On July 8th Woman Made Gallery celebrated the opening reception for its new group exhibitions “Underground”and “Seriously Funny”, and Gallery Coordinator Ruby Thorkelson’s solo show “Bodily Functions”. The opening reception was a full house of WMG supporters, artists, and new visitors. Ruby curated the “Underground” exhibition, which displays artworks in a range of media by twelve artists as well as a pop-up library of zines, comics, and self-published works. The “Underground” exhibition presented a visual and literary world of artists, many of whom are exploring subjects of gender identity. As a whole, the show highlights the malleability of sexuality and gender through a diverse range of artwork.
The pop-up library, created in collaboration with Chicago Underground Library, became a space for visitors to read and touch a variety of publications, as well as laugh, reflect, and share. On the opening night of the exhibition the library offered viewers time to explore zines and comics, some of which were created by artists whose work was also on the walls. Zines have a unique ability to instantly spark an intimate connection with their reader through the size, hand-produced quality, and personal artistic voice.
Sharing WMG’s lower level, Ruby Thorkelson’s solo exhibition “Bodily Functions” boasted a dynamic collection of mixed media three-dimensional work, two-dimensional drawings, and a mini-comic. Exploring the concept of input and output in relation to the human body, the solo exhibition evoked a visceral connection between viewer and artwork. Visitors were found bending and twisting around the three-dimensional works in an attempt to connect with every angle and crevice they contained.