Meet Artist Leaders
Andi Crist was raised in Birmingham, Alabama and earned her BFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2011. She is the co-founder and executive director of Autotelic Studios, a nonprofit arts organization that serves the creative community on the northwest side of Chicago by creating affordable studios in alternative spaces. Crist’s practice focuses on sculpture–both social and object-based–which touch on subjects of appropriation, practicality, place-making, and the assessment of value. She has recently exhibited work at Mana Contemporary, the Washington Park Arts Incubator and Chicago Artists Coalition. About Autotelic Studios Autotelic is committed to providing affordable workspace and facilities to artists interested in creating within a supportive, community-centric environment. Our studios offer inexpensive individual studios to artists-in-residence, access to shop facilities and equipment, teaching and learning initiatives, and experimental exhibition opportunities and special projects. Through partnerships, collaborative projects and apprenticeships, Autotelic strives to act as an advocate and resource for artists that thrive within a tight-knit community of visual artists. autotelicstudios.org
Jordan Martins is a Chicago based visual artist, curator, and educator. He received his MFA in visual arts from the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Salvador, Brazil in 2007, and is a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and North Park University. He is the executive director of Comfort Station, a multi-disciplinary art space in Chicago. Martins’s visual work is based in collage processes, including painting, photography, video and installation, and he has exhibited nationally and internationally. His work has been featured in exhibitions at The Mission, Evanston Art Center, LVL3, The Franklin, The Museu de Arte da Bahia, Goldfinch, and Experimental Sound Studio. He was a resident in the Chicago Artists Coalition’s HATCH program in 2013. Martins is co-director of the Perto da Lá <> Close to There, a multi-disciplinary project with international artists in Salvador, Brazil and Chicago.
Image: Oxbow 3, 2018, Medium: oil on inkjet printed cotton/linen, Dimensions: 48 x 32 in.
Meet Artist Residents
Nominated by Northern Illinois University Exploring the paranormal, the uncanny, and the fear of the unknown, I experiment with different types of film and darkroom techniques. I have a tendency to trick the audience into thinking they are seeing something that might actually be something else. In my series Paranormal Beliefs, I use polaroid images and found objects to connect with paranormal spirits. By photographing mundane places and objects, I am letting the viewer know that paranormal spirits can be all around us. My current work is exploring the alien abduction phenomenon. People are afraid to talk about these topics because they are not sure what is real and what isn’t. They are afraid of the unknown, which is why I want to explore these topics, because I also fear the unknown. Image: Play With Me, 2015
Nominated by Chicago State University I have always believed my art to be a reflection of how I see things. As far back as I can remember, I was intrigued by color, shape, and figuring out how things worked by taking things apart and putting them back together. I’d look up at a simple cloud and see a face, figure, or some organic shape that captivated me in the moment. Although, my work is largely client based, my desire to put things together is ever present within that work. I use lines, shape, and color to create movement that will communicate the ideals of the client and capture their audience. This makes the developmental process so important, fun, and frustrating all at the same time. It is the evolution of the work from its menial beginning stages to its powerful superior stage that allow me that surge of excitement that allows me to create something beautiful through my passion. I am influenced by the world around me; how things move and are put together…or at least how I see them. My development as an artist continues to be an adventure filled with growth, life lessons and an exploration into artistic elements as well as myself. Image: Father & Son, 2016
Nominated by Northern Illinois University We all watch each other. Nuances in the interactions we partake in speak as there is always something to relate to in the subtleties of behavior. These relatable moments are the ones I care to capture and have as a constant connection to shared emotion amidst all the distance. Online I tend to be brief in my illustrations of these interactions, the same way these moments are to the outsider. In the real the experience is one directly had by the participant(s), allowing me to attempt to have the subtleties linger and build off of them to make multi-layered connections. My work almost always starts with video/sound that cycles back on to itself in one format or another. Process and medium are subject to change, and do often. Most recent work has been interweaving rotoscoped animations with glitched videos. My name is Brittany Nickels.I work under the guise, Suture Blue.
