All posts tagged: chicago artist coalition

Intimate Justice: Oscar Chavez

 “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 Oscar Chavez in Pilsen about internet trends, the body as a commodity, and tube tops.  This interview was edited for length and clarity.  S. Nicole Lane: Where are you originally from and how did you get to Chicago? Oscar Chavez: Born and raised in Chicago actually. I am from the South Side. So, I grew up in the South Side. I definitely don’t wanna stay in Chicago. But I think being a young artist in Chicago is amazing and there are so many benefits that you can work with. SNL : How has Pilsen community contributed to your practice? OC: I mean, I just moved here so I am still exploring. I moved a block from Textile Discount Outlet which has really been turning me up. I am there every morning and have been sewing so much. So that’s been a huge effect …

“Leaf by Leaf” at the Chicago Artist Coalition

How does our environment affect our cultural memory and identity? What relationship does geography have with power and how does it affect diasporic communities? HATCH Project exhibition “Leaf by Leaf” at the Chicago Artist Coalition investigates these urgent questions that are embedded within the plants, the land, and the organic elements that surround us. Featured artists include India Martin, Whit Forrester, and Yasmin Spiro, who all create works that unveil a beautiful yet complicated ecology that is cultural, political, and spiritual. My experience with the exhibition grew from a sense of awe within the breathtaking photographs of India Martin’s birthplace of Hawaii, to the spiritual and sublime within Whit Forrester’s plant-turned-holy icons, landing at a textural encounter of materials found in the earth that comprise the sculptural work of Yasmin Spiro. To investigate these themes deeper in the artists’ work, I asked each of the artists three questions about one specific piece that was featured in “Leaf by Leaf.” Sabrina Greig, curator of the exhibition and HATCH project curator-in-residence, introduces us to a unifying theme …

The Independent Professional: An Interview with LVL3 Gallery

What started as a simple passion and an opportunity to showcase new and emerging Chicago-based artists turned into something more. In early 2010, artist Vincent Uribe founded LVL3 Gallery an independent gallery in Wicker Park. Studying Art History and Arts Administration,  Associate Director Allison Kilberg began assisting Vincent shortly after. From their inaugural show entitled, Maybes to recently celebrating their one-year anniversary, LVL3 is going strong and expanding the programmatic scope of things evermore. I initially met Vincent during the beginnings of Sixty, last spring. We talked about some of the tribulations that are part of creating an art space or small organization. Everything has a place and purpose in the art world—whether commercial, not-profit or independent. And Chicago is brilliantly pieced together by so many spaces (different and alike) introducing all types of art to the world. All of this is hard to follow but Sixty is taking that challenge. The list is ever-growing and adding to that list we would like to introduce, LVL3 Gallery. Tell us about the LVL3 alternative space from …

Tell the Next Mayor, Why Art Matters.

On Friday night, February 11th, 2011, SIFC partnered up with The Chicago Urban Art Society (CUAS) at their space in Pilsen. This was not just any event—it was an occasion, an opportunity for the art communities and political figures in Chicago to meet and engage in conversation with one another. Other partnering organizations included: Three Walls, Cro, New City, Chicago Reader, WBEZ Radio, Gozamos, Urban Gateways, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago Public Art Group, The Chicago Art Department, Co-Prosperity Sphere, The Institute For Arts entrepreneurship and Barrio Bonito Urban Showcase. SIFC set up shop with a video confessional booth.  We invited anyone to address the mayoral candidates by answering one question: “Why is art in Chicago important to you, and why should it be supported by our next mayor of Chicago?” Lauren Pacheco and Peter Kepha (directors and founders of The Chicago Urban Art Society) have been pushing hard for progressive citywide support of the arts. They have met with numerous aldermen and are two of the most important ambassadors of art in the city of …

Nothing Is Wasted: Alexandra Lee

The Chicago Art Coalition has offered an artist residency at a space provided in the Merchandise Mart. Six artists have been brought together all coming from different backgrounds bringing forth a variety of styles and experiences. Alexandra Lee is the second artist I spoke with and we discussed how her art making process has adapted and expanded since she began working in the Merchandise Mart space. Nicolette Caldwell: What has this residency been like for you and how has it helped your work progress? Alexandra Lee: I have been working in this residency for six months. We are going to get renewed for another six months. We were selected by the CAC as part of the pop-up gallery residency thing. Normally I don’t really work on paper but I think this is a great opportunity for me to create a body of work that is more physical because usually I work in digital media and performance. And working in this space my goal is to incorporate things I already have and things that I can …

The Conversation Continues with Artist Mark Moleski

The best feeling for me is when something comes full circle – especially when it involves art. Mark and I first met when I helped coordinate the 2009 BFA show at Columbia College. Mark was one of the graduating fine artists in the show. As a matter of fact he was also one of the first artists I had ever done a studio visit with. The work of Mark Moleski was progressing amazingly then and it so great to be able to continue the conversation we started a little over two years ago about the same body of work and where it is now. As the residency continues I have been meeting and speaking with the participating artists to learn more about their experiences and document the space and their work on the SIFC Chicago website. Below is a transcript of an interview/conversation between Mark Moleski and myself.   Nicolette Caldwell: Can you explain a little bit about the residency? Mark Moleski: This is an artist residency of six artists that are working in the …

In Chicago, Art Advocacy Grows

Why leave vacant public retail space empty – then no one can enjoy it. Instead, why not put these spaces to better use reflecting something other than a corporate commercial agenda? We art advocates are aware of the artistic vibrancy in Chicago. The Chicago Loop Alliance is too, which is why they started the Pop-Up Art Loop initiative. Pop-Up Art Loop takes over empty store fronts all over the downtown Chicago area. For the past year they have filled a number of spaces with strong art exhibits showcasing Chicago-based artists like Christophe Roberts and Ed Paschke. Want to know what happens when Damien Hirst meets Shepard Fairey? Better check out the next Pop-Up Art Loop space this Thursday, October 7th. Innovative art spaces taking over Chicago is not a trend. Alternative art spaces have existed for many decades. This must be a sign of the times because art communities, organizational initiatives and alternative programming are growing almost innumerably in the most depressing financial situation that the city of Chicago has faced in a long time. Speaking of ‘time’, the Merchandise Mart  and all its …