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CHICAGO, IL—From April 4 through August 26, 2011, the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery presents Luminous Ground: Artists With Histories. The exhibition highlights the work and careers of eleven elder Chicago artists who are, or were, creatively active into their later decades. Many are nationally and internationally known: some have been quieter presences in the art world. All are resilient and vitally creative. The exhibition suggests that, if there is a 'Fountain of Youth,' it is creativity. By spotlighting the exceptional work by these underrepresented, mature artists, the exhibit counters the emphasis on the youth culture that pervades the art world. Please join us on Friday, April 8th from 4:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. for a public reception. Many of the artists will be present. The Gallery is located on the second floor of the James R. Thompson Center at 100 W. Randolph, suite 2-100 in Chicago's loop.

The artists include Ralph Arnold (1924-2006),  constructions; Morris Barazani (1925), abstract paintings; Gerda Meyer Bernstein (1931), socially relevant installations; Fred Berger (1923-2006), figurative painting and sculpture; William Frederick (1922), silversmith; Theodore Halkin (1924), painting and sculpture; Thomas Kapsalis (1925), abstract painting and sculpture; Vera Kement (1929), painting; Ellen Lanyon (1926), printmaking and painting; Elizabeth Ruprecht (1932), painting; Leopold Segedin (1927), figurative painting.

The artists of Luminous Ground: Artists With Histories share three important similarities: 1) the creation of life-long bodies of work of the highest caliber; 2) the influencing of multiple artists across generations, not only by their art, but through teaching and community involvement; 3) commitments of fifty to sixty years or more to the exploration of personal creativity.

Collectively, they have been an integral part of the social and cultural milieu from which today's art scene evolved. Their work and lives offer us inspiration and lessons.

SPECIAL EVENTS: There will be two curator-led talks for Gallery members and guests: May 19th and June 16th from noon to 1 P.M. in the Gallery.

The Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery, 100 West Randolph, suite 2-100, is located in the James R. Thompson Center and is one of five art sites around the state featuring Illinois artists and works from the permanent collection. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM, closed state holidays. The Gallery is free and wheelchair-accessible. Tour and school groups are welcome. Please call for appointments.


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