Park Ridge gallery likes art inside and out
A totem on display as part of "Inside Out" at On View Gallery in Park Ridge.
OnView Gallery, 139 N. Northwest Highway, Park Ridge
Noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; 12:30-6 p.m. Thursdays; noon-5 p.m. Saturdays; through June 9
For more information, call (224) 585-0503 or visit www.OnViewLLC.com
Updated: May 22, 2012 9:18PM
Inside art is inside and outside art is outside and never the twain shall meet. But two local artists are breaking down those conventional barriers in a new exhibit at the OnView Gallery in Park Ridge.
“Inside Out,” on view through June 9, is the first collaboration between photographer Russell Phillips and mixed media artist Andrew Lidgus, who have founded LP Studios.
The pieces, designed and treated to withstand the elements, expand the notion of artwork displayed in the garden beyond traditional gnomes and little animals, Phillips said. “Art is about discovery and exploration, and our idea was to create something we feel is new to the market, finer conceptual artwork with depth and ambition that is not diminished because it is (installed) outdoors.”
“Inside Out” features totems that employ
“vibrant color and strong geometric shapes in 2D panels, and 3D designs unlike anything made for the garden before,” according to the gallery website. “A totem may feature photographs of gigantic butterflies alighting in one garden, while another work captures a complex and colorful abstract design.”
The pieces, Phillips said, are treated with a unique material to protect them from the elements. But they can also be displayed for interior exhibition.
Phillips, 57, who runs Russell Phillips Photography, which provides architectural photography services, met Lidgus in his role as co-owner of the OnView Gallery, when he opened the place in 2010 with his wife, local graphic designer Cynthia Crampton, who had served as exhibit director at the not-for-profit Brickton Art Center.
“We talked about opening a gallery for more than a decade,” Phillips said. “We knew a lot of local artists who were underrepresented. Putting together a roster (to exhibit at the gallery) was the easiest thing we could do.”
Not so easy is opening a gallery in a stagnant economy, but this was not a concern, he said. “It was time to get started, and when it finally came together, it happened in about three months. When you start-up (a business) it’s always a down time, but we are optimistic that things will turn around. Art is always necessary, and by the time the economy does turn around, we want to be up in front of everybody and ready to run.”
OnView, he proclaimed, is “here for the long haul.”
One of the challenges, Phillips said, is getting a larger canvas of people to come to the gallery and not have to rely exclusively on a Park Ridge client base. So “Inside Out” is something of a “coming out party” for the gallery.
Phillips and Lidgus had independently been exploring new ways of using 21st-
century technology that allows the artist to print on different surfaces. Phillips had previously created “graphic furniture,” while Lidgus, too, he said, had been interested in “creating some exciting elements that could be used for outdoor display.” One of his sculptures, “Where Dreams Begin,” can be seen on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Phillips calls their collaboration “new and exciting” as they integrate “two different methods of working and thinking.” It’s all about erasing misconceptions of what outdoor art can be and enhancing the garden space.”