Not Like I Remembered: Featuring Aristotle Georgiades and Gail Simpson

September 26 – November 13, 2014
Arrowhead Gallery
Two person show: Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades
Collision by Gail Simpson, 2013, Toys, 42 x 24 x 48 in., Photo Credit: Jim Escalante

Homesick by Aris Georgiades, 2013, salvaged wood, 44 x 20 x 20 in., Photo Credit: Jim Escalante

Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades' Artist Statement:
Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades are frequent collaborators as Actual Size Artworks, a team that does public artwork and large-scale outdoor sculpture projects. Individually they both produce work using found or salvaged materials. Their exhibition features recent work that addresses the subjective quality of memory and our attachment to materials and objects from the past, particularly in a culture that appreciates these things dominantly for their nostalgic value. The intersection of public and private space is also a main concern for Simpson and Georgiades, due to their involvement in public art.

Aristotle Georgiades’ current sculpture uses salvaged woodwork and building materials. Much of his work involves objects made from common materials. Some of the objects use materials that have been salvaged; one life removed in lieu of another. There are also works that use existing objects and re-purpose them into expressive sculptural forms. Most of these sculptures make reference to our continuous desire to move through life with purpose. Georgiades sees these repurposed objects as a metaphor for the human need to adapt and change directions when confronted with obstacles or failures. Often the objects he uses are approaching obsolescence. He sees a relationship between some of these objects and the situation in which many American workers, especially in the rust belt, have found themselves. We often find that we are no longer useful, and there is a need to reinvent oneself in order to survive and move forward. 

Gail Simpson’s recent works include a group of sculptures using cast-off toys and lawn ornaments, the type that appear in peoples’ yards at holidays. This produces a kind of idiosyncratic and illogical form that looks both humorous and bizarre.  Simpson is especially interested in combining objects from different decades –objects that people seem to have had in their garages for 20 or 30 years juxtaposed with more current versions of the same objects (snowmen, bouncy horses and jack-o-lanterns, for example) so that some striking coincidences appear. The space outside our homes or apartments is both private and public, it’s meant for use by the residents. But the objects often communicate to the community about who we are, similar to how a bumper sticker or yard sign does. A nativity scene communicates one thing and pink flamingos say something else. Impulses towards individuality and conformity often seem to conflict yet also appear together. 

Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades are sculptors and public artists who work individually and as part of Actual Size Artworks, a collaborative team. They are committed to the idea of artist as citizen and believe in the transformative potential of artwork in the community. Their work is characterized by a strong profile, a sense of humor, and excellent craftsmanship. Simpson and Georgiades’ public art projects can be seen in Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Kansas, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois and other locations nationally. They have also exhibited temporary projects around the United States and Europe.

Simpson has an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is originally from Chicago. Her recent projects reflect her interest in the intersection between the built and natural environment. Aris Georgiades is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from University of Michigan. His sculptures use salvaged building materials and objects, related to issues of adaptability and the changing nature of work, usefulness and ambition. His work can be seen at the Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago. Both artists reside in Stoughton, Wisconsin and teach at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. They are currently working on public art projects for Kansas City and Minnesota.

Lecture: October 9, 2014
in Von Ohlen Hall, room 114, Sugar Grove Campus
All our lectures are free and open to the general public.

For more information about the art exhibitions at Waubonsee Community College, contact Cecilia Vargas, Art Coordinator, at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2964.


Art Department:

Art Coordinator:
Cecilia Vargas, Von Ohlen Hall 209
(630) 466-7900 ext. 2964

Art Lab Assistant:
Esther Espino, Von Ohlen Hall 240
(630) 466-7900 ext. 5742