Nominated by SAIC My work relies on structures that exist within both material processes and memory. Through creating woven substrates that are then screen printed and altered a trace or imprint of a structure can be revealed. I relate these ideas of structure, trace, additive, subtractive and imprint along with architecture and interior rooms to ideas of how memory functions within us. Imagery used in my work is that of family photos, both my own and stranger’s, that are then blurred, cropped and erased to obfuscate their emotive ability. To leave the left over space when the figure is removed. Through collaging, repetition and projecting a moving image the ever-changing quality of memories is explored. Image: Remembered Room, 2016
Nominated by Marwen I combine materials with different structural and aesthetic qualities to produce objects with both hard and soft components, archival and biodegradable. When exposed to elements such as water, temperature change, or erosion, each material reacts in its distinctly individual way, coming undone or strengthening in a transformative process. Within each installation, I aspire to display a duration of time condensed into an object. I do this by preserving evidence of every process the object undergoes in its life, beginning with its finger-printed birth and leading into its multi layered death. These pieces function as center points in installations, hanging in open space. Thin black wire forms suspended geometric shapes around the objects. The wire creates linear geometries that activate surrounding space, visually centering the pieces within compositions and connecting them to their environments. Felt and handmade paper is wrapped around linear ceramic structures. The felt stretches like skin over ambiguous protruding skeletal systems. The objects are pod shaped and emit light. Plants are rooted in these structures to grow. As water is poured into the pieces to feed the plants, the porous fiber materials begin to come apart and decompose, fostering mold growth, and slackening their attachment to ceramic components over time. I employ subtle sensory elements in my work, such as air currents that create oscillating movement, redolent of breath. Smells are often imbedded into the walls of objects that are detectable at intimate proximities, rewarding viewers who peer closely. Light is projected through complex silhouettes of objects to cast images on translucent screens that form the borders of installations. Image: Float Paper House (ceramics, laser cut paper, light projection, fibers), 2015
Nominated by Columbia College Working in photography, video, and performance, I explore the weight of patriarchy. I am interested in the performative nature of gender but more specifically, the constructions of fatherhood and masculinity. Patriarch and Memories of my Father, my two most recent bodies of work, investigate the duality of memories and photographs. Probing how a photograph encapsulates memories and how memories reside in photographs. I am interested in how a memory of a photograph can hold more charge than the actual photograph and how they are also able to construct lies. How familial and personal narratives can be constructed from images of people or places that might have never existed in one’s actual reality; for instance, a father. A fascination of both family history and the way families use photography has inspired this work. By examining the absence of my father and my mother’s lack of relationship with her father, I aim to uncover patterns of this multigenerational breaking of traditional familial structures. American culture is rich with patriarchal tropes and models ready for consumption. I dissect these offerings of masculinity in order to better understand the constraints of our patriarchal society and carve out my own space within it. Image: The Hug, 2015
Nominated by UIC My work demonstrates and complicates the politics of displacement through my experience as a first generation Hmong-American. As an ethnic minority from Southeast Asia with no homeland, I have a desire to be heard and to be valued. I fear cultural extinction, so I create work that reveals the diaspora of the Hmong, questioning the roles of site and place, and instead looking in-between. I emphasize ephemerality as part of identity. This work is part of the larger question of what it means to belong, and how I join the conversation about the history of political refugeeism in America. My work engages political and cultural space through installation, site specificity, and social practice. With a background in painting, I use color as a dialogue–a tool for bringing attention to space, claiming space and recognizing how spaces are claimed. Hmong textile is vital in my work. It presents a call to the body, and serves as a surrogate for the Hmong body. I interpret the question of ownership, whether land or body, through the use of material placement and color mixtures. Art is a form that allows me to position my body and other bodies in relation to the Hmong diaspora, and to investigate the nuanced spaces between visibility and invisibility. Image: Nam Hab Kuv / Mom and Me (fabric, wood, simp belting), 2015
Nominated by Northern Illinois University My work conveys thoughts and emotions that I fear will be dismissed if stated verbally. I make work based off of experiences and social interactions where my interpretations are impacted by my strict conservative religious upbringing. Inspiration often comes from conversations, podcasts, and storytelling, which then get internalized and processed into modes of making. Pieces emerge from two distinct, polarized, directions of thought; either frustration at being forced to endure or blissful Ignorance. I employ rigid geometric forms that evoke a sense of control and stability within the use of metal. I find a value of importance in which my pieces convey strength, yet showing vulnerability. One way in which I soften the presence is with the use of fabric. I see fabric as either a form of clothing or skin. I find enjoyment in the variations of textures and colors. Image: Self Restrained (insulated foam), 2015
