Upside Down, Left To Right: 116 N Walnut St

December 6, 2013 to January 25, 2014. Co-curated with Jihyung Ha, Melanie Leikam, Ana Sofia Navarro, and Natalie Rock. Figure One Exhibition Lab Space; Champaign, IL.

The exhibition explored the past, present, and future of 116 N. Walnut Street in Champaign, IL, telling a narrative about the transformation of that space and its function from Artist – G.R. Grubb & Co. – Engravers, to the Old Main Bookshoppe, and finally to Figure One Gallery. The history of the space is revealed in video interviews with owners of previous businesses housed in the space. Oral histories from George Grubb and Steve Kysar commemorated their businesses and ways that they influenced the local community, while Harold Balbach gave a broader sense of local lore.

The art works displayed in the exhibition create abstract links to the history of the space and bring the story into the present. The works aimed to transport and displace reality by playing with concepts such as history, falsehoods, memories, and nostalgia. Artists shown in the exhibit included Langston Allston, William Blake, Chelsea Choi, Siobhan Cooney, Clare Finin, Jess Kiel-Wornson, Melanie Leikam, Emmy Lingscheit, C.J. McCarrick, and Guen Montgomery. The works represented a variety of mediums: printmaking, paintings, sculptures, and installations.

Programming supporting the exhibition included a family printmaking day and an evening of spoken word and poetry.

Gallery installation documentation and group photo by Eli Craven. All other photos are my own.