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  • PurpleWindow


title: Untitled

artist: Naomi Elson

materials: Yarn and plastic window screen

dimensions: 10.5”x8.5”

location: 1850 N California Ave, Chicago IL

During the COVID-19 crisis and quarantine, windows have been the one of the only sources of

showcasing art due to galleries being closed. This window project plays off window materials,

using window screen as a template to latch hook and stitch yarn into.

Communities all over the world have experienced extended times of isolation and social

distancing became the norm. With our daily routine significantly changing, many of us had to

adapt to a new pace of life. In this unprecedented situation, we share the feeling that time has

slowed down. It is becoming harder and harder to keep track of the days passing.

Unconventional Times, is a pop-up window exhibition that tracks time through art. This exhibit

presents a rotating selection of works from three Chicago-based artists: Naomi Elson, Bryan

LeBeuf, and Joshi Radin. Each selected artwork occupies the exhibition window space for two

weeks and then rotate. The same cycle of artworks is repeated throughout the duration of the

project, the end of which will correspond with the end of the COVID-19 lockdown.

With an increasingly static environment, we have the opportunity to experience our

surroundings in new ways. We notice small changes to our proximities that we were not able to

pay attention to before. With a continued two-weeks rotation of artworks, this exhibition will help

the local neighbor and community to track time in an unconventional way.

Unconventional Times is curated by Fabiola Tosi.

Photography by Amy Shelton.

View Bryan LeBeuf's window exhibition What Is Your Name, a simulation of a game environment within a MMORPG. A portrait of a vast virtual world looking towards the participant, melding physical and virtual space.

Joshi Radin's window exhibition Record is a series of monotypes using found packing materials and clothing for new bodies. The prints record and refer, marking the absent fresh body—a unit and a package. Enlarged for a street audience, the window frames a monotype fragment, revealing a partial record of an absence.

Naomi Elson was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her MFA from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. Following graduation, Naomi moved to Chicago, where she has shown at several galleries, including GIFC at Western Exhibitions, Nightlight Gallery and Studios, ARC Gallery, Rubberneck Gallery, Bucktown Gallery, and Zhou B Art Center. Naomi Elson is currently a 2019-2020 HATCH artist-in-residence at the Chicago Artist Coalition and will be exhibiting at Heaven Gallery next month in the group exhibition Relic, Ritual, and Remedy (August 7 - September 13) curated by Purple Window director Lauren Iacoponi.

Follow her on Instagram: @naomi_elson

More on Naomi Elson's practice

Naomi Elson’s work combines several mediums including, sculpture, fibers, and fashion,

approaching them from a painting perspective. She creates tactile environments in space that

take advantage of walls, floors, and ceilings, that move beyond traditional painting. She strives

to create an interactive experience for the participants, like the process of painting itself.

Working with discarded materials, thrown out, abandoned on curbs, or found in dumpsters,

allows her the freedom to escape from the preciousness of art and throw any preconceived rules out the window and just play, deconstructing these materials and restructuring them.

Elson’s materials include carpets, rugs, couches, chairs, found fabrics, and mistint latex paints.

Her work builds off each other, taking cut off remnants from past work to generate ideas; where

each color, shape, texture, informs another.

More on Fabiola Tosi's practice

Fabiola Tosi is a Chicago-based curator and arts administrator. Originally from Italy, Fabiola is

an experienced project manager promoting international cultural exchanges. Her curatorial work

aims to unveil cross-cultural practices as a platform for discussion around politically and socially

engaged issues. Fabiola is the current Exhibits Project Manager at the Peggy Notebaert Nature

Museum in Chicago, and formerly Assistant Director of Exhibition and Programs for the US

Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. In 2017, she received her MA in Arts

Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a

resident at Chicago Artist Coalition’s Hatch Program. Follow her on Instagram: @faby_tosi

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