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Saints & Sinners: Gallery Tour
Saints & Sinners: Gallery Tour

Thu, Feb 15



Saints & Sinners: Gallery Tour

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Time & Location

Feb 15, 2024, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Chicago, 201 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60607, USA

About the event

This month you have to chance to dive deeper into the world of Saints & Sinners! Join us for Golden Hour music, grab a signature “Saints & Sinners” cocktail, and embark on a guided tour of artwork that explores the margins of humanity, from the virtuous to the profane.

What makes a saint today? Whether we possess a soul or are just an unruly bundle of synapses, how do we measure virtue and corruption? In a pluralistic society, clear-cut moral and spiritual signposts can get lost in the thickets. Do we look for guidance in age-old traditions? In contemporary culture? In our own imaginations?

In Saints & Sinners, the artists of Project Onward, a Chicago studio for artists with disabilities and mental illnesses, offer their own thoughts. Many of the works pull deep from the well of Christian iconography, though the interpretations are highly personal. Catherine Butterfly (b. 1952) makes rough, strikingly visionary marker drawings; serpents, crucifixes, and disembodied organs flow together in a phantasmagoric haze. For Butterfly, the biblical currents of a 1950s southern childhood meld with people she knows, images remembered from TV, and her own dreams. The drawings of Tony Davis (b. 1960) are practically encyclopedias of sin:   brawls, orgies, and shady transactions galore. The scenes hearken back to an intense phase of the artist’s life as a pimp and hustler, though the source material is bent into extravagant comic-book dramas. Look closely and you’ll find touches of Renaissance altarpieces in dense tableaus. Painter Luke Shemroske (b. 1991) makes frequent use of charged religious symbols. Angels, demons, and sacred hearts appear, but they’re flooded in a torrent of automatic text and an internal monologue that is at once passionate, pained, and self-contradictory.

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