Eli Craven and VGA
7:00 pm19:00

Eli Craven and VGA

Please join Open House Contemporary (OHC) for an exciting evening where we celebrate dual openings! OHC is proud to be showing a selection of Eli Craven's new work and partnering with VGA Gallery to host a collection of distinctive game art!

Eli Craven is an interdisciplinary artist based in Champaign, Illinois. His work explores the role of images and objects within the development of identity, memory, and desire. The acts of looking and collecting are central to his process. Each project begins with a search for redeemable sources at estate sales, thrift stores, and digital archives. Through methods of photography, video, sculpture, and collage, the reclaimed materials are charged with new possibilities directed at the senses – the familiar, the bizarre, the boring, the erotic. His work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally including at the Capture Photography Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia and in the book Unlocked, from Atopos CVC in Athens, Greece.

Open House Contemporary is delighted to partner with VGA for a summer survey of video game art. The survey will highlight distinctive game art by emerging and established artists and game developers from across the field and across the world, as drawn from the VGA print collection. This exhibition is organized by VGA Gallery in partnership with OHC. 

VGA Gallery is generously supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, individuals and private and corporate foundations.

Seaweed Dinner
6:30 pm18:30

Seaweed Dinner

Prism Nutrition

Please join us for an exciting evening exploring the many health benefits of sea vegetables. This intimate event includes an-depth nutrition presentation, elegant, multi-course meal featuring creative seaweed-inspired dishes, as well as hands-on workshop to create your own seaweed treats!

Nutrition lecture led by Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian, Ingrid Clark. Ingrid is the founder and owner of Prism Nutrition, a holistic nutrition practice. In addition to Prism Nutrition, Ingrid is also the Nutritionist at Lotus Center, a holistic psychotherapist private practice and Clinical Nutrition Manager at Saint Anthony Hospital. Ingrid received her Masters of Nutrition from Bastyr University, a leader in natural health and natural healing located in Seattle, Washington.

Multi-course seaweed-focused meal prepared by Chef and Holistic Health Coach, Cristy-Lucie Alvarado. Cristy has many years experience working in the culinary world in both New York and Chicago's restaurants. Most recently, working as the Culinary Director for Farmer's Fridge and now as a private chef, Cristy infuses fresh produce and nutrient-dense foods into all her dishes.

Click here to reserve your spot!

Hoping for More
7:00 pm19:00

Hoping for More

Jennifer Cronin

Artist Statement

Wandering.  Looking for something to follow.  Hoping to find a hint of something that is genuine and true.  In my early work, it is a playful tale of imagination weaving itself throughout my daily life.  It is a dream that has taken grip in my consciousness and won’t let go.  A wistful yearning for something more.  A quiet reflection on the mystery of the everyday.  The brilliance and beauty that can be lost if you don’t try to catch it. 

As time has passed, I have turned my search outward.  Searching for meaning in the lives of others and the surrounding world.  Hoping that we can all connect through our lives lived, our sense of empathy, our individual stories, our hopes and aspirations, and our shared struggles and disappointments.  Chasing after the mystery and complexity of our lives, and the fingerprints that we leave behind in this world. 

Getting There: An Exhibition on Alternate Realities
7:00 pm19:00

Getting There: An Exhibition on Alternate Realities

In light of this week being so hard on so many, we would like to announce that 10% of the proceeds from this show will go to human rights groups.

Getting There: An Exhibition on Alternate Realities

The Institute for Recurrent Progress: Occupation of Apartment 2
Facilitated by local operatives Kyle Hossli and BR Nicholson


Apartment 4
Chis Hefner & Heather Gabel

About Heather Gabel:

Heather Gabel (b. 1977) is a visual artist and singer in the band HIDE. Gabel studied photography at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit and holds a BFA from Columbia College Chicago. She has been exhibiting both internationally and across the United States for nearly 12 years in galleries and alternative venues, including several public art installations. Recent projects include a series of neon-based works addressing present/future death rituals in modern American society. Current projects include programming for The Palace Film Festival and preparations for her first performance piece to take place this December.

