Winter exhibition tells story of downtown building

CHAMPAIGN — Figure One, the University of Illinois School of Art + Design downtown Champaign project space, will open its winter exhibition, "Upside Down, Left to Right," with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.

The exhibition explores the past, present and future of 116 N. Walnut St., where Figure One is. It tells of the transformation of the space and its functions over the years, from Artist — G.R. Grubb & Co. — Engravers, to the Old Main Book Shoppe and finally to Figure One.

The history is revealed through video interviews with owners of the previous businesses, among them George Grubb and Steve Kysar. Harold Balbach gives a broader sense of local lore.

The artworks in the exhibition create abstract links to the history of the space and bring the story into the present. The works, representing a variety of media, aim to transport and displace reality by playing with concepts such as history, falsehoods, memories and nostalgia.

The artists represented in the exhibition are Langston Allston, William Blake, Chelsea Choi, Siobhan Cooney, Clare Finin, Jess Kiel-Wornson, Melanie Leikam, Emmy Lingscheit, C.J. McCarrick and Guen Montgomery.

UI students enrolled in the course Art Museum Exhibition Practice conceived the exhibition and organized and designed it under the supervision of Krannert Art Museum Director Kathleen Harleman and Professor Alan Mette, executive associate director of the school of Art + Design.

The exhibition will remain on display through Jan. 24; the closing reception will be from 5 to 9 p.m. that day and include music and a poetry reading.

Figure One is open to the public from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 5 to 9 p.m. Friday; and 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Topics (1):Art

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