Jan Brandt curates visiting artist exhibits in her space, "The Guest Room"
Since 2012, Jan Brandt developed an admirable exhibition history which by 2017 had shown over 900 artists, including solo and group shows in her former location at a Coca Cola Bottling Plant. In July 2017, Brandt opened "The Guest Room", an alternative space in a house turned studio gallery. This intimate setting offers Visiting Artists an opportunity to pursue special projects and experimental ideas with the support of a gallery owner/curator who is herself an artist.
PAST GUEST ROOM ARTISTS
Julie Gautier Downes | Dioramas of Disaster
Nadia Stiegman | Farm 1350
Jeffrey Bess | Look Up
Doug Johnson | Here and Now
May 19 - July 9, 2019
Sarah Quah and Jan Brandt | preface
May 19 - July 9, 2019
Take a look inside the beginning of a brainstorm. Inspired by Jan’s stories of a childhood spent playing in the pasture, timber and streams with her cousins, Sara has listened, jotted notes down and imagined. There have been back and forth phone calls, texts, and emails. Handwritten notes and hand drawn sketches have piled up, some with circled or starred words, along with scratched-out changes. A fluid relationship, building upon each others contributions, has resulted in the sweet beginnings of a children’s book.
Plans for the book include full page color plates taken from Brandt’s paintings, along with simpler illustrations to coincide with each chapter. Quah and Brandt would like to include art and craft projects and recipes to coincide with activities the characters in the book are performing.
Jane Flanders Osborn | Street Seen
May 19 - July 9, 2019
Walking is, for me, contemplative and often the street offers up images that I have to capture. Some are subtle. Some are funny. Some are mysterious. They all stop me in my tracks for a little while, which is the best part of the walk.
Jane Flanders Osborn, an Illinois State University graduate and local graphic designer, began this creative adventure walking with a camera in hand. Flowers and trees gave way to pavement and paint, cement and metal, brick and gravel. The street offered itself up. Whether mysterious, humorous, or beautiful, every step offered a new view. And eventually, all those step and photos became a collection.
TWOgether: A Group Exhibition
Feb 10 - March 30, 2019
Susan J. Schrader and Jan Brandt | Serendipity
November 4th - December 1st, 2018
Jan Brandt first experienced Susan Schrader's art when Susan entered work into the Illinois State University Printmaking Alumni Exhibition which was held at Jan Brandt Gallery. The exhibition was to celebrate the 4oth anniversary of Normal Editions Workshop, an internationally respected print shop located in the ISU printmaking department.
Jan of Bloomington, IL and Susan,of Marblehead, MA became Facebook friends and followed each other's art work over the last couple of years. Susan and Jan both are ISU Printmaking Dept. alums, but had studied at different times. When Jan traveled to Boston for the Boston Biennial V to install work at The Atlantic Works Gallery, Susan and her family attended the opening. The ISU mini reunion was a success and Susan and Jan spent the next day together. Susan served as a tour guide showing Jan the local art scene. During a visit of Susan's studio, an idea began percolating. This serendipitous friendship was too wonderful to let slip; a collaboration project was hatched to celebrate the new bond between the two artists. This exhibition is the result.
A decision was made about size and number of pieces. Each artist would begin with the first layers on four gesso boards and then send those to the other artist. All eight would arrive at Jan Brandt Gallery to be shown. There is a trust, a letting go of control, and an excited feeling of expectation of something new that made this a very enjoyable process to each artist.
Susan Emmerson | Afterwards
November 4th - December 1st, 2018
I see my work as an exploration of the picture plane; delving into that surface between wall and the environment and expanding that surface between the panel and the viewer. My drawings and paintings rise off the wall into three dimensions, forming shadows and caverns which in turn incorporate themselves into the the work itself. Using surfaces of Tyvek, paper and canvas, I explore below them and expand them outward by heating, sanding, cutting, gluing and plastering their surfaces and incorporating the structure into the imagery. As a surgeon penetrates the skin, a barrier between what is human and what is not, I cut, sand, burn and burrow beneath the surface of the paper to expose its curiosities. My work recalls cells and microorganisms, body cavities and organs, and bits and pieces of the natural environment. The marks, strokes, and added materials reflect complex rhythms, incongruities, and the relationships of evolving imaginary organic forms.
