The exhibition features well-known artists, including Guy Stanley Philoche, also known as the “People’s Artist,” a Haitian-born modern artist known for his sophisticated layering techniques and use of unique textiles. The exhibition also includes some artists from his collections, including Toronto-based photographer Laura Jane Petelko, Roddy Wilderman, Ani & Andrew Abakumovs, Ronnie Rob, Udo Sprietenzbafrth, Greg Gemery, Larry Stewart, and more. While the exhibition features well-known artists, Guy also provides an opportunity to bring lesser-known artists to the forefront by giving them a chance to showcase their work. “When COVID hit, I realized that this was something different.
First responders were being taken care of, but my community and my peers were really hurting. So, I went on Instagram and said that I was looking to buy as much work as possible. Three hundred pieces, three hundred artists, and $250,000 later, I created the Philoche Collection. I felt like displaying the artwork wasn’t enough; I could do more. I thought no one opened the door for me, but I could set the table twenty years later. So, I decided to reach out to a couple of galleries. Some of these artists never sold a painting in their life. I am grateful that I have a platform where I am in my career so that I can open doors for other people,” says Guy Stanley Philoche.
The gallery presents this exhibit as “The Influence of Art in the Home” to showcase the various aspects of art that can make one’s home an intimate gallery space of its own. Catherine Ponakala, the owner of Virgil Catherine Gallery, is passionate about bringing artwork off gallery walls and into homes. “I’m trying to educate people on the value of art in their home and the influence of art. Have your home tell a story-take a chance on a new and emerging artist.
Don’t be afraid to buy new and emerging art. It may go up in value, but you have something in your home that you love even if it doesn’t. And you are supporting something extremely important and cultural. So, we really want to focus on the idea of diversity, making art approachable, making a fun space in the gallery, and letting people know that you don’t have to go to Chicago to have these kinds of events; we can bring it to the burbs,” says Catherine Ponakala. The gallery features an eclectic mix of pieces that vary from photographs to brightly painted pieces to mixed media works of art that are sure to make a statement in various home environments.
For more information on the Virgil Catherine Gallery, check out Virgil Catherine Gallery. More information on the Philoche Collection and Guy Stanley Philoche’s artwork can be found at Philoche Studios.
Chante’ Gamby is a writer passionate about social justice and empowering others to live their healthiest lives. You can follow her on Facebook at Fringefam, Instagram@fringegram, or on her website, www.fringefam.com.