Andy Warhol exhibit has popped out at the College of DuPage

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A wave of color and art has taken over the College of DuPage’s McAninch Arts Center for the WARHOL Exhibit, which is now open until September 10.

DuPage County coming together for WARHOL exhibit

Communities across DuPage County have welcomed and promoted the exhibit. In Naperville, there are two Warhol-styled displays: a Campbell’s Soup can inside the 95th Street library, and the Nichols Library showcases Warhol-inspired pictures of four local Naperville celebrities. The pictures are part of the College of DuPage’s Public Art Project.

“She (Diana Martinez, Executive Director of WARHOL) really challenged each of the communities to come up with four notable, not necessarily famous but notable residents, so that we could really make this a county-wide event,” said Executive Director of the DuPage County Convention and Vistors Bureau, Beth Marchetti. “And to me, this is what product development is all about, right? Like where you’re creating an experience that touches so many different communities.”

Warhol’s style of art appeals to everyone

Andy Warhol is one of the most well-known American artists and he used different styles of art that attracts all types of people.

“The arts truly do appeal to everyone, whether you’re six years old or 70 years old,” said Bank of America Senior Vice President of Media Relations Diane Wagner. “You can take a look at what Warhol has done with his different mediums, whether it’s photography or print, black and white or color. It just truly has a feel for a cultural understanding of what art can do and how valuable it can be.”

Bank of America has its own Warhol art collection, which was established for the company’s ‘Art in Our Communities Program’. Its Warhol collection features rare complete portfolios and individual prints from the artist. The bank has loaned the pieces to be viewed at the WARHOL exhibit.

Warhol was a jack of all trades, as he spent time as a band manager and director, in addition to creating films, clothes, and of course, art. A distinctive style of his was pop art, which was sparked in the late 1950s.

Interactive pop art fun

The exhibit features a chance for kids and people of all ages to enjoy pop art in an interactive way.

“I wanted kids to experience pop art in a fun way,” said Executive Director of WARHOL, Diana Martinez. “So as you see on the walls, we have like the pop art explosion, like that cartoon era. And cartoons were really big in that era as well.”

Other areas inside the WARHOL exhibit

Along with the Pop Art Factory and the Bank of America section, there are five different areas that people can visit.

“So right now, we’re actually in a black box theater that we’ve transformed into another gallery to show the photographs of our collection, which is a great space because it’s perfectly climate controlled and secure, just like a gallery space. But it’s a little more dramatic with the lighting,” said Curator of the Cleve Carney Museum of Art, Justin Witte.

Another one of the art center’s theatres was transformed into a re-creation of Studio 54. The studio highlights some of the fashion and culture that surrounded the space in which Warhol was frequently seen. Replica outfits from many popular celebrities are on display.

The art center also has a complete historical section. Witte and his staff were in charge of putting up walls for the display and wrote all about Warhol, telling his life from childhood through his death. It also explains his evolution as an artist and individual.

“We’ve also taken areas on our second floor and transformed them into gallery spaces to show Andy Warhol’s Silver Cloud installation and displays of Interview magazine, which he founded,” said Witte. “The area behind the art center has been transformed into a Central Park area. So we spread throughout the art center. So if you come here, it’s really like a bunch of separate shows, all covering a different facet of Warhol’s life.”

Creativity can be hard to find as an adult, but the staff at the art center say that this exhibit can help bring that spark back.

“We read every day, we have to do math in our head for, you know, buying things every day, but we also, as adults and as a society, don’t always give ourselves permission to be creative,” said Martinez. “And the minute I find that you give somebody that opportunity, they really enjoy it and it really does help you grow as a human.”

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