As part of its omnibus art gallery showing, Center on Halsted presented an opening reception for works by artists Jim McNamee and Rossa Crean.
The showing took place on April 7 on the Center's second and third floors, and featured an array of small-to-large works. The event featured an open bar as guests and family met with the artists, who talked about their works on display. A percentage of the sales from the art work will be donated to Center on Halsted.
McNamee and Crean have vastly different approaches to creating their work.
McNamee, who uses pen, ink, charcoal, watercolor andin one instancecoffee grinds, incorporates his background as a licensed clinical therapist as an origin point for his portrait sketches and paintings. His depictions of fictitious faces lack obvious expressions such as a smile or a frown. What they do have is a subdued, almost submerged, accent which forces the viewer to examine the portrait and read the emotions through the details.
McNamee, who rarely shows his work publicly, has been painting and drawing for most of his life, though his work was pretty much a secret. His brother and sister, Tom McNamee and Patti McNamee-Rosenberg, joked that while growing up they were largely unaware of his art.
McNamee said about his work, "What you view on the outside of a person often tells you very little about what is going on underneath. Values, struggles and passion aren't always things we see."
Rossa Crean's abstract paintings are inspired and fueled by his chromesthia, a type of neurological response where sound involuntarily evokes expressions, color and movement. Crean said at the gallery opening, "My brain has a different pathway... When I hear sounds I see colors...I've always had special visions this way."
Using acrylic paint, watercolor, liquid gold and digital painting, Crean creates striking abstract pieces that touch on queerness, trauma, the occult and surrealism. They are a celebrated multi-genre recording artist, and composer and they fuse both mediums in such a way that they fuel one another.
Crean said, "I am able to use the process in painting and in creating music, it works backwards and forwards. If I have one stimulus two of my senses work at the same time."
Crean, who is based in Chicago, has made a career of musical collaborations with bassist Gahlord Dewald, Ken Galeve, Mozart Players at Oberlin College, Loyola University Museum of Art and The New Consort. Among other projects, they founded the "Rossa Crean Presents" performance series in Chicago which showcases emerging POC, LGBTQIA+ and female-identifying composers and performers.
For more information about Rossa Crean's work, see rossacrean.com
For inquiries regarding showing your work at a gallery at Center on Halsted, please contact David Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org .