To Jessica Freudenberg-Segal, gallery director of Chicago Heights’ Union Street Gallery, odd is good – and relatively new - when it comes to the abstract and surreal pieces that make up their "Mad World” exhibit.
“We had never done an exhibit that was solely based on things that were, what I would say, strange,” she said. “A lot of the artwork is peculiar and kind of on the weird side. It appeals to a different type of audience, and the subject matter is different than other exhibits that we’ve had in the past.”
The exhibit opens March 6 and a reception and awards ceremony will be held two days later. “Mad” is Union Street’s annual spring juried exhibition. More than 100 artists from throughout the country submitted nearly 300 pieces for inclusion in the show, with creations by 32 artists from 11 states selected for the show.
Natalie Domchenko, the director of Chicago’s Peter Miller Gallery, served as the juror for the show, which offers a $500 first place award, a $350 second place award and $150 cash award for third place.
“Natalie did a fabulous job,” Freudenberg-Segal said. “She really enjoyed looking through (the submissions), and the work she chose is what I would call very contemporary pieces, but also very relevant. She said that she enjoyed it thoroughly.”
Freudenberg-Segal expects exhibit goers to react differently with each piece that makes up her “Mad World.”
“You’re either going to step in closer (to view a work) out of morbid curiosity, or you’re going to take a step back out of shock and horror,” she said. “Not that there’s anything grotesque or offensive, but it’s art. There are things that are going to be a little in-your-face about this exhibit.”
“Mad World” is scheduled to run at Union Street Gallery through April 6.
Union Street Gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.