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Perennial Hug

Circle Contemporary North Shore
January 25 - March 29

Marcelo Aguilar, Molly Andrews, Alfred Banks, April Behnke, Megan Bent, Caley Buck, Grethe Bue, Raina Carter, Gabriel Chalfin-Piney, Bojana Crnomarkovic, Nicole Diaz, Kira Elasky, Stephanie Figueroa, Jaxanna Fink, Chloe Geraty, Lillian Heredia, Rowan Howe, Maggie Kamphausen, Eddie Kil, Allison Long, Ngamanga Massaquoi, Avianna Miller, Abbey Muzatko, Amber Nething, Siena Peterson, Ruby Que, B. Quinn, Nico Ramirez, Alex Stark, Blake Jackson, Nyia Sissac, Tim Stone, Chris Viau, Tyrone Weedon, Jonathan Worcester, Dontavius Woody, Kiki Zhen


Opening Reception:
Thursday, January 25th, 2024
5:00-8:00 pm.

Generally speaking, artists use their hands to make things.  The hands are connected to arms which are connected to the torso….the same bodily elements that allow us to hug one another.  Many have been moved beyond words when viewing particularly resonant works of art.  What is it that touches us?  Do the hands and arms of the artist remain concretized within an object?  

Works of art operate prismatically; illuminating the economic and sociopolitical conditions in which they are made.  And as viewers, we can understand artworks not only as indicators of these systems, but as analog recordings of the thoughts and feelings of the maker.  Encoding the emotions and decision making processes into the various materials that are used.  We can observe the sensitive touch, attenuation to color and surface held within a painting, sculpture or photograph.  And these elements indicate the presence of the maker through the trace of their thoughts.  This exhibition is a group hug, gathering together a cross section of generous makers and thinkers in order to highlight the ways in which visual forms of expression reach out to the viewer embodying the act of communal meaning making.  

Perennial Hug is an annually occurring open call and guest juried exhibition that will feature artists of all demographics, and abilities.  Through the deployment of various formal and material strategies the work selected for Perennial Hug functions as an assembly of outstretched arms awaiting the warm embrace of the viewer.

******This year’s jurors are Kevin Gotkin, Em Kettner, and Jason Lazarus.

image credit: cassidy duhon alt-text: hi, it's kevin. i'm a scruffy white person. in this photo i’m leaning against the doorway of a small building that i know as a séance house. i'm wearing a dark blue knit dress with a bunch of perky little nipples. and i’m wearing a necklace with a metal pendant like a whip kinda and a chunky chain i draped across it higher up. a disco ball earring. a camo cowboy hat. and i’m looking out at a sunset with a part-mischievous, part-hopeful no-teeth smile. a wild dimple appears.

kevin gotkin (they/he) has been dialed into disability worlds since 2012 as an access ecologist, teacher, and researcher.  Speaking professionally: Currently, they are Artist-Organizer with Creatives Rebuild New York. They’ve worked previously as Organizer with the disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light. In 2016, they co-founded Disability/Arts/NYC with Simi Linton. Their university-based teaching and research includes a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 and a Visiting Assistant Professorship (2018-2021) in NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, where they also received their B.S. in 2011. kevin’s performance and curatorial work has been featured most recently at Lincoln Center (Cultivating Access Ecologies series, summer 2023), in nightlife shenanigans, and through their weekly newsletter Crip News.  Speaking anti-professionally: They love a good nap, dreaming of ways to introduce oneself that don’t veer right into the stuff that maintains ableism (hustle, credentialing, careerism, and on).

Em Kettner (b. 1988, Philadelphia, PA) makes miniature drawings, tapestries, and sculptures that seek the humor and power in our most vulnerable moments. Her recurring cast of characters is variously depicted performing on stage and merging together in sickbeds and erotic trysts, in each case insisting that nothing is too sacred to be comical. Recent solo exhibitions include “Sick Joke” at Chapter (New York, NY) and “Slow Poke” at François Ghebaly Gallery (Los Angeles, CA). Her sculptures are currently featured in “Tender Loving Care: Contemporary Art from the Collection” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, through July 2025.  Em’s work has been reviewed and published in ArtForum, Art in America, Sculpture Magazine, Contemporary Art Review LA (CARLA), HyperAllergic, Institutional Model, Sixty Inches From Center, and Fulcrum Arts: Sequencing. From 2014 through 2018 she taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and currently works in the Bay Area as an art facilitator at NIAD Art Center for artists with disabilities. Em is represented by François Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles and New York.

Jason Lazarus is an artist exploring vision and visibility.  His work includes a range of fluid methodologies: original, found and appropriated images, text-as-image, photo-derived sculptures made collaboratively with the public, live archives, LED light images, and public submission repositories among others. This expanded photographic practice seeks new approaches of inquiry, embodiment, and bearing witness through both individual and collective research.  Lazarus is also Co-director of Coco Hunday, an artist-run exhibition space in Tampa, FL anchored by solo exhibitions, artist-lectures, and new scholarship on emerging and mid-career artists; Director, PDF-OBJECTS, a nomadic sculpture library featuring over 100 international artists’ chosen readings sculpturally paired with everyday objects; Co-founder of #firstdayfirstimage, a national campaign that asks artist-educators to center voices long underrepresented in curricula starting with the first image shown to students on the first day of class; and Co-founder of Chicago Artist Writers, a platform that invites artists and art workers to write traditional and experimental criticism. Currently, Lazarus is an Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at the University of South Florida.  His work has been covered in outlets including Artforum, The New York Times, Frieze, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, Los Angeles Times, NPR, The Washington Post, CNN, and Vice Magazine, and written about by a range of artists and scholars including Martha Rosler, Hamza Walker, Abigail Solomon Godeau, Darby English, Christopher Knight, Carmen Winant, Seph Rodney, Ariana Reines, Lori Waxman, and Michelle Grabner among others.  Selected exhibition venues include SF MOMA, Art Institute of Chicago, MASS MoCA, MCA Chicago, George Eastman Museum, Queens Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, Renaissance Society, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Ryan Lee Gallery NYC, Exgirlfriend Gallery Berlin, Contemporary Jewish Museum SF, Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Columbia University, Stadtgalerie Kiel 9,  Kunstlerhaus Behanien Berlin, Gallery 400, bitforms Gallery NYC, Blaffer Art Museum Houston, Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts Belgium, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.  Public lectures include Yale University, International Center of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; George Eastman Museum NY, the Art Institute of Chicago, University of California Berkeley, and Artists/Designs/Citizen (US Pavilion, 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale) among many others.  Selected permanent collections include the Art Institute of Chicago, SFMOMA, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, High Museum of Art, The Ringling Museum of Art, and Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago.


***Gallery open by appointment only, to schedule a visit please email: cc@artsoflife.org***




January 25
March 29
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Circle Contemporary North Shore
1963 Johns Drive
Glenview, IL 60025 United States
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