Month: October 2017

Intimate Justice: Lauren Steinberg

“Intimate Justice” looks at the intersection of art and sex and how these actions intertwine to serve as a form of resistance, activism, and dialogue in the Chicago community. For this installment, we talked to Lauren Steinberg in the grass of Lincoln Park about a queer future, pop culture, and rolling around online.  S. Nicole Lane: We can begin with your background. You’re from New York City.  Lauren Steinberg: Yeah. I grew up in New York City. Manhattan. My dad, he’s 75, he’s an older dad. He grew up there too, and he never left. He refuses to leave. He kind of tried to instill that in me. It worked for a while, I ended up going to undergrad at Pratt in Brooklyn. I think I wanted to punish myself a little bit for being an artist. Not that I didn’t love Pratt, Pratt was amazing, but it was definitely the most rigid school that I got into at the time. I was like, “If I’m really going to do this and suffer, because everyone tells …

Shared Work: Ryn Osbourne on Empathy, Relationship Building, and Transparency

Ryn Osbourne is a visual artist and arts administrator originally from Ohio and based in the Midwest.  Osbourne has worked in direct service as an educator and mentor, facilitating arts-based activities with youth of all ages. As co-manager of MINT Collective (2015–present) in Columbus, OH, Osbourne has helped carry out multiple community programs including “Junk Dada Super Sunday” for the Wexner Center for the Arts.  She has worked with VISIBLE:INVISIBLE, a program which hosts studio art workshops for homeless youth in Columbus, OH, and AXIOM: A Judgment Call for the Arts helping to organize artists to participate in art making workshops with inmates of Merion Correctional Institution in Ohio and providing project direction aligned with ethical community practice. After relocating to Chicago, IL in 2016 to pursue her M.A. in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Osbourne has worked with the Hyde Park Art Center as an education and programming intern assisting with community focus group research, has provided administrative support for Gary Lights Open Works, a social practice project based in …

Snapshot: Them/Here by Lukey Walden

Snapshot is a Sixty column that takes a quick look at art history as it happens in Chicago. We send artists and organizers six short and sweet questions to tell us about what they are doing right at this moment. For our inaugural column, we sent our questions to Lukey Walden, whose show Them/Here: Variations on Trans Visibility at Sustain closes this week. To mark the end of Walden’s first solo exhibition, they will give a talk at Sustain on their work, the themes informing their practice, visibility, emotional labor, public spectacle and the function of images of trans people. The talk will take place October 24th, 2017 from 5:50 to 6:30 pm at Sustain Gallery.  Sixty Inches From Center: What was your inspiration for this show? Lukey Walden: The show began as an investigation into shared experience with other trans people. I had been out publicly for less than a year when I started these paintings, and I didn’t have many close friends who were trans, so it came from a desire to spend time …

Mural of white, blue and pink flowers on a brown wall with a newsletter on a pedestal.

¡Sí, Se Puede! at the Glass Curtain Gallery

¡Sí, Se Puede! is on view at the Glass Curtain Gallery until November 4, 2017. The show features the work of Victor Alemán, William Estrada, Ian Kerstetter, Nicole Marroquin, Victoria Martinez, Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes, with offsite murals by Hector Duarte and Sam Kirk. Each of the artists took engaging approaches to working with documents from the UFW archives and I caught up with Meg Duguid, curator of the exhibition and Director of Exhibitions at Columbia College, to talk about how this manifested in each of the different pieces. Jennifer Patiño Cervantes: So my first question is what was the inspiration for the show? Meg Duguid: This exhibition actually came about a little organically. We were approached by a partner of our office of Multicultural Affairs, now called the office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, who said that he might have access to the archives of Cesar Chavez and would we be interested in doing an exhibition. Long of it short, we said we would be interested in doing an exhibition, but we are a liberal …

Inside & Outside of the Book: A Look at the Self-Reliance Library and School

In Chicago, as in many cities, a few degrees of separation can make a huge difference.  Ridgeland Avenue, an Oak Park thoroughfare, and Austin Blvd, an entry-way into the Austin neighborhood, are divided by Lake Street, which is lined with shops, Pete’s Fresh Market, and the yellowest building, I would estimate, in a ten-mile radius. I walk towards Compound Yellow, an independent, experimental arts space, and feel like an invited intruder. The mere brightness of the building forces you to engage with it, but as you draw closer, the tenderness of the flags waving above the structure and the suspended cloth circles hanging from the trees indicate a sense of careful living. The three buildings that comprise the compound have been united since 2016, the most noticeable one declaring itself as the Self-Reliance School & Self-Reliance Library, a collaboration between  Compound Yellow and Chicago arts publisher Temporary Services. The Self-Reliance Library is a reading and creating library, an installation consisting of over 80 books, as well as furniture and banners that take influence from ideas …

Designing for a Fertile Future

As a designer who is concerned about the future of the planet, Jessica Gorse thinks sustainability is not a sufficient goal. If humans are to stem ongoing environmental and political crises, according to Gorse, they need to get more imaginative and take up regenerative projects that grow better future worlds. To that end, Gorse—who went back to school at age 28 for a degree in Designed Objects at SAIC—investigates the possible lifespans of materials we use every day. This takes form in her work with Fertile Design, a project she started with fellow SAIC students Erin Delaney and Soniya Khasgiwale. Together, they experiment with making plastics out of food waste that are then embedded with seeds and nutrient-rich natural dyes such that through biodegrading they replenish the soil and germinate. What is so great about Gorses’s work is that it is both idealistic and completely practical. She calls this practice “futurist world-building.” When I met Gorse in her studio at SAIC, we began by watching two of her experimental video projects before digging into Fertile Design. “Fusion Vision” is a lo-fi cartoon music video featuring a guitar-plucking …

Stealing Hearts and Making a Mess: Dominus by Maria Lux at DEMO

When I think of raccoons I think of Milk Duds. At a cabin where I was staying in the woods one summer, I inadvertently left a box of Milk Duds outside and later that night was met by a sticky raccoon at my door. I remember giggling as it ran down the stairs with its caramel and chocolate covered paws- sticky tracks that stayed visible for a couple of weeks. This is to say, somehow I find raccoons a bit charming. Maria Lux’s exhibition Dominus at DEMO Project in Springfield this August (2017) brought both this charm and mischief into the gallery. In the exhibition, Lux pairs humor with earnest text about the history of trying to domesticate raccoons as pets. Three hand-made raccoons sit atop Roomba vacuums, all named properly after pet raccoons, including Rebecca the pet of President Calvin Coolidge. The furry robots scoot around the gallery bumping into walls – not actually cleaning  pushing around empty pastel colored bottles and occasionally, each other. Surrounding the raccoons on the walls are suggestions of Memphis …