The title Immutable Mantle speaks to a change that is futile, a cloak that reveals as much as it covers, a role, a place. Expressions, choices, desires; both participatory and put upon us, dictate the ways in which we are able and expected to navigate the world around us. The discord created by the masks we wear and our truest selves has the power to empower, to effect a shedding of some previously undiscovered falsehood. Illuminating, for better or worse, another cut in the stone, more corroborating evidence that you've been there all along, trying to get out, trying to get in.

About Chris Hefner:

Chris Hefner is a filmmaker, multimedia artist and musician living and working in Chicago.  In addition to his two feature films "The Pink Hotel" (2010) and "The Poisoner" (2014) and a bevy of shorts & music videos, Hefner also continuously produces artwork on paper and plays the musical saw with Daniel Knox.  
His charcoal drawings, a sculptural installation and a number of music & film events were presented in December 2015 at a solo exhibition of his work itled "VEILING" at The Comfort Station in Chicag.  In May of this year Hefner curated and exhibited in a group show of multimedia work entitled "Five Ways to Skin A Cat" at GAG Space Chicago.Learn more at cmhefner.com.

Certainly it can be said that one of the things that makes humans unique in the observed world is our ability to find or create order within the chaotic set of circumstances in which we find ourselves.  We do this first be creating an identity for ourselves, through which we may interface with others.  We extend this identity into our relationships, homes, occupations and all aspects of our daily experience as a way of inhabiting and activating the version of order to which we prescribe.  These machinations of identity allow us to move through the world more easily, to recognize one another in what would otherwise be a vast and opaque wilderness and to avail ourselves of the millions of invisible leaps of faith that serve as a path through the world.  We needn’t build our homes anew every morning, nor must we decide upon a new name, face, history, trajectory, set of preferences, sexuality, language or any of the other myriad signifiers that form what we know to be our Identity.  There is comfort in this.  We may feel at Home here.  Our home, however, knows nothing of our feelings for it.  


Memorial Day Concert
10:00 pm22:00

Memorial Day Concert

Come enjoy a Memorial Day Concert @ OHC! Doors will open at 6:30pm with the show starting at 7pm. BYOB! 

Suggested donation of $15 with the proceeds going to the bands.

Limited space, only the first 30 can get in, donate now!

Fresh Sheet
6:00 pm18:00

Fresh Sheet

FRESH SHEET: Erik L. Peterson, the first solo art exhibition dedicated entirely to works that investigate the sharing economy

Open House Contemporary (OHC) has invited conceptual artist and public sculptor Erik L. Peterson to completely take over three Airbnb apartments with site-specific artworks. Peterson is known for artworks that engage audiences with familiar surrounding in unexpected ways: a gigantic neon sculpture that oozes down the wall and spills onto the floor (Seep); a forklift ballet performed under the gaze of “The Picasso” on Daley Plaza (Square Dance); a pair of reflective “beach paintings” that flash when car lights rake across their surfaces (The Oasis). For FRESH SHEET, Peterson moves indoors, but the works retain the same generous spirit of the public works, infused with a subversive underbelly. The art in FRESH SHEET cannot be experienced in an art museum or commercial gallery, but only by renting an apartment at Open House Contemporary during the run of the show. 

Peterson's work explores today’s sharing economy by activating a new way of observing, experiencing, and “collecting” artwork. Instead of buying a painting, for example, guests interact with (and within) the artworks as a part of their Airbnb experience. The pieces have contemporary glam attitude that simultaneously encourages the publicizing of private life and the privatization of shared domestic spaces. Included in the price of admission are chauffeured automobile performances, alarm clock selfies, steamy shower apparitions, giant paintings of rumpled post-coital sheets lifted from historical canvases, and interactive neon motel signs. This set of artworks, in fact, only works in the semi-private shared domestic space of the OHC Airbnb apartments or the ride-sharing cars. The conceptual art pieces are made specifically for bedrooms, showers, living rooms, and the local city streets. Likewise, FRESH SHEET challenges the model for the art economy, which is based on an anachronistic system where discrete objects are bought and sold. OHC, on the other hand, proposes a model based on the sharing economy, where guests pay for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Rather than taking home an object, they take home a story.