Allison Carr, Danell Dvorak, Monica Estabrook, Amy Wolfe |
risk / play / reap
November 4th - December 1st, 2018
Initiated by the challenge of serious play, this body of work is the result of months long collaboration between the artists. Their collaborative intent was to foster open experimentation and to energize visual dialogue through transformative art making.
Each artist began a piece, then passed it to another for further development. Additions, alterations, and reconfigurations continued, until the group agreed a piece was completed, whether through lengthy, multiple cycles, or two to three passes.
Engaging with materials as if they were a panoply of toys, the artists used printmaking, watercolor and Asian papers; archival pigment prints, stretched canvases, and boards; acrylic, china marker, colored pencil, ink, and pastels; thread, fabric, found objects, and two contributions from artist Whitney Johnson.
Carr, Dvorak, Estabrook, and Wolfe challenge one another to balance between direct response and formal investigation, individual styles and collaborative goals. These works reflect their ongoing pursuit of playing risk and risking play.
Allison Carr is a mixed media painter, pastel artist, and archivist at OSF Healthcare in Peoria, Illinois.
Danell Dvorak is a painter, ceramicist, teaching artist, and gallery coordinator at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois
Monica Estabrook is a photographer, conceptual artist, and art teacher at Bloomington High School in Bloomington, Illinois.
Amy Wolfe is a mixed media artist, found object sculptor, and art teacher at Bent Elementary School in Bloomington, Illinois.
July 21st - August 24th, 2018
For nearly 30 years, Jim Neeley and David Dow have created and built businesses, managed design projects big and small, and traveled the world—while being always open for the next adventure. Wisecracker Studio is their latest collaboration, showcasing artwork from both Jim and David. While their works are quite different, reflecting their own unique personalities and points of view, they reveal a great deal of synergy. Their works are graphic, polished and perfectly complementary, much like the artists’ lives. Wisecracker 3.0 is a two man exhibition of clay and hand built masks by David and stylistic, crisp, monochromatic assemblages by Jim. Their explorations in art making are informed by their experience in the field of design, confidently lending a strong sense of decision making so evident in these exhibited artworks.
Jeff Evans | Curious Limitations
September 4th - October 7th, 2018
I photograph ordinary objects and situations that often go unnoticed because they're ordinary and everyday. Once noticed, however, they defy expectations because there’s something out of the ordinary about them. These subjects raise more questions than answers.
The photographs are made in an objective documentary style, but have a sense of humor that undermines their objectivity.
I’m interested in seeing with clarity, in elements of surprise, humor, the slightly surreal, and teasing the viewer about what is real and what is not.
Chrissy LaMaster | Hide and Seek
September 4th - October 7th, 2018
The artworks contained in “Hide & Seek” are a continuation of my interest in family photographs and their significance within the family as both document and memorial. These works in progress are a result of the manipulation of archival family photographs and my experimentation with new techniques and media. They are part of my ongoing exploration of themes frequently found in my previous work, which include motherhood, domesticity, familial relationships, and the phenomenon of memory.
Dawn Gettler and Josh Cox | resonance
September 4th - October 7th, 2018
Dawn and Joshs Statement
Our experiences are based upon memories and desires.
We've each previously and independently constructed places of temporary intimacy, crafting rebuilt versions of beloved bittersweet memories or making spaces where feelings of longing and desire resonate. the objects made and spaces constructed would fill the void for mere moments, the installations providing some personal comfort in the time spent in them. these environments are temporary and won't exist forever. We made things to fill a void knowing it would only provide comfort for a short amount of time in what seemed like an eternity without it.
