ABOUT ANNIE BRIARD
Annie Briard (BFA, MFA) is a Canadian artist known for her practice in expanded photography and digital media. Her work challenges how we make sense of the world through visual perception. Creating lens-based and light-focused works, she explores the intersections between perception paradigms in psychology, neuroscience and existentialism.
Her moving images, media installations, expanded and print photography have been presented in numerous solo exhibitions, including “Staring at the Sun” at La Bande vidéo for the Quebec Biennale (Québec, 2022), “Within the Eclipse” at the Burrard Arts Foundation (Vancouver, 2021), "Second Sight” at AC Institute (New York, 2019), "Sight Shifting" at Joyce Yahouda Gallery (Montréal, 2014), as well as group shows, festivals and fairs internationally at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Mûr (Montréal), Three Shadows Photography Centre (Beijing), the Lincoln Film Centre New York, Matadero Madrid, the Switzerland Architecture Museum, among many others. Recently, she presented monumental scale photographic and moving-image public art projects for a number of commissions in Canada. She has been artist-in-residence at SIM in Reykjavik, the Banff Centre for the Arts, Eastside Los Angeles and others. Annie Briard’s work has received support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and is found in the collections of the Art Bank of Canada, Microsoft, Scotiabank, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec and others.
Briard is a Lecturer in photography and media arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and is represented in Vancouver by Monica Reyes Gallery.
ABOUT MARY FARMILANT
Natura Consonat is a project that I began after the death of my mother-in-law who lived on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. This is the home to the Ojibwe Indian tribe, her people. I returned to the Northwoods to process my thoughts and feelings about her life, our relationship and her sudden death.
What I found while walking among the trees was a feeling of deep quietness and serenity. Each time I am in the forest there is a palpable dismantling of the cares and the worries brought with me. These concerns have no place in the woods. The whispers of the trees have its own dialect; the plants native to the area create their own mossy scent.
Photographing in the forest produces in me a sense of wonder and completeness. I have come to learn this sensation has a name: shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, the act of rejuvenating the spirit and body by taking in the forest through our senses. This project shares that feeling of well-being.
Research studies show that even a virtual experience of nature has beneficial effects on the mind and body. This installation invites viewers to feel the deep connection to these old forests and contemplate the wonder of the Northwoods, and to feel the same sense of balance and peace that occur in the woods themselves. Organic material, such as cedar, sweetgrass and sage and an audio recording of the natural sounds round out the ‘virtual forest bathing’ experience by stimulating all the senses.
Urban dwellers rarely have the opportunity to bathe in thick forest. This exhibit brings a virtual experience to the city. The official motto for my hometown, Chicago, is “Urbs in Horto” -- City in a Garden. These panels are designed to create “Horto in Urbs” – a portable garden that travels to communities lacking access to green environments.
Mary Farmilant is a visual artist whose work looks at the ephemeral qualities of space and memory by examining objects and the spaces they occupy. She uses photography, video, textiles and sound to spark conversation about current social issues.
Her projects are longitudinal studies of space and place as they change over time. She studies “found still-life” and photographs these objects in their habitat. Her images have a forensic quality to them, as though the scene ultimately contains enough evidence to allow the viewer to reconstruct, or re-member, the fullness of what occurred when people left their social thumbprints on the space, and predict what comes next if the course is not altered.
Farmilant’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the U.S. and internationally, including Turning Point: Diffusion 2021 in Cardiff, Wales, Galería Buenos Aires Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Indianapolis Art Center, the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Georgia, and the Griffin Museum of Photography, Massachusetts. Awards include the Puffin Grant, Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award in Photography, the Illinois Arts Council Special Assistance Grant, the Community Arts Assistance Program Grant (CAAP), and artist residencies at the Ragdale Foundation.
Farmilant received her nursing degree from the University of Brighton, Sussex, England, and worked in neurosurgery before turning to photography. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honors, and her Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, where she now teaches as an adjunct professor. She lives and works in Chicago, IL.
ABOUT KELLIE KLEIN
A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable. ~ William Wordsworth
Meditations on Water is a visual study about the universal temperament of water. The photographs investigate the visceral and meditative facets of water, by examining the serene, turbulent, and dynamic characteristics of lakes, rivers, and seas, with much of the work focused on Lake Michigan. Whether a lake, an ocean, or the clouds in the sky, I see water as a natural metaphor for human disposition. I believe water can be as yielding, mighty, or as peaceful as the human mind, and to emphasize these emotional qualities, I often use long exposures and minimalist points of view.
Meditations on Water is an ongoing body of work motivated by my personal belief that water can portray a depth of emotions we might not have known existed. The images are intended to convey the restorative power of water, while reminding viewers that water is a natural phenomenon that is as vast, mysterious, and fragile, as life itself.
