Temple Of: Julia Arredondo & Chad Kouri

Opening Friday, April 28th 5–9pm

There is something spiritual about the act of visiting works of art. Trips to museums, music venues, and performance halls become day-long pilgrimages leaving us curious, hungry, and enlightened. Like visiting places of worship, there is an unspoken expectation that a transformation of the self will occur. “Temple Of” emphasizes this expectation, leaning into the idea that experiencing works of art can be ethereal and possibly even divine. Julia Arredondo and Chad Kouri transform the gallery into an alternative space for worship, rest, communion, and spiritual expression, infusing ritual with play while making room for intimate looking and listening. The exhibition includes individual and collaborative works from Arredondo and Kouri that promote the idea of divine objects and experiences, including but not limited to in-person programming, performances, paintings, sculpture, instruments, sounds, smells, and more.

Under the title of Occult Americana, Julia Arredondo’s personal artmaking practice explores the manufacturing of talismans, amuletic prints and the process of assigning metaphysical value to handmade objects. This work is heavily influenced by botánica culture and the syncretic spirituality of South Texas. Julia’s latest explorations focus on the similarities of visual language in spaces of retail and worship. Visual merchandising and altar building share similarities in creating space to invoke desire or wish fulfillment through object placement.

Chad Kouri is a Chicago-based working artist and musician investigating the healing powers of color, sound, and abstraction. His mixed-race identity is mirrored by his multidisciplinary studio practice focusing broadly on visual Art, performance, and community engagement while considering theories based in minimalism, color theory, mutual aid, semiotics, Creative Improvised Music, and radical joy. Utilizing a wide range of skill sets and strategies, his paintings, performances, installations, and other projects remind us to stay curious and make time for play, rest, and introspection, inspiring a slower pace in our day-to-day lives as a form of self-care, personal grounding, and acceptance. He is a student of Isaiah Collier and Vincent Davis, studying saxophone performance and improvisational strategies and concepts.