Words Matter

Opening: Friday, Aug 6, 2021 5:30 – 8 pm
Friday, Aug 6 – Sep 25, 2021

1957 Sheridan Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

Free and Open to the Public.

When French surrealist, Renee Magritte famously wrote, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”) beneath the image of a pipe in 1929, he effectively connected words and images, creating a dialogue about the true ‘meaning’ of words in and about art that continues to this day.

In 2021 the constant barrage of words and images through social media, billboards, commercials, etc., forces us to question what we see, hear, and read. Words are carelessly 'vomited' at us without regard for their potential effect or truthfulness, often artlessly and without skill.

In the best of circumstances, contemporary art reflects life’s urgent societal issues while visual artists employ words/text with wordplay, polemics, meta-messaging, subverted advertising (Warhol, Banksy), appropriation, and by combining their images with poetry, music and/or video. The artist, therefore, is in a position to reinterpret words and text, to craft a message, to communicate ideas, ideals, social values and, hopefully, to inspire or provoke. 

With ‘Words Matter’, The Art Center Highland Park sought art that exists in the intersection between visual art and language. The featured artist/ guest juror, Makeba Kadem-DuBose uses vintage newsprint as a form of activism by shedding light on the lack of “news” about women, especially those who had gone missing. She states, “stories of women positive or otherwise that were missing from the “official” media archives...  America Me: Missing 1930s through 2021 is intended as an homage, an ongoing series in honor of, and to bring light to the many women who’ve gone missing, and those who’ve survived attempts to disappear us.`` 

From the more than 70 artists who submitted, 43 artists were selected to represent a wide interpretation of the theme. We hope you join us as we set the stage to build a ‘conversation about Words’.

“What do you read, my lord?”

“Words, words, words.”

Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

Guest Juror/ Featured Artist- Makeba Kedem-DuBose: Chicago native, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, is a multi-published, multidisciplinary artist, curator, arts educator, Creative Director, and former gallerist.  She studied interior design at Harrington College of Design and completed a Visual Arts Certification Program in Curatorial Practices at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies at Hyde Park Art Center in 2017. She is a career artist practicing throughout greater Chicagoland and has exhibited both nationally and internationally for over 30 years.  Kedem-DuBose was recently nominated for the prestigious 3Arts Award, to be announced in November of 2021.

The Art Center, a non-profit organization, is the North Shore’s home for artistic discovery and creative exploration. Through innovative programs, exhibitions, and classes designed for all ages and levels and ages, The Art Center provides a welcoming space for our diverse communities to experience and participate in the arts. For more information contact info@theartcenterhp.org or call 847-432-1888.

Top Image: ‘America Me: Missing 1930s to Present’ by Makeba Kadem-DuBose; photo courtesy of the artist