Fantastic Stranger

Monday, Aug 3 – 31, 2020

2010 W. Carroll Ave
Chicago, IL 60612

View the full exhibition here


Guy Conners – Daniel Green – Vincent Jackson – Aaron Kleeblatt – Alysha Kostelny – Lawrence M – Mark Williams – Jean Wilson
Guest curated by Sophia Cosmadopoulos

“Life is full of unexpected strangers! When you meet people for the first time they’re strangers. Then they become friends. It’s nice artwork.” — Aaron Kleeblatt, featured artist

Throughout history, portraiture has been a tool to record people. With portraits, artist make friends out of strangers, attempting to capture their inner workings. Fantastic Stranger, a group exhibition guest curated by Sophia Cosmadopoulos, explores the yearning for intimacy through portraiture. The subject in Kleblatt’s Fred stares squarely out at the viewer. One can’t help but lock eyes with Wilson’s bear in blue glasses. All forty teeth in Wilson’s Hot Chili Lips are publically on display, the absence of a nose and mouth force us to conjure a fully realized likeness in our minds. And yet, the struggle for connection in the works of Fantastic Stranger is omnipresent. Features are blurred and erased, gazes and faces turn away. There is fragmentation and disjointedness. In looking at these works we are confronted with our world’s current predicament: we so desperately want to feel connected, yet something so clearly stands in our way.

Online Exhibition Launch August 3rd the exhibition runs through August 31st. A special thanks to the Curatorial Committee at Arts of Life (Aaron Kleeblatt and Aria Carter), Creativity Explored and ECF for their participation in this exhibition.

Sophia Cosmadopoulos is the Gallery Director and Co-Founder of Summertime, a gallery and studio championing an art world where artists with and without intellectual disabilities create and display work alongside one another in Brooklyn, NY. Sophia has worked (and volunteered) in progressive art studios since 2005, including San Francisco’s Creativity Explored and HAI, Pure Vision Arts, AHRC, YAI Arts and LAND Gallery and Studio in New York City. She is also a freelance writer, focusing on artists working outside of the mainstream.