'The Contraption Show' pops up at Paul Henry's Art Gallery

A musician performs at Paul Henry's Art Gallery in downtown Hammond.

A new exhibit opening this weekend aims to inject some new blood into Paul Henry's Art Gallery in downtown Hammond, and force artists out of their comfort zones. 

Artists Chris Guzman and Ken Wolak curated The Contraption Show, which has an opening reception from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday at the gallery at 416 Sibley St. and which will run through the end of the month.

It's the South Lake Artist's Co-op's first themed anniversary show at Paul Henry's and will feature "found-object, assemblage, collage, construction blueprints, industrial machinery, inner workings, Rube-Goldberg machines, robotics, steampunk, dieselpunk and rusty-dusty rivets alongside gleaming, streamlined space-aged technology."

"We're moving established artists out of their comfort zones and having them make things, the majority of which are three-dimensional works," Guzman said. "The show is unlike any art show where you go around and see 30 little paintings in nice, neat frames. I love those. I go to those. But this is an outrageous show where established artists light up different lobes of the brain and explore. It's nuts." 

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The show will feature artwork from Chicago area and Northwest Indiana artists, including Guzman, Wolak, Rick Therrio, Leslie Mason and Sophia Rapata.

"(Rapata) is the queen of Instagram," Guzman said. "She could scribble on a napkin from Burger King, and people would be bidding on those."

People can meet many of the artists at Dave Mueller's historic hardware store-turned-art gallery on Saturday. There will be live music, food like hickory-smoked chicken wings, beverages and vendors, including Smudge's Organics luxury soap and lotions.

For more information, visit www.paulhenrysartgallery.com.


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.