Luke Shemroske

A new artist at Project Onward, Luke Shemroske, describes art making as an adventure. We all know that some adventures turn out better than others, and each adventure yields its own successes, failures, accomplishments, defeats, joys, sorrows, struggles, complexities of emotions, ideas, thoughts, and inspirations, all of which are apparent in Luke’s work. ​

In one simple yet extremely complex word, Luke’s artwork is truly poetic. Luke’s work evokes ideas of what Federico García Lorca called “duende,” or a dance with death. It is an awareness of death, referential to concept of “Deep Song,” danger and darknesses. Unlike the typical artistic muse or angel, the “duende” resides within an artist, beckons and possesses the artist, and drives the artist to create something. 

“I like making it, sometimes…” Luke said. When asked what he dislikes about art, he replied, “everything”. He hates making it, thinking about it, and doing it, yet he is unable to resist the urge and need to make art. These are complex binary oppositions that many serious artists feel about making art; the irresistible victories & failures of each piece, the adventures of each piece, the “duende” of that desire, need, and urge to make art, and the frustrations of defeat and dissatisfaction. In this sense, Luke is an intelligent and mature artist, irresistibly honest about the joys and frustrations of creating. Making art isn’t always a choice but a way of existing in this world. It is having a voice to express the entirety of human experience, which is a necessity of the spirit.

In describing his process, Luke uttered the words, “urge, action, expand, add”. His art is a form of thinking & emotional expression.

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Project Onward is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to promote art as a powerful tool for understanding and valuing the real and potential contributions of our national population with disabilities.

©2020 by Project Onward

Bridgeport Art Center

1200 W. 35th St., 4th Floor

Chicago, IL 60609

(773) 940-2992