22 is an independent design studio and gallery in Berwyn. We have two goals at 22: to showcase the work of emerging and established artists and designers from within the Chicago area, and to bring innovative and informative work to the Berwyn community from the rest of the world. So far in 2012 we've organized five gallery exhibits and displayed work from dozens of artists and designers. Now we're turning to you to help fund our most ambitious project yet: Modular22.
Modular22 is a free-standing structure that we want to build in our studio as a means to display work from well over a hundred artists. The structure, designed by 22's founder and director Jessica Calek, will be constructed from 360 nearly identical interlocking wooden panels, and these panels will be adorned with black and white artwork contributed by artists within Berwyn, the greater Chicago area, and beyond. You can see more of Jessica's work at calek.com.
Since 22 is basically a gallery run by designers, the projects and exhibits we've been developing in the gallery try to blur the line between art and design wherever possible. The Modular22 project is our biggest attempt so far to erase this distinction.
Basically, with Modular22 we're bringing the display infrastructure of a gallery to the foreground and treating it as being just as important as the artwork it's used to display. The idea is that we can move artwork off of the traditional "white cube" walls of a gallery and onto a monumental structure that people can gather around. This structure is not just a support system. It's an integral part of the exhibit, where art, design, architecture, and fabrication all come together in one installation. And that installation will be able to highlight the work of hundreds of artists and designers from Berwyn, Chicago, and beyond
Here's how it works. The entire structure is made up of 360 1' x 2' wooden panels. Each of these panels will serve as the "canvas" for a piece of black and white artwork. The content of this artwork is entirely up to our collaborators -- we're hoping it will range from expressive artwork to typography studies, from architectural renderings to photography, and so on.
The artwork on the boards will be created by people who we will invite to participate and people we'll find through a general call for entries. The majority of this artwork will be sent to us digitally, and we'll print it and mount it to the wooden panels, and some of the artwork will be created directly on the panels, mainly by artists who live and work near the 22 studio. Since we have 360 panels, we potentially have room for work by 360 artists, although we're aiming for about 150.
UPDATE! Here's a list of confirmed artists and designers so far. These people will all be creating artwork for the panels in the installation. We're still looking for more participants and will update again with more people soon.