University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Art + Design’s Figure One Gallery will open its winter exhibition, titled Upside Down, Left to Right: 116 N. Walnut, which reveals the history of the gallery’s location. The opening reception will take place on Friday, December 6, from 5–8 p.m. The closing reception is scheduled for January 24 and will include a music and poetry reading event. As part of the exhibition’s programming, the gallery will also host a printmaking demonstration session.
The exhibition explores the past, present, and future of 116 N. Walnut Street, telling a narrative about the transformation of that space and its function from Artist—G.R. Grubb & Co.—Engravers, to the Old Main Bookshoppe, and finally to Figure One Gallery. The history of the space is revealed in video interviews with owners of previous businesses housed in the space. Oral histories from George Grubb and Steve Kysar commemorate their businesses and ways that they influenced the local community, while Harold Balbach gives a broader sense of local lore.
The art works displayed in the exhibition create abstract links to the history of the space and bring the story into the present. The works aim to transport and displace reality by playing with concepts such as history, falsehoods, memories, and nostalgia. Artists showing in the exhibit are Langston Allston, William Blake, Chelsea Choi, Siobhan Cooney, Clare Finin, Jess Kiel-Wornson, Melanie Leikam, Emmy Lingscheit, C.J. McCarrick, and Guen Montgomery. The works represent a variety of mediums: printmaking, paintings, sculptures, and installations.
University of Illinois students currently enrolled in Art Museum Exhibition Practice conceived the exhibition, preparing, organizing, and designing it under the supervision and guidance of Krannert Art Museum’s director Kathleen Harleman and the school of Art and Design’s executive associate director, professor Alan Mette.
Figure One Gallery is located at 116 N. Walnut Street in Champaign, Illinois. The exhibition will be on display from December 6th, 2013 through January 24th, 2014. The gallery is open to the public Tuesday-Thursday 1–6 p.m., Friday 5–9 p.m., and Saturday 1–9 p.m.. Admission is free.