Opening reception: Friday, 17 June 2016, 7–10pm
Exhibition: 17 June – 9 July 2016
Gallery hours: M–Sat, 10am5pm
Artist talks and demos: Wednesday, 6 July 2016, 6pm

A picture’s worth a thousand words. Or one. Or a multi-volume series of novels with no end in sight.

A single piece of art may take on vastly different meanings to different people. Even a work that wasn’t made with some sort of intended deeper meaning might stir a storm of thoughts and emotions within its viewer. Such is the power of art.

Opening on 17 June 2016 in the newly renovated 10,000 sq. ft. gallery space of the internationally renowned Zhou B Art Center, LEXICON is artist and independent curator Jenny Lam’s long-awaited successor to her I CAN DO THAT show, which was named the audience choice for “Best Art Exhibit” in the 20th anniversary edition of NewCity’s Best of Chicago issue.

At LEXICON, no artist statements accompany any of the exhibited artwork. Instead, on Post-it notes:

  • Visitors are invited to write down what each piece means to them, whether that’s how they interpret the artwork to what it reminds them of—a person, a place, a dream, a song, that adorable dog in a stroller spotted earlier this morning—and then display their writings next to each piece.

  • There is also a designated wall for visitors to create and display their own artwork, which are in turn be interpreted by other visitors.

  • The exhibition is always be changing and growing. Keep coming back to see what each piece is conjuring in people’s minds.

Each artwork thus becomes its own entry in a new lexicon, a new vocabulary created by an entire community.

Forget artspeak. Let the art speak, and let it speak through you.

Hailing from all over Chicago, the country, and the world, LEXICON’s participating artists include Adrienne Glover, Adrienne Powers, Agnieszka Ligendza, Aisha Yousaf, Alba Margarita, Alix Anne Shaw, Allen Vandever, Amanda Mudrovich, Andrew Ek, Angie Redmond, Annette Hur, Arturo Mazon, Brianna Baurichter, Céline Browning, Christine Nicklos, Cristy Corso, David del Bosque, Emilie Bouvet-Boisclair, Emily Calvo, George Lindmark, Jamie Gold, Jessica Smit, Judith Tussey, Julia Mellen, Karen Hirsch, Katsy Johnson, Kelli Anthony, Kristin Ingram, Laura Lein-Svencner, Lisa Goesling, Mairin Hartt, Michael Coakes, Olivia Shih, Peggy Shearn, Peyton Michelle Rack, Rachel Dennis, Rita Grendze, Russ Revock, Sandra Bridges, Scott Fincher, Shane Small, Sheila Arora, Stuart Hall, Su Yin Zhou, Zachary J. Williams, Zoe Beaudry, and you.

Jenny Lam is an artist, independent curator, and writer. The Chicago-born daughter of Hong Kong immigrants, she graduated from Columbia University in New York City, where she served as the President of Postcrypt, Columbia’s undergraduate art gallery. Her site, Artists on the Lam, was named “Best Local Visual Arts Blog” in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago issue. Called a “polymath wave-maker” and “pioneer” whose art “is interactive, collaborative, and as much fun for viewers as it is for artists” by Gapers Block, she received the Individual Artists Program grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for her ongoing public art project, Dreams of a City. She also blogs for Time Out Chicago and is writing and illustrating her own series of children’s books.

LEXICON is located at:

Zhou B Art Center, 2nd floor
1029 W. 35th St.
Chicago, IL 60609

For artwork sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes looks, press coverage, updates, and more, visit the LEXICON tag.

Follow Artists on the Lam on InstagramTwitter, and Tumblr, and invite yourself to the show’s official Facebook event page. 

Email: artists.on.the.lam {at} gmail {dot} com 



All artwork in the exhibition can be viewed here.

Read about the opening night in this post.

All your Post-its, as well as the reveal of the artists’ original statements, can be viewed here.
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