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

Night Brings Day/Day Brings Night/ Leslie Baum

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Night brings day/day brings night is a selection of intimately scaled paintings from an ongoing project. This project came to fruition in the shadow of the 2016 presidential election. In that moment, the studio became a refuge and a place to contemplate forces greater in scale than the politics of the day. The paintings that emerged meditate on natural cycles and the passage of time: seasonal rotations, the turning of the calendar, and the rhythmic flow of night into day and day into night. Each work imagines a world within a world: a portal, an opening, into the unknowable, and each is tethered to the hope found in the long arc of time.

Leslie Baum has shown her work nationally and internationally, including exhibitions in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Mexico City, Rome, and South Korea. Recent exhibitions include Here Comes the Rainbow, the Cleve Carney Gallery at the College of DuPage, IL, Excuse Me If I get Too Deep, Geary Contemporary, NYC, Ohne Titel, 65grand, Chicago IL, MOUNTAIN and sea at 4th Ward Project Space and Legends for Loose Grids, Waiting Room, Minneapolis MN. Her animation short, the Megillat Breakdown, made in collaboration with Frederick Wells, was included in the Wisconsin Union Film Committee at the University of Wisconsin 2015 experimental film series and in the 2014 Eyeworks Festival. Her drawings and paintings are in the permanent collections of the Chicago Art institute, the Elmhurst Art Museum, and the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital. Her work has been reviewed extensively including in Artforum, Art in America, Hyperallergic, and the Chicago Tribune. She is included in New American Paintings vol. 119 and 100 Painters of Tomorrow. She has received residencies from Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center. Leslie Baum lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

March 16th through April 29th

Artist Talk – Sunday April 29, 1pm

Cornered, Scott Mossman

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

An avid collector as long as he has been making art, Scott Mossman's sculpture has always been colored by a longtime fascination with "the object." Most intriguing to Mossman is a works relationship to the wall where it's placed, the viewer and the gallery space. His sculptures hung curiously high, often times with a dramatic cast shadow, appear to serve a purpose other than art, the function of the oftentimes eccentric, seemingly worn tool, appliance or artifact not being as obvious as the soffit, burglar alarm sensor or boxy precariously mounted heating and air conditioning units that might occupy a similar spot on the wall.

Following up his recent one-person exhibit "Overhead" at the Noyes Cultural Center in Evanston, where his sculptures were hung high and heavily lit, his current exhibit at Heaven Gallery "Cornered" is dominated by recent works, many created for the space, that play off the meeting of two walls, the point where walls end and where the ceiling begins. As with the aforementioned Noyes exhibit, his pieces, oftentimes reflective of his fascination with architectural styles and structures, choose to interact with the idiosyncrasies of Heaven's Victorian vernacular roots.

An MFA candidate during Post modernism's heyday, sculptor/ painter Scott Mossman soon began exhibiting in spaces throughout Chicago and the rest of the country. Known for habitually giving up the "good space" for the 2d folks, in his first group exhibit at the Hyde Park Art Center "Crisp and Clean" his sculpture "Tower" an homage to the famous Pisa prototype seemed to leap from the gallery's balcony. Soon after in "On Paper", also at the HPAC, twenty ink on paper diptychs were hung from a wooden lattice that filled an entire wall. With his painting "Great Falls" he was one of twenty artists whose work toured Texas for two years in "Primarily Paint" a survey of recent American painting sponsored by the Texas Fine Arts Association. Recently, he has exhibited works (hung of course, precariously high) at the Freeport Art Museum, the Bridgeport Art Center, Christopher Gallery(Prairie State College), the Brauer Art Museum (Valparaiso), Northeastern Illinois University Gallery, the Highland Park Art Center and the Koehnline Museum at Oakton Community College. Last fall his sculpture "Red and Chartreuse" was selected for the "National Small Works 40th Annual Exhibition" at Harper College (Palatine) and was later purchased for their Educational Foundation Art Collection and will be permanently installed on campus, very high of course, via a hydraulic lift.