Kellie Klein is a photographic artist living in Northwest Indiana. She received her BA in Photography from Southern Illinois University and her MFA from Columbia College. For the past 30 years, Klein has been creating photographs that blur reality and question perception. She works in digital photography, as well as 19th century alternative processes.
Often looking outward to reveal inner sensibilities, Klein’s current work portrays timeless moments of inner reflection. Her series Meditations on Water is a collection of digital color photographs that investigate bodies of water as a metaphor for human emotions. Her imagery examines the visceral and meditative aspects of water, while focusing on the serene, turbulent, and dynamic characteristics of lakes, rivers, and seas.
Klein’s work has been shown in numerous, galleries, museums, and universities including the Louvre, the Chicago Cultural Center, Viewpoint Sacramento, and the Indianapolis Art Center. Her work is included in many private and public collections and she has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Agfa Corporation, and Columbia College. Klein has been a nominee and exhibitor at the International Color Awards, Lucie Awards, the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, and the Exposure Awards. In addition to working in commercial photography as a printer and a stylist, she taught at the College of DuPage, and has instructed workshops in 19th century photographic techniques in colleges and communities throughout the Midwest.
ABOUT RENEE ROBBINS
I create detailed visual environments that consider the complex relationships between humans, nature, and the cosmos. Through painting, I explore the dynamic world as I travel between tiny and gigantic scales in the unseen universe. Moving between the real and imagined, my work brings together microscopic and telescopic views. I position hybrid flora/fauna within a space that simultaneously evokes the deep sea and the night sky. That includes cells, flowering botanicals, aquatic species, and celestial bodies. By creating associations between things that are seemingly disparate in scale and form, my work brings questions or sparks a curiosity about the universe. This abstract space is luminously populated with dots, circles, and hieroglyphic-like marks. In this way, my images reflect biodiversity and suggest a sense of our place within the natural world by creating wonder.
Renee Robbins is a Chicago-based visual artist who layers biomorphic forms to create detailed otherworldly environments. She has large-scale public mural commissions in Chicago on Lake Michigan in Lincoln Park and in the South Loop’s Wabash Arts Corridor. She has exhibited widely, including exhibitions at Lois Lambert Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, IL; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL; and the Alden B Dow Museum of Science and Art, Midland, MI. Press includes TV interviews on PBS, print features in Chicago Gallery News, Inside/Within, NewCity Art, and a podcast interview with Ahtcast. The forms in her paintings have been classified by a diatom taxonomist in an artist feature on the US Diatoms database at the University of Colorado. Her paintings came to life as a performance when she collaborated with Still Inspired Dance. Honors include four grants from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Robbins received her MFA from Michigan State University and has been here since 2007.
ABOUT NINA WEISS
My paintings delve into the layers; colors; shapes and textures created by the natural landscape.
I concentrate on the gestural physicality of painting (line; gesture; color) with less emphasis on the traditional subject matter of landscape painting.
The Landscapes I document often represent patchworks of preserved nature.
They are small oasis of incredible beauty and natural diversity. I travel throughout the Midwest and beyond to document these landscapes; then complete the paintings in my studio.
My large oil on canvas landscape paintings draw the viewer into a heightened vision of gesture and hue, depicting nature with colors that are intense, lush, and dramatic. I strive to push the work beyond ideas of traditional landscape. Teasing out the complex colors of nature, creating layers of contrast, line, and form; I hope to present the viewer with an emotive interpretation of our everyday landscape.
Nina Weiss has been painting and drawing the landscape for over 40 years. She holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and graduate study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Further study includes pre-college instruction at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Art Students’ League of New York. She taught a combined thirty-six years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. Current classes include the Evanston Art Center, the North Shore Art League, and the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Nina teaches workshops throughout the United States; and travels with students every summer to teach her European Landscape Painting & Drawing Workshops.
Her work is held in private and corporate collections throughout the United States including United Airlines, Aetna Insurance, McDonald's, Eli Lilly, Avon, and United States Customs. Artist’s residencies include the Ragdale Foundation, Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park, and the Vermont Studio Center.
Weiss has exhibited widely; including exhibitions at the Mary Bell Gallery, New York Art Expo, Great River Road Museum of Contemporary Art, Union League Club, J.Petter Gallery and more. Instructional videos include painting videos on the Craftsy learning platform and a Landscape Drawing DVD for Prismacolor.
Her paintings and drawings can be seen in two Hollywood films and in the television series “Chicago Fire”. Nina is currently represented by the J. Petter Gallery, and SaatchArt.com. Nina’s home and studio are in Evanston, IL.