Exclusive Studio Visit With Artist Claire Burke Dain

Exclusive Studio Visit With Artist Claire Burke Dain

Upcoming solo exhibition at Rubberneck Gallery.
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Sneak a peek at her upcoming solo exhibition at Rubberneck Gallery.

The multimedia artist, Claire Burke Dain has two main styles she will exhibit at her solo show, "Do You Love Me Now?" opening Friday, December 15th at Rubberneck Gallery. Dain calls into question, through her unique body of work, the ways in which people establish their identity.

She looks, in particular, at the way people decorate themselves and 'perform' for others. The intention behind her collection of drawings and paintings is to illustrate the invisible and intuitive self. As well as expose the identity and personality of the objects we wear. Her pieces argue, by honoring imagination anyone can transform the mundane into something magical.

Claire Burke Dain is the 2017 recipient of the Thomas Hart Benton Painting Scholarship. She received first place in the Lester Goldman 9th Biennial Drawing Competition and was a Yale/Norfolk Summer Program Nominee. Dain received a Full Merit Scholarship at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Dain grew up in the city of Chicago and is very much influenced by the buildings that surrounded her. Most all of the buildings are covered in windows, which she describes as a type of authentic glowing comic. She describes her walks through the city as simultaneous narratives which play out and in one way this is magical but like most magical things they can feel isolating and unattainable.

This article offers a sneak peek at Dain's studio practice and some of the works that will be exhibited in her upcoming solo exhibition at Rubberneck Gallery in West Town, Chicago. Claire was gracious enough to open her studio doors to show how the magic is made in her unique process.



As one can see in the photographs from our studio visit, Dain works out many of her ideas on paper, using multimedia processes. She drafts works in ink, pencil, and paint, creating layers of organic shapes built into grids and mechanized forms. Each detail seems to be assigned a function for the viewer to determine, bringing to life these futuristic abstractions.



Another body of work focuses on identity through the creation and customization of personal belongings. This series includes painted leather jackets, sweaters, shirts, jean jackets, suede jackets and panel paintings depicting these art objects. Many of these custom painted articles of clothing feature portraits of individual faces in resting position, not expressing a clear emotion, but depicting a natural reflection of the face most individuals wear as they go about their day.

One could argue the paintings reflect people at their least and most vulnerable state when they are not actively thinking of how they are being portrayed (whether out walking on the street, or home in private). Thus when the individual chooses to wear these portraits, they are making a statement about themselves through the art, as if to say "this is me, take it or leave it."




Dain shared some of the themes she focuses on in her works:

"A big theme in my artwork is the personalities and communities of different types of living things from mermaid communities to plant life to normal family dynamics. I try to look at people and depict them as if they, their habitat and habits are of an unknown species being observed from an outside species. All people fascinate me and I think they are all unique, unknown creatures inhabiting the sea of life."

Her focus on community and systems of living are one of the most interesting aspects of her work.

The transition from the studio to the gallery creates a transfer of energy, from potential to fulfillment. The obvious hand of the maker and the systems of creation are veiled in the gallery, where a grid of paper works, framed paintings, and panels hold an energy of their own. The art is ready for contemplation, providing an individual experience for the viewer.

We invite you to take part in this experience with Dain's work at the opening reception for her solo exhibition "Do You Love Me Now?", taking place Friday, December 15th from 6-10 pm at Rubberneck Gallery located at 2058 W Chicago Ave.

To RSVP for the event, please visit Rubberneck's Facebook event page!


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Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.
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The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.


3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.


6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.


7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.


13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.


14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.


You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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High School Senior Malcolm Asher's Globally Reaching Nonprofit Is An Example For Other Teens

Making a difference has no age restrictions.

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In today's world, we all have the causes we're passionate about. And one student took his passion and turned it into action. At the age of 15 years old, Malcolm Asher decided to found ArtPass. It's a nonprofit determined to help children have better experiences at medical facilities. Still enrolled at Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon, his success shows other youth how passion can lead to them making a worldwide impact.

What is ArtPass? According to Asher, "ArtPass takes a two-step approach in each community we serve. First, we remold children's mindset around hospitalization through our art-centric educational and advocacy curriculum. We make the hospital experience more transparent and less intimidating. This curriculum, consisting of cartoons specifically created for children no matter their English ability, is utilized by each chapter to meet the needs of individual communities. Secondly, ArtPass collects and distributes art supplies for the local healthcare facilities in these same communities to improve the experience in the facility so the child is more likely to seek medical attention the moment symptoms arise in the future." ArtPass also provides the opportunity for patients artwork to be shared with other patients, helping to eliminate the isolating feelings they can experience.

Asher explained that "while ArtPass initially started simply as a sharing-art program for my local hospital, I first-hand saw there was an even larger, unaddressed problem." That problem he went on to tell me was the vast number of children that die every year from preventable disease. According to him, that number is an outstanding 5.4 million. Due to lack of resources often the "emotional well-being' of patients isn't a concern that is addressed.

"Since wards can be 110 degrees with only five beds for 15 children, the quality of the hospital experience is severely poor for patients. This creates a stigma outside the hospital where children are so petrified of hospitalization they hide their symptoms from their parents until they are so critically ill, easily cured illnesses can become fatal, " explained Asher.

This realization led Asher to expand ArtPass. According to their website, they currently have 110 chapters registered, impacted more than 12,000 children, and have determined their educational curriculum to be 93 percent effective. They have made a global impact with their ArtPass Global Ambassadors which allows like-minded individuals to bring ArtPass to their local communities.

artpassinternational.org/global-ambassadors/

If you are interested in getting involved with ArtPass there are two ways Asher explained, "First, for every dollar donated, ArtPass can reach one more child. Because every community is so different, we provide mini-grants so chapter leaders can effectively utilize our programs and resources in ways that work for their homes. Additionally, if you're a student who would like to start a chapter of your own, you can apply on our website to become an ArtPass Global Ambassador."

"Based on our current growth rate, by the end of 2018, ArtPass expects to have registered over 175 chapters and have supported 20,000 children. Those numbers should triple by the end of 2019," said Asher. He doesn't take credit for the success. Instead, he cites support from art therapy-based nonprofits, local companies, hospital Child Life Specialists, and even some name brand companies like Taco Bell and T-Mobile. Asher also believes ArtPass has achieved success due to the lack of other organizations focusing on this area of work.

When asked what inspires Asher he stated, "I'm inspired by the students across the world who go above and beyond to help children interact with healthcare more positively. For example, Zainab is a teenage girl who lives in a Taliban-ruled community in Afghanistan. While she has a hospital in her community, children are so petrified of the conditions that they are too scared to ask for treatment. So, while risking her own safety, Zainab is pioneering her own ArtPass chapter. Habtsh is a college student in Ethiopia who has used all of his savings to launch his own ArtPass chapter as well, bringing in a large team of volunteers, and reaching over 15 different villages across Ethiopia, where he lives."

ArtPass is an example of what one person can accomplish and the impact youth can have on the causes they're passionate about. "I want people to learn that if you see a problem, no matter how big, it is possible to make real, sustainable change. For every one solution, there are three more problems out there. With support and allies on your side, no problem is too big," said Asher.

Asher offers this advice to other youth with a passion to make a difference: "Please, don't be scared to reach out to people (like me!). When I had my idea, I had no clue where to turn or if I would even be able to put my ideas into fruition. But after reaching out to other young social entrepreneurs who had been successful in their own ventures, I received priceless guidance, advice, and mentorship that propelled our growth. People want to help you — I promise!"

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