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Opening Reception: Lucia Calderon Arrieta: Gloop N Droop Rinconsito

March 29 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for the opening reception of the newest sculpture installation, ” Gloop N Droop Rinconsito,” by artist Lucia Calderon Arrieta.

Gloop N Droop Rinconsito

Lucia Calderon Arrieta

March 29 – June 16, 2024

Opening reception: Friday, March 29, 2024 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Free

“Two soft sculptures (“Inner Child” and “Older Sister”) find their home in a cave-like grotto surrounded by protective spirals of dirt and mica. The cavern drips with dried paper pulp, insulated by swirling colorful layers of wool roving, illuminated by twinkling bioluminescent lights. They use their tentacles to explore the pulpy surface of the cave walls, holding hands as they go, wondering how far they can safely explore outside of the cavern’s hugging hold. Their world is encircled by a protective band of soil- not so much a border as a boundary, the boundary not meant for them but for us, the audience. This boundary lets us know that we create their safety when we give them space to exist on their terms.

Exhibiting at the International Museum of Surgical Science (IMSS) provides a platform to critically assess the history of medicine, challenging the pathologization of my existence and creating a moment centered on agency and boundaries as a patient. As a museum, the IMSS excels in cataloging and presenting the stuff of science: materials, breakthroughs, and lauded figures. That which can be objectively recorded. The space I make as an artist is for the subjective, the intimate, the vulnerable—even the paradoxical. This benefits me as a way to regain power within a medical institution. This helps our audience by inviting them to do the same.”

– Lucia Calderon Arrieta, 2024

Lucia (they/them) explores visibility, vulnerability, and community through fiber art and worldbuilding. They reflect on their life as a queer, Latine/x, chronically ill, neurodivergent human creature by materializing metaphors of body, skin, and ocean.

Gaze into the Gloop N Droop Dimension– an inner world where squishy weirdos are co-evolving to survive together softly, where they seek each other out through the tenderness of touch. Whose pock-marked skins- no matter how thickened or bruised– remain energetically permeable.

This piece considers the power of boundaries in creating conditions within which to be safely seen.

Photography by Beto de Freitas.

Light refreshments are included, and alcohol will be served to guests with proof of age. Alcohol served to guests 21+; ID required.

Accessible accommodations include a ramp entrance and elevator. If you need additional accessibility options or wheelchair seating, please contact us at info@imss.org.

Parking and Directions can be found here: https://imss.org/plan-your-visit/

Photography by Beto de Freitas.

About the Artist:

Lucia Calderon Arrieta (they/them) is a fiber artist & educational co-conspirator residing in the traditional unceded lands of the Potawatomi, Peoria, Miami, Ojibwe, and Oglala Sioux (“Chicago”).

Lucia learned to sew from Abuelita and learned to call it Fiber Art from Academia. They were raised by South American immigrants in the deep American South.

They have taught across community and academic institutions, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago State University, Lillstreet Art Center, CAPE, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Their work has been shown at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Textiles Week, and Heaven Gallery. Their next project, “A Felt Sense of Safety,” will be presented as part of the 2024 Contra Corriente Festival at the Chicago Art Department.

Learn More: https://www.luciacalderonarrieta.com/

About the Contemporary Art Program: The International Museum of Surgical Science supports a commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and programs that use the frame of contemporary artistic practice to examine new perspectives in medical-surgical science and our relationship to the body. The Museum’s Contemporary Arts Initiative includes rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as an ongoing Artist in Residence program.

This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

This project is supported, in whole or in part, by federal assistance listing number, 21.027 awarded to the International Museum of Surgical Science by the US Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds in the amount of $125,000.00, representing 83% of total project funding.

This project is partially supported by a Chicago Arts Recovery Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

The International Museum of Surgical Science acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.


International Museum of Surgical Science
1524 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60610 United States


International Museum of Surgical Science
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