November 21, 2020—February 20, 2021

Heather Becker/Jeanne Gang_
Whitney Bedford/Anna Schachte_
Antonia Contro/Clara Lyon/Hannah Collins_
Megan Greene/Thalia Agosto_
Diana Guerrero-Maciá/Jesse Harrod_
Anne Lindberg/Ginny Threefoot_
Earth Art Creatives/Carolyn Ottmers_
Liliana Porter/Ana Tiscornia_
Lisa Solar/Liz Nielsen_
Dannielle Tegeder/Sharmistha Ray_

Carrie Secrist Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition Only Connect. This exhibition opens November 21 and continues through February 13, 2021. It will be viewable in person and by appointment at our gallery space located at 900 W. Washington BLVD, Chicago, IL and in our online viewing room. To make an appointment in person, please email the gallery at

Only Connect is inspired by a short epigraph found on the title page of E.M. Forster’s novel Howards End as an essential reminder of the power of connection. In essence, this “connection” moves beyond the moral and social importance of the relationship between individuals and their backgrounds, and is something more private and essential: the personal and necessary value of connection and mutual understanding, regardless of time.  

This is an exhibition about the connections artists forge, the conversations they have, and the ways in which they lift each other up. The show presents ten pairings of artists who have connected in variety of diverse ways that express a desire to inspire and be inspired by each other. Some of these connections include a shared studio practice, material consciousness, conceptual underpinnings, sense of community or ethos, explorations outside the visual arts and educational connections.

This curated grouping composed of artists involved with Carrie Secrist Gallery presently and over the years examines connections and art that were made primarily during the disconnected time of 2020. With each collaborative effort, gender plays a role in their creative process but is not the basis on which the work should be considered. Only Connect aspires to present an art world that feeds off of shared inspiration, dialogue and support for each other’s creative evolution.



To view the Online Viewing Room pease click the button at the top of this page.


To read Carrie Secrist’s curatorial statement for Only Connect please click here to download.


In addition to the exhibition, the gallery will be presenting a series of virtual webinars featuring each grouping, where the artists will be discussing among other things: how they connect, respective studio practice and creative life in the time of COVID-19. 

Lisa Solar + Liz Nielsen: Wednesday, February 3 at 6PM CST LINK

Jeanne Gang and Heather Becker: Wednesday, February 10 at 6PM CST

ZOOM links are forthcoming.



Below is a series of responses by each grouping of artists when prompted with the question: How do you connect? 

Heather Becker/Jeanne Gang
The connections between Heather Becker and Jeanne Gang are vast and ever changing. They met at an event one evening many years back and talked for hours upon first meeting. Since then their connections cross everything from their individual patterns and the creative process, journaling and drawing, and sharing many other passions like hiking in the forest, yoga, watching birds, and traveling to see various forms of nature and the wild. The two works chosen focus on one of their common interests, birds.

Whitney Bedford/Anna Schachte
Anna and I “connected” when we were both undergrads at Rhode Island School of Design almost 20 some years ago; we have always remained in touch and, in sight since Anna and her family moved to Los Angeles a few years ago. I admire her emotion, her story telling, and her persistence that she has always carried, now more beautifully than ever.

Antonia Contro/Clara Lyon/Hannah Collins
This is where Correspondence, my visual and musical collaboration with violinist Clara Lyon and cellist Hannah Collins began at the advent of COVID: We were bewildered and anxious; words were ineffective. Art was the shared language we called upon to find balance and inspire hope; to connect. English, Italian, and art—I am multilingual. These languages are all tools for relating, for communicating. Art is my preverbal, intuitive, and conceptual language, the one that provokes ideas and catalyzes making. It is especially rewarding to share an idea and develop a project across multiple disciplines with kindred artists, practitioners, and thinkers; to investigate, deepen, and expand a vision through collaboration.

Megan Greene/Thalia Agosto_
Thalia Agosto was a student of mine for two years at the Chicago High for the Arts. I am interested in our pairing, a mid-career artist with a newly emerging one, as a way of reflecting on the path of an artist’s career, the act of drawing, and the struggle to make work that is somehow resonant.

Diana Guerrero-Maciá/Jesse Harrod
It is safe to say that we quickly fell into a deep art crush early on in our friendship. We met as teacher and student but soon after realized we had a kinship as weirdo art makers who shared many crossovers in our lives: Our families are exiles from their homelands; passing is a part of our lived experience; we both code-switched while growing up; the way we use materials is an assertion of our lived experience. Therefore, we believe in the power of materials to speak multitudes.

Anne Lindberg/Ginny Threefoot
Over the last several years, I have found poetry to be a grounding influence on my work, often returning to the work of Alice Oswald, Tomas Tranströmer, Anne Carson, Rumi, Inger Christensen and Emily Dickinson. I selected contemporary poet Ginny Threefoot because we have an uncanny and intuitive relationship with one another’s work. We hold a shared interest in mystery and indeterminacy while rooting each of our works in the mutability and constancy of human life. 

