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 questions once you’ve gotten into your groove.
I was also lucky enough to speak to Jillian Soto about her installation (Before you go to see it visit this site), the publication she wants to incorporate into it and what purpose it serves in the community it is displayed it. It was a great conversation. I ended up taking that art and community question to a different level with EJ Hill, R.E.H. Gordon and Jabari–and it became really real as we stood on the sidewalk between the art world and the real world and a man in distress approached us asking for $7 so he could have a place to sleep that night. Art + Life. Though the sub-conversations have changed, this is still a pressing issue and I think standing on the sidewalk at Art Here Art Now is a place of stimulation for that conversation to be had. Go see it!
Happy Chicago Artists Month!