Nominated by SAIC Through creating half-documentary, half-fictional narratives of my intimate relationship and its impact on my family, I reenact my life as an Asian woman in the Western world. This reflects upon the West’s categorization of femininity, sexuality and selfhood. My photography and video works address the unresolved tensions underlying the existing categories combined with my experience of vulnerability, joy and confusion. Image: I am unable to become your goddess (inkjet print), 2016
Nominated by University of Chicago I explore Text— as Object, as Body, as Code. What began as a fascination with how words are arranged upon the page has given way to an exploration of word and phrase as sculptural bodies. Word that is as present in space as my body! language as material thing to be held! phrase as tangled mess to be wrestled with, confronted! I'm after an examination of margins, spacing, punctuation, rendered physical in attempt to find a mode of visible communication. Expression through common materials that allow for new access to the encoded, the encrypted, the recessed meanings just out of reach. Image: Points of Departure (storage containers, plastic sheeting, plywood), 2016
Nominiated by Columbia College Chicago My mind lives in a hot wet hole in my body” -Barbara DeGenevieve In the tradition of Barbara DeGenevieve’s groundbreaking and courageous exploration of a new sex-positive feminism, my work records my own emergence into the brave and often contradictory world of female sexuality and perception. I came of age twice: once as a young teenager first using the Internet, and again in my early twenties when I began watching pornography. In a world where women are either sluts or prudes, I aim to investigate the middle ground when sex is a normalized, humorous part of ordinary life, by humanizing the most bizarre fetishes, confronting the male gaze in person, and peeling back the inevitability of porn. Image: Vanilla Ice (Performance), 2015.
Nominated by Northwestern Univeristy I make images, animations, and installations aimed at making the viewer nervously laugh. Nervously because it implies there is more going on within them than simple reaction to the cleverness of a joke or its execution; their sensibilities are directly interacting with a work, either reaffirming or questioning their beliefs. A person’s sense of humor is easily the most interesting aspect to me, mainly because it can be so unpredictable. A person can have a strong idea of what does and does not make them laugh, but it’s those moments when I catch myself unexpectedly laughing that interest me the most, and I believe a large part of my practice is aimed at presenting works which tease this reaction out of viewers.
Nominated by SAIC My work poses a dialogue with the question of abstraction in art as well as with the notion of increasing abstraction of social relations under late capitalism. It proposes to liberate abstraction from its common definition: a set of generalized repeatable patterns or forms that have –supposedly- synthesized facts to the point where it has nothing to do with the actual phenomenological source. Instead, my work looks to redefine abstraction in art by acknowledging that the factual is in-itself increasingly abstract. It also meanders –in contrast with high modernist abstraction- between individuality and commonality. High modernism trapped abstraction into a very closed notion of style as a predetermined appearance or constant form. What promised to be a liberation of the subject became a masque that gave a common face to modernity. Turning to look to facts will give us a better sense of abstraction, and our relationship as individuals and commons with space, time and the world of objects. Image: Untitled (cardboard and highlighter), 2016
Nominated by Columbia College Chicago Helen, Your flowers bend with age. Your curtains collect dust as your home shifts into another. You sit, simply watching television and telling me you’ve been waiting for this moment of retirement your whole life. You are a single mother to two daughters and a grandmother to four grandchildren. I photograph you and you let me to continue to photograph. It is hard for me to describe why I take pictures of you. I can say I’m interested in aging. I can say I’m interested in the idea of the familial. These statement are all true, but there is also a desire, a need. A need to document you. To continuously document you again and again. I cannot stop, because of my anxieties that come with aging, your aging and my own. I have a need to remember and keep these moments, to have these accumulated memories of you and our experiences, for you will not be around forever. I have been photographing my grandmother for over two years. Throughout these past years I have been documenting my grandmother and her space as it continues to shift and change. I have realized the act of photographing her is my way of preserving our past and our family history as I consider the inevitable future. In my project Helen I am able to show an intimacy and vulnerability that comes with aging and the familial. I am interested in how family relationships, physicalities of bodies and spaces, and emotional states are constantly shifting as humans age through life. As I think about these topics there will always be the driving factor of the necessity I feel to photograph my own grandmother, to document and preserve her as our lives continue. Image: Grandma Cutting her Hair (inkjet print), 2015
Nominated by Northern Illinois University Through most of my art school experience, by work has had a great focus on self-reflection, family, nostalgia, and the transitions that go along with the human experience. The four photos I’ve included are from one series which focus’ on how nostalgia can be used to express concerns about the present, provide an escape during unstable or uncertain times, and to find a connection to family history and how that pertains to the individual. By looking back a connection has been made to people who have passed without our lives overlapping. Ideas such as relationships, locational ties, and objects are used to draw lines through the decades and place oneself in the present while being aware of what has come before and what will come in the future.
