Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jim Elniski - Bio

Jim Elniski is an artist and clinical social worker who works as both creator and catalyst.  His community-based art projects, in conjunction with various human-service organizations, educational sites and neighborhood associations, explore the dynamic interplay of the aesthetic experience, human behavior, and the social and natural environment. These projects typically develop over time and involve various gathering activities.  These activities, in turn, become the contact points for dialogue and interpersonal exchange, which are integral to the work and provide an opportunity for re-examination of the relationship of the physical and social environment.

Employing a trans-disciplinary approach, linking individual and collective expressions of the human ecology, his special interest as an artist, educator, therapist, and clinical consultant is how we contact, shape, and are shaped by the world around us. Sustainability is revealed as an ongoing process of give and take.

Elniski lives and works in Chicago where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art Education and Director of the First Year Program at the School of the Art Institute.  He holds an MFA in Multimedia from the University of Iowa and an MSW from the University of Illinois, Chicago. His individual work and collaborative projects have been exhibited nationally and internationally. A Certified Bioenergetic Therapist, Elniski maintains a private practice and is a Member of the Board of the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis and Esperanza Community Services.

Springs (2011)

Springs, created in conjunction with the Telluride Institute for the San Miguel Watershed Exhibition, explore the natural springs of the San Miguel Watershed as “local beginnings.” Water is a medium of connectivity.  Samples of water were collected from each of 25 springs found throughout the San Miguel Watershed. In the future, water from other springs will be added to this collection.

Conversations with residents about the locations of the springs are held throughout the region, creating a transcribed record of the place of water in their lives. The location of each spring is documented online (interactive watershed) with GPS, photographs and video.