Erik L. Peterson is a public artist, sculptor, and curator living in Chicago. He is best known for his large-scale urban interventions (Seep, The Oasis and Inner State), signature edible ice cream sculptures (Creamcycle and Soft Palate), and public performances and camouflaged urban spectacles employing everyday scenarios in absurdist flux (Two Tow'n, The Large Glass Company, and Square Dance). Peterson has been shown in solo exhibitions at The Arts Club of Chicago, Bert Green Fine Art, Bolt Gallery at the Chicago Artists’ Coalition, and EXPO CHICAGO. His work has been shown in group exhibitions at Gallery 400, A+D Gallery, INOVA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Step Gallery at Arizona State University, Doudna Fine Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University, the Pick Museum of Anthropology, the National Ornamental Metal Museum, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, among others. Additionally, Peterson is a founder of Hyde Park Kunstverein, a community museum focusing on solo projects, and Qeej Hero, a trans-cultural video game featuring an ancient Hmong musical instrument.


7:00 pm19:00


The SAL ET CORIUM collection explores the shifting qualities of power and presence through a series of sculptural adornments created from pre-worn black leather garments. Inspired by pre-iron age armor and contemporary leather culture, the accessories designer proposes a new approach to creative ritual and self-realization through the spirit of DIY music and fashion. Each piece in the collection only becomes fully realized when worn; taking on its true shape when united with its ultimate muse. Demonstrating the powerful tension between idea and presence, skin and form, figure and muse.

SAL ET CORIUM launches the second presentation of the collection with an unreleased video by Chris Hefner / score by Seth Sher / modeled by Heather Gabel and fashion show in an intimate setting.

Hosted by Open House Contemporary (building has elevator access)

Pieces from HVNTER GVTHERER's collection will be available for purchase.


6:00 pm18:00

Urban Relativity

Lynn Neuman’s urban landscapes depict snapshots of the fleeting and dynamic interplay of life:  interior vs. exterior, movement vs. stagnant, and organic vs. inorganic.  Her subjects and the cities they inhabit briefly intersect while passing each other.  As our urban lives become increasingly digitized and disconnected, she is asking the viewer to pause and take notice. By presenting naturally occurring but overlooked scenes of structural and compositional intrigue, interactions are preserved on canvas for contemplation and reflection.  

These oil paintings are done in the illustrative realism method.  They are based on her travel photography and constructed freehand using multiple layers that increasingly create detail, while allowing space for the viewer’s imagination.

6:00 pm18:00

One Year Anniversary Exhibition


Artists Jacqueline Moses and Juan Fernandez explore the fundamental beauty in simplistic spaces. 

Stripping down the photographs to bare bones, Fernandez’s work references perceptions of form, structure and order in common materials and subject matter. 

Moses has been painting images derived from her travels and projecting her views for the future. She portrays what the landscape might look like if thought is given only to monetary profit with no regard for the environment and all its inhabitants. 

Juan’s work has been exhibited in numerous national shows including the Rockford Art Museum, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Newspace Center for Photography, and The Houston Center for Photography. He is also represented in various collections including, Columbia College Chicago, and in The Midwest Photographers Project at The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL.

Currently, Jacqueline is exhibiting at Prairie State College, Evanston Art Center, South Shore Arts, Carthage College, and Printworks, Chicago. Her work is in numerous permanent collections including Rockford Art Museum. 

Learn more about the artists at jmanuelfernandez.com and jacquelinemoses.com


Esoteric Prodigy: Jesus Correa (Unit 3) 

Jesus Correa is a multimedia artist hailing from Rockford, Illinois. He has shown his work in public since 2003. He once lit himself on fire for a punk rock show. He enjoys making tiny fine lines with a dipping pen and India ink. He enjoys knitting and making puppets. His pieces move and are more engaging and entertaining than most gallery pieces you will ever see. He wants you to man handle his pieces, he wants you to smile or cry. He has been accused of being a sociopathic egomaniac. He is in fact a strange child trapped in a weirdo old man body.

