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South Shore Arts displaying exhibit inspired by 'Where the Wild Things Are'
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South Shore Arts displaying exhibit inspired by 'Where the Wild Things Are'

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Let the wild rumpus start in Munster.

The latest exhibit at the South Shore Arts Gallery pays homage to Maurice Sendak's beloved 1963 children's book classic "Where the Wild Things are."

The wild things will be displayed at the "Things That Go Bump in the Night" exhibit at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts at 1040 Ridge Road in Munster. The show will open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday with a concert by performance artist Joe Rauen, a self-described “builder and performer of experimental musical objects."

It's part of a two-part series inspired by the children's author's Caldecott Medal-winning masterpiece, which will run through April.

"Exploring both adult and childlike perceptions of life and worlds created outside of reality, Wild Things will be comprised of 'Things That Go Bump in the Night,' the first part of the series featuring the nightmarish subject matter and mysterious creatures from the imaginations of several ghoulish artists," the South Shore Arts League said in a press release. "'Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition,' is the second part of the series, commemorating the beloved illustrator and author, who became famous for his children’s book about a boy’s very amusing imagination."

The first exhibit pays homage to "Where the Wild Things Are," which chronicles the story of young Max, who was banished to his room with no dinner after creating a ruckus. He sails off through the sea of his bedroom to the inland where the wild things are, befriends a group of frightening creatures and is made king of the monsters before sailing home to find his dinner waiting for him in his bedroom.

"Like Max, the artists of 'Things That Go Bump in the Night' escape the everyday, manifesting a world conjured by their own minds and brought to life on paper and canvas or sculpted into dimensionality. Their work represents the 'wild side' of each artist, sometimes born of chaos, sometimes the stuff of dreams, and often a response to problems encountered in daily life, each issue dealt with through the artist’s personal intuition," the South Shore Arts League said in the press release. "While 'Where the Wild Things Are' explores an irrational, child-like perception of life, a world created entirely by a child's imagination, 'Things That Go Bump in the Night' explores adult perceptions of imaginary places and beings, an almost surrealist methodology but focusing on actuality and unavoidable real life problems and disappointments."

Curated by South Shore Arts Director of Exhibitions Bridget Covert, the group exhibition features the work of artists David DeCesaris, Gina Lee Robbins, Joyce Polance, Corey Crum, Krista Varsbergs, Randy Buvala, Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, Billy Pozzo, Rick Therrio, Fred Stonehouse, Justin Henry Miller and James Deeb.

Deeb said his work “tells a story of struggle and loss, but also of perseverance and quiet strength" and is "darkly humorous and melancholy in roughly equal measures."

"No matter how fantastical some of my images appear to be, they all refer to the trials of everyday existence with as much pathos and empathy as I can muster," he said.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, runs through Feb. 2.

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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.

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