Scio Spotlight: Bringing the work of local Chicago artists home

  |     |   Lifestyle

Innovation. Creativity. Ingenuity. When the design team at Scio at the Medical District began planning the remodeling and expansion of the luxury apartment community, they sought to develop a space where residents could live smarter.

They aimed to provide more an updated luxury apartment community. They strived to provide an opportunity for people to innovate, to create, and to live their best life.

The result is a modern multi-use amenity space to compliment the renovated luxury apartment homes. In line with the goal to provide functional and inspiring areas to study, read, and create, the work of local Chicago artists is featured throughout the property.

The installment was a collaboration between Scio and the the Chicago Artists Coalition, a non-profit organization that supports contemporary Chicago artists and curators.

“I think living with art really changes a space and makes you more engaged and more aware of the environment around you,” said Mary DeYoe, director of development and external relations for CAC.

The process of piecing together more than 30 pieces took about 10 months, time which DeYoe said she thoroughly enjoyed.

“I was really excited that (Scio) wanted to feature work of contemporary artists as opposed to using stock photographs because not only does it support the artistic community in Chicago, but it also enhances the experience for the residents,” she said. “It’s an exciting thing for us because (an installment like this) brings art into everyday spaces where it’s out of the context of a gallery or a museum….this is a neat opportunity to bring art alive in public spaces.”

Bringing together works from a variety of mediums is one of the things several of the contributing artists agreed made this project unique.

Jordan Martins

Jordan Martins, a passionate collage artist and philosophy enthusiast, began work on his contribution to the Scio installation in 2016.

“Much of my work in fact engages with the genre’s basic, literal elements–gluing fragments of paper onto a surface–but my ongoing interest stems more from the broader concepts that can be extrapolated from these elements;” Martins explained, “the ruptures that occur when something is removed from its context; the reactions that arise when it is grafted onto another system; how the “edges” of these interactions engender different results if they are smoothly cut or jaggedly torn, seamlessly integrated or bluntly repelling each other.”

“‘Phenotypes’ involved using a scanner as a tool for collaging and re-photographing existing imagery,” Martins said. “This is a process that I had previously used to create fodder for various mixed media projects, but I began to conceive of it as a method for creating stand alone images to be printed and shown as photographic work rather than being cut up and reincorporated into other projects.”

Using the scanner as a photographic capture allowed Martins to combine techniques and ideas of collage, photography, painting, and visual anthropology in various ways.

“My collage work has slowly brought about an interest in gestalt psychology and theories of camouflage, among other things,” he said. “I see thread of continuity between the aesthetics of collage and the functioning of camouflage in that they both seek to conflate a figure/ground experience on a basic visual level.”

Jean Alexander Frater

Piecing together a hybrid of sorts was also a goal of Jean Alexander Frater, whose work is also featured in the installation.

Her painting is one that began as something smaller that she said she was thrilled could be produced in a larger scale.

“I painted a large canvas with layers of color and texture underneath a monochrome of blue and gloss,” Frater explained. “I tore it up into strips to allow the underpainting to come through, and the raw canvas became the line.”

Hers was a work in progress that she sincerely enjoyed watching come together as it did over time.

“Sometimes it happens that a piece makes you change course, and it always the best when I stay attentive, instead of coercive,” explained Frater, who draws collective inspiration from other artists, ceramics, nature and punk rock. “I was looking forward to having a very large bulging sculptural painting, but as I worked on it the material prefered to ‘flare out’ and ‘open up’ instead of stack and bulge.”

Frater said she was happily surprised with the end result.

“I thought it made the work very dynamic and it surprised me, so I recognized this shift and recommitted to the painting by finishing off the strips of torn canvas in the back, instead of going around and around stacking them.”

Scio at the Medical District: Welcome Home

At Scio, we live smarter. We value the neighborhood we call home, and sincerely enjoy finding new ways to support it however possible. Having this quality artwork throughout our property is one of many things that make Scio so unique.

For more information, or to schedule a tour, call (312) 427-1855 or visit us online.

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