Life has changed and the things we longed for, sought after, and desired have become realities.
We are no longer interested in looking for something or trying to figure out what it is that would provide us with a feeling of contentment and, most importantly, happiness. We have found it.
Now we construct environments that reflect a more permanent intimacy. We're not building places in order to find what we're missing, but rather we're building places that put form to feelings that we've found.
"resonance" is a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; a daydream.
A Site Specific Collaborative Installation with Jan Brandt and Krystal K. Lyon
May 27th - July 10th, 2018
I started making fiber sculptures four years ago after learning about the outsider artist Judith Scott. I was inspired that her sculptures gave her a voice for the first time in her deaf and mute life and I loved that she hid objects that she treasured in each sculpture. So, I began hiding journals and notes and prayers in my sculptures, secrets that only I knew, and the sculptures became human with those hopes and guilt within. I make each one out of recycled objects and clothes; things that have been thrown away are made useful and beautiful again. Layers of yarn, fibers, twine and fabric give each piece dimension and depth. It was all these aspects; secrets, layers and unexpected beauty, which made me realize these sculptures represent women and all things feminine. Their circular shapes and curves intrigue and each is based on a woman or girl that I love or have been inspired by. As each one is formed, I pray and meditate and through the process of weaving, stitching, crocheting and wrapping I know each woman better, respect them more and I’m thankful for their lives!
Comments from Krystal K. Lyon
Work on Conversation with Jan has been a great joy. I knew the second I saw her work, Happy Contagion, that we were kindred spirits. Her fearless creativity and bold color palette are an inspiration and encouragement to follow. I feel that CONVERSATION was born out of a forming friendship with Jan and our own back and forth chatting at art openings and constant run-ins. As we’ve become friends it seems that our art has become familiar and has bonded as well!
Krystal Kay Lyon is originally from North Augusta, South Carolina. She currently lives in Bloomington, Illinois and works with fiber, printmaking and paintings.
Lisa Bergant Koi | Configuring the Collection
May 27th - July 10th, 2018
Lisa Bergant Koi’s abstract paintings depict indeterminate spaces developed from her primary source material: sketches she makes of the landscape while traveling highways in a car.
She quickly draws the changing shapes and sizes of things she observes in the landscape as she approaches and passes by them. Combined with non-naturalistic color, each painting is a layered accumulation of marks replicated from any number of these drawings. The paintings begin with randomly selected lines and shapes but progress to being intentionally configured over time. She is pulled toward using marks the are not quite identifiable or feel somehow skewed. In fact, the more ambiguous they are and the stronger the sense of peculiarity they add to the composition, the better.
She also considers the physiology of perception; we each visually collect information that the brain configures into our own version of reality. She has come to think of her process as representative of this. Her own sense of wonder in the world further informs her work.
Six Current & Past ISU MFA/BFAs Show Their Work at JBG
March 3rd-April 22nd, 2018
UltraViolet with visiting artists Gina Hunt and Krista Profitt
UltraViolet presents an integrated experience of this specific hue from the individual and personal research interests by both artists.
Gina Hunt and Krista Profitt both earned their MFAs at Illinois State University between 2012-2015. Over those three years, a productive dialogue regarding color and content began. This exhibition of new work was provoked by a mutual fascination with the dark, yet luminous hue of blue violet.
Hunt has extended her line of questioning into how color is perceived using the colors at the far end of the spectrum. The impossibility of imagining the color of ultraviolet light amounts to paintings that are dimensional and evoke phantom colors. Referencing diagrams of how light is visualized, the work organizes overlapping systems of line and color to create interference patterns.
Profitt’s work reacts to the moments where blue violet is the dominant experience in perception, such as through shadows at night, the blue glow of technology, or its association with cleanliness.
Multiple Scatterings with visiting artist Megan Hinds
Megan Hinds is an Illinois State University BFA alum in Printmaking currently working and creating in Chicago. Her exhibition will include 9 Intaglio, Hand cut paper prints. These prints have a theme of sunset murmuration, exploring color and cloud combinations and how they relate to one another.
