This Month’s Featured Guest Artist: René Morrell
The featured artist for July is René Morrell, a Chicago based artist, who combines her educational background of astronomy and fine art to illustrate the connections shared between humans and the world around us. Her work is strongly influenced by Renaissance portraiture and figure studies, emphasizing certain characteristics of the subject which correlate to specific colors and constellations. Her subjects are people who identify as Black but through various cultures, such as Creole, Jamaican, Haitian, Moorish American, Nigerian, and Native American.
René is a senior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and this summer she is serving as the Black Creativity intern at the Museum of Science and Industry, funded by a grant from the Studio Institute of New York. Stars, constellations, the zodiac, and astrology are the cultural contexts she uses to communicate to a plethora of people. Humans and stars are composed of the same ingredients and astronomy knows no racial bounds. René’s goal is to leave the viewer with a sense of interconnectedness, belonging, and more attuned with the world around us.
UPCOMING GUEST ARTISTS
Adam Polak, transgender ftm artist and painter using surreal imagery, taking inspiration from retro science fiction novel covers.
Karla Wong grew up in Oaxaca Mexico. She is a transgender MTF Artist whose work reflects her Istmena roots. She paints magical characters using emblematic symbols and bright colors. She pushes the limits and steers away from more traditional elements.
Le'Ana Asher is an artist, creative, and an Ojibwe Indian from the L'Anse Indian reservation. She is a painter of the enduring Native American spirit, celebrating and preserving the traditions and the legacy o Indigenous people and their ways of life.
Previous Guest Artists
Martín Sorrondeguy is a visual artist, photographer, and musician. “Since the early nineties, I have dedicated myself to artistic and musical projects, touring the world as a vocalist/lyricist in numerous bands, including multiple tours to South America, Japan, and Europe.
Linda Hyong is an immigrant from South Korea but grew up in the States. She started drawing in high school in Bloomington, IL. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at The University of Illinois and later a Master of Fine Arts at The University of Michigan.
Justin Cooper, Black artist and filmmaker and Genevieve Nutley, Latinx Painter. Both are Junior Artists in Residence at the Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL) at Access Living Chicago.
Guy Conners, Landscape, Still Life and Pet Portrait Painter working for Chicago based Arts of Life, which supports artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Iyomi Ho Ken, Black Fashion, Fibers and Photography Artist from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
Ariya Siddiqui, Muslim ceramics coordinator and teacher at Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) on Chicago’s South Side.