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Erica Jane Huntzinger
I made a change to my life last year: I chose to quit my challenging full time museum positions to create, focus on my self as an artist and lead a more balanced life. I work three days a week for eight hours a day and don't bring work home. I am in a physically taxing job as a factory worker. I now belong to a union and work with hard working, kind, helpful people.
While keeping track of the residencies at Mosnart in Pullman, I recognized a correlation. Being an artist working in a union supported factory parallels Pullman the factory town which is transforming into a strong arts community. Pullman is a beautiful historic factory town with a strong and interesting narrative. The laborers, of the now defunct factory, fought for fair rights in the worker strikes of 1894 and were the very first labor organization led by African Americans named The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925. They battled for their human rights to work in a safe environment with a living wage and fair working hours.
This town and its deep history resonate with me and intersect with my current life experience. I am interested in the personal current and past stories of the workers and the struggles and benefits of their lives. Ironically, as they then won victories for workers rights, we arenow in a time when unions are slowly being crippled and erased, and America is now 39th in the world for unequal wealth distribution behind Russia and China.
Blue Lines, the title of this show, acknowledges and celebrates the blue collar and American worker. Blue and lines have a myriad of definitions and references to play with visually. I work intuitively and think of my work as expressions of internal landscapes. They are not recognizable narratives and are left open to individual interpretation.
I want people to have a direct understanding of the work I create for this residency. I am painting on site inspired by the town, it's history and personal stories told by workers currently and historically. My finished paintings with selected quotes,will be installed around the Pullman neighborhood. There will be a special opening,with map to locate the art pieces, featuring live performances inspired by the work of improvisational musician, Cooper Diers, at several sites. The residency will run July 8th thru July 23rd with performances held on Friday the 24th of July.The exhibits will be temporary as weather or other circumstances occur.
Artist Statement Artist Bio Artist CV Works available from the installation here
INSTALLATION MAPS available in front of mosnart 11319 S St Lawrence, Chicago, IL
IMAGES from "Blue Lines" neighborhood wide installation available here
Work from "Blue Lines" installation available here
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