Artists showcase their work to raise awareness of human rights issues

Jan 12, 2015

North Central College will showcase an exhibition Feb. 9 through April 4, featuring high-quality fine art by 18 artists nationwide to raise awareness of human rights issues.

The exhibit, titled “The Art of Influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions,” is free and open to the public in the College’s Schoenherr Gallery at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. An artist reception will be held in the gallery from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13; complimentary refreshments will be served.

Utilizing the beauty of high-quality fine art, the exhibit raises awareness of human rights issues to help generate a dialogue and encourage change. It specifically calls attention to the ongoing ancient rituals that kill or maim millions each year, yet are not considered crimes.

Presenters of the exhibit are curator and professor of art at The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago Charles Gniech, executive producer and author Cheryl Jefferson and coproducer and award-winning painter Richard Laurent.

This provocative, engaging exhibition debuted in 2013 at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, bringing the shadowy topics of honor killing, child marriage and acid violence—among others—to the attention of lawmakers. New art pieces have been added and the show has evolved into the unique presentation of some 50 pieces of fine art in a variety of mediums, designed specifically for North Central’s Schoenherr Gallery.

Gniech says, “I selected beautifully intriguing works of art that contain multiple levels of meaning. Each piece was chosen to elude to the issues at hand … the meaning ultimately defined by the interpretation of the viewer. For example, ‘Anticipation’ … is a 25-inch sculpture that presents a figure standing below a levitating sphere—unsure of the outcome. Everyone can relate, because all of humanity has experienced a sense of uncertainty. With reference to those struggling in socially and economically polarized cultures, the outcome may be fatal.”

The exhibition includes works of art by Corinna Button (Chicago), James Deeb (Evanston), Sheila Ganch (Chicago), Claire Girodie (Baltimore), Sergio Gomez (Chicago), Andrea Harris (Chicago), Paula Kloczkowski Luberda (Naperville), Richard Laurent (Chicago), Kathy Liao (Seattle), Zoriah Miller (New York City, Paris), Nancy Rosen (Chicago), Lorraine Sack (Indianapolis), Valerie Schiff (Chicago), Barbara Simcoe (Omaha, Neb.) and Anne Smith Stephan (Wilmette).

Most of the pieces in the exhibition are available for purchase. For more information visit   

North Central’s 2014-2015 Fine and Performing Arts Season is partially sponsored by season supporters, including BMO Harris, Casa by Charleston, The DuPage Community Foundation, Grant Thornton, J.P. Morgan, Main Street Promenade, Marquette Properties, Monarch Landing, Ryan Hill Realty, U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve, USG and Water Street Development.