Friday, November 4, 2016
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
103 W. Washington Street
Invitation – .pdf 2.8M
For Britta Renwick of West Chicago, art is a medium that brings you home. She and her two sons, 16 year-old Sean and 14 year-old Alec, share a multi-generational creative gene that hails from Lucerne Switzerland and Klaus Luebben, Britta’s father. Generations of Art, an exhibit and sale opening on Friday, November 4, 2016 at Gallery 200’s new location, 103 West Washington Street in downtown West Chicago from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. with an artist reception, will feature the work of each. The exhibit will remain at the Gallery through the month of November.
Klaus Luebben – Painting
Born in northern Germany in a town called Wilhelmshaven, Klaus is fond of saying that most of his art has been eaten. He explained to his daughter and grandsons when they visited Switzerland recently, that after the war there was little left of their hometown in Wilhemshaven, so he and his new bride picked up and moved to Zurich. Here, Klaus went back to school so he could find work, but he still made time to paint – an avocation that helped him remember his German home. Many of those paintings were sold to fellow students at school, the money being used to put food on the table for his growing family. One painting that survived and remains in the Renwick family, and a featured piece in the Gallery 200 exhibit, was a study of a boat on a beach in his northern Germany hometown. It was painted on the back of a chest of drawers, as art supplies were an extravagance the family couldn’t afford at the time.
Klaus’ love of art was passed down to his two daughters Britta and Karen. Each developed their own style and technique, which admittedly keeps their connection to home and family strong. Britta herself passed the love of art forward to son’s Sean, 16, and Alec, 14, through her consistent pursuit of different creative techniques and media and her mantra, “When you don’t feel good, go create something.”
Britta Renwick – Multi-media
Britta’s work runs the gamut from photography, hand-crafted jewelry, and most recently three-dimensional art. Her experimentation over the summer with a hand-made paper maché clay product applied to an original photo canvas, brought new dimension to her already exquisite photography. “I literally couldn’t stop working on it,” she enthused. “God, it makes me feel good.” The result was a mixed-media work in which her photographic subject is extended texturally through the application and manipulation of the molded clay. The technique is labor-intensive and multi-faceted which builds to a crescendo with the subject seemingly bursting from the canvas. Several pieces will be on exhibit and sale during Generations of Art.
Inspired by his mother’s work, Britta’s older son Sean Renwick, a junior at West Chicago Community High School, uses photography as a springboard for, as he says, “drawing things where you want them to be”. His self-taught, special niche is drawing people and characters’ facial expressions, real or imagined, and his favorite method includes the use of Copic markers. His impressive portfolio of work includes Han Solo of Star Wars, Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy, as well as some portraits he brought to life from his imagination. A piece he calls Lady Matterhorn, which incorporates a modern-Rococo style he learned about in history class, masterfully combines his interpretation of the jagged-tooth mountain range in Switzerland with the draping gown of the mythical Greek goddess Hestia, in a way that meshes the two images. Sean views his art as a great stress reliever for his challenging academic schedule at the High School. While he doesn’t plan on pursuing a career in art at this time, like his mother and grandfather, he acknowledges it will always be a part of his life.
Alec Renwick, now age 14, became a fan of the ancient art form of Origami when his dad introduced it to him when Alec was 4-years old. “I went insane for that,” he admits today. Since that time, he has created multiple paper sculptures, including a 1,048 piece Origami swan, and continues to develop a love for three-dimensional structures. According to his mom, Britta, “For a number of years, all he wanted for Christmas was duct tape.” Indeed, his venture into “Ductigami” provided an outlet for creating a wider array of art, including a line of functional art he has gifted to friends and family. Wallets, jackets, handbags, even a Ductigami suit, are some of his most expressive works to date. Alec’s interest in mechanical engineering, an area he hopes to pursue in college, has been incorporated in his art as well. His inventive applications of duct tape, with an eye for the mechanics of an object, have led him to create games including a skee ball claw machine and a crank shaft mechanism he calls Alien Shooter. Through trial and error, Alec is combining art and academics, and is excelling at both.
The Renwick family will be on hand to discuss their art at the Opening Reception of Generations of Art, on Friday, November 4, 2016 between 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Gallery 200’s new location at 103 West Washington Street. The exhibit and sale will remain at the Gallery through the month of November.