Learned Objects: Studio Works by William Estrada, Regin Igloria, Nicole Marroquin, and Rochele Royster

Learned Objects turns our attention to the material aesthetics and ongoing inquiries of William Estrada, Regin Igloria, Nicole Marroquin, and Rochele Royster. As educators and activists, these artists create conditions for participants in their civically-engaged projects to build community, share knowledge, collaborate, and raise consciousness about pressing social issues. This exhibition highlights the materially rich formal objects integral to the overall processes of such social practices.

For example, from William Estrada, we see selected photographs and a textural backdrop sculpture from “Portraits of Resolution,” a project amplifying community voices on issues of justice and mass incarceration, through sensitive portraiture. Regin Igloria presents two new installations and a set of large drawings, reflective of his inquiries into the movement of bodies of color through the urban landscape and the natural world, as well as the crafted material tools for doing so. The energized ceramic sculptures of Nicole Marroquin convey the conceptual perpetual motions of harmonious forces in lived activism, such as: self and collective, personal and political, teacher and learner, active fight and healing rest, and so forth. From across the gallery, Rochele Royster’s installation of nearly 1,700 “Dolls 4 Peace” may appear to be a single monumental abstract textile piece. Up close, we see fabrics meditatively bound with string into figures, at the scale of the child-sized hands that made them to memorialize loved ones lost to gun violence, advocating for change.

This exhibition is curated by Rachel L. S. Harper, PhD., and was organized by DePaul Art Museum staff.

Learned Objects: Studio Works by William Estrada, Regin Igloria, Nicole Marroquin, and Rochele Royster

Rochele Royster, Dolls4Peace, 2017. Hyde Park Art Center. Photograph by Nick Hostert.