Local artists participate in art exhibit at Kishwaukee College

Online Staff Report

Some local artists are displaying their works at an exhibit at the Kishwaukee College Art Gallery. The exhibit is titled “The Fruits of Yggdrasil, Animism, Transformation and Death.” Rockford-area artists Katherine Webb, Matthew Vincent, JoanLee Stassi and Chicago-based artist Christian Ortiz have created an installation that relates to the idea of giving conscious life to objects “in” and phenomena “of” nature. The viewing process is sculptural, fascinating and surrealistic, as well as subversive.

The title refers to the Norse World Tree (Yggdrasil) whose roots sunk into the deepest part of the earth and branches touched the vault of the sky. Animism, Transformation and Death relate to the writings, performances, and installations of Joseph Beuys. All reflect an attempt to understand our place in nature through cultivation, recognition of culture and artistic experimentation.

Katherine Webb graduated with her master’s of fine arts in studio art from Northern Illinois University (NIU) in 2009 and teaches art at Rock Valley College. Her work has been exhibited nationwide. Kathie’s work has been seen in both other 2010 and 2012 Rockford Art Museum’s Midwestern Biennial in FiberArts magazine, Fiberarts International 2011, and at Snydermann Works Gallery in Philadelphia. See KathieWebb.com.

Matthew Vincent graduated with a master’s in fine arts in studio art from NIU and teaches art at Rock Valley College, where he is sought after for his excellence in teaching. Matthew originated the conception of this installation. His art includes both drawing and printmaking.

JoanLee Stassi holds both a bachelor’s in fine arts and a master’s in fine arts from NIU. JoanLee teaches art at Rock Valley College and maintains her own studio in Provincetown, Mass. JoanLee has worked at the Fine Arts Work Center in Massachusetts with many distinguished artists, including John Kearney.

Christian Ortiz, a fiber artist based out of Chicago, received his bacehlor of fine arts at NIU with an emphasis in fiber studies. A two-year recipient of the USOAR grant (Undergraduate Special Opportunities in Artistry And Research) program , Christian underwent research trips to Japan and Paris to learn more about traditional textile arts. Christian works as coordinator of College, Career and Alumni Programs at Marwen Center for the Arts in Chicago.

This installation will be on display through April 17 with an evening reception from 6-9 p.m., Friday, April 12.

Posted April 10, 2013

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