Beneath the Visible

A professional development program for artists who are ready to raise their practice to the next level, The Center Program offers the unique opportunity to develop new work, receive feedback from art professionals in the field, and work towards an exhibition at the Art Center. Over the course of eight months, a supportive peer network, guest artists, gallerists, critics, and professionals pushed 20 Center Program artists to answer tough questions and evolve their practice. Guest curated by educator, organizer, and Center Program Alumnus artist, Silvia Inés Gonzalez, the exhibition introduces strong, new work that often determines bold new directions for local artists.

Beneath the Visible features the work of Center Program artists translating impermanence, cyclical events, and transformation. By reflecting on the cultural, environmental, and social layers of their work, artists enact poetic research processing beyond immediately apparent material. Fragments are re-constructed into blueprints. What was once an idea becomes a detectable dimension. 

In exploring the topographies of artistic practice, artists are considering what it means to exist today, preserve the past, and envision multiple possible futures.  Ephemeral materials are transformed into a type of documentation of the processes of change. Through repetitive actions, artists are uncovering methodologies that shape the meaning of their work. The exhibition challenges baseline views by solidifying the relationships between memory, material, and process. 

Beneath the Visible is therefore a space of experimentation, engaging curiosity for expansion and clarity. It encourages us to slow down and ask–How do we know what we know and how do we get to know more deeply? Where can our intentional investigations lead us, and what spaces are unearthed as a result? Beneath the Visible does not shy away from the impermanence of things but rather affirms that though change is inevitable, the impressions and marks we leave behind can be meaningful. 



Top banner image: Detail of Tracing Exile by Karen Dana Cohen, 2023, Graphite and charcoal on handmade paper, graphite on paper clay sculptures, carmine paper pulp, paper mache, and a graphite stick, Dimensions variable. 

Featured image on Exhibitions page: Marylu E. Herrera, Paloma Querida, 2023, Celosa ribbon, dove figurines, bows, ribbon, flowers, gems, butterflies, artificial turf, and iron stands, 70 x 108 x 40 inches.

  • December 9, 2023 – February 25, 2024
  • Gallery 1, Gallery 2 & Cleve Carney Gallery

Featured Artists

Alexandra Antoine, Lucia Calderon Arrieta, Holly Cahill, Kittisak (Wa) Chontong, Karen Dana Cohen, Jane Georges, Rhonda Gray, Lauren Grudzien, Marylu E. Herrera, Laurie LeBreton, Ameera Pernebsati Lys, Carisa Mitchell, Joseph Josué Mora, Amanda Mulcahy, Kushala Vora, David Vosburg, Nayeon Yang, and Dennissa Young

About Silvia Inés Gonzalez

Silvia Inés Gonzalez is a multi-disciplinary artist, cultural worker, and educator in Chicago creating spaces where collective wellness takes on critical dialogue, art making, and community building. Her visual and audio work is a ballad to nostalgia–the borderline between myth and memory. Silvia has curated and facilitated workshops to address structures of power, imagination, repair, collective care, play, confinement, and freedom.  Her work has been exhibited at The National Mexican Museum of Art, Woman Made Gallery, Hyde Park Art Center, ACRE, and local grassroots art spaces. She is a member of the Chicago ACT Collective and the 96 ACRES Project. She was awarded the 3Arts Make A Wave Award in 2018, CAC + OtherPeoplesPixels Maker Grant in 2020,The Illinois Humanities Envisioning Justice Grant in 2022, and The Ignite Fund in 2023. 

As the organizer and administrator of (People of Color) Artist Space, she connects artists of color from across Chicago to resources through social meet-ups, salons, and development opportunities. Two extensions of POCAS include POCAS is Salon, which is a co-learning space for artists to connect across various topics and ideas, and POCAS + Friends–inviting intentional relationship-building as a means of support and care. Most recently, Silvia has developed Sala: A Living Room of Ideas on Lumpen Public Radio. Sala invites artists, cultural workers, and civically minded people to discuss liberation, education, organizing, community, and practices toward healing, from the perspective of Artists’ and their processes. She is a current Co-Lab resident at Chicago Art Department.