Tuesday, April 25, 2006


May 19 – June 10
Opening Reception May 19, 2006
6:00 to 9:00 pm

Juniortown! Gallery
1255 W. 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608
Hours: Saturdays 12-5pm
Contact: Rodrigo Avila
312 666 3237

Juniortown! is pleased to announce: Message to Pretty, a four person group exhibition of new works by Erinn Kennedy (paintings), Elisabeth Doherty (amigurumi), Olivia Ortega (paintings), and Julie Smith (amigurumi). The show will address issues of craft vs. art, pretty vs. not necessarily so. What is pretty? When is it too pretty and bordering on the sinister? Message to Pretty brings together four artists with similar sensibilities whose artworks pose and respond to such questions.

Beth Doherty is a native Chicagoan. She graduated on the Dean’s List from Columbia College in 2002 with a B.A. in Fine Art and a concentration in Painting. Her interest in Japanese culture led her to Amigurumi (“stitched doll” in Japanese) which has become a popular crafting craze in Japan, and increasingly here as well. During a short illness when she was unable to paint, Beth became infatuated with Amigurumi crocheted dolls which are inspired by an anime style, and she hasn’t looked back. Beth possesses a keen, trained eye for color and craft with which she designs and produces her wonderful dolls. Beth is quickly attaining a cult status on the internet for her amazing creations.

Erinn Kennedy’s enchanting paintings take a minimal look at the everyday object. She deconstructs decorative things (a beaded necklace, earrings, fabric), and formally reinvents them in her own spare, visual language forging a rare moment in which the overlooked and humble can be freshly discovered. After residing for many years in Portland, Oregon, Erinn currently lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona. She has an extensive exhibition resume, and her work is included in the Portland Art Museum’s collection, the Microsoft collection in Seattle, as well as numerous other private collections. Message to Pretty is her debut Chicago exhibition.

Olivia Ortega paints in an illustrative, cartoon style incorporating an acute, intuitive, personal symbology. Her subject matter is lively, confrontational, and full of humor portraying fetishized objects, cuteness to the point of garishness, and punny one-liners. Olivia lives in Bridgeport, and attends high school in Chicago.

Julie Smith makes Amigurumi dolls designed with a nod to 70’s craft color schemes and places them in small diorama/tableau contexts. Julie was intrigued by the Illinois cheerleader who was recently in the news for persevering, perhaps to an absurd degree, with her cheers despite her grave injury: Kristi Yamaoka. This story has been a point of departure for her current Amigurumi series. Julie is an avid, longtime crocheter, and craftsperson. She lives in Pilsen, and is the curator of Message to Pretty.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn’t find your contact Email any where I am from Indiana & cullerton saw you were close by can we do a Link exchange ... Michael www.chicagohousedj.com :]
happy holidays

9:16 PM  

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