Hiram E. Leonard Diary, April 29, 1862

29th Tuesday  rather a fine cool day & evening with some clouds.  I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 by Hoyts & got home before 9 went to bed about 10 as usual nearly sick.”

Published in: on April 29, 2012 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hiram E. Leonard Diary, April 28, 1862

28th Monday  rather fine weather but cool & some cloudy.  I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home by Hoyts & Wrays about 8 & got home before 9 & went to bed on the lounge as usual about 10 sick.”

Published in: on April 28, 2012 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Warrenville Then & Now Featuring Warrenville Inspired Artist, Paté Conaway

It is a testament to the community that Warrenville has many historic buildings still standing.  Many of these historic structures were built during the early and mid 1800s as Warrenville was being settled.  Thanks to the Warren Tavern Preservationists, the Warren Tavern has been preserved, although it no longer stands where Colonel Julius Warren constructed it as the town’s stagecoach stop in 1838.

Colonel Warren opened his Tavern with a grand ball on September 28, 1838.  Over the next 174 years the building served many purposes including the home of the DuPage County Democratic Convention in 1839, a hotel, a dance hall and a private home.

In 1989 a new owner started planning the destruction of the building, however a group of concerned citizens formed the Warren Tavern Preservationists and moved the Tavern from the northwest corner of Warrenville Road and Winfield Road, to its current home at 3S540 Second Street next to the museum in Leone Schmidt Heritage Park.  The Tavern is safely located in this historic park, while Walgreens now sits on the Tavern’s former home.

Warrenville Inspired artist Paté Conaway played on this and other local histories in his work that used Warrenville’s images to question the notions of place and how people change landscapes.  We hope you will enjoy seeing Paté’s creations inspired by the history of the Tavern and the shifting of Warrenville’s landscape.

Artist Statement

“One of the ways I find inspiration for my work is to go into institutions – specifically nursing homes –and have the residents show me how to do things. There are many creative retired individuals that are open and willing to share their knowledge and skills. I have learned knitting, crocheting, embroidery, woodworking, and sewing.  I see these crafts as languages, and my job as an artist is to explore the translations. One of the questions that I like to ask is: where is the line between craft and art?

“My current work stems from learning to sew.  I spent three months volunteering in a nursing home in Charlotte, North Carolina. A wonderful woman there taught me how to sew – we made shirts and jackets. I started to notice sewn objects and having found a life preserver in a thrift store, I decided to reinterpret the object. Using traditional garment construction, I have abandoned the “international orange” and began making life preservers out of fabric, leather, seed cloth, etc. These sculptures have become portraits. Instead of the traditional paint on canvas or a clay bust, I’m using an inanimate object – a standard life vest – to reflect character and narrative. My goal is to fabricate 100; currently I am on number 48.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, April 27, 1862

27th Sunday  rather a fine morning & warm but some cloudy during the day & night, I did my choars called at office & Hoyts & came home, diped out the well by Grove and grafted a few apple trees, choared round wrot some etc. called at office in afternoon & was at Hoyts & Wrays in evening came home about 9 & went to bed about 10 nearly sick & tiard out looks like rain.”

Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Warrenville Inspired Featured Artist: Jessica Bruah

The Museum is open today from 4-7pm and Sunday from 1-4pm for the last open days of Warrenville Inspired.  Please enjoy learning a little bit about one of our featured artists Jessica Bruah and then stop by the Museum to see the show before it closes!

Jessica used Clara Wilson Albright, Adam Albright’s wife, as inspiration for her piece.

Clara Wilson Albright

Jessica Bruah’s recent work revolves around the surreal and layered identities of specific tourist areas. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2009 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia College Chicago in 2004.  She has exhibited work bothnationally and internationally, including shows at Jen Bekman Gallery in New York City, Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, and Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe.  In 2010, Bruah was awarded a Swing Space artist residency through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.  She also had two solo exhibitions in the past year: one in the fall of 2010 at Georgia College Museum for her project Stories, and one in the spring of 2011 at ACRE Projects in Chicago.  In the fall of 2012 she will be a resident artist at the Vermont Studio Center.  Learn more about Jessica by vising her websites http://www.jessicabruah.com and jessicabruah.tumblr.com.