An Artist Talk is scheduled for March 25 at 1PM
Mossman will present a brief overview of works by artists from the end of the 20th Century he sees as an influence who employed alternative options to the traditional approach to exhibition followed by a Q and A about the installation. Violinist and 3Arts awardee Brandi Berry Benson will perform unaccompanied violin pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries preceding and following Mr. Mossman’s talk.

Ms. Berry Benson has appeared with numerous ensembles in the U.S. including Newberry Consort, Ars Lyrica, and Bach & Beethoven Experience and her "four-string acrobatics" and "indispensable skill" (TimeOut Chicago) have been praised as "alert [and] outstanding" (Chicago Classical Review), has also been noted for her "riffs…powered by a flashing blur of bow arm, [as they] rolled out with irresistible glee" (Washington Post).

Bach + Beethoven Experience -
A Chicago-based ensemble, dedicated to presenting music in historical context and on period instruments.

Fission Fusion, Tanner Bowman and Brendan Luchik

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Fission Fusion is collaborative show by Tanner Bowman and Brendan Luchik, examining the push and pull between two individual artists working with collage and painting using experimental processes. The work began at a time of transition, as Luchik was in the middle of moving to New York City. The artists questioned how they could salvage remnants of Luchik's studio space, which may have otherwise been discarded, and use the collected scrap materials in an attempt to capture the essence and grit of a domestic studio space which would no longer exist. During the construction of the work the artists used their time to to reflect upon philosophy, psychology, poetry, landscape, and the connections between their creative outputs. These personal conversations, ranging in topics from Jungian Psychology and William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell”, to Sedona sunsets and gridded city living, directed the subject matter and processes used in constructing the images and assemblage. Also on display are Bowman and Luchik’s individual work which is meant to distinguish the visual conversation between the two artist's work and style. 

Tanner Bowman is an artist, designer, and teacher working out of a home/studio in Chicago, IL. Bowman works with traditional crafting techniques and materials using experimental process to make functional pieces of art. His products are influenced heavily by the domestic spaces he inhabits and often answer to a personal need or desire in his life. Bowman’s work focuses on hybridizing the fundamentals of art, design, and craft into queer and affirming objects. His work questions the normative standards relating to how we orient our bodies to the spaces and objects we inhabit and use. 

Brendan Luchik makes nature-based abstract work that reflects his love for the visual world and image construction. He seeks not only to create the feeling of space pictorially but to translate the emotional quality of it as well to the viewer. Luchik views wherever he goes as home. The internal connection to landscape or a motif carried to new places don't exist as a nostalgic thing for him. The images that stay with him mix with those of where he is in the present moment. He seeks to simultaneously draw from these images and respond to his current urban studio environment.

Artist talk – Sunday, April 8, 1pm

WPB January Women's Networking Event

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 9:30am

Kick off 2018 with a power hour of women's networking at Heaven Gallery! Meet and mingle with other boss ladies to make new and meaningful connections! Our monthly women's day time mixers are always a hit so RSVP today!  #bossladies

Refreshments provided


Performance - Sedentary Fragmentation

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Performance by Yasamin Ghanbari with discussion to follow.

Artist Talk - Sedentary Fragmentation

Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Artist talk for Sedentary Fragmentation.


RESIST: A Community Talk

Sunday, March 5, 2017 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

What just happened? We’re still trying to figure it out. We may never quite. But we feel compelled to get our arms around it.

Helplessness, dread, wishful thinking, engagement and retreat: we’ve felt it all. We've tweeted, Facebooked, nstagrammed, and even trolled a little. We’ve marched, called and emailed.

But, barring a miracle, still our fight has just begun.

How to we sustain ourselves? How do we learn to rest and not to quit? How do we relate to the new selves we have to be to resist? More importantly, how do we build -- and build the patience to build?

A new series of events at Heaven Gallery aims to get us out, get us talking and get us moving forward -- together. Regularly! We will use our space tomake time for ourselves to be somewhere decidedly non-virtual and decidedly not post-fact. It's about being and doing while thinking.

Our opening salvo, this March 5th at 1:00 pm, is to be a roundtable of artists, writers and curators who have a passion for thinking about the issues of social justice. We’ll talk about catalyzing (or ineffectual) art, critical positions that soar (or bomb) for us, how we sleep at night after putting more objects into this unhinged world, and how it is essential that we do. There will be questions and dialogue afterwards, and all are invited to participate, because there’s nothing we want more!