Nominated by Columbia College Chicago I consciously work to investigate the dogmatic contemporary assertion of material as the real. Through my work I create a dialogue between contemporary culture, rooted in the material, and ancient culture, rooted in the invisible, as a means to understand the prefigured internal psychic structures that link the two. I draw content from the evolution of cultural production, especially works of literature and art, to gain a sense of history—which I use to trace the origins of consciousness, the self and other. Investigating the anthropomorphic desire to know the unknown, and the gravitational pull of desire on identity foregrounds my work. I play on the boundaries and intersections of desire and society; because of my sexuality, society forced me question the ethics of my desires and identity. I use my practice as a way to reflect questions of desire back on the viewer through use of provocative imagery. The ways the self is often at odds with culturally defined boundaries acts a threshold—an entry point—to examine the psyche in relationship culture and other, in order to unhinge the complex systems and structures that form identity.
Sydney Shavers is an artist whose photographs, collages, films, performances and sound pieces question established conventions and spaces of existence. In her adolescence she switched schools frequently going from one that was racially diverse to a school where she was one of a handful of black students and back again. This experience has influenced her practice in which she creates a new language, one where conventional symbolism is challenged and the viewer is left to create new associations to relate to the world. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Learn more about Sydney Shavers’s HATCH exhibitions Sweet Creature and You will be the archivist of your desires.
Nominated by North Park University I look forward, into the possibilities, the consequences, the experience of the unknown I must go forward it is inevitable, to keep going because there is no turning back A step forward means letting go, the end of, but also the beginning I step forward into waves, that change the fragility of what is not yet the point where I can only imagine Like how I imagine myself, Here, on the shore of the sea My most recent works are made through the process of fumage. A technique inspired by the fire painter Steven Spazuk. This technique is done by burning the surface of wood, paper, or canvas by the use of candle light flame and a torch. It is burned to the point where a layer of soot covers the surface. It is then erased/etched with the use of tools such as needle point, brushes, and erasers. The stone has been a major subject in my work. It is mundane yet I have found it to be profoundly meaningful in my life and of life. It has become a symbol, a metaphor, a portrait. It began as a daily practice of art making. A project brought out from a class from North Park University. We were encouraged to do something creative everyday, a finished piece, as a way to create a habit of making. Through this process, I pondered what it was about a rock that got my attention. The formal qualities, the shape, size, texture, color, to its history and function really made it interesting to me. Thinking of how the stone was formed to how it is being weathered away. A stone can represent so many different ideas and concepts. My hope is that the viewer will journey with me as I uncover and discover its attributes. Image: Untitled (soot on illistration board), 2015
Yesenia Bello lives and works in Chicago. Her work reflects on lived experiences as a first-generation Mexican-American and especially responds to the loss and regain of her first language over time. Her installations, drawings, and sculptures have been presented at spaces including The Chicago Cultural Center, Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Chicago and LA), Goldfinch Gallery (Chicago, IL), Super Dutchess Gallery (New York, NY), The Overlook Place (Chicago, IL), Comfort Station (Chicago, IL), 6018 North (Chicago, IL), and Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago,IL). She was part of the HATCH Projects 2016-2017 group at Chicago Artists Coalition and recently completed the 2018-2019 Center Program at the Hyde Park Art Center. Residencies include ACRE, Oxbow, and Carrizozo AiR. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in Fiber and Material Studies.
