All posts tagged: Jillian Soto

The Artist’s Responsibility

Let me ask you this: What is an artist’s responsibility? Should they take the ideas that shape contemporary society and translate them into a visual language? Are they the ones who bear the weight of our cultural legacy? Is their purpose to leave the world in a more beautiful state than it was in when they entered it? Are they meant to teach us about our world, about ourselves and about each other? Or are they only responsible for the manifestation of their own ideas, whether they speak to a greater social context or a more individual one? Could it be a combination of several of these things? Whether it is intentional or not, we often impose a series of expectations on artists and the art that we see and how it should function in the world. We then make decisions on whether or not the work lives up to those expectations. Taking this into consideration I decided to ask several artists to share their thoughts on what expectations they have set for themselves by …

Site-Access Symposium with Jillian Soto

The thought of the city as studio can be a very exciting thing. It means no public (and in some cases even private) space is safe when the minds of artists are finding new ways to use it for their own creative practices. Some of the work created during Chicago Artists Month tested new grounds, revisited old grounds and pushed the limits of the type of public art practice that Chicago is accustomed to. As thrilling and provocative as that can be, there is also another side to that and it deals with these public spaces, the needs and wants of the community, and the promotion of understanding and comfort in these creative spaces. Just because the work is in the public doesn’t necessarily mean it is easily accessed by the people who know some of these re-appropriated spaces a regular presence in their everyday lives. How can you tell the difference of when art enhances the community it is planted within, or when it acts as a tool of alienation or insensitivity?  For Art …

Art Here Art Now

The great thing about attending events with professional  photographer friends is that they steal your camera and start snapping great pictures.  Jabari Zuberi, an artist who has a solo show at UIC in December, acted as my personal photographer for the evening.  Last night for the Kick-off of Chicago Artists Month, Jabari and I met in Hyde Park for Art Here Art Now, a show coordinated by the wonderful Dara Epison in association with the University of Chicago.  The show featured an open-storefront studio where artists Cydney Lewis, Michelle Weber, and Marty Burns will be working alongside installations by Andre Callot, Danielle Paz and Peter Zeigler.  The studio artists were working each Saturday in October, with doors open for the public to come and take a peek into the creative process.  I spoke with Cydney for a brief moment about working in a public studio such as this one, and she spoke briefly about how different it will be to work in such an open space when people can come in to have a conversation and ask …