How do you situate your work in the context of the current moment?
Painting has allowed me to process and be present in this time of anxiety and instability. I’m interested in the constraints that painting offers, the illusion that pushes and pulls at the surface of the image plane. I been feeling a rekindling with the medium after experimenting with sculpture and video during graduate school. At the beginning of the pandemic, I didn’t have access to my studio so many of the projects I was working on were put on pause. I shifted my living room into a temporary studio space and focused on making images of mirrors. At first, I saw these works as literal devices for self-reflection, but now they have become more abstracted, intersecting with my larger research interests of gender performance and public/private ideas of the self.
What projects are you currently working on and how is social distancing affecting your art practice?
Since graduating, I’ve been working as a Visual Arts Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago, where I am teaching intro visual art classes to undergraduate students. This has been an interesting challenge with translating a studio classroom environment entirely on Zoom.
I’m currently working on two exhibitions, one being a group show for the 11th anniversary of Chicago artist-run space LVL3, entitled 11. The other will be a solo show (and a bit more of an experiment) at Space & Time Gallery. Both are scheduled to open at the end of February.
I’m also looking forward to the release of our thesis exhibition publication, expertly designed by Chicago duo Shelf Shelf. This will serve as an archive of this body of work and experience since our thesis show was delayed then ultimately canceled from public viewing due to the COVID-19 restrictions put into effect at the end of last year.
What advice and tips can you give to other artists during this time?
Reestablish what’s important to you and your art practice. Give yourself permission to try something new, take risks or take breaks. Don’t tie your productivity to your self-worth.
How are you cultivating community for yourself and what can the community be doing to support artists?
I really miss the energy of art openings and the spontaneous connections that form there, but now I’m reaching out to more artists online and promoting exhibitions I see on social media. I’ve also been working for local artist and curator Nicole Mauser assisting with Exhibitionisms, the inaugural exhibition at Space & Time. Helping with projects like this have kept me involved in the arts community in Chicago.
The best way to support artists is to buy their artwork, goods, and services. Go to spaces and galleries showing artists you admire or seek them out directly. If money is tight, offer skill shares, trades, or donate supplies/labor. Many people who are running these spaces are scraping by and showing these artists because they believe in what they do. Putting money where you value creative work, no matter the scale, allows these types of experiences to be sustained now and in the future.
Madeline Gallucci is an artist and educator living and working in Chicago, IL. She graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 received her MFA at the University of Chicago in 2020. Her work uses painting and sculpture to examine how societal expectations result in both anxieties and celebrations of revealing our authentic selves. Madeline is a recipient of the 2016 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Award and has held residencies at Minnesota Street Project, Grin Collective and Kansas City’s historic Hotel Phillips. She has exhibited in Chicago, IL, Kansas City, MO, New York, NY, Columbus, OH, Philadelphia, PA, Baltimore, MD, San Francisco, CA, and New Orleans, LA. Collections include the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, KS
You can follow Madeline on Instagram @madelinegallucci
Her website is: www.madelinegallucci.com