The fluidity of narrative time is a theme both artists utilize in the works included in this exhibition. Paul Anthony Smith uses figurative realism to tell a story of contemporary society and its conflicts. It reveals much struggle and the dark side of imagining shifts in our economic system. He positions his figures either perched at the top of a mountain or sitting at the bottom of a hole – and sometimes ambiguously in both places at once. There is a question in his work that he doesn’t answer for us – is this the beginning or the end? Calderon’s works take a decidedly optimistic outlook with her layered, fantastical landscapes. Her work brings traditionally dressed figures, including elder “mamachas”, the highland native women in the Peruvian Quechuan language, together with young people doing yoga and riding bicycles. Animals, geodesic domes and hand crafts all blend together within Calderon’s pulsing landscape of shining homes and businesses of contemporary and traditional construction.
Maria Calderon was born in Shawnee, Kansas. She was raised in a home filled with South American folklore from her Peruvian father, an Andean folk musician. She studied Painting and Art History in Cortona, Italy in 2004 and in 2006 she graduated from North Park University in Chicago with a Bachelor's in Fine Art with a concentration in Painting. Since her studies at North Park, she has been awarded a studio residency through the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City. She currently teaches Drawing at the University of Missouri Kansas City and was awarded a spot in the spring 2011 session of Artist INC through the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City in association with Creative Capital. Maria has been utilizing various drawing and painting mediums throughout her work. She creates time-based narratives relating the past to the present. She also studies various cultural textiles and focuses on what she calls "contemporary primitivism."
Paul Anthony Smith was born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica. He spent his childhood growing up in Port Antonio, a city on the north east coast of the Island. As a young child he relocated to Miami, Florida, where he studied in an extensive variety of art programs throughout his adolescence at New World School of the Arts. After high school smith relocated to Kansas City where he enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute, and received his BFA in 2010 with a concentration in ceramics. His work, frequently autobiographical, explores racial barriers and histories within contemporary scenarios. As a recent graduate, Smith remained in Kansas City and is currently a resident of the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project.
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About City Colleges of Chicago
The City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), District 508, is the largest community college system in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation, with 5,800 faculty and staff serving 120,000 students at seven campuses and thirteen satellite sites city-wide. The City Colleges of Chicago is in the midst of a Reinvention, launched by Chancellor Cheryl Hyman shortly after her appointment by Mayor Richard M. Daley in March 2010. Reinvention is a collaborative effort to review and revise CCC programs and practices to ensure students leave CCC college-ready, career-ready and prepared to pursue their life’s goals.
CCC includes seven colleges: Richard J. Daley College, Kennedy-King College, Malcolm X College, Olive-Harvey College, Harry S Truman College, Harold Washington College and Wilbur Wright College. The system also oversees: the Washburne Trade School, the French Pastry School, two restaurants, five Child Development Centers, the Center for Distance Learning, the Workforce Institute, the public broadcast station WYCC-TV Channel 20 and radio station WKKC-FM 89.3FM. For more information about City Colleges of Chicago, call: (773) COLLEGE or visit www.reinventingccc.org.