"Night without Sleep" work by Jessica Bardsley, Gwynne Johnson and Ashley Thomas

Friday, October 18, 2013 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm

"Night without Sleep" work by Jessica Bardsley, Gwynne Johnson and Ashley Thomas

Night Without Sleep

work by Jessica Bardsley, Gwynne Johnson, and Ashley Thomas

Oct 18th- 27th

“… a shadow is a simultaneous memory…”

“From the outset, perception belongs to recollection.”

Night Without Sleep presents a world drawn in shadows, revealing the contours of our guiding drives, passionate attachments, and forgotten remains. Gwynne Johnson’s photographs and objects reveal the unconscious of domestic life through the rhythms of celestial and corporal bodies. Ashley Thomas’s noir-palette drawings and collages depict the objects of her fixation larger than life or swimming in darkness, while Jessica Bardsley’s constellation of archival film and photographs activates historical residue to trace the ocean’s haunted past. The artists of Night Without Sleep remake common objects and archival materials according to their memories, perceptions, and desires, illuminating the periphery of the visible, or quietly revealing what goes unseen by day.

Being a Woman in an all Women Show

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm

Image by Laura Mackin

Heaven Presents "Being a Woman in an all Women Show"
18 women art exhibition

work by:
Marissa lee Benedict
Soo Shin
Sarah Weber
Bea Fremderman
Jessica Taylor Caponigro
Laura Mackin
Chelsea Culp
Ann Chen
Betsy O'Brien
Meg Duguid
Samantha Bittman
Robin Kang
Emily Green
Caroline Carlsmith
Kristina Paabus
Chloe Seibert
Selina Trepp
Ilene Godofsky

I have been accused of secretly wanting to be a man. This comment was made recently during a studio visit with a fellow artist, who saw how uncomfortable and wary I became as she steered our discussion towards gender politics.

I do not harbor the desire to undergo a sex change, but I also do not want to be seen solely as a female artist. It is from this position of defensive resistance in which I find myself "being a woman in an all women show."

There are many ways to experience discrimination in the art world; gender inequality is just one of them. To be defined by one's gender as a female artist is to be limited. A colleague recently brought to my attention the fact that the most reputable galleries here in Chicago all represent far more male artists than female. This inequality is made even worse when one realizes that our city's art schools are enrolling more women than men. An admissions counselor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago informed me that women compose roughly 70% of its student body. A woman can be trained (and pay for that training) as an artist, but it is not the same as her becoming one. "Being a woman in an all women show" is an effort to make up for this blatant discrepancy.

Not all artists consciously implicate their gender while making their work, and yet gender remains a determinant factor in how artworks are curated and disseminated. It seems unfortunate that an all-female exhibition is unusual enough to serve as a curatorial platform.

With this exhibition, Heaven gallery is pleased to exhibit the work of eighteen artists, who all happen to be women. These are good artists, not good-for-being-female artists. With this exhibition, let us hope that the exceptional work of each artist is seen as expected, and not a surprise.
Sarah Weber


Saturday, September 5, 2015 - 10:00pm

Sonic Healing Ministries Presents its annual Chicago jazz fest after-set, HEREAFTERFEST 2 nights of noncommercial music for the soul rooted in the Chicago free jazz tradition Heaven Gallery 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. 2nd Floor Suggested Donation $10 Friday Sep 4th - 10pm-12midnight DJ Ayana Contreras - spinning sould and rare groove Participatory Music Collective - Adam Zanolini on saxphone, flute, etc; Angel Elmore on clarinet and piano, and others t.b.a. Microcosmic Sound Orchestra - David Boykin on drums set and reeds, Eliel Sherman Storey on saxophone, Dan Godston on trumpet, Alex Wing on guitar Saturday Sep 5th 10pm 12midnight DJ Ayana Contreras - spinning soul and rare groove David Boykin Expanse - David Boykin on saxophone and vocals, Jim Baker on piano, Ashford Smith on bass and others t.b.a. (playing two sets)


Saturday, September 5, 2015 - 10:00pm


Friday, September 4, 2015 - 10:00pm

Gallery Closed

Friday, July 24, 2015 (All day) to Sunday, July 26, 2015 (All day)

Closed due to Wicker Park Fest.

