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Frosting and sprinkles used as artistic medium in new exhibit

‘Embracing the Chaos’ explores value and meaning of ritual celebration

  • Runs Jan. 6 through Feb. 12 at Dittmar Memorial Gallery
  • Subjugates celebration with chaos through art made from cake
  • Questions how meaning is assigned to experiences and what is truly important

EVANSTON - Cake, sprinkles and gold leaf are among the edible art that Chicago-based artist Erin Elizabeth uses to explore what is truly important in life at an upcoming exhibit at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery.

Through “Embracing the Chaos,” Elizabeth explores the ways in which meaning is assigned to experience. She explores the hierarchy of experiential value, questioning the purpose of celebration as a “ritualistic punctuation of the mundane.”

Unpacking the cultural associations of celebration, “Embracing the Chaos” looks at issues of waste, consumerism, feminism and social identity. The role of tactile and olfactory senses in creating lasting memories and solidifying interpersonal bonds is explored.

The artist pays homage to monotony, exalts banality and subjugates celebration with chaos.

“Are routine experiences less important than celebratory moments that require preparation and planning, the anticipation of which is akin to emotional foreplay?” Elizabeth asks.

Elizabeth describes each piece of art as a “case study” that “teeters in an ambiguous chasm between expectation and reality, desperately attempting to capture fleeting moments while simultaneously surrendering to the inevitability of change.”

“Embracing the Chaos” runs Jan. 6 through Feb. 12 at Dittmar Memorial Gallery, located inside Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston. A special reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 6. Admission to the exhibit is free.

For more information, visit the Dittmar Memorial Gallery website.

Dittmar Memorial Gallery is a member of Northwestern Arts Circle. For more arts at Northwestern, visit the Arts Circle website.

About the artist

Erin Elizabeth is a conceptual artist based in Chicago. She received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from Illinois State University. Elizabeth has exhibited works in Chicago; New York; Indianapolis; and Limerick, Ireland.

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