By Taylor Koopman, Saugatuck Center for the Arts
The new summer exhibition, Stories of Us: Transforming Communities Through Art, comes to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver St.). Stories of Us will run from June 10 to September 3, Mondays through Fridays from 9 am-7 pm, and weekends from 10 am-7 pm, with free admission.
Stories of Us features works from four Chicago-based urban artists that create “street art” as well as works for galleries and exhibitions. In the exhibition, artists Rubén Aguirre, Andy Bellomo, Miguel A. Del Real, and Sam Kirk will share their own works, along with a collaborative 3-D installation piece made for the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ gallery.
“We’re thrilled to welcome this group of incredibly talented young artists to West Michigan,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “They are all connected by place (Chicago), their roots in graffiti art, and their passion for using art as a means of deep story telling. The four have never done a collaborative show before – we’re very excited to debut their work at the SCA!”
The artists’ exhibition at the SCA features work that encourages unity, and their pieces reveal stories interwoven with optimism and a better understanding of people; their culture, their identity, and their circumstances.
Ruben Aguirre, the Artist in Residence for summer 2017 at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, transitioned from graffiti artist to abstract painter/contemporary muralist. His mural can be seen on buildings and neighborhoods in Chicago as well as Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands.
Andy Bellomo is a mixed media artist, using her perspective to transform acrylic, stained glass, repurposed objects, and spray paint into works of art. Bellomo’s pieces have been featured in galleries across the country.
Miguel A. Del Real’s art illustrates mostly black line works contrasted with colorful accents and original designs influenced by pre-Columbian and indigenous patterns, as well as calligraphy and urban art. Del Real has created large-scale public mural installations that can be recognized in Chicago neighborhoods, as well as in Brooklyn, New York and Oaxaca City, Mexico.
Sam Kirk creates paintings and murals using art to provoke people to feel, see or understand things differently. Recognized for her public art and solo shows in Chicago, Kirk has exhibited in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Minneapolis. Kirk is an award-winning artist, and has been commissioned by Guinness, Smirnoff, Ciroc, Rolling Stone Magazine and Proctor & Gamble.
Rubén, Andy, Miguel, and Sam believe art is a transformative tool, each using their art as a means of creating community. Their work encourages unity, and understanding of others’ culture, identity, and circumstances. The art featured in this exhibition serves as a platform for discussion, learning, and human connection in the Saugatuck community in the spirit of creativity and openness to all people.
For information on other SCA programs featuring these artists throughout the summer visit sc4a.org.
Stories of Us is sponsored by Bud Baty & Max Matteson, Debra Minton & Terri Osborne, Lori & Keith Hayward, Marlo & Tom Byrne/Barbara Bradley Bakagaar Foundation.