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Loyola University Museum of Art

Art Illuminating the Spirit

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Evangeline Politis
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LUMA Explores Social Issues Through Contemporary Art

Loyola University Museum of Art Explores
Social Issues 
Through Contemporary Art
in Upcoming Exhibitions

 

CHICAGO, February 5, 2016 –The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) will welcome three exhibitions to its galleries this spring: William Utermohlen: A Persistence of MemoryWilliam Castellana: South Williamsburg, and More than a Survivor: More than a Story. All three exhibitions explore social issues and open to the public on Saturday, February 6, complemented by a variety of public programming throughout the season.

William Utermohlen: A Persistence of Memory
In 1995, artist William Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and continued to paint as the disease progressed. LUMA will be exhibiting more than 100 works of art illustrating the impact of this debilitating disease on the artist’s creative output.

Although he grew increasingly isolated, Utermohlen continued to produce meaningful images of himself and his surroundings at the end of his life. Without knowledge of the artist’s declining memory, his work could be perceived as progressing toward an abstract style rather than the result of an impairment.

The exhibition is generously sponsored by Lundbeck LLC and held in conjunction with LUMA’s IlLUMAnations program, which uses visual art from the museum’s collection to engage Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Established in 2013 in partnership with Northwestern University’s Medical Center’s Cognitive Neurology department, LUMA facilitates multiple workshops throughout the year for patients, as research has found positive impacts of visual and musical arts on self-esteem, attention span, and the feeling of isolation, a normal occurrence as the disease progresses.

William Castellana: South Williamsburg
Artist William Castellana has lived in New York City for the last 20 years. During this time, he has witnessed Brooklyn’s North Williamsburg neighborhood shift from a lower income area to a gentrified, artist enclave. In contrast, South Williamsburg has remained much the same, housing an Orthodox Jewish community.

Through 33 candid, black and white photographs, Castellana provides a glimpse into the life of the South Williamsburg community. The images depict the modesty of the women’s clothing and hair and the prevalence of stores catering to living an orthodox life. This pious life is highly contrasted against the fast-paced world of New York City.

“Street photography for me is about fidelity and frankness; it’s about the preservation of a time and place, and I think that’s what street photography can do when it’s at its best,” said Castellana.

In the tradition of street photographers such as Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank, and Gary Winogrand, who believed photography offered a means to “deeply describe,” these images capture a world apart in day-to-day life. The exhibition will focus on the question, “What does it mean to lead a devoutly religious life?”

More than a Survivor: More than a Story
LUMA continues to explore issues of social consciousness with More than a Survivor: More than a Story. The exhibition shares the photographs and testimonies of female human trafficking survivors in the US who are now burgeoning leaders within their communities.

The exhibition narrative follows the experiences of 22 women, including Loyola University Chicago alumna Shamere McKenzie. McKenzie is currently CEO of the Sun Gate Foundation, an independent organization devoted to human trafficking survivors. Fellow Loyola alumna Marian Hatcher, Chicagoan and human trafficking coordinator in the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, also shares her journey to freedom as part of the exhibition.

More than a Survivor: More than a Story originally began as a project of a New York City-based nonprofit organization, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS). It is the only organization in the state of New York designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.

William Utermohlen: A Persistence of Memory and William Castellana: South Williamsburg run through July 24. More than a Survivor: More than a Story will run through March 20. For more information on LUMA, visit LUC.edu/luma.

Public Programming

All of the following events take place at LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 60611.

More than a Survivor: More than a Story
Tuesday, February 9, 6 p.m.
$5 for non-members, free for members and Loyola students, faculty, and staff

Loyola University Chicago alumnae and human trafficking survivors, Marian Hatcher and Shamere McKenzie, will speak on their own experiences with an introduction by Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart on his department’s efforts to stop sex trafficking in Cook County.

Spring Exhibitions: Opening Reception
Friday, February 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
$15 for non-members, free for members and Loyola students, faculty, and staff

Join LUMA members and staff to celebrate the opening of the spring exhibitions.

Gallery Tour: Knowing William– Part I
Saturday, February 20, 1 p.m.
Free with admission

Join art historian Christophe Boicos, who worked with Utermohlen for many years, in a gallery tour discussing individual paintings and the artist’s productivity in the last years of his life.

Knowing William – Part II
Creativity and Alzheimer’s
Tuesday, February 23, 6-8 p.m.
$5 for non-members, free for members and Loyola students, faculty, and staff

Join us for a panel discussing the Utermohlen’s life, work, and his place in the 20th century. The panel will include Christophe Boicos, gallerist; Patricia Utermohlen, William Utermohlen’s widow and art historian; Jay Thompson, vice president of the National Alzheimer’s Association and Lundbeck, LLC; and Darby Morhardt, PhD, LCSW, research associate professor and director of education, Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Film Screening: I Remember Better When I Paint
Saturdays in March and April, 1 p.m.
Free with admission

Join LUMA for a special screening of I Remember Better When I Paint. The film shows how the creative arts can enhance the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s. On Saturday, April 9, director and producer Berna Huebner will discuss her life as the daughter of an artist with Alzheimer’s and the impact creativity had on her last years.

Additional programming will be added throughout the season at LUC.edu/luma.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. The museum is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. The museum is located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, and occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Michigan Avenue. For more information, please visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

LUMA now has new hours: Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Wednesday-Saturday, 11 am.-6 p.m. Admission is free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays. General Admission is $9, $6 for seniors, and $3 for non-Loyola students under 25 with ID. Admission is free with proper identification to members, Loyola faculty, staff, and students, clergy members, employees of other museums, youth 17 and under, and active military members and their families. 

Art illuminating the spirit

-LUMA-

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

Art illuminating the spirit!

-LUMA-