Odie Off: Mike Rea and Kelly Kaczynski
Odie Off is an off comment, off the books, off kilter, face off between artists Mike Rea and Kelly Kaczynski. Begun as a simple provocation, Odie Off assumes a position somewhere between process, performance and production where the interactions between the two artists equally elicits both banter and dialogue.
The artists will build a speakeasy in the back of threewalls. Here, you are welcome to join them as they move through the stages of making double Odie’s, the oblique dog character from the classic cartoon, Garfield, first appearing in 1978. Each artist will begin an Odie while sitting across from one another at the bar. Built from clay, a material that both artists are familiar with but neither is practiced in, the conversation lends to one of mastery and craft alongside image and action. Meanwhile, the bar incites not only the iconic spectacle of artists’ think-tank with libations but also a surrogate studio that becomes the pedestal, all the while a stage. These Odie’s become testament to the individual concerns of the artists as well as the inevitable collaborative finale that merges from the environment.
The artists invite you to join them for Happy Hour every Tuesday and Thursday, 5-7pm, or whenever the artists are in.
Mike Rea was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. Rea received his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After completion of his M.F.A., Rea returned to Chicago where he now lives and works. Rea currently teaches Sculpture at Northern Illinois University. Rea has exhibited at: the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX; EbersMoore Gallery, Chicago, IL; Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL; Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA; the Scion Gallery, Culver City, CA; and the Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL. Rea participated in the international exhibition/residency Forest Art, Darmstadt, Germany. Rea most recently participated in the Power of Making exhibition at The Victoria Albert Museum, London, UK in 2012, and currently has work at the Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Switzerland. In addition to the Odie-Off collaboration with Kelly Kaczyinski, Rea has recently collaborated with artist Geoffrey Todd Smith on the drawing project/exhibition/book, Sharks, Dicks, and Drugs. Rea will have two solo exhibitions this Fall one at EbersMoore gallery, Chicago, IL, and the second at the Gahlberg Gallery/McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL. Over the past decade Rea has explored pop culture and the American identity through large garish sculptures, installations, and performances constructed from wood. Rea's work often employs a wry sense of humor combined with a meticulous and compulsive constructive process.
Kelly Kaczynski is a sculptor and installation artist residing in Chicago. She has exhibited with Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage, IL; threewalls, IL; Hyde Park Art Center, IL; Rowland Contemporary, IL; University at Buffalo Art Gallery, NY; Triple Candie, NY; Islip Art Museum, NY; Josee Bienvenu Gallery, NY; DeCordova Museum, MA; Boston Center for the Arts, MA. Public installations include projects with the Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA; the Interfaith Center, NY; Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston and the Boston National Historic Parks, MA; Boston Public Library, MA. Curatorial projects include the exhibition titled Mouthing (a sentient limb) at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL, and an ongoing project-based entity titled Unnamed Future Space. Kaczynski received an MFA from Bard College, NY and BA from The Evergreen State College, WA. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University, IL.