Suellen Rocca, Elmhurst College’s curator and director of exhibits, is one of six prominent local painters who was invited to curate the ongoing group exhibition “With a Capital P” at the Elmhurst Art Museum.
On view through Aug. 25, the exhibition includes nearly 100 artists in six rooms, each curated by one of the painters according to her or his criteria and sensibilities. The painters could fill their room with whatever art they wanted, the only requirement being that they include at least one of their own works for reference.
“In early discussions with the six painters, I proposed a show that would provide space for other artists of their choosing, and produce a wide conversation around painting,” said museum Executive Director John McKinnon. “Each painter took their own curatorial direction, resulting in a large survey show with six distinct sections and numerous layers of engagement.”
The title “With a Capital P” is a reference to an approach that doesn’t always use paint or brush. The group exhibit represents the work of more than 45 peer artists based in the Midwest and beyond.
For her section, Rocca decided to exhibit multiple works by Susan Frankel and Frank Trankina, whose works also have been exhibited at Elmhurst College. “They’re two artists whom I greatly admire, and each has a very different approach to their art making.” As for her own work, Rocca selected her oil on canvas painting Ocean Ladies (1988).
One of the original members of the Hairy Who, Rocca most recently curated “The Figure and the Chicago Imagists: Selections from the Elmhurst College Art Collection” at the Elmhurst Art Museum. The other artist-curators in the “With a Capital P” exhibition are Leslie Baum, Magalie Guérin, José Lerma, Nancy Mladenoff and Kay Rosen.
An exhibition tour offering an in-depth look at the exhibition will be given on Saturday, Aug. 24, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the museum. Admission is free with museum admission or current membership. Elmhurst College students, faculty and staff are admitted free with their Jaypass.
For more information, visit elmhurstartmuseum.org. The Elmhurst Art Museum is at 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst.