Oakton hosts exhibit exploring the cultural impact of shoes

A photo of painted shoes from Patrick Miceli's Played Out exhibit at Oakton College.

Des Plaines, Ill. (May 23, 2022) – Oakton Community College invites you to explore the cultural impact of the shoe industry with Patrick Miceli: Played Out, on display through June 30 at Oakton's Koehnline Museum of Art, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines.

In recent years, Miceli has intermittently used images of shoes, mainly as a project idea for his ceramic classes. Intrigued with both the results and the process, he fabricated pairs of ceramic shoes, firing the results with various surface treatments. By using shoes as images in his work, he has also discovered the cultural impact of the shoe industry that promotes athletic shoes as an emblem of status, not only within the culture at large but also in a variety of subcultures. Shoes have become such a sought-after status symbol that a criminal black market has evolved around them. Miceli’s Played Out is also about the significance of identity, attachment, and desire.

The Koehnline Museum of Art has recently featured a series of exhibitions illuminating significant chapters of Chicago art history from the early 20th century to the present. Miceli — an urban artist who uses research as a fundamental part of his creative process— is a Chicago native.

In the 1980s, Miceli produced realistic paintings of urban scenes like the Belmont El Station (1987), on display on Oakton’s Des Plaines campus. In the 1990s, found objects, such as “premium” toys given away by fast-food restaurants, became part of his installations. A major exhibition, For All Ages, at the Koehnline Museum in 1999, featured 20,000 such giveaway toys. Miceli earned his MFA degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. He teaches art at several schools, including Columbia College in Chicago and Oakton Community College. His work has been exhibited at Artemisia Gallery, ARC Gallery, Evanston Art Center, the James R. Thompson Center and the Chicago Cultural Center.

Summer museum hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit is open to the public and free of charge. 

For more information, contact Harpaz at nharpaz@oakton.edu or (847) 635-2633.