The Polish community has played an important and defining role in the economic, social and cultural fabric of Chicago throughout its history. According to the 2000 U.S. census, Poles in Chicago are the largest European American ethnic group in the city, making up approximately 7.3% of the total population. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, is honored to welcome international artists from Wrocław, Poland in an extensive exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Opening January 14, The Wrocław School of Printmaking is a wide-ranging exhibition that fills all three Michigan Avenue Galleries. Featuring print-based works by faculty members of the Printmaking Department at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, Poland, the exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of the variety of printmaking techniques and sources of inspiration employed by the artists of the Wrocław School.
The Wrocław School of Printmaking exhibition runs January 14 – March 25, 2012 in the Michigan Avenue Galleries at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. Admission is free. An opening reception will take place on Friday, January 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The Wrocław School of Printmaking exhibition was previously shown at two American venues in 2009: Pienkow Gallery in Knoxville, Tenn., and Rowe Arts Gallery at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. At the Chicago Cultural Center, the exhibition features works previously shown in 2009, juxtaposed with one new work by each artist.
Three of the featured artists and professors, Agata Gertchen, Christopher Nowicki and Jacek Szewczyk, will travel from Wrocław to Chicago for the opening weekend. A free artist talk by Agata Gertchen will take place Saturday, January 14, 2 p.m.
Agata Gertchen was born in Rawicz, Poland and graduated from the Intaglio Studio of Prof. Przemysław Tyszkiewicz. She is currently a teaching assistant at the Intaglio Studio. Gertchen has participated in several exhibitions including the 6th Art Festival “Form,” the International exhibition “Graphics of the Summer” in the College Gallery in Wrocław and the 21st International Contemporary Ex Libris Biennial in Malbork.
Christopher Nowicki is a Polish American who was born in Ohio and has been living in Poland since 1993. Nowicki studied at the Toledo Museum of Art School of Design, the University of Toledo and received an MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle. Since 1996 has been employed at the Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław where he currently runs the of Silkscreen Studio and works in the International Relations office, organizing exhibitions and initiating contacts with higher education institutions in the European Union, the United States and China. He has presented his work in more than 38 solo exhibitions, and in more than 100 group exhibitions and art competitions. His works are in the collections of the Ossolinski National Institute in Wrocław, The Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature in Warsaw, Toledo University (USA), Copper-Plate Centre in Thessaloniki, Greece, The Railway Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania and many private collections.
Jacek Szewczyk was born Wrocław and graduated from the State Higher College of Fine Arts in Wrocław. He is currently in his second term as Rector of the Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław in printmaking, drawing and graphic design. Szewczyk has participated in more than 120 exhibitions and print and drawing competitions in Poland and abroad. His prints and drawings are in the collections of the national Library in Warsaw, the Ossolinski National Institute in Wrocław, the Graphic Art Room of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow and the Boras Kunstmuseum (Sweden).
Since 1999, The Wrocław School of Printmaking has received 14 exhibitions in Poland, the Ukraine, Belarus, Spain, China, Scotland, Romania and the United States. In 2010, the Academy’s Graphics Department received the highest award from the Polish Ministry of Art and Education.
Exhibition viewing hours are Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Chicago Cultural Center is closed on holidays. For more information, visit www.ChicagoCulturalCenter.org.
Pulled, Pressed & Printed, Chicago: January 27 – April 30
Reinforcing the scope of the international printmaking arts scene, Pulled, Pressed & Printed, Chicago, an exhibition featuring Chicago’s finest printmakers, opens Friday, January 27 at Expo 72, located at 72 E. Randolph St., across the street from the Chicago Cultural Center. Pulled, Pressed & Printed, Chicago features work by Thomas Lucas/Hummingbird Press, Kerry James Marshall, Barbara Jones-Hogu, Richard Hunt, Willie Cole and more. The exhibition runs through April 30, 2012. An opening reception will take place on Friday, March 2, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.ExploreChicago.org.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to promoting an ongoing celebration of the arts; supporting the people who create and sustain them; and marketing the city’s abundant cultural resources to a worldwide audience. DCASE, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, programs and promotes thousands of high-quality free festivals, exhibitions, performances and holiday celebrations presented each year at Millennium Park, Grant Park, the Chicago Cultural Center and other venues throughout the city.
Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture
The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture (COTC) is dedicated to promoting Chicago as a premier cultural destination to domestic and international leisure travelers, providing innovative visitor programs and services, and presenting free world-class public programs. COTC supports local artists through grants and other resources and creates vital opportunities for artists of all levels. For more information please visit www.ExploreChicago.org.