Correa continues to perform in two fulltime bands, an outlaw country and western outfit called King of the Demons, and an odd electronic one-man band that goes by the name of los osos voladores. He performs at least once a month onstage as a comedian and storyteller, and his Ugly Old Lady Productions promotion company is beginning to gain notoriety for the variety shows and the promotional posters it has been doing for the past twelve years. Correa often hand makes small batches of recordings he has done and puts them out for the world to hear.—Jesus Correa

Learn more about the artist at jesusabrahamcorrea.com


Pulled: Fatherless and Cleon Peterson (Unit 4) 

What began in Rockford as an impromptu screen print session on discarded letterpress proofs has evolved into a body of work now recognized around the world for its unique, self-coined “visual mix tape of creative shenagination.” Rockford’s very own Fatherless has consistently pushed forward with a counter-intuitive approach to not just screenprinting, but artist collaboration as well.

Cleon Peterson’s shadowy figures mete out violence in images that could just as well depict justice as they do barbarity. This work can be viewed as both a continuation and a progression of past works, in which graphically rendered scenes of sadism portray chaos as the inevitable order of things. 

These printmakers push the boundaries of the art world by exploring new methods of printing and expression, often addressing social and political issues head-on – and always leaving their skilled mark.

The name Fatherless represents an effort by multiple artists combining each other’s imagery in a chaotic and detached sense, influenced by our current consumer driven social climate. A good portion of the imagery in a Fatherless print is re-contextualized from our current throw away culture, creating a finished piece that stands alone, and therefore cannot be claimed by any individual artist in the group. Members include Jarrod Hennis, Javier Jimenez, Greg Lang, Dave Menard and Benjamin Rider of the UK. 

Cleon received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, MI and a BFA in Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

He has exhibited at Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney, Australia, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, Art Basel 2007 at Deitch Projects New York, NY, New Image Art Gallery, L.A., The Leonard Street Gallery, London, UK, and Monster Gallery, Sydney.

He has been featured in LA Record Magazine, Juxtapoz, and Eyes Cream (Japan), Arkitip Issue No. 0005.  And has been collected by international collectors, musicians and world art leaders such as Jeffrey Deitch.

Learn more about these artists at wearefatherless.com and cleonpeterson.com



Carrie Johnson is the Curator of Rockford Art Museum, responsible for the overall management and development of the RAM Permanent Collection as well as the organization and production of all feature exhibitions. After starting and running a Chicago theater company for five years she moved back to her hometown of Rockford and began her career in the visual arts.


She joined Rockford Art Museum in December 2006, and was named Curator in July 2012.

In the last 3 years Johnson has facilitated a bevy of museum acquisitions. These include work by Warrington Colescott, Michiko Itatani, Shelly Mosman, Hollis Sigler, John Wilde; and a benchmark donation from Jeff Stevens of 31 works by Michael Abraham, Eric Bellis, Mark Chatterley, Julie Heffernan, Laurie Hogin, Steven Hudson, Geraldine Javier, Sherry Karver, Vera Klement, Matt Lamb, Lorna Marsh, Herbert Murrie, Jackie Tileston and Caleb Weintraub. The latest acquisition was a piece by Chicago-artist, Carlos Rolon/Dzine.

Recent feature exhibitions she has curated include Modern Metaphors, Tradiciones, Carlos Rolon/Dzine: Now and Then, Printmakers Ball and Phyllis Bramson: In Praise of Folly – A Retrospective, 1985–2015.

6:00 pm18:00

Summer Open House!

Please join Open House Contemporary this Friday evening as we celebrate summer with an incredibly compelling group of artists: 

Jeremy Boyle

Mark Franchino

Daniel Hojnacki

Connie Noyes

Sandra Perlow

Preeti Samraj

6:00 pm18:00


Our show revolves around the notions of temporality, transition, and creation. It's an awareness of the process that leads to progression. Come join Open House Contemporary as we pause to contemplate the work of an exciting group of artists.

Ken Ellis
Nate Otto
Carly Silverman
Chris Strong
Kai Wolter

7:00 pm19:00

GRIDD Launch Party

An evening of art and conversation. Join the contributing artists and staff of GRIDD magazine for the release of their new issue.