Photographs by Danielle Dolan and Thomas Kiefer
Immigrants and the American Dream
Including part of the El Sueno Americano Series from Thomas Kiefer/INSTITUTE
Opening – Friday, February 10, 6-10pm
Live Music 8pm: Linda Boyle and Jesus Azteca Sanchez
Open by appointment through March 3rd
Call for an appointment 312 852 7717
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted, Chicago IL 60608
Danielle Dolan is a fine art photographer who has lived in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side since 2013. She studied photography at the University of Missouri, Harrington College of Design, and Columbia College Chicago, where she graduated with her Bachelor’s in 2016. Living in Belmont-Cragin in the same household as Mexican immigrants exposed her to the reality of what it means to be an immigrant living in the United States today.
After hearing countless stories from her boyfriend’s family members, she learned that many risked their lives to travel thousands of miles, sometimes without food or water, in order to get to the States. All of their belongings and ties to home were left behind in pursuit of greater opportunities that were not available to them in Mexico. Upon arrival to the States, they were met with greater obstacles, oppression, and systemic racism. Still, despite their hardships, they will each say their sacrifice was worth it.
“Immigrants” aims to capture a fleeting emotion in each subject after they recount their experience crossing the Mexico-US border, or recall the journeys that their loved ones have endured. Small excerpts from each interview are included with the portraits so that the viewer may gain some insight on what each experience entailed. Each story in the series is connected with the same underlying theme of chasing the American Dream. They range from tales of terror to childish delight. She hopes the viewers are able to see through the eyes of those who have lived through it all, even if they are only allowed a glimpse
Tom Kiefer: El Sueno Americano- Working as a janitor from July 2003 until August 2014 I was greatly disturbed by the volume of food, clothing and personal belongings thrown away at a single U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility. For many of those years, I was allowed to collect and take the food transported by migrants, that was discarded during the first stages of processing, to our community food bank, an estimated sixty tons by the person who managed it.
The personal effects and belongings were another matter: Why would someone throw away a rosary or bible? Why would someone throw away a wallet? Why would a pair of shoes, for all intents and purpose “brand new”, be tossed in the trash?
The ideals upon which this country was founded seem to be under attack as never before, two hundred and thirty nine years since we declared ourselves a nation. “The beacon of hope”, fairness, democracy, equality, faith and grace seems more and more like a sales gimmick, limited to certain groups of people.
How we treat others is a reflection of who we are. When belts, shoelaces, toothbrushes, socks, shoes, underwear, pants, shirts, jackets, watches, bibles, wallets, coins, cell phones, keys, jewelry, calling-cards, water, food, soap, deodorant, gloves, medicine, birth control pills, blankets and rosaries are considered non-essential personal property and discarded, regardless of the amount and origin, something becomes less than human
There is something inherently disturbing behind many of the images presented in El Sueno Americano Project that defies logical and rational explanation: Why was all this thrown away?
Linda Boyle: Singer, song writer and social historian Linda Boyle has been performing for decades. She sings in many languages and genres, with a vast repertoire in Spanish, as well as well-researched songs.
Linda has been a educator for over thirty years, teaching grades 4-12 as well as Adult Education and English as a Second Language. She has taught Reading, U.S. History, Chicago Studies, and specializes in the history of women, labor, immigrants, and peace and social justice movements. In her twenty-five years in Special Education, she has had roles as both a teacher and school director. Her workshops include the use of music in differentiated and literacy instruction, and as an expressive therapy in working with youth who have experienced trauma and abuse.
Semblance of Order
Opening – Friday, March 10, 6-10pm
Open by appointment through April 7
Call for an appointment 312 852 7717
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted, Chicago IL 60608
info@URI-EICHEN.com | www.uri-eichen.com
Semblance of Order presents new work by artists Michael Rado, Frances Lightbound and Louis Kishfy in response to designed objects in urban spaces that reinforce real and perceived security. Building upon research into defensive architecture in Chicago from the group’s previous collaborative project, Semblance of Order sets the haphazard against the highly-designed, prodding at the material systems of safety, prevention and (over)protection. It is through these concrete material systems that the group intends to dismantle and reconfigure abstract perceptions of authority, ownership and otherness.
Photograph taken by Michael Rado, Frances Lightbound and Louis Kishfy; Chicago Loop; 2015.
Topographies of Defense (2015-2016) was a project led by Michael Rado, Louis Kishfy and Frances Lightbound which examined design in the urban sphere whose primary function is to discourage, rather than facilitate, human usage. Elements such as homeless spikes, decorative security facades, anti-skate rails, bollards, benches, planters and landscaping elements all contribute to a covertly defensive reconfiguration of public space. With a focused lens on Chicago, the project comprised an online photographic archive, an introduction during Sullivan Galleries’ exhibition Outside Design and culminated with a public symposium and gallery exhibition held at the LeRoy Neiman Center in Chicago.
Michael Rado is originally from the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, and currently lives and works in New York City. Rado’s interdisciplinary work spans sculpture, installation, and video, and critically celebrates the spirit of his middle-class heritage, prodding at themes of privilege, privacy, and sovereignty. He earned his MFA in Studio from the School of Art institute of Chicago (2016), and BFA from the University of Michigan (2009). Rado’s recent work has been exhibited at a range of venues in Chicago, notably at EXPO Chicago (2016), Pulaski Park with Fieldwork Collaborative Projects, and at Edra Soto and Dan Sullivan’s East Garfield Park gallery, The Franklin. Along with Lightbound, he is a fellow in the 2016-2017 Field Trip / Field Notes / Field Guide fellowship.
