Aimée Beaubien: Drawn Through Allium with Patience and Good Fortune

June 26, 2022 - September 6, 2022

This June, Chicago-based artist Aimée Beaubien joined the Museum as an Artist-in-Residence. For this site-specific immersive installation, Beaubien created a one-of-a-kind work of art that celebrates nature and references her time in Newport. Drawing inspiration from the floral and plant embellishments and decorations in the Museum’s historical John N.A. Griswold House, Beaubien created this vine-like installation from allium plants that she brought from Chicago. Allium, which was also blooming in Newport during Beaubien’s residency, carries a symbolic meaning of “good fortune, patience, as well as grace” in the “language of flowers,” according to the artist. Since many blossoms sprout from a single bulb, they also represent unity.” 

Installed in the foyer of the  Griswold House, this work appears as a fantastical system of colorful plants and flowers growing through the Museum’s nineteenth century-architecture. Beaubien’s work is not only in conversation with the architecture and environs of the Museum and Newport; it also connects to the concurrent exhibition “Velvet & Silk: The Palmer Family Quilts,” in which 19th century quilts use the language of flowers.

About the Artist

Aimée Beaubien reorganizes photographic experience while exploring networks of meaning and association between the real and the ideal in cut-up collages, artists’ books and immersive installations. A photographed plant, interlaced vine, woven topography merge into fields of color and pattern and back again expanding the ever more complicated sensations of reading a photograph and experiencing nature. Beaubien’s work has been included in national and international exhibitions including SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA; Demo Projects, Springfield, IL; Gallery UNO Projektraum, Berlin, Germany; Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX; Marvelli Gallery, New York, NY; The Pitch Project, Milwaukee, WI; Virus Art Gallery, Rome, Italy. Her work is held in the permanent collections of Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, Chicago, IL; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Aimée Beaubien is an Associate Professor of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL where she has taught since 1997.