Saturday, June 23, 2018

I AMerican
Park Forrest, IL
June 15 - July 21st , 2018

“Gathering”, my ceramic installation is part of a group exhibition titled “I AMerican”, curated by Sergio Gomez, with an opening reception tomorrow, Saturday 23rd, 1-3 pm at the Tall Grass Arts Association gallery in Park Forest.
About this piece:

“Gathering” is a collection of over hundred small vessels, incised with spontaneous marks and abstract drawings. They were made as contemplative and intimate objects, to be held in the palm of a hand, and are deeply connected with my childhood. All of them were created after I moved to the United States.
The city where I was born, Vinkovci, in Croatia, is rich with archeological findings. It was inhabited since the Neolithic period. Many of the findings are ceramic vessels from the Vučedol culture, one that resided there from 3000-2200 BC. Some date from the times when the city was a Roman municipium (city) and the birthplace of two Roman Emperors, Valentinian I and Valens.
When I was little, down the street from our house an old potter had his shop, and his entire front yard was covered with masterful and simple vessels. I remember, as a child, often watching him work and procuring some clay to play with.
My everyday exposure to these various ceramic objects – the ones I saw in the local museum, as well as the ones from down the street, and even dug up in our own backyard, created in me an awareness of different cultures living there through centuries and even millennia, while all deeply connected with the soil.
Once I had moved to the United States, fifteen years ago, those childhood memories started becoming more vivid and a sense of broken connection with continuity and familiarity arose in me.
For me, the act of creating these small vessels, very primal and intimate, reflects an underlying search for reconstitution of what is familiar and comforting.

About this invitational exhibit, the curator, Sergio Gomez says:

"I AM American Exhibition is not a single perspective on immigration or ethnicity. Instead, using a variety of styles, visual forms, symbols and metaphors, each work provides a wide-angle view of the bi-cultural experience. Some of the artists are first, second or third generation immigrants. Others can trace their heritage back to the Native American Indians.  In that sense, this non-literal exhibition on the American experience provides the viewer with ample room for conversation and personal interpretation. Some works directly approach the theme of identity while others delve on other subjects related to the American experience. Ultimately, this exhibit explores the meaning of being “American”. "


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