Naperville natives Kelly Reed and Jose Rivera spend their days working for organizations that help others.
Reed is a marketing associate for Rue29, a design group in Geneva, and Rivera is video editor for Wonderkind Studios in Glen Ellyn. Both businesses focus on helping nonprofit organizations promote their messages through design and video.
While Reed and Rivera both returned to the area after college, they each found the suburbs lacked an outlet for their work.
“About a year ago Kelly and I were talking how there aren’t a lot of spaces around the western suburbs that are well known to celebrate art,” said Rivera, a 2005 graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School and a photographer.
She and Rivera found themselves driving into Chicago to experience art as they wanted to.
So the two set out to change that.
Reed, a 2006 graduate of Neuqua Valley High School realized that she had to change her thought process.
“I feel like I’ve been such a skeptic of the suburbs while living here, saying there was no culture,” Reed said. “I reached a turning point and realized why not do something about it? I had to tell myself not to be cynical anymore. You have to stop being cynical if you want to see change.”
Reed creates ambient experimental music, a form of music that focuses on tone and atmosphere.
While a trip to the city seemed required to collaborate with other artists, Reed realized she was excluding a potential audience as she got more serious about her music.
As for Rivera, his black-and-white photography focuses on the mundane of every day life, often-overlooked moments in time.
“This is what I see in ordinary life,” he said. “Maybe someone will see something they didn’t see before.”
That’s when “Meditations: A Contemplation on Ordinary Life” was hatched. The exhibition will feature some of Rivera’s work and Reed’s music at 7 p.m. July 26 at Wonderkind Studios, 22w540 Poss St., Glen Ellyn.
Both Rivera and Reed want to give people an opportunity to interact with the artists.
“We want to push the community of out its comfort zone,” Reed said. “We’re creating something to have people experience art in a nontraditional way.”
In this digital age, Rivera hasn’t had a chance to work with print, but he’s spent the last few months working in the darkroom getting ready for the show.
“It’s a love letter back to the community that I love,” he said, of the photos that were taken in both Naperville and Aurora. “This is for them.”
For both Reed and Rivera, they look forward to sharing the art they were taking into the city with a new group of people. While local universities are typically the places where art happens, they want to open a new world to people whom they believe will appreciate what they have done.
Rivera’s boss looks forward to hosting the exhibition and seeing the work that his employee and Reed have created.
“He is a gifted visual storyteller,” said Brian MacDonald, the owner of Wonderkind Studios. “He has a skill to capture the subtle moment of a scene. It will be a compelling experience to combine his black-and-white print photography with her live music during the same event.”Tags: Good Cause