John Cain, executive director of South Shore Arts and curator of its “Baby Boom or Bust!” exhibit, found his inspiration for his show from a personal milestone.
“The exhibit just came from the fact that I’m turning 60 this summer and I just thought it would be a really fun show to do,” he said. “With baby boomers getting to retirement age, I just thought it would be a really fun thing to do.”
There will be a celebration/reception in honor of the exhibit at South Shore Arts Gallery at Munster’s Center for Visual and Performing Arts Sunday. "Baby Boom or Bust!"' is made up of more than several hundred pieces of baby boomer memorabilia. Cain culled these pieces, such as vintage toys, lunch boxes, merchandise bottles and advertisements, from various collectors.
Cain also solicited works by pop artist Brian J. Sullivan. Based in Champaign, Ill., Sullivan is a baby boomer-aged painter, sculptor and photographer whose works have been shown throughout the country as well as in galleries and museums recently in China and Malaysia.
Approximately 20 large-scale Sullivan paintings, depicting baby boomer era images of the likes of Superman, Elvis Presley, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe, to name just a few, will augment the '50s and '60s memorabilia in “Boom.” Sullivan created the works on display in the exhibit, by Cain’s estimation, over the course of the last decade.
Cain first made Sullivan’s acquaintance after the artist took home an award at South Shore Arts’ Salon Show last fall.
“(The award was for) a painting of Felix the Cat, and I could tell right away that I would like his material,” Cain said of Sullivan's work.
While the pieces that make up “Boom” focus primarily on the baby boomer era, Cain sees his show being appealing to exhibit goers of all ages.
“A lot of (baby boomer) shows are still on television, like ‘The Flintstones’ and ‘The Jetsons’ and all those Hanna-Barbera characters, so I think that younger people will have that familiarity,” he said. “It was a time for an idealistic America and we were making progress with the space age and there was a lot of new technology in design in cars and in homes, and I think the idealism and that innocent age will be felt by a lot of people. It wasn’t for everyone, but it was for a lot of people.”
“Baby Boom or Bust,” which opened June 15, is scheduled to run at South Shore Arts Gallery through Aug. 31. South Shore Arts Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
FYI: Reception for “Baby Boom or Bust” will be held noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at South Shore Arts Gallery, Center for Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Rd., Munster. Admission is free. Call (219) 836-1839 or visit SOUTHSHOREARTSONLINE.ORG