RISK: Empathy, Art, and Social Practice

February 10 - April 26, 2014

Opening Reception: February 13, 5:30 - 8:30pm
College Art Association Conference: An Evening at Columbia College

Closing reception and catalogue release party Saturday, April 26, 6:30-8:00pm. Free and open to public. In conjunction with the Museum of Contemporary Art symposium: “Out There: Contemporary Practice, Art, and Civility”

RISK considers the interdependent role of empathy and risk in socially engaged art as practiced by Chicago contemporary artists. The exhibition features artists who work in a public arena to foster connections between individuals and to activate communities. Their work invites the outside in, blurs the lines of public/private, reveals our mutual dependencies and effects social change. The "success" or "failure" of these relationship-driven projects, however, can never be guaranteed, as this porous, process-based art form exists in unpredictable, shifting environments.

The works in RISK are divergent in medium, content and scope, but all share an interest in initiating and negotiating relationships through personal interaction. Projects range from a community Shack built in the gallery to the staging of an actual Wedding Party to herbal remedy offerings from an Anxiety Garden and vintage Tintype Portrait sessions. Working with cultural partners and sites across the city, RISK highlights some of the most exciting practice emerging in this field and explores artists' motivations and viewers' expectations for socially engaged art.

Click here for Calendar of Citywide RISK Events.

Participating Artists:
Alberto Aguilar
Jim Duignan
Industry of the Ordinary
Samantha Hill
Kirsten Leenaars
Faheem Majeed
Cecil McDonald, Jr.
Jennifer Mills
Cheryl Pope
Museum of Contemporary Phenomenon
Potluck: Chicago
Fereshteh Toosi

Curated by Amy M. Mooney and Neysa Page-Lieberman. With Assistant Curator Marcela Andrade, MA in Visual Arts Management, '14.

Satellite partners and venues include the Risk Performance Fest at 6018North, Samantha Hill at the  Hyde Park Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Rebuild Foundation at Dorchester Project,

Generously supported by a grant from The Joyce Foundation.

The Joyce Foundation

Blanc Gallery, Bronzeville Historical Society, Civic Lab, Chicago High School for the Arts, En Las Tablas Performing Arts, From the Roots (formerly known as Social Innovation Advocates), GARLIC & GREENS, Garfield Park Conservatory, Harold’s Chicken, Hemlock of Illinois, Hyde Park Art Center, Khalfani of Impolite Society, Lindblom Arts and Science Academy, Margaret Burroughs Collective, North Branch Projects, ONO, Parkway Ballroom, Ron Kobold 746 Studios, Sacred Keepers Sustainability Youth Garden, Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, Spanglish Mexican Kitchen, South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Territory Urban Design Team, and University of Illinois Extension’s Master Gardener Program.

Columbia College Academic Partners: Asian American Cultural Affairs, Art + Design; Campus Environment; Center for Book + Paper Arts; Creative Services; Interdisciplinary Arts; Institutional Advancement; Multicultural Affairs; Photography; Science and Mathematics; and Student Affairs

Exhibition Contact: Justin Witte/jwitte@colum.edu/312-369-8177

Press Contact:


Press and Reviews:

Chicago Public Radio “Bronzeville's vibrant past comes to life in new art exhibit"

Chicago Tribune Winter Art Preview

RISK Press Release

Sixty Inches from Center "Weekly Picks"

College Art Association Blog "5 Exhibitions to See"

CAA's Committee for Women in the Arts "CWA Picks"

Matt Robinson Interviews Kirsten Leenaars

New City - Samantha Hill featured in "Art Break: Bronzeville's Second Renaissance"

Bronzeville Historic Society Blog, profile of Samantha Hill

DNA Info: “Performance Art at Columbia College Includes Free Dream Wedding for Couple”

Hyperallergic: “An Art Wedding Full of Strangers”

New City: “Review: Wedding to Unknown / Glass Curtain Gallery”

Bad at Sports: “Amy Mooney and Neysa Page-Lieberman on Risk”

Chicago Tribune: “Artist Samantha Hill Reconstructs Bronzeville’s History"

Bad at Sports: "Strangers Unite to Celebrate Wedding to Unknown”

Sixty Inches fron Center: Connor Moynihan interviews curators Neysa Page-Lieberman and Amy Mooney

Gender Assignment: “Wedding to Unknown, Making the ‘Me’ ‘We'."