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Meet Diana Baumbach, a graduate of Oak Park-River Forest High School, who is returning to her hometown to mount an exhibit titled Meditation on White in the Art Gallery. The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be on display through June 29.
Curator Marjorie Vecchio describes Diana’s current work: "Diana Baumbach takes apart various materials to meticulously recompose the most symbolic human symbol: the circle.
She makes this gesture by using the tiniest of items: her son’s infant clothes, blankets and toys, some of which were passed down. Not dissimilar to a Tibetan mandala, the resulting sewn circles are meditative from a distance and surprising up close; they elegantly express her version of the age-old story of the human life cycle, its tedium and repetition as well as timelessness and delicacy.”
Diana explains how she creates her beautiful art: “I am interested in how lived experiences can inform art, and vice versa. In my Meditation on White series, I mine my collection of domestic relics to construct opulent mandalas made from banal materials.
“By incorporating commonplace objects such as paper plates, decommissioned Onesies, broken childhood necklaces and popped birthday balloons, I hope to elevate the barrage of stuff that flows through our lives. As a result, I fix in time what might otherwise be thrown away with the trash. Formally, these pieces reference things as disparate as tree rings, moon cycles, domes and doilies, all of which are conceptually relevant to the work.“
Matthew James Collins was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1970. Nurtured in an artistic family, his enthusiasm for art was encouraged from the earliest age. By his early teens, his study of drawing had already begun under the tutelage of his father, James Edward Collins, an award-winning architect.
Collins was accepted and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he focused on drawing, etching and sculpture. He completed a BA in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1994, he traveled to Europe to complete his artistic formation. For over 15 years, Matthew has been living in Italy, studying and researching the classical techniques of painting and sculpture.
An artist of unusually wide breadth, his oil paintings, affrescos and sculptures reveal a rigorous study of the masterworks of the past and a deep observation of nature. Not limited to a single genre, his oeuvre includes portraiture, landscape, and figurative subjects.
He exhibits internationally and his works are represented in public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe, including the Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM) in Barcelona, Spain. The quality of Matthew's work has been recognized by numerous artistic associations including: Modportrait 2016(Spain), Arte Laguna Prize 2017(Venice, Italy),the Portrait Society of America, the National Sculpture Society, and the Art Renewal Center. He is also a contributing writer for the Epoch Times New York Edition. Along with his wife and two young children, Matthew divides his time between Italy and Chicago.