Tag: illinois


Updated Interwoven FlyerIt’s been a while since this show took place, but I finally have time to write about it! Interwoven was a show curated by my ambitious friend and peer, Pia Cruzalegui, and it included the work of many (class of 2016) SAIC Low Residency MFA students. Our second six-week summer together began on June 13th and the perfect way to kick it off was with this show opening.

IMG_0654Me and pia

The show took place at Throop Studios in Chicago and was designed as a pop-up show, which means it was only up for one night. A lot of work went into making that one night a success. Pia was able to find support from literally across the world in order to properly promote and organize this show. There were lots of emails and phone calls back and forth. Back in Virginia, I was responsible for creating a Facebook event page and making posts on our Facebook page every day about all the artists who would be a part of the show.

DSC_0909ana moralesDSC_0906
jennifer chadwickDSC_0913
kelli black
From left to right: Kelly Long, Mohamad Kanaan, Janice Marin
DSC_0930carly zufelt

June 13th was a hectic day since I flew in that afternoon. I spent a few hours getting partially settled in and before I knew it, it was time to head over to Throop. The space looked beautiful (a team of awesome fellow students had set up the night before) and the reunion was emotional since most of us hadn’t seen each other since last summer.


Sandrine schaeferDSC_0944
fatma al-remaihi
From left to right: cathy pach, eleanor neal, jennifer chadwick, amy malcolm
cathy pachDSC_1020
verónica casado-hernández

The turnout for the show included faculty, new students, family members, and other visitors. There were many conversations about events from the past year and the directions our work had taken. It was great to see new work from my cohort. Everyone was exhausted, but the show was a success. At the end of the night, it was time to deinstall the show and prepare for the next six weeks of craziness.


Laurie palmer, john neff, gregg bordowitzDSC_1004

I couldn’t include all the photos from the show, so please check out our Facebook page for more:



Interwoven (My First Chicago Show!)

I have exciting news! I will begin my second Chicago residency in less than a month and things will be hectic from day one. A large portion of the low-residency MFA students at SAIC have put together a collaborative pop up show, which will take place on Saturday June 13th in downtown Chicago. I am so excited to be a part of it!

popup show flyer



Medicine as Material



During my residency in Chicago, I had several discussions with my advisor Molly Zuckerman-Hartung. She was awesome and gave me so much inspiration and guidance. During one of my individual studio visits with her, I was talking about my obsession with the color pink, especially bubblegum or Pepto Bismol pink and she said, “Why don’t you paint with Pepto Bismol?” She then went on to suggest that I paint with a variety of medicines just to see what happens.

The next day I think, I went to Walgreens and picked up some of the cheapest medicine I could find. I got the Walgreen’s version of Pepto Bismol, aspirin, sugar free cough drops, ibuprofen, cold medicine, glucose tablets, and glucose liquid, plus some extra things like alcohol swabs and socks for diabetics.


I made a couple pieces with the medicine. My favorite is the first piece that I made. I took a piece of unprimed canvas and pinned it to the wall so that it would lay horizontally with assistance from a chair. I proceeded to squirt, splatter, and drip the pepto, cold medicine, and some liquid watercolor onto the canvas. The liquids sat on the surface of the canvas for days before finally getting absorbed into the fabric and drying. It was pretty interesting to see how it changed each time I went in my studio.



I also experimented with imprinted surfaces. I put a layer of spackle on two small boards and pushed ibuprofen, cough drops, and some bottle caps into it. I also squirted cold medicine onto the surface as it dried. I ended up painting on top of everything once it was dry.




Here are a few more pieces where I mixed paint and liquid medicine:


DSC_2226Thanks for reading!



Museum Visit: The Art Institute of Chicago


About two weeks ago, I was finally able to go to the huge art museum that’s literally next door to the school I’m going to. As a student, I get in for free and I’m definitely going to make it a point to go at least 5 times next summer.

DSC_2390Anyway, on my first visit, I only had two hours to spend there so I headed straight for the impressionism paintings. Let me preface this by saying that looking at art often makes me pretty emotional. This particular experience was different for me. I’ve been to a couple big art museums and seen my fair share of great art, but at this point in my life a lot of things are going on: I have a couple years of art school and art appreciation under my belt, I’m completely immersed in an intense MFA program, basically breathing and sleeping in my art, plus I have a massive headache and my feet hurt. I suddenly found myself surrounded by paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, and Cezanne, paintings which I’d only ever seen in books and on the internet and I just felt like crying. Contemporary art is generally more conceptual than formal and I found out that I have a special place in my heart for those pieces of art (especially the impressionist paintings) that just depict people and landscapes and still lifes.


Don’t get me wrong, I also felt weepy in the modern wing. As I looked at all these pieces of art that I’ve studied over the years (and then some), I found myself reflecting on my own journey as an artist and dreaming about my future and wondering if my work would ever be in a museum like this one. It also made me wish that I lived closer to a museum like this one so I could visit more often. If you are able to go to an art museum of any kind, then do it! Looking at pictures in books or online just doesn’t compare.

I didn’t have my camera on my first visit so I don’t have pictures from that day, but I bought a few postcards of some of my favorite pieces:


There is also a Magritte exhibit right now, so I’m definitely going to see that before I leave. Thanks for reading!



Hello Chicago!


So I meant to write this a lot earlier, but I’ve been so busy! I arrived in Chicago on Saturday morning and since then the days have been blending together. I’m loving the city so far, although I’m still getting used to the noisy nights and the crazy drivers. There is so much to do and see here, it’s a little overwhelming. So anyway, here’s a brief rundown of my experience so far in Chicago and The School of the Art Institute.


I’m living on campus for the six-week residency, and the dorm rooms are incredibly spacious. Each room has a kitchen and bathroom as well (they’re supposed to feel like apartments):

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I’ve also received my studio assignment, but I’ll share pictures of that in a separate post when I’m a bit more settled in.

The schedule so far has been pretty hectic. We had a long orientation on Monday where we were welcomed by the dean of the school and many other faculty members. We also toured the campus and learned about a lot of the resources that the school offers. Today I had my first class and also attended a poetry reading by Nathanaël, a well-known writer and translator.


I’ve been thinking a lot about what I hope to accomplish here, and mostly I want to produce a lot of work and get a lot of feedback. The students in this program are so awesome–we’re a very diverse group. There are people from all over the world, of all different ages, with different levels of experience and it’s been really inspiring to get to know them. I’m looking forward to getting feedback from both them and the faculty.

I’ll share more details whenever I get a chance, but I think my posts for the next few weeks will consist mostly of photos. Tomorrow I will get into the studio and start making work so I’ll share some works in progress soon. Thanks for reading :]