Tokyo Skytree

The Jackman Goldwasser Residency

Image: Susan Giles, Tokyo Skytree, 2013, wood, 24 feet x 36 inches x 36 inches.

Susan Giles

August 2014 - July 2015

Giles Studio Hpac

Hyde Park Art Center was thrilled to welcome Susan Giles to the Jackman Goldwasser Residency as the 2014-2015 Chicago resident artist. Over the course of the year, Giles worked in the studios toward a solo exhibition, which opened in the Main Gallery on April 19th, 2015. The exhibition contained a series of large wooden sculptures that alter our perception of some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world as a way of understanding buildings as key signifiers of place and identity (Tokyo Skytree, Canton Tower, CN Tower, and Ostankino Tower). This work advances Giles’ investigation into tourism, architecture and the physicality of place by exploring aerial perspective and the individual’s relationship with these icons, the modern day megalith.

A century ago, the Futurists identified the aerial perspective as a source of visual power. The then-novel ability to peer down from a great height upon a city was considered to be both technologically and conceptually revolutionary. Today, cities continue to think vertically, building enormous towers not only to transmit signals for communications media, but as iconic architectural structures to express the city’s progressive status in a global context. The tourist easily recognizes these structures, which act as metonymic representations of place while offering stunning panoptic views from their observation decks. Scenic Overlook explores this ever-present desire to view ourselves, both literally and metaphorically, from above.

Susan Giles earned a Masters of Fine Art from Northwestern University in 2001 with an emphasis in sculpture and video, and a Masters of Art in Art Education: Studio Track from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. She has completed multiple large-scale installations and solo exhibitions across Chicago including, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Elmhurst Art Museum, and The Mission Projects, among others. Giles has received an award from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation in 2005 and a 1997 Fulbright Full Grant to Indonesia to study art and tourism. On a regional level, she has received a Fellowship Award from the Illinois Arts Council in 2009.

While in residence, Giles held Open Studio events welcoming the public to view work in progress. More information here on the first Open Studio on Saturday, September 13, during the Art Center's 75th Anniversary BBQ Block Party.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.