BATAVIA – “Indulge,” Water Street Studios’ new gallery show curated by Anni Holm, opens at 6 p.m. Friday. The new exhibit will feature the work of 21 artists with interpretive pieces ranging from direct photographic documentation to sculptural and interactive installations. The show will run until Sept. 8.
“When I was approached by Water Street Studios about curating a show for the gallery, I thought about Batavia and the other cities along the Fox River,” said Holm, in a news release. “These cities create an invisible line that separates the densely populated suburbs and city of Chicago on the east from the farmland on the west – essentially also separating the consumers of food from the producers.”
Holm lives near farmland but only a very small percentage of what she ate came from that part of the country.
“It was not until last year that I connected with a couple of Community Supported Agriculture farms in the area that grow produce, along with selling regionally produced grains, dairy and eggs,” she said. “Faced with a selection of vegetables that I had no prior experience preparing, each week’s produce box provided surprising and fun culinary challenges. To some extent, the intention with the ‘Indulge’ exhibition, was similar to a [Community Supported Agriculture] box; provide gallery visitors with a selection of art, revolving around the many aspects in the food industry today. Contrary to the box, the work in ‘Indulge’ resembles that of a supermarket in that it has been conceived from all over the U.S., as well as abroad.”
While Holm had some of the artists’ work in mind while developing the concept of the show, most pieces were found through an open call.
During the opening, Water Street Studios will be collecting nonperishable food for the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry. In addition, the Second Floor Gallery will be featuring the work of Fox Valley artists in grades one through five. Visitors are encouraged to tour the 28 artist studios and everyone is welcome to explore and talk with the resident artists.
Holm will be present at the opening along with most of the exhibited artists to discuss food, art and anything in between.
Holm, is the co-founder, director and curator of People Made Visible, a nonprofit organization based in West Chicago with a mission to facilitate community while fulfilling the artistic, social, educational and cultural needs of the community through an innovative physical and web-based presence.
Holm also works as the art coordinator at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, and has been a teaching artist with the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education since 2009. Originally from Denmark, she immigrated to the Chicago area and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Columbia College in 2004.
In addition to the exhibit, a potluck for the artists and community members is planned for 4:30 to 6 p.m. July 21, followed by an open studio event from 6 to 9 p.m. and a film screening at 7 p.m. hosted by CG Projects, revolving around the Slow Food Movement. All events are free and open to the public, but an those who plan to attend the potluck are being asked to reserve a space in advance.
For more information, call 630-761-9977 or visit www.waterstreetstudios.com.
• Kane County Chronicle features editor Mike Van Der Harst contributed to this story.