Ask the Oracle

Friday, August 7, 2015 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Heaven Gallery is pleased to present Ask the Oracle, a group exhibition by artists Claire Arctander, Ann Gaziano, Annie Kielman, and AP Shrewsbury. Often acting as a medium through whom truth is delivered and trusting their intuition, the artists in Ask the Oracle construct paintings, sculptures, and performances, that address belief in non-conforming spirituality and result in work that is a process of creation through small yet endless epiphanies. Using contemporary pop culture to discuss feminist identity and notions of wanting and revulsion, Claire Arctander will present work that addresses the gendered dynamics of magic. Though women were often the primary healers and magic practitioners in early American history, with the rise of institutionalized patriarchal medicine came the attempted ostracization and eradication of the same women, now labeled as witches. Artander’s sculptures and performance challenge the stereotypical male magician, popularized at the turn of the twentieth century as a fast talking man in a top hat perpetuating a “nothing up my sleeve” trope. Also utilizing cultural constructs, Ann Gaziano’s work addresses how the past is transformed by contemporary society. Focusing on the relationship between the body, furniture, and interior design, Gaziano instinctually assembles material and objects that revolve around familiar patterns and underlying systems, creating an experience that places the viewer in a mode of contemplation. Both the sculptural work, which is loosely based on a recognizable polka dot grid made of used baking pans, and the printed fabric contain distinct and identifiable references to domestic space and create connections to the familiar. Annie Kielman uses manipulation as a basic language, creating artificial representations that manifest through process. By relinquishing control and trusting in the foundational elements of her medium, Kielman allows for perceptual readjustments through distortion. Held together by magnets, her three dimensional prints rely both literally and conceptually on tension and pressure to connect with their frames, inherently possessing the potential for movement. Like a stenographer from an unknown land, AP Shrewsbury creates paintings and sculptures that reference traditional inscriptions, yet are unrecognizable. Familiar yet strange, Shrewbury’s work is heavily influenced by his transformative experiences with plant medicines under the direction of a Peruvian shaman. Using impulse and seemingly innate knowledge, Shrewsbury’s work searches for wisdom through experience, perhaps suggesting that only once inner joy, peace, and contentment is found, can one translate the text he has transcribed.

Please join us during the opening reception for a Magic Act, performed by Claire Arctander at 8:30 pm.

Claire Arctander earned a BA in Art Theory and Practice and Gender Studies from Northwestern University and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has taught art classes for UIC and the City Colleges of Chicago. In the past she has been a summer resident at The Cooper Union, Summer Forum, and ACRE. She heads to Ox-Bow this September for a Fall Artist Residency. Upcoming Shows (other than this one at Heaven) include herTrunk Show opening on July 25 and a one-person show at The Nightingale in the fall. Ann Gaziano was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2005, she graduated from the College of Santa Fe with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and went on to receive her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2010. Her work was most recently presented in Beyond the Selvage: A History of Screen-printing at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA and a solo exhibition at Generator in Albuquerque NM. She has been part of numerous group exhibitions including Into the Woods at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, representation by Launch Projects at Art Santa Fe, 2009 and Hair of The Dog at The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has also received residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, I-Park, and ACRE. She now lives and works in Chicago. Annie Kielman is a Chicago based artist who’s multi-media work focuses on reconstructed impressions through manipulations of process, material, and language. Annie received her MFA in Printmedia from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She currently teaches at Harold Washington College, Co-runs the Design and Fabrication Collaborative VimFete, and is finalizing the building of a Print shop and shared artist space in Pilsen (name TBD upon unlikely agreement of all members). Annie has exhibited widely in Chicago and throughout the US. AP Shrewsbury was born in Mississippi in 1984. Shrewsbury primarily creates works in the mediums of painting and sculpture. Themes center on the act of perception itself, the transcendent human experience and quasi-multidimensional letterforms. A self taught artist, he has recently had work included in group shows at Castor Gallery in Manhattan, FireCat Projects in Chicago and Minotaur Projects in LA. His work is in private collections worldwide. He Lives and works in the Ann Arbor, MI area.

Stardust Memories 15th Annual Benefit & Art Auction

Saturday, June 20, 2015 - 6:00pm to Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 12:00am

