DEMO Project presents More Alive Than Usual from artist Thomas Skomski of Wedron, Illinois. This exhibit is curated by Robert Michael Sill, Curator and Interim Director of Art and History for the Illinois State Museum.

More Alive Than Usual will make use of both DEMO Project galleries as well as the surrounding grounds. The exhibition will open at DEMO Project on Friday, October 13th from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. and run through November 4th. DEMO Project is open for the duration of the exhibit on Saturday afternoons from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. or by appointment.

Thomas Skomski Art

Curator Robert Sill on More Alive Than Usual:
In 2001 Thomas Skomski’s live was inalterably uprooted by a catastrophic stroke. The day started out like so many others, teaching art at DePaul University. Full of energy, he bounded up the stairs to the art studio bypassing the elevator. He remembers entering the room when it hit him and suddenly he dropped to the floor like a ton of bricks. Paramedics arrived within minutes administering the injection supposed to curtail further brain trauma, but it was ineffectual and he continued to hemorrhage. The miracle was that he survived to tell the story.

This DEMO Project installation is testament to his ongoing recovery and how the process of healing and recuperation profoundly influenced his creative process and has nourished a heightened appreciation for the transient nature of all things—natural and manmade.

This exhibition is a testimony to life lived creatively and to life period. This little white cottage of a house, that has housed so many, weathered all the storms and seasonal changes with all the various inhabitants over the many years since it was freshly built; all the Christmas’s, Thanksgiving’s, Fourth of July’s, the laughing, the crying, the screaming, the births and deaths, stands today facing its demolition–its end.

This installation honors those things. It reflects lives lived, it reflects life’ struggles, it reflects the passage of time and the natural processes of inevitable decay. It is both a mourning of loss and celebration of the precious nature of life.

Thomas Skomski’s numerous solo exhibitions include one-person shows in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo. His work has been in innumerable group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Korea. His public sculpture commissions include the concrete sculpture Impermanent Column on the grounds of The University of Illinois, Springfield. .

Skomski  has been a visiting artist at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, and Notre Dame University, and Visiting Professor at DePaul University.  He holds a BFA from Northern Illinois University and MFA from the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. He lives and works in Wedron, Illinois, with his wife Diane, and their two white rescue shepherds Juno and Blanco.

Robert Sill is Curator and Interim Director of Art and History for the Illinois State Museum. He has curated more than sixty art exhibitions including solo exhibitions of David Hammons, Jin Soo Kim, Nerieda Garcia-Ferraz, Michiko Itatani, Mr. Imagination, Jim Lutes, Richard Hunt, Theodore Halkin and Preston Jackson. Selected thematic and group exhibitions include: Protext: When Words Enter Art, Across the Divide: Reconsidering the Other, Think Small!, and Unearthly Delights. Sill has taught and been guest lecturer at numerous colleges and universities and has judged competitive exhibitions throughout the Midwest. He holds a BFA from Northern Illinois University, and an MFA from the University of Minnesota.