news

Eide/Dalrymple Gallery to Feature Works by Eleanor Spiess-Ferris

“Shallow Waters: The Art of Eleanor Spiess-Ferris,” an exhibition of large-scale paintings and drawings, will be on view at Augustana’s Eide/Dalrymple Gallery March 11 through April 16. The gallery is open to the public and free of charge.

An opening reception with the artist will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 11. The artist will give a gallery talk at 6 p.m.

Chicago-based Spiess-Ferris is well known for populating the world of her large paintings with personal mythologies and surrealist forms. Her grand tableaus almost always include fantastical women encountering various species of birds – a reflection of the artist’s personal myth of where birds go in the fall.

Rather than migrating south, “in my myth, many women come and pick them up, and put them [the birds] in things,” Spiess-Ferris has said.

The results are surrealist images that also profoundly reflect upon environmental degradation, personal loss and the spiritual nature of being a part of the world.

Spiess-Ferris, however, also intends her symbolism to be open and changing.

"My feeling is you really don't need to know the symbol,” she has said. “I like the idea of people making up their own story about what is going on because then they're pulling from themselves and they're joining the picture. I want people to think and to have fun."

Spiess-Ferris was born in New Mexico and studied at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited extensively through the United States and has held grants from the Illinois Arts Council and Arts Midwest. Based in Chicago, she teaches at the Evanston Art Center. During her visit to Augustana, she will also conduct a painting workshop and critiques with Augustana art students.

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is located on Commons Circle (30th Street and Grange Avenue), in the Center for Visual Arts. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday noon to 5:00 p.m.

IMAGE ABOVE: "Early Winter," gouache on handmade paper, 2010, by Eleanor Spiess-Ferris.