Joanne Aono

Gulf/Lake – Immigrant Waters (2017)
graphite and colored pencil on hand-inscribed paper
5.75 x 15.25 in. diptych

“These drawings are from the series ‘Blue Fields,’ a translation of my last name. They evoke the waters surrounding Japan, the country from where my grandparents emigrated, and the Great Lakes of the Upper Midwest, the place where I call home. Contrasting image and text, the overt with the abstruse, the present with the historical past, the pieces combine elements of bodies of water with underlying textual content. In many of my drawings, I use a process of holding drawing utensils like hashi (chopsticks), as a conceptual means to express the duality of embracing our differences and similarities, as we seek both assimilation and identity. With two pencils in hand, they are manipulated in opposition to each other while working together to create the drawing.”

Joanne Aono’s solo and two person exhibitions include Firecat, Victorian House, Images, Lee Dulgar, South Shore Arts, and Eyeporium Galleries; as well as group shows at the Illinois State Museums, Rockford Art Museum, Tallgrass, and the Evanston, Riverside, and Beverly Art Centers. She has received City of Chicago Arts grants and a fellowship residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her art has been reviewed in publications such as Hyperallergic, ArtLetter, Northwest Indiana Times, Chicago Magazine, and the Huffington Post. In addition to creating her multidisciplinary art, she runs the alternative art project, Cultivator – Chicago art exhibitions & farm art projects.

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© Joanne Aono