Meet an OHC site host: Jerzy Kenar of Studio Kenar
The doors to Chicago’s finest places and spaces don’t unlock themselves. This year, we’re introducing you to the passionate, enthusiastic people helping us put Open House Chicago 2017 together.
Jerzy S. Kenar is the owner and resident artist of Studio Kenar, which he opened in 1985. He specializes in monumental sculpture, painting and mixed media installations, including paintings with sound. The raw and untamed art found inside his studio is a stark contrast to the peaceful residential area outside. Since people passing by often overlook the studio, Jerzy is excited to invite the curious inside during Open House Chicago.
What is your favorite part about this site? Why should people see it?
I fell in love with the building when I first stumbled upon it back in the 1980s. The area was not what it is today. In fact, the studio used to house a dairy in the early 1900s. Looking back, I consider myself a pioneer of sorts, one of the first in the neighborhood to transform an undesirable building into my home-studio, complete with a sunflower oasis on a magical roof-deck. My studio offers a look inside my creative processes, a momentary glimpse into what happens “behind the scenes” without any unnecessary pretenses.
What do you love about Open House Chicago? What was your favorite OHC experience?
Open House Chicago offers an opportunity for the undiscovered to be brought to light. The experience is personal and focused. Young and old alike have a chance to tune out everyday chaos and experience hands-on what art is all about.
What is the most unusual or most common question you get asked by visitors?
I often get asked if ALL the art in my studio is created by me. The answer, of course, is yes. Currently, you’ll find an array of pieces, both paintings and sculpture, some dating back to the mid-80s and 90s, including the monumental wood and bronze sculptures from the “Voices from my Childhood” exhibit that was featured at O’Hare International Terminal #5. Pieces that are more recent include the monochromatic, peaceful and majestic “Black Paintings” with sound series (acrylic paint and mixed media on canvas).