It's now more important than ever to ensure diversity in and access to the visual arts.
- access to arts education
- professional development for artists
- bringing national attention to Chicago's artists
The exhibition From the Office of Scientists features a new body of work addressing the question "What does knowledge look like?" Artist Aspen Mays activates the office cubicle as a site for information production and general inquiry where "big ideas" are generated. For the first time in her career, Mays mixes photography with sculpture to construct an installation that challenges the value of photography in art while questioning the validity of the artifact. Aspen Mays employs an array of non-traditional techniques in her work as a means of exploring cosmological questions through everyday materials. For example, she once captured fireflies inside a medium format camera and developed the film revealing a brilliant chartreuse from the chemical reaction. Often embodying the persona of an amateur scientist, Mays blends humor, popular culture and performative experimentation for the camera in attempt to locate the limits of both her own personal understanding of these fundamental questions of existence as well as the horizons of understanding within larger human endeavors.
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Aspen Mays now lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. She recently received an MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from the University of North Carolina. Her photography has been reviewed in national publications including Artforum and Art Papers and has received solo exhibitions at Golden Gallery (Chicago) and Still Lights Gallery (San Francisco). Mays was recently awarded a Fulbright Grant to travel to Santiago, Chile and work with international teams of astronomers who study Chile's northern deserts in 2010.
More information on the artist is available at www.aspenmays.com. Reviews of this exhibition have been published in the following publications and websites: New City