Arts center launches two new exhibits


Annabel Edwards/Daily Senior Staffer

The Noyes Cultural Arts Center displays new paintings as part of the “Community Threads: Varied Ideologies” exhibit. Another new exhibit called “Proof for Purchase” is on display at the center.

Bailey Williams, Assistant City Editor

Receptions on Friday and Sunday celebrated the artists of two new art exhibits that opened this month at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.

“I set out to do something new. This is my first curating experience,” Jill Silverman Edwards said at her opening Friday night. “It’s amazing.”

Edwards, an Evanston resident, curated the first exhibit, “Community Threads: Varied Ideologies,” located on the first floor of the Arts Center, 927 Noyes St. The exhibit featured artists Howard  McClain, Dana Todd Pope and Amani Borah, drawing a diverse audience.

“It’s freezing outside. It’s January, so you’re not thinking vibrant colors,” city employee Porschia Davis said of the exhibit. “To walk in here and see all of these colors … it’s exciting, (and) it’s good to see black art.”

Davis said as an African-American woman, she appreciated seeing art that featured black subjects, calling the exhibit “kind of reminiscent of something.” Davis added she loved the exhibit and was “excited to see what more is going to come about” from the exhibit.

“Their styles are very different. It is varied ideologies of one community,” Edwards said about the artists. “They come from many different backgrounds, but they all pop and they all have these beautiful colors.”

Edwards discussed how important reaching out to children was for her show. She said she often overhears kids commenting on paintings displayed in her exhibit. Pope’s works include young girls of color alongside messages such as “future CEO.”

“I wanted to invite more children into the exhibit space,” Edwards said. “A lot of the time, it’s very controversial art work on the walls. So, it’s a wonderful feeling.”

Diana Kast curated the second exhibit, “Proof for Purchase,” located on the second floor of the Arts Center. The exhibit features the work of Evanston Art Center students, Kast said.

The Sunday afternoon opening offered food to guests, who also had the chance to buy artwork displayed. Kast told The Daily before the opening about graphic printmaking, the medium used in her exhibit. She explained it allows for different possibilities with effects, space and texture.

“This show features good work by established artists,” Kast said. “I think it would be satisfying for anyone to stop by and see it.”

Although the exhibits opened around the same time, the curators did not express a sense of competition or ill will toward each others’ exhibits.

“I think that it’s a wonderful thing,” Edwards said. “I wish that the opening was tonight, so again we could bring more people into the building, conversing, networking, seeing all of the different types of artwork that we display.”

“Community Threads: Varied Ideologies” will be open for viewing until Feb. 21.”Proof for Purchase” will be open until Feb. 26. Both are free and open to the public.

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