Earth Art Creatives/Carolyn Ottmers
Earth Art Creatives is a new collaborative that came into being in part as a result of the unforeseeable lockdown of 2020. In the spring of 2018, we acquired the neighboring property to our home and began to create an outdoor curation that mirrored the interior of our home. Treating the botanical elements of the garden as an artistic medium as well as integrating artworks into the landscape, a unique, sustainable and tranquil environment was established, moments before we all would begin to understand the importance of our outdoor space during a pandemic. The organic sculptures of Carolyn Ottmers have long shared my interest in nature as it can be translated in art. Her hanging stainless steel “Splices” are installed amongst the wisteria and honeysuckle trellises, creating a magical conversation in an urban garden space. Earth Art Creatives is Carrie Secrist / Carrie Secrist Gallery, Amy Beltemacchi / Generative Land and Andee Hess / Osmose Design.

Liliana Porter/Ana Tiscornia
Our collaborations (Porter/Tiscornia) started more than 20 years ago making public art and later photography, collages, paintings, videos and theater.  I have lived with Ana and shared the studio since 1991. The way we connect is interpolating our own individual perspectives and concepts, creating that way a new narrative that only could happen as a consequence of that inter-action.

Lisa Solar/Liz Nielsen
I see a connection between my work and Liz’s in the graphic punch they deliver and the fine-tuned sense of color.  I am inspired by her method of working and how it brings the immediacy of painting to the photographic medium with such sophistication. I think we play with the picture plane in a similar way and she pulls off this deep and clever maneuver adeptly in her work.

Dannielle Tegeder/Sharmistha Ray
Sharmistha Ray, whom I had the pleasure of meeting when she interviewed me for Art Critical, utilizes their subjectivities to explore the experience of belonging and displacement. Our practices intersect in their embrace of abstraction as a means of expressing spirituality and deconstructing oppressive systems. By forging an independent material lexicon, our work establishes an alternative art historical narrative grounded in the mysticism of collaboration and consciousness.


  • Whitney Bedford
    Veduta (Cole), 2020
    Ink and oil on linen on hybrid panel
    51.5 x 76 inches

  • Anna Schachte
    Babes or Vessel (Crystal Goblet), 2020
    Oil and enamel on canvas
    60 x 48 inches

  • Antonia Contro
    Volcano, 2020
    Watercolor and pigment powder on paper
    5.5 x 5 inches

  • Megan Greene
    Wasla, 2019
    Colored pencil and ink on paper
    32 x 23.5 inches

  • Thalia Agosto
    Joint Face, 2020
    Colored pencil and pastel on paper
    23 x 18 inches

  • Diana Guerrero-Maciá
    Big Smile, 2020
    Unique collage with paint and archival inkjet print on Hahnemuehle Museum Etching paper
    16 X 13.5 inches
    17 x 14.5 inches, framed

  • Jesse Harrod
    Bon Bon, 2019
    Paracord, wood, sculpy, faux flowers, gold chain
    6 x 3 x 3 ft

  • Anne Lindberg
    solving for x, 2020
    Graphite and colored pencils on mat board
    50 x 40 inches

  • Ginny Threefoot
    solving for x, 2020
    Vinyl installation
    32 inches x 23 inches

  • Liliana Porter and Ana Tiscornia
    Circle, 2017
    Graphite, painted cardboard, and metal figurine on wall
    33 inches diameter

  • Lisa Solar
    Untitled, 2020
    Ground pigment on paper
    38 x 30.5 inches

  • Liz Nielsen
    Arctic Voyage, 2020
    Analog Chromogenic Photograms, on Fuji Lustre, Unique
    10 x 8 inches
    11.75 x 9.75 inches, framed

  • Sharmistha Ray
    everythinghascometopass, 2020
    Automatic writing with colored pens, markers, stickers and washi tape on archival sketchbook paper
    11.75 x 8.25 inches
    14 x 10.5 inches, framed

  • Dannielle Tegeder
    Black Out Cosmologies 7, 2019
    Acrylic, gouache and colored pencil on cut paper
    9 x 12 inches

  • Jeanne Gang
    Ford Calumet Environmental Center, South Elevation Detail, 2008
    Ink jet print on satin photo paper, signed by the architect
    28 x 28 inches

  • Heather Becker
    Blue Flight, 2020
    Oil on canvas
    24.5 x 21.5 inches

  • Earth Art Creatives
    Garden view with Carolyn Ottmers SPLICE sculpture, 2020
    Chicago, IL

  • Carolyn Ottmers
    Splice #13 (CO10DAVUI), 2020
    Cast stainless steel
    64 x 43 x 40.5 inches