It is not difficult to identify the positive effects of the arts at both the individual and community level. Arts and culture do more than bring disparate groups of people together for the sake of sharing a common experience; they excite the imagination, provoke discussion, and provide an alternate point of view. Simple audience participation in the arts has numerous benefits. At the social level, it brings together groups of people that otherwise might never interact, thus promoting diversity and acceptance. Arts and culture also strengthen the community and increase civic pride, as well as attracting revenue. At the personal level, cultural events relieve stress, increase the scope of participants’ social networks, support creativity and innovation, and foster trust between individuals.
These are only a few of the reasons why ZIA Gallery is dedicated to promoting the work of emerging and established artists from all over North America. In addition to sharing our love of aesthetics, we also want to encourage community members and local businesses to participate and/or collaborate with us on future events to support area involvement in the arts. It seems that this sentiment is echoed by numerous members of the community, as the topic of neighborhood involvement in the arts was on the forefront at the opening of our current exhibition, Superheroes and Vignettes of Day-to-Day Life on June 22nd. The exhibition, on view until July 28th, features the fine art photography of award-winning artists Dulce Pinzón and Maggie Meiners. It was a very exciting night for us, as we entertained nearly 150 guests throughout the three-hour opening reception.
Several guests who had not previously visited the gallery noted that they were ecstatic to have discovered a progressive art gallery within Winnetka that evokes the feeling of being in Chicago or New York City. Visitors also expressed their fondness of the festive atmosphere surrounding the opening, and a desire for increased numbers of Winnetka businesses to work together to participate in cultural events that encourage community and family interconnectedness. To illustrate this point, a local artist and gallerist who was present at the opening on the 22nd recently returned to ZIA Gallery with her two sons because she wanted them to not only enjoy the visual appeal of the show, but she felt that the ideas being addressed were part of a necessary dialogue about identity and culture that she wanted to share with her sons.
By Shannon Gallagher, MAM