Information provided by South Shore Arts
MUNSTER, Ind. (November 23, 2021) – This winter, South Shore Arts has transformed its gallery into a comic reading experience. A Story Like Mine is an exhibition of contemporary comic art and literature featuring works by Breena Nuñez, Carta Monir, Gabe Garcia, Jorge Garza, Lawrence Lindell, Nate Powell, and Whit Taylor. All of these comics creators have an extensive history of distributing their comics via independent presses or through self-publishing, and their work reflects the complex and ephemeral nature of biased systems that continue to work against marginalized groups.
In addition to original work — finished pages, character studies, sketchbooks, typed manuscripts, etc. — contributed to the exhibition by each of the artists, the gallery is dominated by large-scale reproductions of pages from their comics. Some of the reproduced pages measure nearly eight feet in height, such as pages from Northwest Indiana comic artist Jorge Garza’s “Tetlacatl,” a comic inspired by Aztec culture featuring a stone robot battling colossal monsters. In the case of “Stealth Mechanic” by Carta Monir, the comic, originally published as a webcomic, has been printed in its entirety and is displayed on the gallery floor so that viewers can read the comic while moving through the gallery space.
The emphasis on the reproduced page was a key element of the exhibition, according to the co-curators, Gabe Garcia and Micah Bornstein. They felt including original work was important as it serves to show the process behind how comics are made, but they didn’t want the original art to take on greater importance than the printed page. With comics the original art is only a means to an end. Comics are intended to be reasonably accessible and easily disseminated in their finished form. For the co-curators, that’s why comics are so powerful.
The comics by the artists featured in the exhibition, combined with the comics selected in the exhibition reading area, tell stories rooted in a diversity of lived experience. The result is a powerful collection of stories from some of the most engaging contemporary comics creators working today.
A Story Like Mine will run from November 15, 2021 to March 5, 2022. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, December 17, 2021, 6–9 p.m. A panel discussion with the artists and co-curators will take place prior to the reception from 5 – 6 p.m. The exhibit is documented through the publication of an exhibition catalog featuring an essay by Howard Rambsy II, professor of literature at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where he teaches courses on African American literary art and comic books. He is the author of Bad Men: Creative Touchstones of Black Writers.
Contemporary comics are created for a broad range of audiences and ages, and A Story Like Mine is an exhibition of contemporary comic work. As such, it is important to note that the content of the work in this exhibition deals with mature subject matter about race, immigration, mental health, gender, and sexuality.
This exhibition is made possible in part by a Project Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. South Shore Arts is located at 1040 Ridge Road in Munster, IN.