Gardiner C. Funo O'Kain
Biography

Gardiner C. Funo O'Kain is a native Chicagoan but was raised in Toronto and has also lived in Morocco, The Netherlands, Spain and Greece. Eventually she settled in San Francisco and later Austin before returning to Chicago.

In 2004, O'Kain left a career in feature film making and television to pursue an education in the fine arts. She graduated from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (BFA, Emphasis in Interdisciplinary Studio and Art Education) where she was a 4-year merit scholar. She recently completed her Masters of Applied Arts in Studio Art and Media Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada.

O'Kain has taught in The Art Institute of Chicago's Student and Family Programs, in the Film and Video Department at Columbia College Chicago, and at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois. She maintains an interdisciplinary studio practice in Chicago's West Loop. She is the founder and director of I.A.W.A. INTERNATIONAL ART WORKERS' ALLIANCE, CHICAGO LOCAL A-1, and THE A-1 DRAWING CLUB.
"Making Art Work"



Artist's Statement

I am trained in a variety of mediums--from printmaking and textiles, to animation and performance, but it is a love of language that provides a through line in my work.

My current work is strongly informed by duality in racial identity and by the experience of living in bilingual countries.

Additionally, themes of absence, distance and longing appeal to me, in part because of their metaphorical usefulness in examining ambivalent racial identity, and because of the difficulties they present when it comes to verbal description, and visual representation.

Principal influences include the work of the filmmakers Yasujiro Ozu and Agnes Varda; writers Kenzaburo Oe, Susan Stewart, Gaston Bachelard, and Dionne Brand, and visual artists Isamu Noguchi, Agnes Martin, Therese Hak Kyung Cha, Lee Ufan, and the Mono-ha Movement.


Selected Exhibitions

2014
Under Construction
SoHo20 Chelsea Gallery
New York, New York

2014
What We Do
Art Department Exhibition
Anne Brierly Gallery
Winnetka, IL

2014
The Yoko Ono Fan Club Exhibition
University at Buffalo SUNY
Buffalo, NY


2012
New Trier Faculty Exhibition
Anne Brierly Gallery
Winnetka, IL

2012
Here+There
MAA Thesis Exhibition
Charles H. Scott Gallery
Vancouver, BC, Canada

2011
Paper Trail:
Works on Paper, by Gardiner Funo O'Kain and Monika Moki Tantoko
North Branch Projects
Chicago, IL

2011
Upon Occasion
MAA First-Year Exhibition
Emily Carr University of Art+Design
Vancouver, BC, Canada


2011
Co-curator, with Kristina Fiedrich
New Directions in Drawing Symposium
http://newdirectionsindrawing.com/
Hosted by Emily Carr University of Art+Design
Vancouver, BC, Canada

2010
Nests/Sets
Group Show
Anne Brierly Gallery
New Trier Township High School
Winnetka, IL

2009
Temporary Allegiance
Gallery 400
University of Illinois Chicago

2008
BareWalls 08
School of The Art Institute of Chicago
(group, juried)

2007
SOHO20 CHELSEA GALLERY
(july/august, group, juried)
511 West 25th Street, 6th floor
New York, NY


2007
Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet
Chicago, IL
(june/september, group, juried)

2007
BFA Senior Exhibition
School of The Art Institute
Of Chicago
Chicago, IL

2006
Chicago Art Open
Chicago, IL

2003
Austin Fine Arts Center
Austin, TX
(group, juried)



Honors, Awards, Presentations

2013
Recipient
University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award

Summer 2009
Artist in Residence
Ragdale Foundation
Lake Forest, IL

Winter 2006/2007
Artist in Residence
Ragdale Foundation
Lake Forest, IL

2006
Co-Author (with Irina Zadov), A Record of Cabrini Green
National Art Educators Association Conference
New York, NY


2003-2006
Four-Year Merit Scholar
The School of The Art Institute
Of Chicago

1995
Actor in Residence
International Filmmakers’
Workshop at Rockport
Rockport, ME


Education

Emily Carr University of Art+Design
MAA, Visual Art
2012

School of The Art Institute of Chicago
BFA, Interdisciplinary Studio with an Emphasis in Art Education
2007





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