Current Show

These “Doilies with Quotes on Them,” as I think of them – having been getting around! “Misogynistic Lie” was in the Fruit Show at Waubonsee College in Sugar Grove, IL, so it couldn’t be in the Orland Park Public Library show with all its friends, but it is in the current show “Feminist to the Core,” at salonb, a gallery in Bridgeport, Chicago. If you’re local, it’s on 35th Street, across from Zhou B. Art Center, in the old Spiegel’s Catalog Warehouse. (That last bit of trivia is for the really long-term Chicagoans.)

Feminist to the Core was created by Curators Gone Rouge, aka “the Susans,” Susan Blackman and Susan Aurinko.  “We are two think-outside-the-box, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants Susan’s who decided that Chicago artists need a different kind of presence in our city, something beyond the brick-and-mortar galleries,” – Susan Aurinko.

Salonb is a huge space and the lighting, which looks odd in the photos, was dramatic and fun. In the photos everything looks rather purple, but that’s not how I experienced it in real life. It’s a really terrific show and if you’re within a drive of an hour or two, you should really go see it!

We had a lot of fun at the opening, going back and forth between my show and a friend’s opening on another floor of the same building. Yay for that coincidence!

The most fun I had, besides looking at everyone else’s art, was watching people look at my art, stopping to read, taking pictures, and clicking through to the QR code. I even took pictures of other people looking at my art! I was just thrilled to see people engaging with the art!

Here are four out of the five doilies in this show:

Doilies with Quotes on Them by Elaine Luther 2022-2023

“Doilies with Quotes on Them” by Elaine Luther 2022-2023. Printed with light reactive dye on vintage linens.  Some are stitched down to 12″ x 12″ or 14″ x 18″ canvases that have been wrapped with fabric.

Upcoming Show

In September, the show Women Pulling on the Threads of Social Discourse will open at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee and I am so thrilled to have a quilt/banner in that show. More on that after the show is open to the public. If you’re within a couple hours of Milwaukee, that show will be a must-see!

And I’m working on a proposal for a two-person show of my work and work by another artist who also works in textiles and addresses labor.  Our proposal is almost finished and ready to submit!  We’ll be sending that around to various galleries that accept proposals.

What’s Happening in the Angelica Kauffman Gallery

We’re part of a big, outdoor show, but we can’t announce that until September 1st, so we’ll be back with that announcement next week. The current show is macrame by Debra Weiss. So much texture, really great pieces!

The show before that was a two-person quilt show with Nicolette Oyao and Michelle Asarisi-Walsh.  We also recently hosted the show Good Vibes Only, featuring embroidered collage by Kelley Clink.

We have solo shows lined up for each month for the rest of the year! And after a long time (too long) without having work out on public display, I’ve started applying for opportunities to display the galleries in libraries, an artist’s studio with ground level storefront window, and more.

I recently applied for a grant for the micro gallery and as part of the writing for that, had to really think about who the gallery serves. I counted up all the shows we’ve hosted in the past 3 years – it’s something like 24 solo shows and 22 group shows! Though that could be an undercount.

When I started the micro gallery, the goal was to have fun and meet fellow artists. That’s still a goal. I didn’t really know, when I started, who would want to show with us and why. It turns out that in the past three years, we have mostly shown art by emerging artists, and the vast majority of those have been women. We have also hosted solo shows of art by men and men have also been in group shows.

Interestingly, if I invite an artist I don’t know, either personally or through a group online, they most often say no thanks. I’m not sure why this is, other than artists having a healthy level of suspicion about anyone offering them anything. Artists are used to having to apply and pay and grovel and struggle for opportunities, and someone saying, “Hey, I love your work, would you like to put on a miniature solo show where I’ll curate your work, do all the work, promote you online and not charge you a commission if your work sells?” seems too good to be true, I guess.

I don’t focus on that though. I put out open calls, so people can raise their hand if they’re interested. It was really interesting to look back and reflect and go, “oh, right, okay, we’re a gallery for emerging artists.”  (You would think that’s obvious and that I might have figured that out sooner, but it took a while for the pattern to emerge and for me to pause and notice.)

Here’s something I wrote about the gallery as I was working on the grant application:

The Angelica Kauffman Gallery is a gallery that charges no fees and takes no commissions.  It has given many emerging women artists their first time being in a group show, their first solo show, their first sale.  Experienced artists have sold half their solo show, and incarcerated artist got a voice outside the walls.  The catch?  The art has to be small, really small.  AKG is a micro gallery, a collection of white boxes, a wine crate, a dollhouse – run by Chicagoland artist Elaine Luther.

The galleries exist in a domestic environment and online.  The art shown has included oil paintings and prints the size of a postage stamp, hand sewn quilts, paintings inside of bottle caps, collages on bread tabs and art made out of trash picked up off the street.

We’ll have more micro gallery news soon!

Miniature interior scene with macrame artwork over the fireplace by Debra Weiss.

Miniature interior scene with macrame artwork over the fireplace by Debra Weiss. She has the current solo show in the Angelica Kauffman Gallery.

What’s Happening in the Studio

Email subscribers got the first look at what I’m working on now.  (Are you signed up?  Sign up is in the footer!)  I’ve been teaching cyanotype workshops at libraries and park districts, that’s a lot of fun.  My current studio goals are to finish some of my quilt tops, and I have a new walking foot for my sewing machine to help with that, and I’m about to start a series of 200 (or so) miniature cyanotypes, printed from photos, dried plants, and more.  They’ll be 2.5″ x 3.5″ and I’ll also do some round ones.  You know I like circles.

I’ll be working on those cyanotypes during the Thrive Together Network’s Virtual Artist Residency.  It’s one that you do at home, on your own, but with the support and structure of the community.  How much studio time I have will depend on how many of my classes that I teach get enough enrollment to run.  Enrollment is looking good for some of them!  Hopefully there will be a nice balance between teaching and studio time.