Laura Husar Garcia: Wishes

RAC FlexSpace

May 21 – June 24, 2017

Reception: Sunday, May 21, 3-6pm

HusarGarcia_This is the Wonder

Curated by Kim Piotrowski

The Riverside Arts Center is pleased to present a premier solo exhibition of photographs by Laura Husar Garcia in our FlexSpace Gallery.

Artist Statement:

“Several years ago, I collected hundreds of smooth, flat stones for my mother when she became a widow.  I placed them in a simple box for her to keep.  Whenever we felt the need, we walked down the hill and made wishes in the pond below the family cabin.  The box of wishes burned in a massive house fire, yet the stones remained.  This gave me a continued sense of hope, enabling me to make new wishes from what once was, while rebuilding our home.  With each toss of a stone, the universal symbol of the circle came forth in a consistent response with expanding ripples, a reminder of the eternal and infinite.  My favorite time is dusk, when water reflects the day’s end with a deep blue.  Entitled Wishes, this work stems from a blend of melancholy and yearning, focusing on the past, present and future.  For me, the blue that quietly develops at dusk is soothing, contemplative, and spiritual.  The physical expression of tossing stones in the water is an act of mediation with the seen and unseen.”  ~Laura Husar Garcia, May 2017

Laura Husar Garcia has documented the intimacies of the human spirit and the beauty of nature for more than 25 years.  Her photography has been exhibited widely, including Fotofever at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, France, The Polish Museum of America in Chicago, Photo Indepenent in Los Angeles, California, The Rangefinder Gallery in Chicago, Tilt Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, Galeria el Zocalo in Santa Fe, New Mexico and LightBox Photographic Gallery in Astoria, Oregon, among others.


Laura is co-winner of a 1st place Community Grant from the Illinois Humanities Council and a 2015 Photolucida Critical Mass top 200 finalist.  Her photographs have been published in several books, including “America At Home: A Close-up Look at How We Live”, which is one of the largest collaborative photographic projects in publishing history.  Her work has also been published in The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, Newsweek, Slate Magazine, and several other publications and books.  Laura has been a photo editor for various workshops including The Chicago Photography Center and a portfolio reviewer at Columbia College in Chicago.  She was a photographer in Santa Fe, NM, for more than ten years, where her foundation as an artist took root, before moving to Chicago where she became a photo editor at The Chicago Tribune.  Currently Laura is the co-founder and Creative Director of Three Story Media and she lives in Riverside, IL.

Her work will be exhibited in Platform Gallery’s “Staged”, a group show in Evantston, IL in conjunction with Evanston Made on June 3rd.

More of her work can be seen at




Kevin Blake: What The Cool Pigeon Knows

RAC FlexSpace
March 5 – April 15, 2017
Reception: Sunday, March 5, 3-6pm
Curated by Kim Piotrowski

Kevin Blake. "Raving Through A Suite Of Smokeless Husbands," 2016. Oil on Paper, 26" x 26".

Kevin Blake. “Raving Through A Suite Of Smokeless Husbands,” 2016. Oil on Paper, 26″ x 26.”

Read an interview with Kevin Blake on the Other People’s Pixels Blog here.

All the novelty of history coalesces in the present moment–as a distillation of that which preceded it. This pastiche, or visual cuing of past narratives, has arrived on a platform unrecognizable to the history it propagates. In “What The Cool Pigeon Knows,”  artist Kevin Blake presents a traditionally beheld painting vernacular as a means of synthesizing this collage with the use of recycled imagery from the collective past. The characters in these paintings are developed from the hard-working, strong, but nevertheless remote-controlled heroes of the post-World War II fringes and subsequently, post-war American idealism, which continues to infiltrate the cumulative psychology. These works look to film noir, pulp fiction, and the birth of advertising as a platform for projecting the viewer into a dialogue about time, and the affect of language on the human operating system from a generational vantage point.

In a world in which the wheel of events rolls on so rapidly, in which contradictory information slides by our eyes on effervescent screens, and in which constitutions and dynasties are dissolved in mere moments–the individual has become the sole proprietor and patron of belief.  “What The Cool Pigeon Knows” highlights this responsibility–the everyday task of asking oneself why you believe what you believe, and applying those conclusions to the world you see in front of you.

About the artist

Kevin Blake lives in Chicago. He received his MFA in 2014 at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, his MA in Art Eduction in 2011 and BFA in 2004 at SAIC, Chicago.  He has exhibited his work in Chicago the last few years and is a contributing writer at Bad at Sports and New City.



When: Saturday, Jan 7, 2-4pm in the RAC Flex Space and Freeark Gallery

You and your toys can make drawings together!

Have any wind-up toys at your house that you want to bring in? Want to make your own machine? Bring any and all with you to the RAC this Saturday for our Family Day Workshop: we’ll supply brushes, tape, paint and LARGE pieces of paper, and snacks, lots of tasty snacks and hot cider!

Want to try this at home? Here are some ideas on Pinterest: , and here’s a simple drawing robot design using littlebits.

RAC Flex: Keep Your Eye on This Space!

RAC’s FlexSpace is a multi-use space that mirrors RAC’s mission to promote artists and educate the public about art. It is used for exhibitions, performances, readings, classes, public events, outreach initiatives, and more! We think of it as a space of possibility and a place for thinking outside the box when it comes to the arts and art education. So keep your eye on this space and if you haven’t already signed up to receive RAC updates, click here to be added to our mailing list!

Upcoming in FlexSpace 2017:

Exhibition by Kevin Blake, March 5-April 15

Exhibition by Laura Husar Garcia, May 21 – June 24

Annual RAC Kids’ Show, July 2- August 5

Exhibition by Paula Henderson, September 10 – October 21

RAC Kids Art Show


June 26-July 23, 2016
Reception: Sunday, June 26, 3-6pm

The RAC Kids Art Show is one of our favorite events of the year! Kids enrolled at RAC art camp, current students under the age of 18, and budding young artists with family memberships are all given the chance to exhibit their artworks in the RAC’s beautiful new Flex Space. The show runs through Saturday, July 23 and is open Tu-Sat, 1-5pm. Check in with the Attendant at the Freeark Gallery next door to gain access to the exhibition.