Jyl Bonaguro: Tabula Rasa Inflight

Saturday, Nov 4 – Dec 17, 2023

1717 Central St.
Evanston, IL 60201

The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is excited to welcome the public to Jyl Bonaguro: Tabula Rasa Inflight 

“Sculpture, from the Latin word meaning to carve, is an ancient art form, allowing for the expression of human ideas in three dimensions. People were carving stone with their hands long before they were using them to record language. A powerful conveyor of thoughts and beliefs, sculpture remains a prominent art form today, and in a world where new materials and technological advances have expanded the boundaries of the medium, Jyl Bonaguro remains true to traditional methods and techniques, looking to classical antiquity and its Renaissance rebirth as a source of inspiration. 

For Bonaguro, the act of sculpting is a procreative process—not only an investment of time and resources, but a labor of love. Michelangelo thought of his sculptures almost as living beings, commenting that when he looked at a block of marble, he saw the figure already in it waiting to break free. Similarly, Bonaguro seeks not to dominate the stone, but to work with it. She emancipates her sculptures from the marble and breathes a sense of life and movement into them. 

Bonaguro takes a holistic approach to her work, understanding that her marble sculpture comes from the Earth and will eventually return to the Earth. In order to lessen her impact on the planet, she has taken the remarkable step of converting her studio into a zero-waste environment. She achieves this by crushing marble fragments and remnants into an aggregate and then using a diamond saw to break it down further into a fine dust. Combining this substance with resin and concrete allows her to repurpose it into casting material for bases and sculpture. What would otherwise become waste is instead recycled into useful studio components.” - Leslie Scattone 


Based in Chicago since 2007, Bonaguro has earned grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation for her current carving project, a female figure at the scale of Michelangelo’s David in marble - the Modern Athena sculpture. For public stone carving workshops, she has received a grant from the Awesome Foundation Chicago. Her recycled marble aggregate and concrete feather sculpture “Vane” received an Honorarium from the Chicago Sculpture Exhibit CSE for 2023-24. In the spring of 2024, there will be a permanent public art installation of her wood wing sculpture “Transmigration” in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. Her works have been featured in publications like NewCity Art, CS Modern Luxury Interiors, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader and Sheridan Road and are in private art collections throughout the United States. 

Evanston Art Center is pleased to announce the release of a 76-page publication on the stone carving process entitled “Hammer & Stone” by Jyl Bonaguro.
Book signing: Sunday, November 12, 2023 during the opening reception. 

Jyl Bonaguro: Tabula Rasa Inflight will be exhibited in the Second Floor Atrium of the Evanston Art Center. The Opening Reception is free and open to the public. This exhibition is partially funded by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the EAC’s general membership. 

Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibitions, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives. 

Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: Monday – Thursday 9am – 6pm, Friday; 9am – 5pm, Saturday- Sunday; 9am – 4pm. First and second floor gallery spaces are accessible. Limited free parking is available. 

For more information, please visit us online at www.evanstonartcenter.org or contact Emma Rose Gudewicz, Director of Development & Exhibition Manager, at (847) 475-5300 or egudewicz@evanstonartcenter.org. 

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