Ian Weaver is an artist and Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s College, South Bend, IN. His M.F.A. is from Washington University in St Louis (2008). He has exhibited nationally, including at the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM); The Chicago Cultural Center; and Fort Worth Contemporary Arts. His residencies include Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts; Ox-Bow; the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York; and Yaddo and the Millay Colony, both in upstate NY. Weaver’s awards include: the DeHaan Artists of Distinction Award; Stone and DeGuire Contemporary Art Award; Artadia, NY; Joan Mitchell Foundation, NY; and the Illinois Arts Council. He is in the collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis, MO; The Duke Wellington School for the Arts, Washington, D.C.; The Illinois State Museum in Springfield, IL; and many private collections in Saint Louis, Alabama, New York, and Los Angeles.
“My work utilizes a variety of media (such as Printmedia, drawing/collage, assemblage, sculpture, installation and film) which act as metaphors for “fracture”. I am interested in how we – as individuals and communities – construct our own identities and memories from the fractured, disparate elements of our lives. We do this through our commemorations and the objects we construct and archive.
The work centers on the Near West Side of Chicago: a large multi-ethnic community, and, specifically, the “Black Bottom” section of the Near West Side where black residents once lived. The various parts of the Near West Side and the Bottom were destroyed to construct an expressway and a university; as a result, the community lost much of its history. My project has been to construct a fictive history for this community utilizing a variety of handmade faux elements: museum vitrines, maps and documents of the community, various sculptures and textiles, as well as installation components. Recently, I have extended this construction to the creation of a fictional group, the Black Knights – inspired in part by my interest in both medieval heraldry and black activism – who have, ostensibly, lived within the “Black Bottom” community, circa 1940s. They have used political, social, and guerrilla tactics to fight for the survival of the community.”