On March 4th, Woman Made Gallery jump-started Women’s History Month with an opening reception for the “14th International Open“, a group exhibition, and “Stree Jaati (A Community of Woman)”, a solo show by Priti Gulati Cox, first prize winner of last year’s 13th International Open.
Despite the cold wind and the excess rain, close to 200 people—including both artists and art lovers—made it out to support the show. From Chicago neighborhoods to the suburbs and stretching across the States and beyond to Canada, visitors traveled to 685 North Milwaukee Avenue throughout Friday evening. All the way until the very end of the night, new faces poured through the door, and it was such a pleasure to see that every single piece of art was being appreciated as much as the next. Each artist seemed to have her own entourage of friends and family who I delightfully observed taking interest in many other pieces in addition to the work of the artist they came to celebrate. I met dedicated mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, cousins and friends, who came from all over to show their enthusiasm.
Being a newbie in Chicago, I hadn’t had much experience with art shows before moving here. Working as an intern at WMG I experience first hand all that goes into the production of an art exhibition and its opening reception. It is incredibly exciting for me to see piece-by-piece and step-by-step how a show is put together. I have the privilege of watching it grow from being an important date on the calendar to the actual opening night.
There is nothing that moves me more than beautiful and interesting artwork, which is why the 14th International Open show was such a joy for me. Each of the complex and engaging works got my full attention. The piece that I find most inspiring is Tatjana Jovancevic’s “Proverbs 4:23”. Made of acrylic, wax and pencil on salvaged wood, it shows that art does not have to take a traditional route of being made on paper or canvas. Beyond this, the image of the green heart resonates for me; my personal interpretation of the work is that my heart gets its color, life, and feeling from the sunlight of the people I surround myself with, and without them I wouldn’t feel like I was even alive.
The experience also helped me see that as an artist, I can go to events such as these and use them as inspiration for my own art-making. I applaud every artist who made it into the 14th International Open and thank Woman Made Gallery for supporting them and their artwork as well as myself. This was a truly pleasurable experience and I am glad I could make it.
-Amber Clark, Gallery Intern