116 Artist / Curator Chuck Gniech and The Art of Social Change

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In this episode, Sergio Gomez talks with Chicago-based artist and curator Chuck Gniech about art, curating and the art of social change.

Charles Gniech (b 1962) is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Joliet Junior College and has been teaching at various colleges and universities for more then twenty-five years. Gniech served as Curator for the galleries of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago from 2002-2013 and acted as the Collections Curator for the Institute’s Corporate Fine Art Collection. In 2013, acting as Curator-at-Large, Gniech launched two traveling group exhibitions—one that addresses human rights issues and the other exploring visual harmony in contemporary art.

The first exhibition, titled “Breaking Criminal Traditions,” utilizes nonthreatening art objects that allude to human rights issues—encouraging the viewer to consider alternative perspectives and begin a dialogue in an attempt to promote social change. The second, “Meditative Surfaces,” explores the beauty of chaos used in nonobjective imagery within contemporary fine art. He has participated in multiple panel discussions on these topics and has lectured—at length—on his curatorial process. In March 2016, Gniech was a member of a four-person panel that presented a session titled “Change Artists-Using the Arts to Leverage Change” at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, 60th Session. In February of 2017, Gniech acted as a Session Chair at the College Art Association, 105th Annual Conference in New York, where the three-member panel defined the ability of fine art to confront social issues on a global scale.

Charles Gniech holds a Master of Fine Art degree with an emphasis in painting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in illustration, both from Northern Illinois University. While teaching, curating, and consulting, Gniech continues to paint and exhibits at the national level. His paintings focus on meditative qualities originally inspired by the stone circles found throughout Great Britain. Having explored many megalithic sites over the past thirty years, Gniech embraces the peaceful serenity of the mystical structures—a serenity that is reflected in his work.

The paintings of Charles Gniech have been included into numerous gallery and museum exhibitions. His work has been exhibited repeatedly at both The Rockford Art Museum and The Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Gniech’s paintings have been acquired for multiple public and private collections, with a large canvas recently purchased for the Permanent Collection of The Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Charles Gniech writes about artists, galleries and his fine art experiences at: chicagofineart.blogspot.com

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