Niles artist Michael Hambouz to come home for program at library

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Michael Hambouz with work from his “collaborative culture” painting series. (Photo by Markus Weaver)

Michael Hambouz with work from his “collaborative culture” painting series. (Photo by Markus Weaver)

The Niles Public Art Commission, with support from the Niles District Library, are sponsoring a Public Art Presentation and Reception for artist, Michael Hambouz, entitled “Art and Memories of Niles” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27.

The program will take place in the Niles District Library’s rotunda, located at 620 E. Main St. in Niles.

Hambouz will speak about his local roots and his work at the French Paper Company, which inspires his art. Light refreshments will be served.

Hambouz was born and raised in Niles and has resided in Brooklyn since 2000.

Over the years, his work has been featured in galleries, as well as in New York Magazine, Vice, and Design Milk, and in award-winning campaigns for Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States and Dexter.

Hambouz will discuss his development, process and professional practice as an artist from his earliest memories growing up in Niles, to revisiting his hometown with his “Factory Made” series (inspired by Niles’ French Paper Company), to current work in progress.

“Art and Memories of Niles” will serve as an introduction to Hambouz’s upcoming exhibition, Factory Made, which will be on display at St. Joseph’s Krasl Art Center from Jan. 29 through April 24.

Guests will enjoy a sneak preview of Hambouz’s work as he shares his memories on the French Paper Company — Niles’s oldest business in continuous operation. Hambouz’s childhood home was located just one mile from the family owned and operated company.

The French Paper Company provides both inspiration and material for Hambouz’s art. He hand-cuts paper stock from the company to create vibrant, abstracted scenes of the factory where the paper is produced. The series provides a glimpse into the operations of the 145-year-old mill by showcasing the production process and machinery — from pulp to the final paper product — in intricately layered collage format. The artistic handling of the material is fitting for a company that is greatly admired by graphic designers and artists alike.

Hambouz exhibited “Factory Made” in New York City in 2014. For his exhibition at the Krasl Art Center, Hambouz has newly created a time-based projected animation using imagery from the paper pieces and sound recordings from the French factory. This new component marks new considerations about the factory, his hometown and his practice as an artist.

All are invited to this free event, as it is certain to appeal to art aficionados as well as those interested in local history and industry.

For more information, contact Christina Arseneau at (269) 683-4700 ext. 4010 or by email at