Come make Stardust Memories at Heaven Gallery’s 15th Annual Benefit and Art Auction. Support a Chicago institution by bidding on art from some of it’s brightest stars. Help us celebrate 15 years of Heaven by dancing into the night in your most stellar attire. The event begins 6pm with a VIP reception and silent auction serving hors d'oeuvres and cocktails then transitioning into a dance party at 9pm. Tickets are available for both entry times during gallery hours or :http://stardustmemories.eventbrite.com/ The silent auction features works by: Soo Shin, Mika Horibuchi, Dan Rizzo-Orr, Liz McCarthy, Aron Gent, Jessica Taylor Caponigro, Marissa Lee Benedict, Phil Peters, Sarah and Joseph Belknap, Jessica Harvey, Leo Kaplan, Meg Noe, Eileen Mueller, Sterling Lawrence, Erin Jane Nelson, Ron Ewert, Brad Temkin, Dan Devening, Christopher Meerdo, Ben Gill, Sarah Mosk, Zachary Hobbs, Stella Brown, Gwendolyn Zabicki, Boyang Hou, Annie Kielman, and more. VIP Reception 6–9PM Includes hors d'oeuvres by Rachel Ettling and Gabe Holcombe of the ACRE Kitchen and a signature cocktail created by Nandini Khuand Dance Party 9–12AM Music by Ben Marcus, DJ Cordell Johnson and Jesse Andwich Plus celebrity guest DJ DouggPound Cash bar and craft beer provided by Revolution Brewing Company ___ Heaven Gallery Hours Fri 2-6 pm Sat&Sun 1-6 pm

A House of Dust: Marissa Lee Benedict & Phil Peters

Friday, May 8, 2015 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Opening 7 PM Friday, May 8 2015 thru
“A house of dust / on open ground / using all available light / inhabited by friends and enemies” (excerpted from a digital simulation of Alison Knowles and James Tenney, “A House of Dust” (1967/68) by Zach Whalen)
One of the earliest examples of computer generated poetry, “A House of Dust” was a collaboration by Fluxist artist Alison Knowles and composer James Tenney. Creating endless combinations of propositional architectures, landscapes, locations and situations, the randomly assembled four line quatrains of Knowles and Tenney’s poem grounds Benedict & Peter’s investigations into speculative histories, uncanny objects and strange systems of growth.
Overlaying the architecture of Heaven onto itself in such a ways as to re-align the gallery space with Chicago’s grid, Benedict & Peters expose a ghostly architectural space: a framework for repeated objects, actions and videos to occur upon, within and around.
Currently based in Chicago, IL, Marissa Lee Benedict (b. 1985) is a native of Southern California. She received an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Currently based in Chicago, IL, Phil Peters (b. 1981) is a native of New York state. He received an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013.

Mend Thine Every Flaw work by Shawn Creeden, Marshall Elliott and Rachael Starbuck

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Mend Thine Every Flaw work by Shawn Creeden, Marshall Elliott and Rachael Starbuck

ACRE has partnered with Heaven Gallery to host MEND THINE EVERY FLAW: works by SHAWN CREEDEN, MARSHALL ELLIOTT, & RACHAEL STARBUCK, the next installment in ACRE's year-long series of exhibitions by 2013 ACRE summer residents.

Mend Thine Every Flaw
An individual’s experience of the world is filtered through human scale and limited by human perception. In her work, Rachael Starbuck looks to the landscape as a site for understanding oneself and one's place. Our relationship to the natural environment can feel intimate because that relationship is based on our sensory experience, the touch, sounds, sights. However, the magnitude of the natural environment, the size of a mountain, or the vastness of an ocean contradict that perceived intimacy. Starbuck employs manageable, tactile moments in order to understand the world at large. Her work is often subtle and relies on humble, familiar materials. In her installation Starbuck presents two videos projected opposite one another in the gallery. In the first, Starbuck handles a sun made of plaster and paper pulp, rubbing it repeatedly and holding it in place of the actual sun. In the second, she handles a rock made of calcium carbonate, acrylic paint and glue, this time against her floral print skirt over grass. The positioning of these projections, the former high to the ceiling, connoting the sky and latter closer to the floor, connoting the earth, further connects each surrogate to its real life counterpart. Starbuck’s hands on these surrogates are an effort to physically hold or contain these monumental elements of nature in an attempt to close the distance between herself and the place they belong. Ultimately this gesture toward creating an intimacy in order to comprehend what is too large or too distant to comprehend is futile, however, Starbuck’s often repetitive, meditative process, and her presentation, in which subtle details are revealed with time, encourage contemplation from the viewer. A contemplative relationship with the environment, rather than a sensory one, may be a more intimate relationship after all.

