Three themes, three artists in Bucktown's ARC Gallery


Nancy Fritz

Nancy Fritz, Ann O'Brien and P.J. Mills are three artists whose works are currently on display in ARC Gallery, 2156 N. Damen, in Bucktown. Though there is no overall theme to the show, Ann O'Brien points out the coincidental use of squares and bright colors unify the entire space. Be sure to stop by before it closes on Feb. 1.


Nancy Fritz's installation

With a mix of media, each artist has their own theme. Nancy Fritz chose Hatch as the title for a celebration of an auspicious year in her life. "My mother was turning 90, I was turning 60 and my oldest daughter was becoming 30," she explained. "So, I decided that I would do portraits of the women in my family as a celebration." 

The portraits, which she painted on wood, also gave her an opportunity to work on portraiture techniques. Not stopping with expanding just her painting skills, she decided to do some installations. 


P.J. Mills' "Crane"

Having grown up on a farm in Pennsylvania, surrounded by 2,000 chickens which her mother tended, Fritz went back to items and experiences that were familiar to her at that point in her life. Eggs, crocheting and various objects from those times were the sources for her installations. 

P.J. Mills, from Florida, filled his space with large canvases featuring images of objects. The objects are metaphors for identity, self-preservation and mortality. As Mills puts it, "They stem directly and indirectly from inanimate and animate personal possessions."


P.J. Mills

The items he chooses are small and often insignificant. He feels that his work thus illustrates man's obsession with self-preservation and ultimate mortality. His use of small objects in physical relationship to each other serves as an inspiration for more complex issues for which he creates metaphorical images.


Ceramic pieces are shown behind Ann O'Brien

Often riding her bicycle, Ann O'Brien uses Where have we been? Where are we going? as her theme to exhibit  pieces created on canvas and ceramic clay. 


Ann O'Brien paintings

"What you experience when you go from one place to another is what I am focusing on. When I ride my bike I see a lot of aspects of a road," she explained. Lines on the pavement, holes, specs of color, different textures and lines on a map, they were all part of her experiences and her inspirations for her pieces. 

Her colors range from pops of bright red and yellow to black, white and beige sameness. The circular images and bright colors caused me to smile. But then, maybe, that was because it was dark, cold, slushy and raining outside and the bright color was like the sun! 



ARC Gallery is the longest continually running all women coop in Chicago. They are celebrated their 40th year in 2013. Open 5 days a week their hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wed. thru Sat. and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Their phone number is 773.252.2232 and you can find them online.



Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Insert images and media with <pp_img> or <pp_media>. See formatting options for syntax.

More information about formatting options