Unplanned with visiting artist Timothy Winkelman
Timothy Winkelman received his BFA in Painting from Illinois State University in 2012. He recently received his MFA in Design from Full Sail University in 2017. Tim currently resides in New York . As part of a larger series “Glitch”, this is an exploration in randomness, seeking to manipulate and change our architectural spaces in an effort to control them. Unplanned creates an effortless and calming environment that takes hold of the architecture and manipulate it to create an area of calm.
Featured works by visiting artists Kirsten Heteji and Haley Gray
I think about the ever-present unseen. In using common objects that tend to fall by the wayside, I bring forth states of mind that are generally inconspicuous. I am a finder of these emotionally charged discarded moments and a collector of the objects that ordinarily go unnoticed. I focus between the things that stand out and the misplaced that are forgotten. By arranging and organizing components together and blurring the lines between materials I create a back and forth in perception. I like to provoke comparisons and question relationships by having these found elements integrated with ceramic parts. Clay can be soft and rigid, strong and fragile. It is a material that is humble and unsure of itself: an awkward strength. The space between an actual object and a recreated memory is where this clay work exists. I shift the value and context of objects by changing them to look familiar but unrecognizable: it is not exactly the thing, but something is just a little off. The funny and odd are appealing to me and carry into these ideas.
New Works by Matthew Day Perez
February 11th, 2018
Mathew Day Perez Received his BFA from Illinois State University and his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Continuously experimenting with the potential of combining, subverting, and exploiting materials Matthew works with a diverse set of media; glass, printed matter, digital media, and installation.
Perez has received many awards including the Fulbright, the John Rena National Endowments for the Arts Scholarship, a U.S. State Department Grant for new works, a Lois Roth Grant as well as residencies at The Corning Museum of Glass, The Creative Glass Center of America, and Pilchuck glass School. He has lectured at several academic/creative institutions both domestically and abroad in addition to numerous exhibitions in the United States, Australia, Asia, and New Zealand.
Lucas Andrew Stiegman | Pink, White and Blue
February 11th - 25th, 2018
Lucas Stiegman is current student at Illinois State University studying for a B.A. in Arts Technology and a B.F.A in Studio Photography. Stiegman’s photography focuses on the dichotomy between the beautiful and grotesque to enable a sense of comfort to be found within the discomfort.
Pink, White, and Blue features some of Stiegman's photography that will soon be published in Create! Magazine vol. VIII. In addition to this Stiegman’s more recent photography as well a a collaborative installation project they’ve made with Jan Brandt will be featured at Jan Brandt Gallery as well.
Nick Africano & Jan Brandt | MOTHER WOMAN MAKER WARRIOR
December 29th, 2017
MWMW is a collaborative printmaking project between Nick Africano of NYC, formerly of Normal, IL and Jan Brandt. Nick conceived the idea of a simple, yet moving tribute to women and mothers. His text floats ethereally above hand printed monotype backgrounds by Brandt on Japanese Kitakata paper.
Nick Africano as well as Stone and Snow performed at Jan Brandt Gallery on 12-29-17
A son of the moon. A butterfly bull. Nick Africano wears many hats (including one supporting the Chicago Cubs). A songwriter, poet, multi-intrumentalist, band-leader, solo performer, producer, and experimenter with watercolors. Born in Central Illinois, he now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
His style defies the confines of genre, combining the best of folk, storytelling, soul, and rock and roll. Lyrics often softly spoken, or soulfully crooned. At once powerful and subtle. His live performances are captivating and spontaneous, moving between acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, and piano.
Nick is currently working on a collection of new songs, a new live album, a collection of watercolor stationary, a children’s book, and a documentary he can’t tell you about! Finally, Nick believes that drinking sherry makes you live longer.
