THE MONTH, SEPTEMBER 2011
Classic Cinemas Theater, North Riverside, Illinois

MOTHERS SHOW, DECEMBER 2010
Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

EL DIA DE LOS MEURTOS, OCTOBER 2007
Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

ANTI-WAR MEDAL SHOW, OCTOBER 2007
Gallery I/O, New Orleans, Louisiana

FACULTY EXHIBIT, SEPTEMBER 2007
Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

FACULTY EXHIBIT, JANUARY 2007
Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, Illinois

EL DIA DE LOS MEURTOS, OCTOBER 2006
Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

FACULTY EXHIBIT, FEBRUARY 2003
Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, Illinois

FABRICATED, FORMED AND FUNCTIONAL, DECEMBER 2002
Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, Illinois

THE ART OF GIVING, DECEMBER 2002
Hinsdale Center for the Arts, Hinsdale, Illinois

FUSION 2001 THE ART OF METAL CLAY, FEBRUARY 2001
Expressions Graphics, Oak Park, Illinois

ART IN THE PARK, MAY 1998, 1999
Austin Gardens, Oak Park, Illinois

HOLIDAY GROUP SHOW, DECEMBER 1997
Art and Soul Gallery, Elmhurst, Illinois

Partial List of Publications:

Articles written:

Moore Women Artists The Essence of Joy, Combating the Blues with Art, 2016.
Moore Women Artists Tiffany Gholar: Author, Doll Photographer, Painter, Interior Designer, June 2016 Moore Women Artists Mary Ellen Croteau: Artist, Agitator and Environmentalist, June 2016.
Moore Women Artists Residency vs. Motherhood, June 2016.
Art Jewelry Magazine November 2008, Project Article Photo Pendant
Art Jewelry Magazine January 2009, Project Article Splat! Pendant
Art Jewlery Magazine, subscriber bonus download Metal Clay Envelope.

Artwork included in and interviewed in:
Forest Park Review, September 18, 2012
Studio PMC, Volume 10, Number 3, Fall 2007 Society of Mothers…
Picture Yourself Creating Metal Clay Jewelry, by Tammy Powley, Gallery section

Work with Elaine! Elaine is available for public speaking. Her jewelry is available for wholesale to qualified retailers. View jewelry here. Send me an email to start a conversation.

Shop Elaine Luther Art! Buy direct from the artist, here,and images of her artwork, “Our Ladies of Perpetual Housework,” are available for sale at Red Bubble.

Photo credit: David Pierini for the Forest Park Review.