Date: November 20, 2008
Contact: Eric Matanyi
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-4044
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, IL, November 20, 2008 – Art isn’t just about what we see. It also has to do with what we think.
Jeff Stevenson, of Flossmoor, is an adjunct professor of art at Governors State University who has been honored twice in recent weeks for work that’s both visually stimulating and thought-provoking.
Two of Stevenson’s mixed media works received the Plaza Award at last weekend’s opening reception of the 32nd Plaza Arts Competition at the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago.
Stevenson’s latest body of work is a mixed-media collage combining altered books, acrylic paint, oil paint on canvas, and a wax technique. He sculpts pages from books, such as a 1950s-era World Book Encyclopedia, selecting images that take the viewer on an exploration of the human condition.
His two pieces at the Plaza Arts Competition, World Books C and D and The Most Interesting Thoughts, were chosen for the award by jurors Dan Addington and Stephanie Sketsos, who both have Chicago galleries. Stevenson called World Books C and D “a personal piece” that includes a self-portrait in oils and references to his family. The Most Interesting Thoughts, he said, was “a lot of fun to do” and includes a jigsaw puzzle along with the altered books and other collage elements.
“Both pieces attempt to portray the changes that come to us as we’re bombarded with information in our modern age,” said Stevenson. “Until just a few years ago, the World Book and other encyclopedias were treasured references; now they can be seen as historic artifacts. Information increasingly comes to us via computers and other high-tech gadgetry.” Stevenson said his art aims to explore personal and cultural issues. He added, “it also involves the human thought process – how our brains take in information, select, collect, re-arrange, interpret, and then come to a conclusion.”
Another of Stevenson’s mixed-media works, Predecessors, received the Curator’s Choice Award at last month’s 11th Annual Chicago Art Open. The show, which attracted about 300 artists, was a key event during Chicago Artists’ Month, a citywide celebration of the arts.
The Plaza Arts Competition features artists who live in or within 100 miles of the city of Chicago. The exhibition continues through December 27 at the Beverly Arts Center, located at 2407 W. 111th Street in Chicago. For additional information on the exhibition, visit www.beverlyartcenter.org.