art curatorial collective

Crafting Pragmatics
Angela Finney, Noel Mercado and Hope Wang

ENGAGE Projects is excited to announce the opening of Crafting Pragmatics guest curated by Anna Cerniglia of Johalla Projects and featuring the work of Angela Finney, Noel Mercado and Hope Wang. This exhibition expands discourse around utilitarian practices, technology, material culture, and history of craft with modern outlooks.

Johalla Projects and ENGAGE share a commitment towards arts advocacy, building and strengthening diverse and innovative visual arts representation in public contexts, and enriching the local Chicago arts community. Partnering together for the first time, Crafting Pragmatics is an opportunity for both organizations to further broaden artist access across Chicago’s programming and communities.

Crafting Pragmatics is a space where binaries, such as craft and fine art or functional and decorative, blend and bend into overlapping conversations, innovations, and experimentation. For her Perspectival series, Angela Finney engages with the histories of art, design, and craft to imbue her works with multiple perspectives. Inviting found objects into her work, legacies of material culture vibrate against geometric painted patterns and forms, charging the visual space with an elastic sense of time and context. Steeped in the history of weaving and textile work, Chicago-based artist Hope Wang, fuzes traditional technique with digital technology that provokes a layering of contradictions. Calling forth fleeting moments of the human condition, her compositions are imprints of our ephemeral passings and the impact our gestures can bring forth. Noel Mercado mines iconographies, histories, and spiritualities to re-orient context and awaken contemplation. Anchored in the history of furniture making and embroidery, Mercado interweaves a layered archive of collected moments that become a visual meandering through his inner world and cultural touch points. 

Johalla Projects and ENGAGE are proud to feature Finney, Mercado and Wang in the exhibition Crafting Pragmatics, opening Saturday, January 13th, and remaining open through February 10, 2024.