Sara Black has worked broadly as an artist, artist-teacher, arts organizer and curator. Within her practice she works both individually and collaboratively. She was a founder of the artist group Material Exchange that was active in Chicago until 2010 where she worked closely with artists John Preus and David Wolf, and has since been engaged in a number of collaborative works with artists Jillian Soto, Raewyn Martyn, Amber Ginburg, Lia Rousset and others. Her work uses conscious processes of carpentry, wood-working, and repair as a time-based method, inherited building materials or other exhausted objects as material, and create works that aim to expose the complex ways in which things and people are suspended in worlds together.
Sara received her MFA from the University of Chicago in 2006, acted as the director of the arts division at Antioch College from 2010 to 2014 and recently returned to Chicago in the role of Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked previously as an artist teacher in sculpture, installation art, and performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University. Sara has also taught sculpture at the Ox-bow School of Art; drawing at South Suburban College; coordinated and led an arts apprenticeship workshop at the nonprofit Street-Level Youth Media in Chicago; served as a member of the visual arts faculty at the Gary Comer Youth Center; and taught 3-D visual language and experimental design at the University of Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology, respectively. Additionally, Sara was a co-founder and owner of a social center and cafe at the Experimental Station in Chicago, called Backstory.
During her residency, Black will be developing work for Edward Hines National Forest, an exhibition that will open in Gallery 1 at Hyde Park Art Center.
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Collaborating throughout Black’s residency and on the exhibition is artist Raewyn Martin.
Raewyn Martyn (b. 1981, ANZ) grew up in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand and has a BFA Hons from Massey University School of Fine Arts in Wellington, NZ, and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCUArts in Richmond, Virginia, USA. She was visiting assistant professor of visual art at Antioch College, OH, and is currently a research participant at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, NL.
She makes site-responsive paintings composed and recomposed during attentive occupation of sites and situations. These works change over time and challenge the conventional stability and temporality of painted surface, medium, and site. Surfaces decompose and reproduce; layers become unstuck, material, flexible, or fluid. And new forms graft into the existing site guided by intuition, incident, or psychic and perceptive processes of attunement. Current research develops use of methylcellulose plant-derived polymer as a medium that carries pigment, and holds or releases form during atmospheric phases of hydration, dehydration, and rehydration.