Stone & Snow
Singer-songwriters Karen Bridges and Clint Thomson bring you into a conversation about the ghosts we leave behind, the devils we know, and how to get through the zombie apocalypse. In 2012, they began a collaboration filled with close harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. They gave it a name that gives nod to the mountain landscapes of the West-- Stone & Snow. After a successful crowd-funding campaign in 2014, their debut album, "These Are The Hills", was released. Self-produced with David Rossi (former drummer for Chicago-based touring band, Allister), the album is a monumental collection of fifteen melancholy folk songs on love, loss and exploration amidst the imagery of the landscape to which their name makes reference.
The duo continued to grow their catalog of songs, and by 2016, they were ready to release another body of work, again in collaboration with David Rossi of Bombsight Recording Studio (Bloomington, IL). Through the support of their fans, "Devil That I Know" arrived May 6, 2016. The album represents the next stop on their journey as songwriters and performers. Their songs have taken them on the road to places like Summer Camp Music Festival, Taste of Chicago and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee.
November 19th, 2017
Grand Opening of The New Jan Brandt Gallery and Jeannie Breitweiser’s Studio B!
Eddie Breitweiser & Dao Nguyen | Rehearsals for Resistance
October 22nd, 2017
Rehearsals for Resistance, Through a series of collaborative gestures, Breitweiser and Nguyen explore resistance as a mode of productive activity. Beginning with an array of historical precedents and conceptual frameworks, they will present research, structures, and improvised acts that invent new futures for a tumultuous present.
Nichole Gronvold Roller | Beyond Place
September 10th, 2017
As a mixed media artist, I am interested in experimenting with materials, techniques/processes, finding a connection with utilizing text within my art. My attention to text and image has evolved through the influence of map making, autobiographical automatism, journaling, and research. My attraction to incorporating text is employed for the natural texture of overlapping lines, in addition to the intimacy that handwriting often provides. Purposely leaving an element of the story left untold for the viewer, I often cut/slice sections of my writings; therefore, encouraging one to fit the pieces together, in addition to urging the observer to take a closer look at the underlying layers found within my art.
I am interested in structures and systems; specifically structures of chaos - I enjoy manipulating the rules of perspective by twisting and distorting the subjects I am creating, resulting in discovering a new sense of place and space. These real and invented spaces are a means to organize the sensations of both actual and emotional interpretation of place. Invented spaces within my portfolio are representational of my thoughts and tend to be linear, architectural in rendering. My mixed media pieces capturing real memories are organic, have a tactile- earthly visual connection. These real memories are often triggered by the senses: a familiar song bringing me back to a childhood or adolescent experience; a scent pulling me towards a forgotten moment, all are part of the state of mind in uncovering a perception of place.
Nancy Fewkes & Laura Primozic | Findings
August 8th, 2017
photography exhibition titled: June Solstice from Six Mile Creek, 6/21/17 (archival digital ink jet prints and mixed media)
I’ve been photographing two nearby lake environments for a few years, looking at the influence of light in shaping temporal and spatial dimension. The images in “June Solstice” were made at a creek close to home during the three hours before sunset. Barn swallows nest under the bridge I stand on, and fly out to forage in both north and south directions over the water. This piece considers their migratory path through the two hemispheres that simultaneously experience an extreme difference in length and quality of daylight during certain times of the year.
sculpture exhibition titled: microenviroments (mixed media and sculpture)
I create architectural structures to contain and confine a part of our natural landscape that we may pass by on a daily basis. Moss is beautiful and vibrant, but it quickly reacts to the loss of water or sun. It can be trampled on, become dormant, but it can also come back stronger and robust with nature’s resources. I am interested in thinking about this micro landscape and climate change, and how we impact the landscape around us.
Jessica Bingham & Heather Brammeier | Burn Pile
July 26th, 2017
Jessica Bingham and Heather Brammeier have a history of collaborating on temporary art installations that incorporate building materials, studio remnants, and found objects. The form that the installations take relies heavily on the nature of the materials used.