While Starbuck revels in poignant experiences of our relationship to the landscape, Shawn Creeden’s work is occupied with the tools and techniques that humans employ in effort to control their surroundings and their experience of the world. In Creeden’s work there is an underlying question about how far humanity has gone to shape its surroundings and to what ends we understand the effects of that manipulation. Like Starbuck, Creeden also plays with scale, bringing the overwhelming travesties of pollution and the manipulation of the natural world to an uncomfortably intimate size. Utilizing traditional craft techniques and tropes of domestic spaces, Creeden’s approach opens up for a complex read on humanity’s struggle to define itself against the backdrop of its landscape throughout the ages. In his aquarium installation, Creeden creates objects that appear to be a formal exercise in minimalism or a dazzling color study. Their material components, however, include living algaes, some of which flourish dangerously in the runoff of industrial agriculture, while others are threatened by pollution and human activity or are exploited to our benefit. Similarly, Creeden’s embroideries present as gentle abstractions but take their lines and shapes from the original borders imposed on to the landscape of the American West. These borders, which seem innocuous in Creeden’s delicate abstractions, were a key part of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the conquest of the indigenous people, wildlife and land itself. Using the techniques of formalism and abstraction, which historically incorporate ideas of masking the author or master, Creeden highlights the keen manipulation of material by a human and uncovers the hidden histories and unseen destructions that come as the price for mastering the landscape.

Marshall Elliott’s use of the classical symbols of Heartland America hints at the ideology of self-identification through a relationship to place. Patriotism is a cultural attachment to one's homeland or devotion to one's country. Human’s have long expressed their devotion to their place through objects and symbols. National flags are probably the most universal symbol of this relationship and the American flag is a recurring motif in Elliott’s work. The traditions associated with the flag and the particularities of its use and handling are indicative of the way these symbols of patriotism are embedded in a sense of national and personal identity. In Retired Flag, Elliott dissects a retired American flag, taking each element and separating it from the whole. It is a gentle, reflective deconstruction, viewed as more of an investigation by the artist than an act of destruction. His process could be seen as very similar to the actual process of decommissioning an American flag in which the flag is disassembled and then incinerated, yet it differs in that he presents the disassembled flag for contemplation, standing in as a placeholder for a much larger concept of the country it stands for. Another recurring motif in Elliott’s work is the windmill. The American windmill played a major role in the ability for Western Expansion in the settling of the United States. Elliott plays with its history and significance by subverting its function in the video animation The American Windmill. Through his manipulation of symbols and objects that are considered truly American, Elliott’s work explores the strong human desire to take ownership of their place and the manufacture of that desire.


MARSHALL ELLIOTT (born Eglin, Florida, 1976), lives in Oakland, CA and recently completed his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he won the Anne Bremer Memorial Prize. In addition to Bay-area galleries, he has shown work in Colorado, Oregon, and Nebraska with upcoming shows in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.

More information about Marshall Elliott can be found at www.marshallelliott.com.

RACHAEL STARBUCK is an interdisciplinary artist from Miami, Fl working primarily with sculpture and video. Rachael received her BFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011 and is currently living and working in Austin, TX. She has attended residencies at the Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside, ACRE and The Wassaic Project and has shown work in Richmond, VA, Chicago, Miami and Austin. She is currently enrolled in the MFA program at the University of Texas at Austin.

More information about Rachael Starbuck can be found at rachaelstarbuck.com.

SHAWN CREEDEN (born Newport, RI 1981) received his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at The Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA), Artists Space (NY, NY), Fontanelle Gallery (Portland, OR), The Filippo Gallery (Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA), Lamp Gallery (Tokyo), Grotto Gallerie (Brooklyn, NY), and The Manuel Izquierdo Gallery (Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR). His books and multiples are held in the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, The Museum Library at MOMA, and the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at RIT. He has participated in artist residencies including Signal Fire (Portland/Gila Wilderness, NM), ACRE (Chicago/Steuben, WI), and Epicenter (Green River, UT). Creeden currently lives and works in Portland, OR.

More information about Shawn Creeden can be found at www.shawncreeden.com.

HEAVEN GALLERY established in 1997 is a non-profit arts space in Wicker Park that presents emerging artists and musicians. The gallery host 8-10 art shows and over 40 music shows a year. Heaven strives to make exhibitions and music shows accessible to the artist community by widely promoting its open proposal process. The visual art exhibitions are devoted to contemporary art, primarily sculpture painting and photography with a preference for simple smart art.

More information about Heaven gallery can be found at heavengallery.com.

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibition) was founded in 2010 with the ambition to provide the arts community with an affordable, cooperative, and dialogue-oriented residency program. The residency itself takes place each summer in rural southwest Wisconsin and brings together artists from across disciplines and levels of experience to create a regenerative community of cultural producers. Over the course of the following year ACRE endeavors to further support its residents by providing venues for exhibitions, idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.

More information about ACRE can be found at www.acreresidency.org.