The Elmhurst Art Museum announces the summer blockbuster exhibition Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross, celebrating one of the most renowned artists in the field of comic books. From his home in the Chicago area, Ross has revitalized classic superheroes into works of fine art for 30-plus years, illustrating characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Storm from the X-Men, the Avengers, Black Panther, and many more. Appealing to families and fans alike, the dynamic and richly engaging Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross will be on view at Elmhurst Art Museum from
One of the must-see events of the summer, the exhibition features over 50 pieces of original artwork by Alex Ross, including gouache paintings, sketches, life-sized head busts, and more from his artistic and professional career. The exhibition presents artwork from his retrospective book, Marvelocity, showing how Ross developed into a renowned illustrator, from his childhood drawings to preliminary sketches, sophisticated paintings and three-dimensional head busts of characters across the Marvel Universe.
In tandem with the exhibition, the Elmhurst Art Museum commissioned the outdoor public art installation Superheroes in Wilder Park that will be on view in the adjacent Wilder Park from May 6 – July 31, 2023.
Superheroes in Wilder Park is currently in creation by area artists (Rafael Blanco, Nez Garza, Dave Pryor, and Charles Williams Jr.) and youth groups working at multiple workshops to create their own custom superheroes. Led by Elmhurst Art Museum teaching instructors, the workshops explore the history and evolution of superhero comics, character study, drawing and coloring techniques, and superhero character development with final work painted on life-sized, stand-alone, wooden cutouts. In addition, Superheroes in Wilder Park features works created by Robert Apolinar with Elmhurst University students, Esmeralda Bolivar with the Elmhurst Pride Collective, John Nester with Glenbard North High School students, and Gloria Rivera with B. Unity mentees.
Throughout the run of Marvelocity, the museum will host public programs for the entire community including comic book workshops, designated Family Days with hands-on activities for student and family groups, a screening at Movies in the Park with the Elmhurst Park District and Elmhurst Public Library, a costumed figure drawing class, a “dress-up like a superhero” day, and more.
Due to popular demand, Marvelocity has toured to venues around the country appearing at museums in Ohio, Florida, Montana, and Wisconsin. The Elmhurst Art Museum will carry a variety of Marvel merchandise, including posters hand-signed by Alex Ross, as well as the expanded edition of Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics of Alex Ross, which includes an original 10-page story featuring Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six, plus contributions by Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear, and J.J. Abrams.
Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross is sponsored by Explore Elmhurst with additional support from Discover DuPage, the Illinois Office of Tourism, and Classic Cinemas. The exhibition was developed by the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County, Illinois.
Superheroes in Wilder Park is sponsored by the DuPage Foundation, presented in partnership with the Elmhurst Park District with additional support from Discover DuPage, Kilwins, Lakeside Bank, Maxine, Phase Three Brewing, Reconciled Solutions, Kelly Stetler | Compass, and Total Window Treatments. Production support by DIT Workshops.
ABOUT ALEX ROSS
Once upon a time, there was a little boy who decided that drawing superheroes was his only realistic option, if he couldn’t actually become one. - Alex Ross
Born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Lubbock, Texas, Alex Ross made his artistic debut at three when, according to his mother, he grabbed a piece of paper and drew the contents of a television commercial he had seen moments before. By age 13 he was scripting and drawing original comic books. Ten years later, he was hired by Marvel Comics to illustrate Marvel's central characters in the comic book event, Marvels (1994).
Ross's work has celebrated the 60th anniversaries of Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman with fully painted, tabloid-sized books, depicting each of these characters using their powers to inspire humanity as well as help them.Ross’s hugely successful comic book series Kingdom Come (1996) is considered to have ushered the close of the “Dark Age” of comic books, in which pessimism, violence, and gritty stories ruled, into the birth of the “Modern Age” of optimism and strong superheroes. In addition to superhero projects, Ross created Uncle Sam, a 96-page story that took a hard look at the dark side of American history.
In recent years, Ross has applied his artistic skills to outside projects with comic book roots, including a limited-edition promotional poster for the Academy Awards. In 2015, Alex was chosen by Apple Corps LTD to be commissioned as the first artist in over 30 years to paint the Fab Four. Ross is a multi-year winner of the Comic Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Painter.
ABOUT THE ELMHURST ART MUSEUM
The Elmhurst Art Museum is located at 150 South Cottage Hill Avenue in Elmhurst (IL), 25 minutes from downtown Chicago by car or public transportation (Metra). On the museum’s campus is the McCormick House, a single-family home designed in 1952 by Mies van der Rohe, one of the great architects of the 20th Century. The McCormick House is one of only three residences designed and built by Mies in the United States – and one of only two open to the public.
The Museum is open Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Regular admission prices are $18 for Adults (ages 18+), $15 for Seniors, $10 for Students, and $5 for Children. For more information, please call 630.834.0202 or visit elmhurstartmuseum.org.