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Ilene Berman

Ilene Berman is a durational artist residing in St. Louis, Missouri. Her practice is based on her belief that art can (and should) change the world. She understands change to be the result of small, quiet shifts often expressed through simple gestures. She has an M.F.A. degree in Sculpture from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Illinois.

Since 2009 the main focus of Ilene’s work has been NODhouse, an engagement along Delmar Avenue in St. Louis, a street known to be the dividing line between investment and neglect, visibility and invisibility and black and white. NODhouse is an attempt at breaking down the experiential wall of one part of one city. It is realized through the creation of relationships, the installation of embroidered texts and Ilene’s ongoing commitment to the inclusion of the area just north of Delmar in arts programming.

Having lived in Bristol, England from 2011-2012, Ilene created a public engagement around the question.'what is the function of an artist?' Early on in her year there, Ilene noticed a difference in the way artists spoke about their work. In fact, they rarely used the word “work” and instead described what they do as a “practice.” Since the prevailent use of the word practice was new to her, she began to wonder if it reflected something larger than artspeak and was instead an indicator of an understanding of the role of the artist in British society. NODtoBristol is Ilene’s attempt to capture this understanding (especially as the national conversation focuses on economic cuts and their impact on all sectors of society), and share it publically throughout Bristol in the hopes of sparking a larger conversation.

In the Summer of 2012, Ilene returned to St. Louis and to NODhouse while continuing to pursue opportunities for durational engagement in other communities.

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Ilene Berman
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