• Jazz Cafe and Art - Nov 17

    Jazz Cafe and Artist Meet and Great
    Crazy 8 Artists' Carnival
    State Street Gallery @ Robert Morris University
    401 S State Street
    Thursday Nov 17
    4 - 5pm : Live music by Jazz Cafe
    5 - 6pm : Meet + greet / gallery walk-thru

    Join the eight artists of the Crazy 8 Artists' Carnival show, and enjoy live performances by Jazz Cafe, at the State Street Gallery @ Robert Morris University

  • 2016 Crazy 8 Artists' Carnival 9/26-12/29

    2016 Crazy 8 Artists' Carnival 9/26-12/29

    Crazy 8 Artists' Carnival
    State Street Gallery @ Robert Morris University
    401 S. State Street, Chicago IL
    Gallery hours Mon- Thu, 10 am - 6 pm
    Show Runs Sept 26 - Dec 23, 2016

    Crazy 8 Artists’ Carnival showcases the work of eight Chicago artists working in a wide range of mediums and a wild range of techniques. Interpreting the themes of carnival, circus, and festival, the artists are joined by their exuberant delight in the visual and their unique re-imagining of the world.

    Featuring artists Kass Copeland, Alan Emerson Hicks, IZZO, Anne Leuck, Edward Master, Jason Messinger, Anthony Stagg, and Joey Wozniak.

    Curated by artist and curator Jason Messinger and Gallery Director and Dean of Arts Shelley Lamantia, the Crazy 8 Artists’ Carnival runs from Sept 26 through Dec 23, 2016, at State Street Gallery, 401 S. State Street, Chicago IL. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday, from 10am - 6pm. Artists Reception on Thursday Oct 13, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. Additional Artist Talks, Jazz Evenings, and Holiday Party dates will be announced.

    Kass Copeland creates large graphic photo collages referencing by-gone eras and surrealistic tableaus. Both droll and serious, her works are constructed with humorous juxtapositions and garish pleasures while weathered with rich patinas and haunting emotional complexity. They re-invent familiar themes from the circus and the carnival into nostalgic fever dreams. A true master of her materials, Copeland’s artwork is a stage craft of delight.

    Alan Emerson Hicks uses found plastic objects and heat-manipulated plastic detritus to create tightly corseted structures of complexity. In his hands ephemeral materials are transformed into complex latticed sculptures, elaborate airy costumes, and unique works of art. Hicks conjures the modern world's everyday plastic objects of dull invisibility into a bright parade of startling singularity and vision.

    IZZO unleashes fantastic images on printed-pattern fabric that bridge foreground with background, abstraction with representation, and the flat plane with spatial depth. Alternately embellishing and obscuring the existing fabric patterns, this suite of works focuses on the idea of dizzying love. IZZO fashions images into funhouse rides of joyful exuberance.

    Anne Leuck uses her emotional and observed life as a jumping off point to create narratives that charm with their fresh immediacy and universal joy. Using crisp bold colors and a signature graphic style, she exposes a world both intimate and newly seen. In this collection she renders sideshow banners out of her own anxieties of physical aging. Leuck turns her own vulnerabilities into sideshow marvels of the human condition.

    Edward Master paints hallucinatory patterned visions astounding in their complexity and richness, referencing natural and man-made motifs, along with decorative and ornamental traditions. With a bewildering level of detail one seemingly hovers above the work, sensing both a microscopic viewpoint and an overwhelming vastness. Swooping in layered complexity, Master’s artworks are a carnival ride for the eye.

    Jason Messinger creates ceramic tile murals and sculptures of bright colors and wry content. His sculptures twist and turn with organic yearning and figurative sensibility, creating abstract interpretations of famous sideshow acts. His tile murals vibrate between sneaky humor and abstract beauty - commenting on the lexicons of the circus and the carnival. Utilizing the materials of ceramic and richly colored glazes, Messinger’s artwork is its own circus act.

    Anthony Stagg allows his artwork to speak in the language of the street, utilizing tropes as far ranging as graffiti styles to comic book archetypes. Melding pop culture references with fantastical vignettes, the artist exposes a wry observation of the modern world. His non-judgmental viewpoint is both open and humorous, retro and contemporary. Stagg invites you into his own festival of life.

