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Neighbors of Kane County

Four Dynamic Artists Take Over the Walls of Water Street Studios this March

Jan 29, 2019 10:20AM ● By Hannah Ott

Batavia - Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street, Batavia, welcomes two new exhibitions featuring the works of four dynamic, local artists. 

Opening reception will be held Friday, March 8 from 6-9pm. Both gallery exhibits will continue to be on display until Saturday, April 6 at 5pm. The exhibits can be visited during regular public hours: Thursday-Sunday, 12-5pm. 

In the Dempsey Family Gallery located on the first floor of Water Street Studios, Joe Milosevich and Richard DeVeau explore the use of text in a display of their new work in their exhibition titled, “Writing on the Wall.” 

"Keep to Right" by Joe Milosevich

DeVeau shares, “Text has been part of the visual art lexicon since Chinese calligraphy, dating back to about 1600 B.C. Many attribute text’s entry into modern art’s vernacular to Picasso and Braque, when they pasted newspaper clipping into their cubist paintings in 1912. Since then, there is a long list of postmodern and contemporary artists who have made words and text either a component of their work or its entire focus.”

In the Chicago Capital Gallery located on the second floor of Water Street Studios Ellen Judson and Marcy Rogge invite you to experience the versatility of clay in its form, texture, color and display in their exhibition titled, “Clay on the Wall.” This exhibition seeks to inspire viewers to think of clay as more than just mugs, bowls and vases.

Joe Milosevich works in what is typically termed “found object sculpture,” but he prefers to call it, “collected object assemblage.” For as long as he can remember, he has formally and informally collected or accumulated objects that inspire him. 

He said, “Objects are glorious trophies, powerful icons and magical talismans that allow me to investigate and communicate my existence. While I strive to create work that is both autobiographically genuine and universally accessible, there is an unknown aspect to my work that even I myself cannot fully grasp.”

"Untitled" by Marcy Rogge

Milosevich’s current assemblages focus on objects with text. About his new work he said, “These particular objects dominate the blueprints for the physical and thematic constructions of my assemblages. Whether the text is logically or illogically displayed, it is at best only an ambiguous title card of sorts that provides denotative and connotative meanings with which to wrestle.”

Richard DeVeau is an abstract painter who earns most of his living as a copy writer and creative director. He describes himself as a writer who paints or a painter who writes, depending on what day you ask. He said, “For me, painting and writing are like breathing. Inhale ideas, ideologies and passions, exhale them onto paper, canvas and wood.” 

His recent “Thought Bubble” paintings meld both of these creative disciplines. He includes circles of text, mostly essays, poetry, articles or screenplays he has written, into his colorful, richly textured surfaces.

"Thought Bubble #3" by Richard DeVeau

DeVeau said, “In this work I'm exploring the metaphorically-rich union of chaotic, turbulent surfaces surrounding the calm, smooth circles of text. Words can both create or destroy worlds. They can break the skin, or they can heal the heart. My hope is that this work serves as a reminder of how powerful our words are and to be mindful of how we use them.”

Ellen Judson had her first experience with clay around the age of ten thanks to a Parks and Recreation summer class. She recalls making a sailboat ashtray. Her first pottery class was in junior college. After retiring from her career in respiratory therapy, she started working with clay at The Fine Line Arts Center in St. Charles where she met Marcy Rogge.

Marcy Rogge became a resident Artist at Water Street Studios in December 2016.  She has been a student potter since 1996. Over the past twenty years she has experimented with making tiles and function pieces, as well as with a variety of firing techniques and surfaces. Most of her recent work has centered on creating gravity defying rock totems made of clay. 

Rogge shares, “The past three months have been fun for me. I’ve been thinking about clay in a very different way and making new works that hang on the wall.”

"White Pine II" by Ellen Judson

The artists of "Writing on the Wall" and "Clay on the Wall" will be present at the opening reception on March 8, 6-9pm. They will discuss their work and answer questions. In addition, appetizers will be provided by Gaetano's Batavia. A cash bar featuring beer from Solemn Oath Brewery and wine will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

The Studio encourages all visitors to make a $5 donation at the door to support arts programming at Water Street Studios. A special thank you to event sponsor, K.Hollis Jewelers and Batavia Enterprises Inc. Don’t forget to share your photos with Water Street during the event by using #2ndFridaysBatavia.

Water Street Studios is partnering with the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet during the 2nd Friday Gallery Opening Receptions. They are happy to accept donations on their behalf. Please consider bringing an item from their current needs list that can be found at 

About Water Street Studios: Water Street Studios is a nonprofit art center located in Batavia, Illinois. Its mission is to help make the arts more accessible to the Fox Valley region and beyond. Its vision is to be a cultural hub in the Midwest. The studio provides its ever-growing community with art classes, artist studios, community events, gallery exhibitions, free after-school art programs, outreach and private events in a historic venue. The Studios' Statement of Inclusivity: "Our organization is aims to include and recognize all regardless of race, age, culture, ability, ethnicity or nationality, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status, religious affiliation, and socioeconomic status. We are wheelchair accessible. We offer a gender-neutral restroom." 

Source: Danielle Hollis 630-761-9977