Year: 2017

Blue at the Edges at DEMO Project

In titling her recent showing at DEMO Project Blue at the Edges, Melissa Pokorny draws from the words of author and essayist Rebecca Solnit. In her autobiographical collection, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Solnit writes, “For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go.” Solnit speaks of vastness as something that lies ahead and out of reach, like the promise of a tomorrow that never arrives. Even so, any wistful admiration directed towards horizons or mountain ranges tends to trigger an echo from yesterday. Despite Solnit’s description of an unattainable horizon — a place “you can never go” — her experience is partly one of physical sensation, of a distance that …

Intimate Justice: An Interview with Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero

“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 met with Jacquelyn Guerrero in the Pilsen neighborhood to discuss heritage, performance, and Chicago music. Nicole Lane: Where are you from? How did you end up Chicago? Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero (aka CQQCHIFRUIT): I’m from Miami. My mom is Cuban, my dad is Puerto Rican. I ended up in Chicago when I went to Northwestern. I studied theater and dance. I really wanted to go to school away from Miami. I didn’t appreciate the culture when I was growing up there. I came out as bisexual when I was eighteen and I wanted to have some room to figure out what that meant. SNL: Can you talk about the events that you’re a part of and the queer spaces that you’re creating with parties like TRQPITECA? JCG: After I graduated school, I really loved to go out dancing. I tried to go to …

Smiling Behind the Sun: An Interview with Larry Brent, Jr.

Libyans sometimes refer to being arrested and taken away without warning as being “taken behind the sun.” This interview series celebrates—through conversations with formerly-incarcerated artists and their allies—the ways in which an artistic, creative life can transmute the impact and redefine the legacy of an experience within the Prison Industrial Complex. For this installment, I’ve expanded the scope of the series and reached out to an artist still fighting to free himself from the Illinois Department of Corrections. Larry J. Brent, Jr. has served over twenty years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, indicted by false information elicited via torture at the hands of the Chicago PD. While working to prove his innocence, Larry has made his time count: working as an artist and poet, teaching classes on subjects ranging from math to public speaking, and educating himself through programs like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Education Justice Project. I interviewed him by mail to learn more about his growth as an artist, his family ties, and his feelings on impending freedom. …

Nobody’s Home at DEMO Project

Nestled in a residential neighborhood in Springfield, IL is a modest white bungalow whose only occupants are visitors to the monthly exhibitions held there. The current display, a collaborative effort, fittingly titled Nobody’s Home, is the work of four St. Louis based artists: Lyndon Barrois Jr., Addoley Dzegede, Cole Lu, and Catalina Ouyang. All that separates the artists’ home city and the DEMO Project venue is 100 miles and a single state line, but they bring with them a collective inspiration with roots far beyond the Midwestern region. Accompanying their work is an excerpt taken from Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson’s children’s book The Exploits of Moominpappa (published in 1950): Images, both literal and figurative, are borrowed from the storybook page and used to transform the venue. As Jansson’s characters tumble into the foggy garden, fog spills through the open doorway of DEMO Project. Adding to the sensation of exterior space is the smell of cedar wood oil that fills the room as densely as the mist. Wading through the thick air of what …

TRACERS Take on Environment: Myles Miller

This project is part of a collaboration between Sixty and the Chicago Park District’s TRACE program at Hamilton Park, featuring work by artists in the program. Learn more about the collaboration from the lead teaching artists and see the other artists’ projects here.   All images are selected and created by the artist.  TRACE (Teens Reimagining Art, Community, & Environment) is a Chicago Park District-based program that develops young Creative Activists who seek to understand and exercise their abilities and shared responsibility to advocate for and create change within their local and wider communities. We do this by using art processes to engage in dialogue, bride-building, and problem-solving.

CA+AF: Archiving MAKE

In preparation for Sixty’s Chicago Archives + Artists Festival we asked Sarah Dodson from MAKE Literary Magazine to put together some ephemera to start a file for MAKE at the Harold Washington Library’s Chicago Artist Files. MAKE recently finished the process of sorting through their own history and selecting which pieces they felt were most representative of their work to be included in their anthology MAKE X: A Decade of Literary Art…

Invitation to be Interviewed for the Chicago Archives + Artists Festival

This is an invitation for you to participate in a special series of interviews with Sixty Inches From Center as part of our upcoming Chicago Archives + Artists Festival on May 19-21 at the Chicago Cultural Center. We love what you do, and we want to see your work documented in the Chicago Artist Files at Harold Washington Library, the city’s largest repository for information about our city’s artists from 1890 to the present. You can explore our website if you’re curious about what goes into an artist file, the history of our archival work, and what will happen at the festival. WHAT THIS MEANS As a participant in this process, you will be interviewed (audio recorded) by a writer or editor from Sixty Inches From Center using the ephemeral materials you bring to include in your artist file as the prompts for the conversation. We ask that you to bring the basic essentials to every file, such as CV/resume, artist statement, and images of your work. In addition to those basics, we request that you bring up …

The Chicago Home Theater Festival Interviews

Since 2012, the Chicago Home Theater Festival‘s mission has been to pull neighborhoods and communities together through a strange yet intimate experience—performances hosted at homes and in living rooms throughout the city. As the festival swings into its sixth year, we feel the need for those community bonds more strongly than ever. Chicago Home Theater Festival runs from May 14 to May 29. But before you make your way to a few of the nights, we offer you some insight into the featured neighborhoods from the hosts who call Kenwood, Hyde Park, Pilsen, Albany Park, Edgewater, and South Shore home.  Writers Haydée Souffrant, Michael Workman, Sheila Lewis, and Tempestt Hazel interviewed several hosts about their neighborhoods, the outside and inside perspectives of each place, and their hopes for this year’s festival. Images created using one provided by Chicago Home Theater Festival. Image for the a postcard photographed by 이다함 (eedahahm) and designed by Dave Pabellon.

Intimate Justice: An Interview with Lucy Stoole

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. Lucy Stoole is an art star. Her drag personality unhinges the queer community in spaces like SmartBar, Berlin, and Beauty Bar weekly. Her larger than life aura tackles pertinent topics like sex positivity, politics, and gender inequality. The filthy and honest mind of this vivacious queen has been having a conversation with Chicago’s night life scene and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.  Quite fittingly, Lucy recently launched a sex toy line called Stoole Sample, that features high quality toys in her signature color: pink. Her performative essence is now matched with a high quality merch line that accompanies her stage presence.  I talked to the bearded beauty in a restaurant conveniently located next to SmartBar, where you can see Lucy every Sunday night for Queen! The historical context of drag in Chicago is deeply rooted in its contribution to House, its …

TRACERS Take on Environment: Hannah Moore

This project is part of a collaboration between Sixty and the Chicago Park District’s TRACE program at Hamilton Park, featuring work by artists in the program. Learn more about the collaboration from the lead teaching artists and see the other artists’ projects here. Artist Statement Chicago, A place where people once came to live, work, and make their life dreams become their reality; Chicago used to be everyone’s Hollywood. Today, Chicago’s setting has changed due to the fact that the people who once dreamt here abandoned their city and because the people who are still here, dreaming, have lost the sense of what it means to be a Chicagoan. The life and love that once resided in my city has slowly dissolved and has been choked out by the false anecdotes, false reputations, and the disturbing media reports. For some of us, all of these things have left behind a foul taste. So, an offering of relief, I created this piece in order to sweeten their tastebuds. This piece represents the real Chicago, from the very beginning of …