Art exhibit explores imagination, childhood curiosity at Waukegan Public Library

"Standing On Color," an exhibit of abstract canvases by Evanston-based artist Marie-Simone Pavlovich, will open at the Waukegan Public Library on Wednesday, August 5, 2015. Pavlovich will show five canvases in the recently renovated library's new exhibition space. She works primarily in acrylic on canvas, with two canvases featuring paper collage.

The colorful canvases explore the imagination without boundaries and reflect on the very adult tendency to lose one's childhood sense of curiosity and experimentation. Quoting Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Pavlovich explains, "[Saint-Exupéry wrote that] 'all grown-ups were once children, but only few of them remember it.' We have to remember to go back to our childhood and see things afresh." It's in playing with the juxtaposition of colors, textures, and the representation of real and imaginary objects that Pavlovich hopes to engender this childlike wonder among viewers.

And it's when the canvases spark a feeling of surprise or amusement among those viewers that Pavlovich feels that she's been most successful. "I always try to keep in mind that I am telling a story that will amuse people who see the work," she says.

That's precisely the impression the Library hopes to elicit among its patrons. "I was especially drawn to the exuberance of her work. My goal is to show work that will make our patrons stop and look, taking time to think about what they're seeing," says Amanda Civitello, Marketing and Communications Manager at Waukegan Public Library. "Standing On Color" is intended to prompt questions and, the library hopes, discussion. To that end, Pavlovich will give a gallery talk at the library in late August. She will discuss her artistic interests and process, and give patrons an opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts.

Professor emerita of Northwestern University, Pavlovich taught her native French language for many years. She studied various studio methods at the Evanston Art Center, including abstract painting, gouache, collage, and others. She continues to be active with the Swiss Benevolent Society and the Alliance française.

The Waukegan Public Library is dedicated to empowering and enriching the lives of Waukegan residents through learning, from early childhood to adulthood. Its 2015 renovation completely transformed the main floor into a learning-focused library space ready to meet the needs of its patrons by creating spaces for art exhibits, collaboration, and quiet study and increasing the number of classrooms and tech-ready workstations.

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