Writing on the Wall & Clay on the Wall

Opening: Friday, Mar 8, 2019 6 – 9 pm
Friday, Mar 8 – Apr 6, 2019

160 S. Water
Batavia, IL 60510

Water Street Studios’ welcomes two new exhibitions featuring the works of four dynamic, local artists.

In the Dempsey Family Gallery located on the first floor of Water Street Studios, Joe Milosevich and Richard DeVeau explore the use of text in a display of their new work in their exhibition titled, “Writing on the Wall”. DeVeau shares, “Text has been part of the visual art lexicon since Chinese calligraphy, dating back to about 1600 B.C. Many attribute text’s entry into modern art’s vernacular to Picasso and Braque, when they pasted newspaper clipping into their cubist paintings in 1912. Since then, there is a long list of postmodern and contemporary artists who have made words and text either a component of their work or its entire focus.”

In the Chicago Capital Gallery located on the second floor of Water Street Studios Ellen Judson and Marcy Rogge invite you to experience the versatility of clay in its form, texture, color, and display in their exhibition titled, “Clay on the Wall”. This exhibition seeks to inspire viewers to think of clay as more than just mugs, bowls, and vases.

Joe Milosevich works in what is typically termed “found object sculpture,” but he prefers to call it, “collected object assemblage.” For as long as he can remember, he has formally and informally collected or accumulated objects that inspire him. He said, “Objects are glorious trophies, powerful icons, and magical talismans that allow me to investigate and communicate my existence. While I strive to create work that is both autobiographically genuine and universally accessible, there is an unknown aspect to my work that even I myself cannot fully grasp.”

Milosevich’s current assemblages focus on objects with text. About his new work he said, “These particular objects dominate the blueprints for the physical and thematic constructions of my assemblages. Whether the text is logically or illogically displayed, it is at best only an ambiguous title card of sorts that provides denotative and connotative meanings with which to wrestle.”

Richard DeVeau is an abstract painter who earns most of his living as a copy writer and creative director. He describes himself as a writer who paints or a painter who writes, depending on what day you ask. He said, “For me, painting and writing are like breathing. Inhale ideas, ideologies and passions, exhale them onto paper, canvas and wood.”

His recent “Thought Bubble” paintings meld both of these creative disciplines. He includes circles of text, mostly essays, poetry, articles or screenplays he has written, into his colorful, richly textured surfaces.

DeVeau said, “In this work I'm exploring the metaphorically-rich union of chaotic, turbulent surfaces surrounding the calm, smooth circles of text. Words can both create or destroy worlds. They can break the skin, or they can heal the heart. My hope is that this work serves as a reminder of how powerful our words are and to be mindful of how we use them.”

Ellen Judson had her first experience with clay around the age of ten thanks to a Parks and Recreation summer class. She recalls making a sailboat ashtray. Her first pottery class was in junior college. After retiring from her career in respiratory therapy, she started working with clay at The Fine Line Arts Center in St. Charles where she met Marcy Rogge.

Marcy Rogge became a resident Artist at Water Street Studios in December 2016.  She has been a student potter since 1996.  Over the past twenty years she has experimented with making tiles and function pieces, as well as with a variety of firing techniques and surfaces.  Most of her recent work has centered on creating gravity defying rock totems made of clay. Rogge shares, “The past three months have been fun for me. I’ve been thinking about clay in a very different way and making new works that hang on the wall.”

Opening reception for “Writing on the Wall” and “Clay on the Wall” will be held Friday, March 8, 2019 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

The artists will be present at the reception to discuss their work and answer questions. In addition, appetizers will be provided by Gaetano's Batavia, cash bar featuring beer from Solemn Oath Brewery, and wine will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

We encourage all visitors to make a $5 donation at the door to support arts programming at Water Street Studios. A special thank you to event sponsor, K.Hollis Jewelers and Batavia Enterprises Inc. Don’t forget to share your photos with us during the event by using #2ndFridaysBatavia

We are partnering with the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet during our 2nd Friday Gallery Opening Receptions. We are happy to accept donations on their behalf. Please consider bringing an item from their current needs list that can be found at www.bataviafoodpantry.org. Thank you. 


Image: Ellen Judson, White Pine II