Artful expression from Group 22
“On the Wild Side” by Sandra Blanc
‘Group 22, Expressions in Art’
Northwest Cultural Council, Arlington Green Executive Centre, 2101 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights
Through Oct. 1
(847) 991-7966 or visit www.northwestculturalcouncil.org
Updated: August 9, 2012 12:24PM
After meeting and exhibiting together under different names for decades, the northwest suburban artist collective now known as Group 22 is still going strong with “Expressions in Art.”
This latest gallery show, sponsored by the Northwest Cultural Council, runs through Oct. 1 at the Arlington Green Executive Center in Arlington Heights. The group, which was founded nearly 45 years ago in the Countryside Art Center (which later became the Contemporary Art Center), changed its name to Group 22 because that was the number of members in 1995 when Arlington Heights decided to tear down the art center to build a parking space.
The collective stayed
active, though, with
monthly meetings in the Arlington Heights public library and with gallery shows whenever space could be found — shows usually developed along themes such as “Thinking Outside the Box” and “Icons and Altars.” This latest exhibit, though, is an artist’s choice event, with everyone invited to show whatever they like.
“There’s a lot of variety,” said exhibition organizer Sandra Blanc of Arlington Heights of the show, which ranges from oil painting to collage to photography to sculpture. “But it all hangs together really well. Maybe that’s because we’ve all worked together for so long.”
Blanc, a collage artist who began devoting herself to that medium after first exploring it as a means of roughing out ideas for drawings and oil paintings, said she’s attracted to collage because “it allows me to experiment with colors and move everything around. I don’t have to erase or paint over. I can just cut out another piece and try it. I really like working that way.
While she sometimes does abstract pieces, Blanc said her pieces in this show are “primarily realistic. I’ve been choosing parts of photos I’ve taken and recombining them into new landscapes — and within the landscapes are wild animals.
“I put in the animals for my grandkids,” she laughed.
For the past 15 years, Margo Berkson Berg of Buffalo Grove has been working with acrylic paint and mixed media to develop a series of abstract paintings about “the universe being created in a test tube by a superior being.”
“I used to paint with watercolors and oils, but I like to work with acrylics now because I can create more textures,” she said. “I create my paintings with line and color and texture, sometimes building up layers so they look three-dimensional. I feel that life is a miracle and that’s what I try to convey — the miracle of the universe.”
Susan Mart of Northbrook specializes in drawings with colored pencils including some fashioned into paper constructions — drawn, cut up and folded into boxes.
“I work with realism, but in sort of a surreal setting,” she said. “You recognize a drawing of a tree, but it may be floating in the air or in some other setting than a forest. I also combine images in most of my pieces. There may be lots of them in each one. They’re like windows, with each window having a separate view”
Jeanne Kramer of Barrington has been working for the past 10 years mixed-media and construction pieces, and mixing it up with a bit of embroidery from time to time.
“I like mixed media because it’s playful and I can use all the different skills I’ve developed in art, working with paint and wood and found objects,” she said, noting that she will have two of a new series of boxed pieces in this show, plus an embroidery. “I’m a little inspired by Joseph Cornell’s work. I love that idea of putting a lot of different things together inside a little box.”