Burn Pile refers to the common practice of burning landscape waste and garbage in rural areas. In preparation for the Guest Room collaboration, Bingham and Brammeier focused on selecting natural and building materials that either came directly from burn piles, or that had the potential to end up in a burn pile. As a result, various states of wood were included, from branches and shavings to wooden furniture and flooring. Other materials, such as discarded pavers and lawn furniture that have been patinaed by fire, are given new life for the Guest Room installation. Burn Pile invites viewers to visually trace the assembly process, which included stacking and intertwining materials. It is likely that viewers will also imagine the future of the materials. Are the objects and materials destined to be stacked on another burn pile, or will they be reclaimed for artwork once again?
Whitney Johnson | Part and Parcel
Part and Parcel centers around both landscape and studio space. I am seeking out possible relationships between these spaces and the things that make them up.
Squeezing thick paint is delicate and painful, like gently squeezing a baby chick’s rear when she’s having trouble passing her food, or icing a cake that isn’t yours. Letting liquid paint flow can be like walking away. Or getting swept away. Sifting through canvas scraps, digging through a pile of leaves, looking for a note on a desk. I am thinking about the physical world, and the physicality of my working space. What am I taking in, gathering, sampling, mixing, leaving behind? What am I breathing in, breathing out? Paint, as a material, has an agency. It asks us to do things for it. I’m listening, collecting, and projecting. The work considers and reconsiders: materiality, plasticity, picturing, giving, taking, collecting, surfaces, illusion, depth, scale, connections, cancellations, atmosphere, reinforcing, interrupting, bringing together, smashing, desiring, compressing, overlapping, separating, finding, printing, embedding, refinding, following, hugging, squeezing, ripping, staining, piling, speeding up, slowing down, getting closer, making distance, gaps, parks, apartments, fields, forests, sidewalks, headspace, imagining, opening, working, looking, touching..
I am trying to catch pieces of all of these things, these bits of things, these ways of working and thinking.
I want to touch them, remember them, let them go to live somewhere else. Give it all back, let them
mobilize themselves over time.
Cathie Crawford | Bliss of Being
My color reduction woodcuts celebrate the magical moments of my life: Bliss of Being. I strive to capture the truth and beauty of my subjects. Some images deal with a particular feeling or emotion I have toward my immediate environment. I have always been especially attracted to water, seeking it out for its restorative powers. Water represents a powerful life giving force -- a source of replenishment, rejuvenation. My travels have inspired several prints. Taking a break from my figurative work, much of my recent work is non-objective. This new direction is the converging of line, shape, color and texture in an ambiguous space.
Justine Kaszynski | Liminal
“One no longer knows right away whether one is running towards the center or escaping.” (Gaston Bachelard, 214; The Poetics of Space).
I construct assemblages of objects in my studio: pieces of glass, mirrors, and colored fabrics. I then direct light onto these arrangements to create light patterns and looming shadows. The reflected and refracted light is sometimes colored, sometimes white; it is a significant presence within the scenes. The objects in my photographs are activated by the light: they sway, project, lean to one side, break, shimmer, or sometimes just stand still. They act in a way that’s similar to a psychological state transition, a space of the in between: the liminal.
Bachelard understands the confusion of being in the world. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with so many choices to be made. Emotions and thoughts can seem to spiral in the liminal, yet it is a space in which we nearly always exist. Although it is a troubling state, when I figure out how to find balance, it can be productive and transformative. It’s easy to feel the weight of others exerting pressure to do what they want me to do, rather than making decisions for myself. At times, I feel like I’m simply going through the motions of flailing the wishes of others. Other times I simply will not cater to the pressure of others, but rather make decisions for myself. However, sometimes change demands to be faced head on; there is no escaping it. When I do this, this is when everything clicks, is in sync, and I find clarity. When my photographs are at their most successful, the possibilities are both confusion and clarity, appropriately resonating within a liminal state.