Frances Lightbound is an artist based between Chicago and Glasgow, having earned her MFA from SAIC (2016) and a BA (Hons) from Glasgow School of Art (2012). Working primarily in printmaking, sculpture, and installation, her work examines symbolism and authority in the built environment and issues relating to the division of space and property. She is a current HATCH artist resident at Chicago Artists Coalition, and a participant in the 2016-2017 Field Trip / Field Notes / Field Guide fellowship.
Louis Kishfy is a technologist who currently lives and works in Rhode Island. Kishfy’s practice is rooted predominantly in sculpture and installation; exploring his interests in sociology, postmodern philosophy, and environmental psychology. He is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MDes, 2016) and the University of Rhode Island (BS, 2012).
Second Fridays of the Month
6PM - 10PM
Richard Berg is the Past President of Teamsters Local 743 where he was an activist in the Teamster reform movement for more than 20 years before being elected president. He was a member and union steward for the Teamsters while working in the Department of Environmental Services at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He has also worked as an Organizer for AFSCME, as a Business Agent for the Teamsters and as a Union Representative for SEIU Local 73. He was also previously the Treasurer of the Chicago Area Labor Support Committee, Executive Board Member of the Chicago Chapter of the Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement, International Steering Committee Member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, 30th Ward Coordinator for Harold Washington for Mayor in 1987, Staff for James Exum for 48th Ward Democratic Committeeman, Steering Committee Member of the Illinois Chapter of the Labor Party, Wisconsin Chair of the Midwest Coalition Against Registration and the Draft, Co-Chair of the Marquette University Coalition for Divestiture and President of the Marquette University Progressive Student Organization . Richard is currently a Staff Representative for Illinois AFSCME Council 31 and serves on the Steering Committee for the Chicago Labor Speakers Club. He also enjoys fine art whenever possible.
Paul Durica is a teacher, writer, and public historian. Since 2008 he has been producing a series of free and interactive public history programs under the name Pocket Guide to Hell. These talks, walks, and reenactments use costumes, props, music, and audience participation to make the past feel present.Paul’s writing on Chicago history and culture has appeared in Poetry, The Chicagoan, Mash Tun, Lumpen, and elsewhere and, with Bill Savage, he is the editor of Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (Northwestern UP, 2013). He is currently the Director of Programs for Illinois Humanities.
Ruth Needleman, professor emerita in Labor Studies at Indiana University, has taught labor and Latin American studies since the late sixties. After 4 years in Latin American Literature & Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she worked for the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez.
Ruth has been awarded honors for excellence in teaching, research and service, for her work, including a book, Black Freedom Fighters in Steel: the struggle for union democracy, and many articles on black history, race, class and gender, leadership development and on movements in Latin America. She contributed to a book on the right-wing in Chile, published by Quimantu, Allende’s publishing house, prior to the fascist coup. She has traveled extensively, presented in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Japan, Colombia and more.
She pioneered courses in Labor & the Arts at IU, and established a 15-year college-degree program called Swingshift College, enabling steelworkers to complete college degrees in a customized worker program based on transformational pedagogy. Currently she is writing about this program and the role and character of “pedagogy for liberation” for the 21st century. She is also teaching a course on global social movements at the School of the Arts Institute.
John Pitman Weber is active in community based public art, having co-founded the Chicago Public Art Group almost 45 years ago. His public works in mosaic, paint, cement, and brick are currently found in Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, Vitoria-Gasteiz, (Spain), Spencer, IA and libraries of Broward Cty, FL. He is also active in the studio with painting and woodcuts. One of his large woodcuts is currently included in the Gulf Labor Coalition’s presence at the Venice Biennale. He is emeritus, retired from Elmhurst College. His home-studio is in Pilsen.
Larry Redmond: I've always had an interest in art. As a child, I used to draw comic book characters. When I entered college, I had hoped to major in art. However, at the time UIC didn't have an art department.
Now, I express myself visually through photography. I love photographing life in the street, especially marches and demonstrations. But my interest is expanding to fine art photography. I hope to do portraits and still lifes within the next year or so.
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I majored in Philosophy and minored in English. I later attended the John Marshall Law School, earning a Juris Doctor degree. I studied art and photography at Chicago State University where I developed my passion for Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.
I have recently become a member of the Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers because I appreciated the organization's dedication of professionalism and excellence in the practice of the art of photography. I am also a member of the Washington Park Camera Club. I currently live in Chicago with my wife and family.
Kathy Steichen co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery with her husband, Christopher Urias, in 2011. She has led the programming development and coordination of over 100 visual art and community events at the gallery in the last 4 years. She built an organization that brings thousands of people into the space to enjoy music and participate in discussions on social justice themes. She has been involved in racial justice, anti-war and human rights issues for over 25 years. She is an alumna of several social justice and arts programs at Las Palomas de Taos, housed in the Mable Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. She founded and presided over Amnesty International chapters at the University of Iowa, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked as the Student Program Coordinator of Amnesty International in the Mid-west Region. She worked for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s first primary run as the field coordinator of the 48th Ward in Chicago in the first Campaign School. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has a M.S. in Union Leadership and Administration from UMASS Amherst. She has worked in the labor movement for more than 17 years as an organizer and union staff representative where she represents private and public sector local unions. She has been a practicing print-maker for over 25 years focused on work related to social justice themes.
Christopher Urias co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery. He is a Pilsen, Chicago native who graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago focused on printmaking.