South Shore Arts presents the summer exhibit, SWELL: A Group Exhibition on Scaffolding, curated by Lauren M. Pacheco. SWELL is unconcerned with boundaries but, rather, attempts to recreate a space within a space. Secondary to the artworks themselves is a conversation in challenging aesthetics and assemblies of what exhibits can and should represent—a new way of thinking to help change the way we see and interact with space, curator, and artist.
Pacheco shares this insight on her curatorial project: “Sculptural installations have the power to confront traditional understandings of art production and material history. Within South Shore Arts’ expansive gallery, fabric walls show signs of something that has already happened. As a curatorial intervention, this site-specific exhibition intends to connect the usual and unusual, familiar, and unfamiliar by bringing together artwork, and objects.”
She goes on to say that “the scaffolding system is a timely metaphor for our post-pandemic world. The scaffold, ubiquitous “furniture” seen in urban and rural landscapes, most commonly recognized as construction site infrastructure, provides support or reinforces during building, rebuilding, or preserving.”
SWELL incorporates 37 Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana artists with individual works that drive discourse and critical art practice. Pacheco emphasizes, “My curatorial vision stresses a necessity to exhibit a diverse representation of living artists in spaces, places and institutions that have histories of exclusionary practices based upon race, geography, and gender. I’m very proud to work with a group of artists and creatives in SWELL that include fourteen black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) and fifteen women.” Additionally, the exhibition features creative practitioners who work across disciplines that are peculiar, provocative, and beautiful.
Participating artists include Chad Kouri, Bishal Manandhar, Marcos Raya, Sydnie Jimenez, Rodrigo Lara, Alison Wade, Carlson Garcia Collective, JB Daniel, Kelly Knaga and others.
Lauren M. Pacheco is a Mexican-American civic practice artist and cultural worker with over fifteen years of arts administration, curation, and project management experience. Many of her projects are interested in space, people, and social impact. Today, Pacheco serves as a resource to policymakers and institutions in the public dialogue about issues that impact artists and creative enterprises. She is an associate faculty lecturer and the director of Arts Programming and Engagement at Indiana University Northwest in the School of the Arts.
SWELL: A Group Exhibition on Scaffolding will run through August 28 in South Shore Arts’ main gallery at The Center of Visual & Performing Arts. An artist reception will take place on Friday, July 16, from 6-9pm, with donations by Marz Brewery in Chicago. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.Southshoreartsonline.org.