Artist Statement

“I consider myself a photographer who is as addicted to words and histories as much as I am to the frame.  To me, the frame is my visual bookmark where I can re-imagine and recreate histories. My work often depicts domestic interiors as being both comforting and restrictive places, and I am interested in the tension formed between these two dualities.  Drawing from inspiration as varied as satirical short stories, movie stills, and campy melodramas, I am interested in creating photographic tableaus from very commonplace settings.  The images are meant to depict the crux of a narrative. The scenes exist in a setting that is both part of the present and the past, merging fantasy and reality, humor and fear. “

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, April 26th, 1862

26th Saturday  rather a cloudy morning & day & rained some about 8 or 9 for a while & Broaked way.  I did my choars was at office all day & evening came home by Hoyts & Wrays about ½ past 8 & went to bed about 10 nearly sick & tiard out.  Wray dragged oats.  Old Mr. Willy Linze was here from _____.  Col. Warren went to Chicago with his white mules & sold them.”

Warrenville Inspired Featured Artist: Andrew CopperSmith

Warrenville Inspired closes this Sunday.  We hope you enjoy reading a little bit about one of other featured artists, Andrew CopperSmith, a Glen Ellyn native, and then stop by the museum to see the exhibit before it closes.

A big congratulations to Andrew as well, as he finishes his Master of Fine Arts this spring from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  His work will be featured in the MFA 2012 Graduation Show that opens this Friday (http://blogs.saic.edu/gradexhibition2012/).  See more about Andrew’s work at his website http://www.andrewcoppersmith.com.

Artist Statement

“I am curious about everyday forms and materials and the given spaces and environments that bring them contextual meaning. Through my sculptural practice I investigate the potential of recontextualizing these forms and materials to question the perception of what constitutes the ordinary and mundane aspects of the everyday.  Through this      investigation of daily perception, I utilize conceptual strategies of abstraction and narrative non sequitur to develop my intentions within my working process. With examining the familiar and often overlooked aspects of our physical surroundings, I am provoked to create work that highlights the poetic sensibility of the common and usual.

“In my practice of exploring the everyday object, I use the method of making sequence-based images to document the human relationship with form and material in daily routine.  This form of documentation  assists in applying the ideas of arrangement, placement, variation, scale, texture, dimension, and depth of the given form and material depicted in the image.  The assessment of thinking through these images enables me to metaphorically contemplate how specific formal aspects of materiality can construct a personal visual lexicon.  This image-based research of ubiquitous materiality informs how I address and deal with objects in my sculptural practice.”

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hiram E. Leonard Diary, April 25, 1862

25th Friday  rather fine weather.  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home by Hoyts about 8 & got home at 9 & went to bed about tiard & nearly sick & worn out.  Wm Wray sewed 18 bushels oats today & picked up some wood etc.”

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 9:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Warrenville Inspired Featured Artist: Jason Judd

There are only two more days to see Warrenville Inspired, Thursday, April 26th from 4-7pm and Sunday, April 29th from 1-4pm.  We hope you enjoy learning a little more about one of the featured artists Jason Judd, and then stop by the Museum before this exhibit closes.

Jason is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Time Arts and Museum Studies at Northern Illinois University. As a graduate instructor for the NIU Time Arts program, Jason teaches Introduction to Video Art and Critical Topics in Art and Time.  Find out more about his work at http://www.jasonajudd.com.

Jason was inspired by viewing our galleries through the museum’s security camera monitor.

Jason next to the museum's security camera monitor.

Artist Statement

“I look to connect with people through contemplation of being and our relationship with reality. Contemplating the independence of nature, whose sheer complexity perpetually transcends any human means to understand it. The inability to understand our existence and all that exceeds us excites our peculiar ability to imagine things beyond ourselves. We can imagine the impossibility of     flying, of falling in love, and we can also imagine the inevitable, our own death. And still, through    imagination we come to recognize the limits of our understanding, ever affirming a failure to grasp a sense of what it means to ‘be.’

“This existential foundation directs my work towards mediums that penetrate reality.  My video work deals with the reflection of time and cycles while representing reality to the viewer as a metaphor. My photographic work revolves around manipulating the viewers implied reality of a still image. These mediums allow me to maneuver through the organs of reality and extract the representation and metaphor that lie inside; to free the viewer of their daily bias of perceived time and concrete space. Ultimately, to know our limitations is to truly know ourselves.”


Published in: on April 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hiram E. Leonard Diary, April 24, 1862

24th Thursday  rather a fine day & evening but some cloudy.  I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came about 9 by Hoyts & home near 9, went to bed about 10 nearly sick with trouble etc.”

Published in: on April 24, 2012 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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