Image caption: Held in Potential Disuse. 2019. mixed media installation (image credit: Alex Younger)
Meet Guest Speakers
An undisciplined creator. Amina Ross creates boundary-crossing works that embrace embodiment, imaging technologies, intimacy and collectivity in physical and digital spaces. Amina has exhibited work, spoken on panels and taught workshops at venues throughout the United States. Amina's intention within a media-centering practice is to engage sensuality and sense-perception as modes of reclaiming the body. Amina is currently a 2018-2019 Artist-in-Residence at Arts & Public Life and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago. As an educator Amina is currently an adjunct lecturer in the Contemporary Practices department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Co-lead artist of Teen Creative Agency at the Museum of Contemporary Art. As a curator and cultural organizer Amina is curator of ECLIPSING, a multi-media festival celebrating darkness.
Aram Han Sifuentes is a fiber, social practice, and performance artist who works to claim spaces for immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing circles, which become a place for empowerment, subversion and protest. Her work has been exhibited at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St. Louis, MO), Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (Chicago, IL), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL), Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia, PA), Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum (Seoul, South Korea), and the Design Museum (London, UK).
Aram is a 2016 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, 2016 3Arts Awardee, and 2017 Sustainable Arts Foundation Awardee. She earned her BA in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Image: We Are Never Never Other, 2018, Medium: PVC coated vinyl, Dimensions: 137 1/3 × 264 inches (348.7 × 670.6 cm) Photograph © Alise O'Brien Photography
Caroline Stearns is the Director of THE MISSION, a contemporary art gallery located in West Town that represents artists from the United States and Latin America. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and in Biology from Lake Forest College, Stearns began working at THE MISSION in 2012. Stearns was a guest lecturer at the School of the Art Institute through the school's visiting artist and curator program earlier this year and a panelist for The Inside Scoop on Artist Opportunities for CAC's LAUNCH Invitational Residency in 2016. Exploring distinctive cultural, social and historical contexts, THE MISSION advocates for artists that shape, inform, and challenge contemporary art across media and genres. THE MISSION has been featured in ARTFORUM, Art in America, Hyperallergic and art ltd., and has facilitated the acquisition of artist's works into numerous museum, corporate, and private collections. Dedicated to supporting artistic experimentation and forging new exchanges between artists and audiences, THE MISSION began THE SUB-MISSION in 2012. Located below the main gallery, THE SUB-MISSION is a non-commercial, site-specific exhibition space dedicated to the development of artists living and working in Chicago. THE SUB-MISSION was created to foster the investigation of new ideas and artistic processes and to facilitate an exchange between artists and the community.
Denenge is a space sculptor whose award-winning teaching, art, and writing bridge disciplines of ritual, design, ecology, and Afrofuturity. Her fantastical interactive environments and performances, guided by hybrid archetypal beings through liminal spaces, interrogate, titillate, decolonize, and empower, inspired by Sun Ra and asking: "Who controls the future?" She is Associate Professor, Adjunct, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Founder of Denenge Design and In The Luscious Garden, focused on holistic and conceptual approaches to human-centered design.
Her work and writing have been featured at venues internationally including: ICA London for Black Quantum Futurism: Temporal Deprogramming; Corpus Meum at Arts Club of Chicago; Kunsthaus Zürich; Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin; ARTEXTE; U.S. Library of Congress (NASA/Blumberg); Red Bull Arts NY; Schomburg Center; Art Gallery of Ontario; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Goethe Institut.
