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Social Habitat: The Porch Project by Heather Hart
School of Art & Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Above: Heather Hart, Uncle Julius’ Porch, 2008. Southern pine; Paul Robeson and Participation, Dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.
Above: Heather Hart, Uncle Julius’ Porch, 2008. Southern pine; Paul Robeson and Participation, Dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.

February 21–April 5, 2014

Figure One
116 N. Walnut
Champaign, IL 61820
Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 11am–7pm
Friday–Saturday 1–9pm

www.figureone.org
www.art.illinois.edu

Figure One, an off-campus project space run by the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is pleased to present one of its most ambitious undertakings to date, Social Habitat: The Porch Project by Heather Hart. Curated by Rehema Barber, Visiting Coordinator of Figure One, the exhibition will transform Figure One’s main gallery space into an engaging and activated environment that invites passersby, students, and community members to engage with each other, the space itself, and the various activities unfolding within it. Heather Hart has previously built utilitarian inspired sculptures for the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Socrates Sculpture Park. Social Habitat: The Porch Project will be her largest porch to date.

Hart’s use of a porch-like structure serves as a metaphor for safety zones—as spaces for communication, open identities, and as sites for self-empowerment and reclamation. Hart desires to present and bear witness to the shifting identities spaces—in this case a porch—inhabit, as different programming unfolds within, around, below, and above its surfaces. Utilizing this common domestic architectural form, Social Habitat: The Porch Project by Heather Hart will serve as a meeting ground for community engagement, dialogue, education, and interdisciplinary arts happenings. The overall aim of this project is to encourage reflection about physical, spatial, and psychological identity, while also situating Figure One as a space and place where segments of community are formed and defined—where people congregate to socialize, voice their ideas and concerns, or listen to tales long forgotten.

Every Friday evening, as a key component of Social Habitat: The Porch Project by Heather Hart, related programming will be presented from 5 to 8pm. On select Saturdays, films that converge with the exhibition’s themes will be screened for the general public. Community members are openly invited to propose additional programs throughout the week that are based within the various disciplines represented at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about the programs and events taking place in conjunction with Social Habitat: The Porch Project by Heather Hart, please visit www.figureone.org.

About the artist
Based in Brooklyn, Heather Hart was an artist in residence at Skowhegan, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Santa Fe Art Institute, Fine Arts Work Center, and at the Whitney Independent Study Program. She has received grants from Joan Mitchell Foundation, Harvestworks, Jerome Foundation, and a fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has been included in a variety of publications and exhibited worldwide at the Socrates Sculpture Park; Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park; Studio Museum in Harlem; Art in General; Rush Arts Gallery; No Longer Empty; Museum of Arts and Crafts in Itami, Japan; Portland Art Center; and the Brooklyn Museum. She studied at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Princeton University in New Jersey, and received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Hart is currently a recipient of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace.

About Figure One
Figure One is a laboratory that supports projects, exhibitions, and events stemming from all areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As an off-campus venue, Figure One is a public test bed for new ideas to take shape in the space between the safety of the classroom and the rigor of the professional world. Figure One is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11am to 7pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 9pm.

Sponsorship for Social Habitat: The Porch Project by Heather Hart at Figure One is generously provided by the the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Illinois School of Architecture, the Illinois School of Art + Design Visitors Committee, the Jerold Ziff Fund, George Grubb and Robert Ballsrud.


February 14, 2014