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Artist Lecture: Allison Lacher & Jeff Robinson
With its seven framed-out wooden façades, Allison Lacher and Jeff Robinson’s Subdivision transforms two galleries into a faux neighborhood where, on a weekly basis, additional artists are invited to manipulate one of the home-like structures in any manner of their choosing. Glossy white sheets of acrylic are attached to the face of every façade, each bearing its own vinyl decal depicting a common household object such as a vent, light switch, or power outlet. The installation immerses visitors in a landscape that evokes a recession-stricken, partially developed subdivision that is strangely populated by utilitarian-looking, Mondrian-like sculptures surrounded by decals of picket fences.
Allison Lacher and Jeff Robinson began their collaboration in 2015 with the exhibition “A Kitchen Without a Knife is Not a Kitchen” at Kitchen Space gallery in Chicago. For the next year-and-a half the duo continued to produce collaborative exhibitions at Museum Blue, St. Louis; Roman Susan, Chicago; Outhaus, Champaign, Illinois; and The Ski Club, Milwaukee. Lacher and Robinson are Co-Directors of DEMO Project, an artist-run contemporary art gallery in Springfield, Illinois. Individually, Lacher has exhibited nationally at venues such as E.TAY Gallery, New York; The Luminary, St. Louis; CAUC Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Illinois State Museum, Chicago and Springfield. She received a bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in sculpture from Indiana University, Bloomington. Along with a rigorous independent curatorial practice, Lacher is the gallery manager at the Visual Arts Gallery of University of Illinois at Springfield. Robinson’s work has been exhibited at the Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center, Chicago; Northern Illinois University Art Museum, DeKalb, Illinois; (SCENE) Metrospace, East Lansing, Michigan; and University Galleries of Illinois State University, Normal, among others. He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois at Springfield, and a master’s degree in fine arts in painting from Illinois State University. He works at the University of Illinois at Springfield as an Instructor of Art and as the director of the Visual Arts Gallery.