The roundtable members is headed by but not limited to:

Elliot J. Reichert

Independent writer, critic and curator. He has written art criticism for Chicago Artist Writers and is a frequent contributor to Newcity. In 2006, he co-founded and edited the Northwestern Art Review, a journal of art criticism and scholarship. From 2013-2015, Elliot Reichert was the Curator of Special Projects at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. Previously, he has served in curatorial roles at I Am Logan Square gallery in Chicago and Artpace in San Antonio, Texas. He received his B.A.with honors in Art History from Northwestern University. In the fall of 2015, he will begin graduate studies in Modern and Contemporary Art History and Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tempestt Hazel

Independent curator, writer, arts advocate and co-founder of Sixty Inches From Center. She is currently the Professional Development Manager at the Chicago Artists Coalition where she works to develop programming that is relevant to local artists and will help them build successful careers by connecting them with industry and business experts. Prior to joining the CAC, she worked at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events as the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for Chicago Artists Resource, coordinator of the Creative Chicago Expo and on the team for Chicago Artists Month, the city-wide celebration of visual arts in Chicago that happens each October. She also serves on the curatorial committee for The SUB-MISSION, a project space of The Mission Projects, and is on the host committee for the Leadership Advisory Committee at the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent independent projects include The Future’s Past, a curatorial research project and series of public installations which is the product of a fellowship with the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Locality, the Chicago Artists Coalition’s Hatch Residency exhibition, and The Tipping Point of Me and We, the Contemporary Arts Council‘s 2012 exhibition. Upcoming projects include exhibitions at Terrain Exhibitions, The Salon Series Projects and South Side Community Art Center.

Robert Burnier

Is an artist who lives and works in Chicago. He received his M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute in Painting and Drawing in 2016. He also holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (1991). Exhibitions include Ghost Nature, curated by Caroline Picard, at Gallery 400, Chicago, IL and La Box, Bourges, France, The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL, Inland Delta at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Imaginary Landscapes, curated by Allison Glenn, at Chicago Urban Art Society and Jenny From the Color Block at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, curated by Eric Ruschman. His work has been exhibited at art fairs in Miami, New York, Chicago and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Simple Pleasures

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Simple Pleasures
Liz McCarthy, Caleb Yono, Selina Trepp, Raul de Lara, Ryan Pfeiffer & Rebecca Walz
Curated by Iris Bernblum

This show is a love letter. From one artist to another. To those who give me hope in the wake of a new post-election reality. Absorbing the pain I was feeling myself and from those around me, I realized it’s more important than ever to speak to the issues presented here. I came to this show with the body and pleasure in mind.

To put it simply: These artists work with the body, sexuality and gender in ways that push, seduce, and play with us. They bring forward the complexities of our bodies and minds with what it means to be seen, touched, hurt, and loved. What it means to be human.

For me they are magicians in the studio, taking us to places that feel true and full of life. They all invite us to engage on an intimate level; one cannot look and look away. The afterimage stays. It sinks in.

“And now, after living beside you all these years, and watching your wheel of a mind bring forth an art of pure wildness - as I labor grimly on these sentences, wondering all the while if prose is but the gravestone marking the forsaking of wildness (fidelity to sense-making, to assertion, to argu- ment, however loose) - I’m no longer sure which of us is more at home in the world, which of us more free.”

-Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts

Heaven Gallery 
1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL

Improvised Jazz Concert

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 8:30pm to 10:30pm

Jeff Albert / Helen Gillet / Aurora Nealand / James Singleton / Paul Thibodeaux"

The New Orleans contingent of the Instigation Orchestra brings together five of the finest improvisers working today - trombonist Jeff Albert and Aurora Nealand on saxophones, accordion and voice and a rhythm section of Helen Gillet on cello and voice, James Singleton on bass and drummer Paul Thibodeaux - for two sets of improvised performance. Though they have all worked together in various configuration over the years, their Heaven performance will mark the first ever performance of this quintet for what promises to be a thrilling evening of music.

$10 suggested donation