11 November 2009

What does $200 mean to you?

Just finished my new piece(s) for the $200 exhibition at the Chicago Art Department opening Friday, November 13, 2009.

"Need v Want"
ink on vellum
6" x 8" (ea)

Need v Want

“What does $200 mean to you?” Such a loaded question and yet incredibly simplistic at its core. Of course $200 means a lot of different things to different people. To some, it’s what they take home in a day; to many it’s what they make in a week. $200 can feed a village in Peru for a month, or cover the tip for a Wall Street executive’s lunch. What’s $200 when our nation is hemorrhaging millions of dollars a day fighting an unwinnable war? The more I thought about it, the more I agonized. Suddenly the answer was not so simple.

Struggling, I asked friends and family what $200 meant to them. The responses were overwhelmingly opposite of the sinister thoughts in my head and hitting much more close to home. $200 to my sister meant a much deserved weekend getaway for her and her husband after an exceedingly trying year. $200 to my cousin meant a flight from Denver to Chicago to visit with the family. A friend jokingly pointed out that $200 could buy 28.57 lbs of jellybeans…if I was “into that sorta thing.” $200 as a means to build memories, share moments, and fill the heart with love and joy. Hmm…

Simply put, I realized the question became less about a monetary amount and more about necessity versus nicety. I need food and shelter and medicine, but I want a shiny new gadget, a new pair of boots, and a vacation would be nice. It’s in our nature to want things, but not every want is evil, greedy, or outlandish. Really, it’s all about options…and thank god I have them!

About the show

An exploration into what this amount of money means given today's economic climate, this exhibition poses a simple question to CAD's resident artists: What does $200 mean to you? The exhibition will feature written responses alongside single pieces of art by each resident. Sale price for any piece of art will be $200, with proceeds benefiting CAD's resident artist program. Participating artists include Stacy Peterson, Jen Rosenthal, Chris Hales, Seth Gershberg, Mike Wilgus, Kirsten Strauss, Rebecca Rounds, Pei San Ng, Hansol Goo, Abraham Velázquez Tello, and Hilesh Patel.

Opening reception Friday November 13, 6-10pm

November 13 - November 22 {by appointment}
1837 S. Halsted
312-725-4CAD (4223)

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