Artist Michiko Itatani’s Celestia Narratives art exhibit is being hosted by Lewis and Clark Community College. The exhibit, which started Aug. 21, will be available to visit until Sept. 22. Located in the Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery, it is free and open to the public and features 28 large oil paintings.
Itatani is a Chicago-based artist who attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1976 to get her MFA. Her artwork has been collected by several museums, and she has received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Illinois Arts Council Artist’s Fellowship.
Itatani’s paintings were collected together to coincide with the solar eclipse as part of L&C’s observation of the event.
Itatani said in a press release, “All the work chosen is about human existence in the larger context of the cosmos.”
“The art in the Celestial Narratives exhibit was very powerful and awe inspiring. They evoked a sense of being small, but not insignificant. Like we are meant for bigger and better things,” Graphic Design Major Shelby Clayton said as she walked through the exhibit.
The artwork features cosmic imagery juxtaposed with smaller-scale elements such as forests, libraries, or a whale, as
well as several non-figurative pieces. The exhibit space features painted bookshelves, globes, and shoji-style paper walls placed to emphasize the combination of influences present in Itatani’s work.
“The art is really exciting! It makes me think of ideas of science and magic blended together in the artist’s mind,” Associate’s in Arts Major Stephanie Larson said of the artist’s work. She continued as she looked at a painting titled Encounter, “If a scientist discovered a new atom or a new form of energy, this is the artist they would want to hire to illustrate it.”
Those interested in seeing Itatani’s work, can visit the Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery and check out her website: www.michikoitatani.com