Spotlight: Student + Marwen Lab Exhibition Opening at Chicago Art Department

Zoe Prekop

Zoe Prekop has been a Marwen student since 2011 when she was in 8th grade. Now in her senior year of high school Zoe has just completed her third year participating in the Marwen Lab program. Marwen Lab is a capstone studio program designed for Marwen’s highly motivated and dedicated young Chicago artists. Working closely with three teaching artists, Lab students work on independently driven projects in a variety of media and explore their personal and artistic interests over the course of a school-year. We asked Zoe to reflect on her final year of Lab and the body of work she’s developed as her culminating experience.

Describe a project you are currently working on:

My work explores the concepts of masculinity and femininity in terms of the relationship between wire and the body. I constructed a series of wearable wire sculptures that emphasize the physical nature (rigid, soft, delicate, strong) of each model. The wire can make the subject seem very soft, or very heavy. My pieces explore the way the wire comes off the body and gives an angelic vibe to the male models, showing their feminine natures. The dense, dark portions create a stronger contrast than the otherwise more delicate sections. This shows that the strength buy cialis 5mg daily use that is usually associated with masculinity can be found in femininity as well. Model Rebecca Maas (top right) wears a strong spine constructed of heavy wire, but with soft lines coming off. The presence of both aspects in the male and female models highlights the idea that all genders are equal. Men can be soft and women can be strong: it shouldn’t be A polarizing comparison.. The photographs document the wearable sculpture. Each piece is complete when I finish making it. Photographing each piece on the models changes its state so that it becomes something different. They emphasize the canadian pharmacy review viagra relationship between the organic and inorganic, as well as between genders. ZoePrekop1 What inspired you to work with these ideas? Three years ago, during my first year of Marwen lab, I made a face cage out of wire for fun. I found in in my house earlier this year and decided to bring it back to Marwen thinking I might do something with it. I was fussing around with it in class and someone suggested that I make full body wire suits to go with the headset. I loved the idea, and branch off from there. The patterns and techniques I use in my sculptures are pulled from looking at other artists and at the natural forms in nature. Ocean coral and plants are something I pull from all the time. The organic nature of the very geometric forms is a theme I have always used in my art, which stays consistent for this collection as well. I spent a lot of time looking at the techniques of Ruth Asawa, who does a lot of wire forming and weaving. That’s where I adopted the technique for the piece worn by J.T., where I wove a big sheet and fashioned it to his body.  Zoe

Describe qualities in a teaching artist that have been helpful for your growth as an artist: The teaching artists at Marwen are like family. They have always been there to support me in my usually crazy ambitious projects. They keep me grounded and realistic, but if I have an idea that is plausible, they are always there to help me pull it off. They push my creativity and my boundaries as an artist. Not only that, but they make class fun! We are always goofing around with our teachers, talking, listening to music, and snacking. The Marwen teaching artists are some of the most influential people in my life and I have them to thank for a lot of my success, they’re all amazing people! zoeprekop2

To see Zoe’s work in person, and the work of her fellow Marwen Lab peers, join us at the opening reception for the Marwen Lab 2014-2015 Exhibition this Friday, March 13 from 6-10pm at the Chicago Art Department in Pilsen • 1932 South Halsted Avenue.

For more information on how to be part of the2015-2016 Marwen Lab program, contact Christian Ortiz at


Verve About Verve
Verve aims to instigate reflection via a dialogue on arts education, art, and teaching practices. Developed by Marwen Fellows, Verve is an online collective and resource that bridges the distance between our schedules and locations to generate a timely, active dialog within our community. This collaboratively authored publication includes all factions of Marwen as well as peers and experts in the field of education.

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