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Virtual Gallery Fall 2021

Emilia Chang

Chicago, Illinois

My artwork is inspired by simple, everyday objects - from household products to the crunchy leaves I step on on my way home. I like to add an abstract and colorful spin to these mundane things. My pieces are characterized by hard edges, color contrasts, and a flat perspective. These attributes let me showcase my style while keeping the simplicity of the subjects. 

I like to take an intuitive approach in the creation of my artwork, not much sketching or structured planning goes on before I start a project. Most of my work is made on paper or canvas/wood-board, although I also enjoy using recycled materials such as bottles, boxes, and cans. As a self-taught artist, I’m constantly striving to improve my skills with different mediums. My go-to medium at the moment is acrylic paint, but have also been implementing some watercolor, ink, and digital illustration in my current work.

My goal is to inspire people to see the great potential that ordinary objects have. These common objects can be intriguing, stimulating, and playful in the most fantastic ways.

Alice Cook

Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Surrounded by busyness and activities, yet in this action there is a moment in the here and now. This series of works investigates the conscious displacement within moments of activity resulting in an interruption. Alice Cook uses abstraction to investigate disruptions within normal activity and explores this effect on conscious awareness. She draws inspiration from her life and those around her to inform the development of an artwork. Cook’s process is both a play between intuitive and analytical use of color, line, shape, and gesture.

Cook was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and currently resides in the Chicago suburbs. She has recently graduated with an MFA from the Painting and Drawing department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. To relate, create, and communicate is a motto she holds on to throughout her art practice.

Steve Kost

Palos Park, Illinois

I am a scrap metal sculptor bringing new life to discarded industrial metals and everyday objects. I started showing my work publicly in 2018 after using pieces of dismantled typewriters and sewing machines to recreate nature in metal. I am a combat veteran and I have won awards and heped other veterans start their journeys usng art a therapy and a positive outlet.

Florence Liu

Chicago, Illinois


Through creating objects that play with images of flesh and skin, my work explores a therapeutic process of healing through pain. Suffering can be a key condition that furthers psychological transformation and growth. Therefore, juxtapositions between order and chaos, pleasure and pain, freedom and restraint, gentleness and torture as well as bruising and healing are powerful metaphors I deploy.


I treat these dualities as essential components that form the foundation of a universal human language. Beginning with my personal journey and my own body as a creative instrument, the work is born out of solitude. Through materiality that attempts to reflect and investigate bodily processes, the work reveals the tenderness and the vulnerability of human beings. Intertwined fibers, innumerable moments of puncturing and sewing, and the act of bruising results in the fragility of the fibers mended into something stronger.


The suggestion of shed skin and lost hair are evidence of aging and renewal that becomes a record of transformation. The raw and visceral flesh transfigures into an encounter of haunting beauty. Essentially, all of these objects are self-portraits that capture the state of being as my body travels through phases in life.

Susan Marx

Chicago, IL

I create abstract two dimensional mixed media pieces. My materials include collage papers, magazines, drawing materials, acrylic paint, stencils, stamps and old art work–anything I can get my hands on that is of visual interest. My surfaces are multi-layered, allowing the viewer to understand the process of making. By partially hiding and exposing each layer, I reveal the unique character of each piece. I often paint over an old painting so I can respond to it rather than start on a blank piece of paper or canvas.

My intuition guides me as I work improvisationally, moving back and forth between loose mark-making and more defined and controlled shapes. I love the dichotomy of this combination. I usually don’t know where the painting is going but I know lots of ways to help it along. While I’m working I’m continuously turning the piece to look at it from different viewpoints and that often helps me know how to proceed. Sometimes when I change one small element, other components fall into place.

I strive for all the elements on a piece to work together, though there is sometimes a quirkiness or imperfection. Sometimes I feel like my work is about getting to make a mess and cleaning it up afterwards. It’s natural for humans and nature to be imperfect and I like to show that.

Art helps me make order of my life, my thoughts and emotions. I want my audience to feel a sense of calm and to be inspired. I feel like I can show beauty that might not be seen. It’s like fixing the world a little bit. I’m showing my unconscious world and this may create untold stories for the viewer.

Artists who have had major influences on me are Judith Geichman and John Reuter-Pacyna, instructors from the School of the Art Institute. I learned about materials, accidental and purposeful marks and composition from them. My background as an art director helps me think through the composition as a whole. And after working as a typesetter many years ago, I’m still drawn to the beauty of the letterform.