The Elmhurst Art Museum (EAM) presents an interactive exhibition Rescuer of Once Loved Thingsby Elmhurst Art Museum’s Education Program Coordinator Donna Castellanos March 17 – May 6, 2018. In this bold, hands-on exhibit, Castellanos collects and transforms everyday objects, which she calls “once loved things,” by inventing a new outlet for visitors to engage with them and explore their own creativity.
Castellanos has imagined each separate museum space as if it was a room in a house such as a study, playroom, dressing room, or workshop. Each thematic gallery has an autobiographical element, whether through materials important to her or narratives that evoke her past. Many of the exhibition materials were sourced from estate sales and thrift stores. Reusing these castoff items, Castellanos incorporates them into a variety of mixed media from painting, sculpture, installation, wearable jewelry, and clothing.
Throughout the exhibition, visitors encounter worn and well-loved items that share a commonality, from repurposed encyclopedias to antique musical instruments. Both nostalgia and inclusion are strong motifs as guests are invited to add their own contributions to her personalized installations. Other interactive elements allow guests to play, create and perform with the various works.
About Donna Castellanos
Donna Castellanos is a life-long Elmhurst resident, and now gives back to the community as an artist, curator, and educator. As the Elmhurst Art Museum’s Education Program Coordinator, she teaches a variety of classes and designs interactive interpretive displays for each of the major exhibitions. Since 2013 she has been the art director and curator for Flight 112, a local bar, restaurant and gallery in Elmhurst. Castellanos received a degree in graphic design from the American Academy of Art in Chicago.