She was selected as a 2014 NEH Fellow; 2017 Place Lab Fellow, Rebuild Foundation with U-Chicago Harris School of Public Policy; and 2020 (now 2022) La Becque laureate. Publications and collections include: Peggy Cooper Cafritz Collection; AFRIFUTURI 02022020 monograph; essay on AFRICOBRA co-founder Jae Jarrell, Kavi Gupta Gallery for the 58th Venice Biennale; Antennae: Journal of Art and Nature; Fleeting Monuments for the Black Arts Movement (U-Minn); Vegetal Entwinements (MIT); and Africa Fashion (Victoria & Albert Museum).
Artwork caption: Holographic High Priestess (2020-2022) and High Priestess of the Intergalactic Federation, Special Envoy to Mars (2018, 2019)
Originally commissioned by then-NASA/Blumberg Chair of Astrobiology Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, for Becoming Interplanetary/Decolonizing Mars Symposium at U.S. Library of Congress, Kluge Center and also performed in 2019 at ICA London as part of Black Quantum Futurism: Temporal Deprogramming, this multi-media audience-interactive poetic riff traverses time, space and altered dimensions. Wearing garments and a headdress inspired by depictions of Califia – the fictional BIPOC warrior queen after whom California is named--Duyst-Akpem considers what it means to be human, to reach for the stars, to become interplanetary.”
During pandemic, the project went virtual, becoming Holographic High Priestess as a video loop projected as an "appearance/apparition" two stories high for Terrain Biennial at Blanc Gallery, Chicago, and as a glitch projection for Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow at Chicago Design Museum.
Damon Locks is a Chicago based visual artist, educator, vocalist/musician, and deejay. He attended The Art Institute in Chicago where he received his BFA in Fine Arts. Recently, he has been lending his artistic and/or teaching talents to organizations such as Prisons and Neighborhood Arts Project, Art Reach, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and at UIC. The voices, the places, the stories, the human exchange helps connect his work to the experiences of others, thus making the work stronger. He is a recent recipient of the Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Achievement Award in the Arts and the 2016 MAKER Grant. He also just completed a music residency at The New Quorum in New Orleans. With the aesthetics of a printmaker, he calls upon the medium that suits the situation best whether it be screen/relief/digital print, photography, ink, pencil, voice, drum machine, sampler, or turntables. Regardless of the medium the goal is to reach out and connect.
Dana Bassett has been described as a writer, producer, problem solver, logistical coordinator, fundraiser, shapeshifter, talker, listener and a sensitive, yet demanding, soul. Born in Miami Florida the same year Michael Jackson’s Bad was released, Dana currently lives in a converted former funeral home in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. She has worked with up-and-coming organizations such as The Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions Project (ACRE), Borscht Film Festival, and Bad at Sports. Her writing has been published in outlets such as Hyperallergic, The Miami Rail and The Seen. Dana formerly served as the Development Director for ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions), a volunteer-run nonprofit based in Chicago devoted to employing various systems of support for emerging artists.
Edra Soto (b. Puerto Rico) is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator, and co-director of the outdoor project space THE FRANKLIN. She is invested in creating and providing visual and educational models propelled by empathy and generosity. Her recent projects are motivated by civic and social actions focus on fostering relationships with a wide range of communities. Recent venues presenting Soto’s work include the Pérez Art Museum Miami (FL), Hunter East Harlem Gallery (NY), UIC Gallery 400 (IL), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (NE), and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (IL) amongst others. Soto has attended residency programs at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (ME), Beta-Local (PR), the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (FL), Arts/Industry at the Kohler Foundation (WI), Headlands Center for the Arts (CA) and Project Row Houses (TX) amongst others. In 2017 Soto was awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts for installation artists. Her co-curation for the exhibition Present Standard at the Chicago Cultural Center was praised with overwhelmingly positive reviews from the Chicago Tribune, Newcity, PBS The Art Assignment and Artforum. Soto was recently featured in Newcity’s annual Art 50 issue Chicago’s Artists’ Artists and at VAM Studio 2017 Influencers. Soto is a lecturer for the Contemporary Practices Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from where she holds an MFA , and a BFA degree from Escuela de Artes Plastics de Puerto Rico. Edra will be a guest speaker for Artist Case Studies: Business Models on October 16, 2018.
