“Emotionally Heightened” is an exhibition of a recent body of work by visual artist Renee Kuharchuk. This collection of works embodies the feelings of anxiety, illustrated through close up snap shots of everyday habits and visual manifestations of these anxious feelings. These images illustrate a feeling and highlight that habit or symptom when emotionally heightened. We all have those subconscious mannerisms - biting nails, picking fingers, twirling hair, tapping a foot. What happens when a spotlight is shined on those mindless routines? What happens when we take notice of what is happening in our bodies when experiencing painful situations? These movements serve as a way to cope. It’s a manifestation of that emotion in our bodies; how we self-soothe.
The style of each painting illustrates the symptom or situation. Some works use short feathered marks that mimic meditative, repetitive movements such as yoga, prayer beads, or worry stones while others use loose swooping lines and layered energetic strokes to exemplify anxious or painful situations. The loose and wild brushwork create chaos and disorganization - a reflection of the internal struggle. By creating small clustered brush strokes using bright colors, the works leap off the canvas and almost vibrate with movement.
Renee Kuharchuk speaks to why she makes these paintings: “It’s important to me to create because it is how I process my experiences. We’ve all faced the topic my work centers around, we’ve all been emotionally heightened. I’m interested in these interactions and how being a woman changes those experiences in our society. Creating these works is how I process my emotions - through making the work, I can heal.”
This September, Brother Chimp Brewing will be hosting the solo exhibition “Emotionally Heightened” by artist Renee Kuharchuk. Renee is an artist working in the Chicagoland area. This exhibition displays 19 of her original paintings and is an exploration of portraiture and mental health.
Renee continues: “It’s so important to me to share these works. The more we talk about these experiences, the less we feel the shame around the emotions we feel. It’s such an awful feeling to be isolated in our internal thoughts. I want this work to speak to others, to let them know they are not alone.”
The exhibition is accompanied by an artists talk, where Renee will be answering questions about her work, describing her intention and purpose behind making these pieces. This is an opportunity to experience these works while getting personal insight into Kuharchuk’s artistic process.
Steve Newman, owner, founder, and brewer at Brother Chimp Brewery comments: “We are so happy to support local creatives. We’ve hosted other artist work on display at the brewery and local craft markets and art fairs. It’s important for us to connect with our community.”
Chicagoland based artist Renee Kuharchuk pushes the boundaries in her work to get the viewer to feel. Her works dominate the canvas and demand attention. A practice born from personal experience, Kuharchuk’s imagery is identifiable while her brush technique is stylized. Her collective mark making is a demonstration of her creative practice as a means for healing. This body of work brings awareness to our collective struggles with mental health.
Opening reception: September 7th 6pm-8pm - Artist talk 6:30pm
Exhibition on display: September 1st through November 1st
1059 West Orchard Road, North Aurora, IL 60542