Back to All Events

12 Openings / Part 3: Sarah Berkeley and Wen Liu

12 Openings / Part 3
Opening reception
Sunday, August 5, 2018 2pm - 5pm

Sarah Berkeley
Untitled New Work

Wen Liu
On the Nature of Aging

We are excited to invite you to the third installment of an exhibition titled 12 Openings, a yearlong experiment in collaborative curation with unpredictable results.

Over the course of the year there will be 12 shows, each having its own two titles, culminating in a group show of 24 artists.

Each month two artists are invited to install an artwork in or around the home of Laura Shaeffer, Andrew Nord, and their sons Sebastian and Jasper, making the private public and extending our understanding of home, family, and community. Both artists are then asked to extend the invitation to one more artist to do the same, thus adding two more works, and two more show titles each month. Each new artwork multiplies the connections between the existing artworks and, overall, constructs a cumulative exhibition that subverts the traditional top-down nature of curating exhibitions, replacing it with a model of artist-driven co-curation. The narrative arc of the show is not predetermined, but rather built upon the robust and criss-crossing networks of artists in this collaborative city. 12 Openings showcases the artists that other artists are curious about and allows these connections to shine as the exhibition grows. At the end of the run, the 12th opening, viewers will be able to see 24 original works by 24 artists, selected and inspired by their peers. 

We are thrilled to announce our third participating artists and their titles:


Sarah Berkeley
Untitled New Work

Berkeley will screen a video of a site-specific performance that she created at Waubonsie State Park in Iowa this June. In this performance she effortfully removes several Autumn Olive bushes while wearing a tutu and ballet slippers. The Autumn Olive is an invasive species in the park that was introduced by birds over the years and as a conservation measure in the 1990’s. The performance explores gender roles in relation to labor, violence and nurturing. Berkeley will facilitate a conversation about the work at the opening.


Bio: Sarah Berkeley is an artist who works across media questioning cultural norms such as the 9:00 to 5:00 work day, the office environment, indoor living, gender stereotypes and the voluntary sharing of personal data. She creates public interventions and durational performances which she documents using photography, video and GPS. 

She holds an MFA University of Michigan and a BFA from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has completed residencies at Waubonsie State Park, The Ragdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, ACRE, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Cedar Point Biological Station and 8550 OHIO. She is the recipient of numerous grants including the City of Chicago Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) Grant and the Rackham Research Grant. 

Her work has been exhibited internationally including at Joslyn Museum of Art, Museum of Nebraska Art, Rutgers University, The Ann Arbor Film Festival, Defibrillator Gallery, New Capital, Roman Susan, Mana Contemporary, Chicago Artists’ Coalition, Work Gallery Detroit and Mercury 20. Publications include Emergency Index, Center for Sustainable Practice Quarterly, DNAInfo Chicago, Quarterly West, and OVERVIEW by LAND and SEA.


Wen Liu
On the Nature of Aging

What is temporary and what is permanent? What is my place in this temporality and permanence? How do I deal with public recollection versus private memories? These questions drive my works, which address a sense of loss and abandonment, a sense of belonging and security. My art is a collection of reactions to the environments and objects I encounter in the unfamiliar city to build my sense of security coming from a foreign land.
I deconstruct and reconstruct through rubbing, cutting, peeling, stitching, casting, and stiffening the products to evoke a sense of bodily form. These processes, combined with found materials, set up a dialogue of human presence, subconscious insecurity, repeated consumption, and inevitable temporality. Details in the works are a testament to lived time and memory – the sculptures wear history on their surface, the process of decay called “aging” is built upon them.

Bio: Wen Liu was born in Shanghai, China and is currently based in Chicago. Wen Liu graduated with MDes in Fashion, Body & Garment from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Her art covers multiple disciplines, drawing from her background in wearable art, fiber, and sculpture.
She recently received the DCASE 2018 Individual Artists Program Grant and
fellowship from Vermont Studio Center Residency. Her work has been exhibited in the National Grand Theater in Beijing, China, Between Art Lab, Shanghai, China, Manifold Gallery in Chicago, US, and most recently a group exhibition as a part of the the HATCH Residency in Chicago Artists Coalition.