J. Gibran Villalobos is an administrator, curator, and art historian who is an alum of CAC’s HATCH residency. In 2016 he was elected to attend the Advocacy Leadership Institute where he was invited to the White House Office of Public Engagement, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to speak to key issues affecting Latinos in Chicago. He served as the 2017 resident curator at the Chicago Cultural Center where he launched an inaugural summit of Latino artists and administrators across the United States. For this project, he received the Act Up Awards from the Chicago Community Trust, and a Propeller Grant. He has held the posts of Cultural Liaison for the Chicago Park District in the department of Culture, Arts, and Nature, and Public Programs and Partnerships Manager for the Chicago Architecture Biennial. He currently serves on the Auxiliary Board for the National Museum of Mexican Art and on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Artists Coalition. In 2019 he was recipient of the “Leaders of Color Fellow” by Americans for the Arts and was also named by the Field Foundation as recipient of the “Leaders for a New Chicago” award. He is currently serving as the co-Chair to the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture nationwide summit for 2020 in which more than 200 Latino artists and administrators will meet and gather in Chicago. He is faculty lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Arts Administration & Policy and currently works as Assistant Curator in Performance and Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
James T. Green is a conceptual artist, designer, developer, podcaster, educator, and writer based in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. His projects investigate information distribution on the internet and unspoken markers of identity. His work has been shown in EXPO Chicago (2012, 2013, 2014), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2013), the Chicago Cultural Center (2012), and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago (2013). Green has completed residency programs at ACRE (2011, 2012), Chicago Artist Coalition’s HATCH Projects (2012, 2013), and University of Chicago Arts & Public Life/CSRPC program (2014, 2015). Currently, Green teaches graduate courses at School of the Art Institute Chicago and cofounded and maintains two businesses: On The Firefly, a design and development consultancy, and Postloudness, a collective of audio shows by people of color, women, and queer identified hosts.
Jason Kalajainen is the Executive Director of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago. Jason is responsible for developing andimplementing programs and a funding strategy that fosters the Foundation’s mission of supporting individual artists and community collaborations in greater Chicago. Prior to joining Luminarts, Jason was the Executive Director of Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency. Additionally, he has served on a number of committees and boards and is currently the Chair of the Alliance of Artists’ Communities Board of Directors and is a member of the Arts Club of Chicago’s InterArts Committee and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago’s Education Committee. Jason has his B.A. in Political Science and Art from Westminster College, PA and his M.Ed. in Nonprofit and Educational Management from Vanderbilt University, TN.
Jesse Malmed is an artist and curator, working in video, performance, text, occasional objects and their gaps and overlaps. He has performed, screened and exhibited at museums, microcinemas, film festivals, galleries, bars and barns, including recent solo presentations at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Roots and Culture, the Chicago Cultural Center, Cinema Contra, Microlights, Echo Park Film Center, Lease Agreement and the University of Chicago Film Studies Center. Present platformist and curatorial projects include the Live to Tape Artist Television Festival, programming at the Nightingale Cinema, the mobile exhibition space and artist bumper sticker project Trunk Show (with Raven Falquez Munsell), programming through ACRE TV and the recently inaugurated Western Pole. A native of Santa Fe, Jesse earned his BA at Bard College and his MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was named a "2014 Breakout Artist" by Newcity and has attended residencies at ACRE, Ox-Bow, Summer Forum, the Chicago Cultural Center and Links Hall.
Julie Herwitt CPA has over 25 years of experience working with small businesses and individuals. Additionally, Julie has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and exhibits her paintings throughout the US. This dual personality is what allows Julie to bring a unique perspective to the tax and accounting needs of artists, writers, musicians and other creative individuals. She is a frequent guest lecturer at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College. Additionally, she has given workshops through the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Chicago Artists’ Coalition, The Music Industry Workshop and other Midwest arts organizations. As a result of Julie’s experience with both accounting and the arts, her accounting practice works with numerous artists, writers and musicians.
