Many of our esteemed faculty members at the Academy also have exciting art careers outside of the classroom. We would like to congratulate Michele Stutts, who teaches foundations, on her show at ARC Gallery in Chicago. Titled “Housebird”, the show features a series of 3-dimensional collages, a medium known as “assemblage”.
Michele has shared her artist statement, which gives more insight into the show and the works on display:
Michele Stutts is a British-born, Chicago-based, contemporary artist whose journey has led her to a diversity of visual art: video, painting, collage, and, now, assemblage.
Composed of found objects rich with history and seasoned by time, her work has integrated all of her artistic experiences. Her assemblage artworks often contain forgotten memories that have lost their original appearance and purpose, but have been reborn with a new aesthetic and meaning.
The current exhibit, Housebird, is not synonymous with “birdhouse”, but has the opposite meaning. Although both are human-crafted structures, birds find protection from harsh weather and predators in birdhouses, a place to nest and raise their young. In contrast, Housebird represents a constant state of isolation, anxiety, and financial insecurity.
Yet, there is a clear transition in the exhibition of the artist trapped and resentful expressed in Housebird into her free flowing, visually energetic assemblages. This change has an edge of stubbornness to it, so much like a sturdy brick and mortar home whose good old bones still have plenty of life left in them.
Michele’s work is currently on view in the following shows:
We’ve Been Doing it: A Women’s Empowerment Show, Co-presented by the West Town Chamber of Commerce & Arc Gallery, show runs through all of March 2023
Communivacation, Indiana University Northwest School of the Arts, show runs through the end of March 2023
Embodiment of Legacy: Black Artists of the Diaspora, Prairie State College, March 20-April 13, 2023