The Chicago Angels Project Opening Reception

February 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Almost a hundred faces grace the walls of Josef Glimer Gallery as part of The Chicago Angels Project, The Forgotten: Chicago Youth Lost to Gun Violence (2011/13), an exhibition exploring the devastation of gun violence in Chicago. The brightly colored linoleum block prints are by former and current students of Laura Mullkoff, an art teacher in Uptown’s Uplift Community High School. Each image memorializes a minor lost to gun violence from 2011-2013.

Set-up meant hanging 84 of these prints along the gallery’s largest wall. The result is heartwrenching for its sheer numbers but hopeful in its vibrance, at once an observance of death and a celebration of life.

Linoleum Block Prints, Chicago Angels Project, Josef Glimer Gallery Chicago

The exhibit also features pieces by local and international artists Susan Aurinko, Iwona Biedermann, David Gista, Doug Fogelson, Jean-Marc Giboux, Chris Hefner, Layne Jackson, Teresa James, Marvin Tate and Lee Tracy.

Lee Tracy, Hate Ruins Everything poster, Josef Glimer Gallery Chicago

Lee Tracy, Hate Ruins Everything, 2012, 27.5″ x 20,” Archival ink print on cotton rag paper, Edition of 5.

Marvin Tate, School Yard of Broken Dreams, assemblage, Josef Glimer Gallery Chicago

Marvin Tate, Schoolyard of Broken Dreams, 2014, 16” x 19.5” x 4,” Boxed assemblage with found objects & LED light.

Chicago Angels Project co-organizer Laurie Glenn originally met Mullkoff at a performance of The Gospel of Lovingkindness, a play examining the loss and forgiveness surrounding a teen gang slaying. Mullkoff had been working with her classes on the memorial prints since 2011, displaying them on her school’s walls to spark dialog amongst staff and students about the prevalence of violence in their community. Glenn, who runs the arts and policy salon ThinkArt, was inspired to help expand the project. Tiphanie Spencer, director of the member-based arts club The Arts Palette, soon joined the team as a collaborator.

Laurie Glenn, Chicago Angels Project, Josef Glimer Gallery Chicago

Chicago Angels Project co-organizer Laurie Glenn discussing the exhibition

At the opening, Glenn, Spencer and Mullkoff spoke of art’s power to start movements and their hope that violence prevention becomes a priority for Chicago’s policy-makers. The evening was then turned over to Uplift student artists, who sprinkled the evening with the stories behind their prints and several stunning spoken-word performances. Click here for video of an awesome group number by Jacoby Green, Monty Williams, Jameale Pickett and Devail Wills.


A spoken word performance by Uplift Community High School students at the Chicago Angels Project opening reception

“Linoleum block prints are the perfect medium to represent these lost children,” commented gallery owner Josef Glimer on both the despair and hope that the exhibit conveys. “When you cut into a linoleum block, you’re destroying it. But in that destruction something beautiful is created.”

Uplift Community High School Students Perform at Chicago Angels Project, Josef Glimer Gallery Chicago

The Chicago Angels Project will be on display until the end of February at Josef Glimer Gallery, 207 W. Superior in Chicago.

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