SXU to host the work of artist Timothy R. Botts

WEB 2014-01-14 Timothy R. Botts - He's Got the Whole World in His HandsSaint Xavier University will host an art exhibit celebrating African-American spiritual music through expressive calligraphy from Wed., Jan. 29 to Wed., Feb. 19.

The exhibit, titled “Bound for Glory” by Timothy R. Botts, will be on display in the SXU Gallery, located in the Warde Academic Center at the University’s Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St. A presentation by the artist and a reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 29 in the Gallery.

Botts’ work combines contemporary graphic design principles with letterforms as old as the first century. He said his work draws influences from traditional African art and writing systems, urban graffiti, and American quilts.

“From my western-European calligraphic background, I have tried to make a bridge to a background different from my own,” Botts said. “During a period of self-doubt, I heard a beautiful interpretation of a European Christmas carol by a black singer. That experience encouraged me to come from the opposite direction with my paints and proceed with the project.”

Botts is a resident of Glen Ellyn. He has a BFA in graphic design from Carnegie-Mellon University, during which time he apprenticed in calligraphy with Arnold Bank. He spent three years in Japan teaching conversational English and was influenced by the rich tradition of their brush writing. He designed more than 600 books for Tyndale House Publishers near Chicago where he was senior art director before retiring in 2012. Ten books of his own work are published, including “Doorposts,” “Messiah,” and a Bible illustrated in his calligraphy. He is a part-time instructor at College of DuPage.

The SXU Gallery’s hours are: Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and closed on Sunday. For more information, please contact the Gallery at (773) 298-3081.