South Bend Museum of Art Education Blog

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SBMA Opens Ian Weaver Exhibit

SBMA Opens Ian Weaver Exhibit

Once upon a time, there was a neighborhood called Near West Side of Chicago. It was a land rich in cultures where immigrants of many races and colors lived, worked, and played. It was a community, where families took root and passed on traditions while learning about and even absorbing those of their neighbors. And then, the wicked bulldozers in their steeled armor arrived, and the houses and neighborhood of the Near West Side were destroyed.

Such an account of Chicago’s Near West Side may sound too much like a fable or fairy tale to many, but for Ian Weaver, depicting the history of this lost community is as much mythology, folklore, and fiction as it is representing facts. His exhibit, Ian Weaver: An Incomplete History (2004-2011), now on display at the South Bend Museum of Art, features works of art that reconstruct the story of the Near West Side neighborhood. Using the testimony and family documents he collected from his mother, Weaver found himself an artist, taking on the role of archivist. What emerged was a fictional history museum, showcasing handmade maps, documents, sculptures and textiles, whereby Weaver portrays and commemorates the life of this extinct Chicago community.

“My work is informed by the concepts of history, memory, and mythology…conceptually it is located in the territory of the constructed narrative,” Weaver says of his project. “I was empowered to re-imagine this lost history, rather than simply to record it.”

The Ian Weaver exhibit will be on display at SBMA from June 18-September 4, 2011.



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