Oakton’s exhibition features new work from Chicago’s Fern Valfer

Fern Valfer’s work has been exhibited extensively in Chicago.
Des Plaines (July 5, 2023) - Support local artist Fern Valfer and experience her most recent work at the “Rhythm and Resilience: Exhibition of Paintings and Mixed Media Works on Paper” exhibit at Oakton College. The art show — free and open to the public — runs from July 13 to Sept. 22 at Oakton’s Koehline Museum of Art, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines, Ill. A public reception for the artist will be held at the Museum Thursday, July 13, 5-8 p.m.

“Valfer’s ‘Fragments of Refuge’ was among the earliest exhibitions at the Koehnline Museum of Art,” said Nathan Harpaz, Museum manager. “Valfer’s persisting challenge has always been the struggle to use conflicting elements within the same entity. Sharp piercing gestures combine with sweeping lyrical movements. Delicate brushstrokes and colors exist within bold massive shapes. Areas of thickly applied paint dissolve into washes. Dark turbulences flow into reflective tranquility.”

About the exhibit
In “Rhythm and Resilience,” Valfer investigates light, color and rhythm as it relates to resilience in nature and the human spirit. The work emphasizes the use of strong linear elements. They coalesce as rhythmic intonations creating an echo. Light and color selections are significant and express content. Classical music from Spain became an important influence on Valfer’s current work. The time spanning across generations of the artist’s family from Barcelona dissipated with the remembrance of an ancestral homeland that was once a safe refuge for all. Music created by composer Johann Sebastian Bach also maintained a subconscious presence throughout the creative process.

About the artist
Valfer was a frequent visiting artist at the Graduate School of the Art Institute of Chicago Critique Panels. Her work has been exhibited extensively in Chicago. She received two residencies from the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts/Arts Midwest Visual Arts Fellowship Award, and has archival documentation at the National Museum of American Art and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. She also received grants from the Illinois Arts Council.

Valfer participated in numerous exhibitions, including at the Chicago Public Library, Columbia College, Chicago Cultural Center and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her works are in public collections at the Tefen Open Museum in Israel, Oakton Koehnline Museum of Art, Loyola University Medical Center and Loyola University of Chicago.

The Museum is open Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. from June - Aug., and Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. from Sept. - May. For more information, please visit https://www.oakton.edu/about/koehnline-museum-of-art/.