    Joey Wozniak pushes, scrapes and layers vibrant color paints to create densely rendered landscapes with an underlying energy bursting below the surface. Bridging a physical approach to the physicality of paint with a masterful understanding of the stimulus of color, the artist crafts joyful scenes in riotous hues. Rich with references to classical architecture and peopled with characters from a wide sampling of cultures, Wozniak constructs his own unique post-modern jubilees.

    Crazy 8 Artists' Carnival
    State Street Gallery @ Robert Morris University
    401 S. State Street, Chicago IL
    Gallery hours Mon- Thu, 10 am - 6 pm
    Show Runs Sept 26 - Dec 23, 2016

    Show Website
    State Street Gallery Website
    Crazy8Art on Facebook

  • 2007 Crazy 8 Art Show Press Release

    CRAZY 8 showcases eight of Chicago's wildest artists

    Chicago, IL
    "Carve - Cut - Layer - Drip, Splash - Scrape - Stencil - Stitch, Brush - Tie - Press - Twist, Blend - Create - Emotional State - Crazy Eight," reads the tag line for the Crazy 8 show, summing up the wide range of physical approaches to art featured at this event. Crazy 8 brings together eight of Chicago's wildest artist working in surprising ways with both traditional and non-traditional art mediums. Curated by artists and participants Jason Messinger and Alan Emerson Hicks, the artwork showcased is "Crazy in the wild sense, not totally insane!" says Messinger. "These artists are the bomb," says Hicks, "They are nuclear."

    Crazy 8 takes place at the Peter Jones Gallery, located on the second floor of 1806 W. Cuyler, by Ravenswood. Gallery is located one block north of Irving Park and two blocks east of Damen, and two blocks from the Irving Park Brown Line train stop.

    The show runs from November 3 through December 2, 2007. Regular gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, from 3 to 6 PM, or by appointment (773)501-7730. A closing party will be held on Sunday Dec 2 from 4 - 8 PM. www.Crazy8Art.com

    Joey Wozniak, Frank Fruzyna, and Bruce Noel Mortenson use the traditional medium of paint, but Wozniak uses hand-cut stencils and then scrapes, layers, and builds up thickly rendered and complicated compositions of representational imagery in abstracted fields of bright colors. Fruzyna positions dark bold brush strokes against atmospheric washes to create tensions of emotional resonance in beautiful works both small and monumental in scale. Mortenson's surrealistic and post-contemporary paintings, seen recently in a solo show of larger works at the Chicago Cultural Center gallery, are peopled with both abstract organic blobs and carefully rendered silhouettes in colorful vistas of the imagination.

    James Kuhn, Izzo, and Edward Master reinvent the painting. Master creates intricate and complicated decorative patterns of paint on paper, then cuts and stitches them together with embroidery thread into complex and massive wall hangings that link our collective cultural pasts of traditional art forms with a vibrant and total now. Izzo takes printed-pattern fabric, then uses paint to alternately embellish or obscure the patterns, bridging background and foreground and the flat plane with spatial depth. He layers dots and spirals of bright color into visual explosions of energy and light. Kuhn creates painted mosaics, cutting painted paper into small squares, then gluing them into a larger composition, almost quilt like in its layering. The scenes depicted reference Biblical stories, and the artist's talent turns ideas of energy, faith, and the supernatural into visual and visceral experiences.

    Curators Alan Emerson Hicks and Jason Messinger similarly reinvent their mediums. Messinger shows ceramic tiles that are more painting than pottery. Framed to float off the wall, the artist takes the graphic forms of letters, the simplistic shape of circles, or the pragmatic construction of utility poles, and turns them into startling objects of aesthetic beauty. Hicks uses found objects and heat-manipulated plastic to create compelling sculptures and wall pieces. The flotsam and jetsam of the modern world are twisted into objects of singular vision; plastic bottles stretched into soldiers, bottle caps woven into vases, a man made of clear plastic sheeting and buckled plastic coat hangers, a time machine from free-flowing video tape.

    If you can't visit the gallery, the art work of Crazy 8 can be previewed or purchased on the web site; www.Crazy8Art.com. The curators can be contacted directly for more information by calling Jason Messinger (773)255-0993.

    For digital prints, this release as digital attachment, additional press materials, or more information, please contact curator Jason Messinger at (773)255-0993