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Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport

Elevation @ Zhou B Art Center

The Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport may be best known for being the home of the Chicago White Sox, but it also has a growing art community.

One of the larger art galleries is the Zhou B Art Center that was founded by the Zhou Brothers to host Chicago artists as well as international artists.

Walking through the doors of the art center the art and structure is intriguing. Colorful pieces hanging from the celling, wrapping around the side of the wall and even covering the floor.

Every floor has a different feel– like the unique pieces of art that are in them.

“The whole building has five floors or art,” Curator Sergio Gomez said, adding the center is “a combination of art galleries and studios.”

Gomez has been with the Zhou B Art Center since it opened.

The center does a different themed art show every third Friday of the month, he said.

Along with shows it also has open studios and other galleries.

April’s theme was Chicago’s Twelve, which used the idea of recycling and reuse for the pieces.

“I liked that it was all recycled material used in the artworK,” said Alex Phillips, a visitor from Pittsburg. “The fact that it could be two different things– like when you were close its just lids and caps but when you stepped back you saw an eye.”

A piece by Mary Ellen Croteau called ‘My Eye’ uses different types of bottle caps to create the illusion of an eye.

“I liked how different it is,” said Anthony Connerly-Bey, a visitor from Chicago. “It’s not like the traditional art exhibits I’ve ever been to.”

He said he really liked a piece that showed all the components of a guitar.

A piece named ‘Cubist Guitars 1’ that used cut up guitars and guitar cases by Victoria Fuller.

Two of the artists that use studios at the art centered were featured in the April show. “There’s about forty artist right now I think in the art center who have studios here. So they come and produce their work.” Gomez said

The center not only host Chicago artist but likes to feature all types of art. “We love Chicago artists we love artists from the center we show them we feature them but we also show artists from abroad United States and international.” Gomez said.

The art center not only attracts people from Chicago but attracts tourist from all over as well he said. The upcoming show this summer is called Face Mask and will feature artist from all over the United States.

One of the artist Dana Major Kanovitz had a piece featured in the Chicago’s Twelve show made out of house hold items and called screen door.

She works in a studio at the art center and this is the second time she has been featured in one of their shows.

“For me, the exciting part is I make one thing. I make a sheet of screen that I’ve altered and cut and woven into different shapes or contoured,” Kanovitz  said. “The light and the space make it into an additional space that make them look really totally different from what I thought I made.”

Stephanie Landree, another visitor form the northern suburbs, said her favorite piece was one that looked like potatoes.

She also liked one in which the artist used blue sprawled across the wall to spell out the months.

“I thought it was really cool they could not only use recycled plastics or metals but make it look like food,” Landree said

A piece by Kim Guare called ‘Harvesting the Blue Potato’ used watercolor, juice, fabric and burlap.

The art center houses many different types of artists. The artists all have different talents.

“I do a lot of portraits oil painting abstracts,”  said artist Damon Hendricks.

He also has multiple studios he works out of but has been in Bridgeport for 18 months.

One of his newest pieces that he has been working on was a portrait of tiger eyes.

“The eyes are the windows to the soul,” Hendricks said.

He plans on dong more animal pieces and adding them to other images to make new artwork. Although he is working on this current projects he mostly likes to do pieces on music. He will have pieces in the upcoming show this summer.

The center is located at 1029 W. 35th St. Chicago, IL 60609. Opened Monday thru Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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