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Three exhibitions open Friday at I space in Chicago

Melissa Mitchell, arts writer
(217) 333-5491;

Mary Antonakos, I space coordinator
(312) 587-9976


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Paintings, pop-up books and installation work are among the artforms featured in three new exhibitions on view May 9 through June 7 at I space, the Chicago gallery of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

orange dot "Sang-ah Choi: ‘Mutation-Immortality’ " features paintings, pop-up books and other works on paper by the artist, a 2002 graduate of the School of Art and Design at Illinois. The handmade objects, encased in resin, combine Taoist symbolism, Asian and Euro-American art traditions and remnants of pop culture for a result that Illinois art and design professor Tim VanLaar describes as "a mutant blend of kitsch and beauty."

orange dot "Linda Vredeveld: Painting" includes works by the Illinois art and design alumna. Her work is characterized by its subtly vibrant color, graceful lines and rich simplicity.

orange dot "Graham Stewart: ‘Some of My Best Friends are Stones,’ " is installation art intended to challenge viewers’ internal recognition and interpretation processes. Framed by a neon sign that highlights the exhibition title, the installation includes stones resembling faces, which rest on beds of sand. It also features a series of glass wall panels, or boxes, with text etched into the glass; encased in the boxes are shredded books. A former visiting professor at Illinois, Stewart serves as liaison between the university’s art and design school and the School of Art and Design, London.

An opening reception is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. May 9 (Friday) at the gallery, 230 W. Superior St., Chicago. The opening will feature a live shredding "performance" by Stewart. Anyone who purchases his book, "Shredded and Pulped," at the opening will receive a real book, shredded and encased in a plastic bag, plus a poster.

I space gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.