Jan 20, 2022 - Things to Do

Beach artifacts become art in new show

Guy in front of art at gallery

John Soss stands in front of some of his work at his "On the Beach" photo show. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Artist John Soss takes "junk" from Chicago beaches and turns it into compositions that move, delight and tell you a lot about our city.

  • His "On The Beach" show is finishing up a run at The Dime in Wicker Park at the end of the month.

The inspiration: Soss says it started 10 years ago when sent pictures of neat beach glass to his sister, who Soss says, "took me on my first beachcombing walk back in the 80s."

  • "I said, 'Hey, look what I just found!' and never looked back."
"Sixty-One" and "What Were Once Vices are Now Habits." Courtesy of John Soss

The art: Selections include artfully arranged drug paraphernalia, shotgun shells from years of skeet shooting along the lake, firecrackers, doll parts and, of course, smooth soothing sea glass.

The aim: "It's gratifying when I see [visitors] smile or laugh or get otherwise engaged with the images. I know I've succeeded if I can make them feel something."

If you go: The show is open Saturdays from noon to 5pm, or Sunday by email appointment.

Speaking of The Dime gallery: It's owned by artist Tony Fitzpatrick, whose final museum show, "Jesus of Western Avenue," closes Jan. 31 at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art in Glen Ellyn.


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