Kate Dumbleton is an Assistant Professor of Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where she also leads the Management Studio in its graduate program. She is also the Executive and Artistic Director of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Previously, Dumbleton was the Executive Director of the critically acclaimed Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Her work in jazz, improvised music, and performance spans nearly two decades, including music direction for jazz clubs and festivals; curatorial direction of artist residencies; direction of interdisciplinary projects in music, dance, theater, visual art, and film; venue and record label management; administrative direction; and artist management. She owned and operated a successful performance, exhibition space/wine bar in the Bay Area from 2000-06. Her research interests include improvisation studies, black experimental music, and artist driven production networks. Kate's current affiliations include the Advisory Council for the Chicago Artists Resource and ChicagoMusic.org; Programming Committee Member for Made in Chicago Performance Series in Millennium Park; Board of Directors for the Experimental Sound Studio (ESS); Board of Directors for Rova Arts (SF); Artistic Direction Advisory Council, Yerba Buena Garden Festival (SF); Leadership Team for Red Poppy Art House (SF). She has served on numerous local and national grant and prize panel committees. Dumbleton has a B.A. (Cum Laude) in History from Hamilton College, New York and an M.A. in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Kate Schutta is an artist, educator, and Director of Career and Professional Experience (CAPX) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kate Schutta advises students and alumni/ae on professional and job search strategies and coordinates Career and Professional Experience (CAPX) activities and resources. Schutta’s past experience includes book cover and poster illustration and teaching at SAIC and the Royal College of Art. Exhibitions include: National Museum of Art, Wroclaw; Royal College of Art (RCA); and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Grants and Fellowships: Chicago Artists Assistance Program grants; RCA Research Fellowship in Communication Design; and Peoples' Republic of Poland Art & Culture Grant. Education: MFA (1989), BFA (1985), School of the Art Institute of Chicago; BA History of Art (1983), Bryn Mawr College. Kate will be a guest speaker for Artist Case Studies: Business Models on October 16, 2018.
The work of Chicago-based artist Lynn Basa can be found in public and private collections around the U.S. In addition to doing site-specific commissions, she has a studio practice making objects around themes of accidents, awkwardness and secrets. She is the founder of Corner, a neighborhood storefront gallery for artists who experiment with installations that intersect with daily life. Basa is the author of The Artist’s Guide to Public art based on a course she developed while teaching in the Sculpture department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before devoting full-time to her studio practice, she was the founding director and curator of the University of Washington Medical Center’s art program and collection.
Matt Austin is a book designer and publisher based in Chicago. He started and co-runs Candor Arts, a small art book press that publishes books about life, learning, and healing.
Patrice N. Perkins is the founder of Creative Genius Law®, a business and intellectual property law firm and strategic legal partner exclusively for creative entrepreneurs, innovators, and change agents. They are game changers looking to impact the world in creative ways. Patrice’s mission is to encourage clients to tap into the unrealized revenue potential of their intellectual property while using the law to protect and nurture creativity rather than stifling it. She develops legal strategies and provides counsel in the areas of business law, contracts and negotiation, intellectual property (trademarks and copyrights), social media, advertising, and marketing law. She’s been recognized by the American Bar Association as a “Legal Rebel” for being a leading innovator in the legal industry. She’s previously spoken at Chicago Creative Expo, Self Employment in the Arts Conference, Chicago Urban League, Chicago Artists Coalition, Blogging While Brown, Alt Design Summit, BlogHer, Eat Write Retreat, and AVVO Lawyernomics to name a few. She's appeared in popular media and blogs including FORTUNE, NBC, Women 2.0, Design Sponge, Young, Fabulous & Self-Employed, Carol Roth and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Artists Coalition. Patrice publishes Creative Genius Society, a business and law blog, and is the creator of the Quit Kit, a strategic planning system to help creative entrepreneurs ditch their 9 to 5 for full-time entrepreneurship. You can follow Patrice on Twitter and Instagram @creative_esq. Patrice will be a guest speaker for Know Your Rights: A Legal Toolkit for Creative Producers on March 5, 2019.
Sara Slawnik joined the 3Arts staff as its first Director of Programs in 2014, after working in the nonprofit arts sector since 2002. In her role at 3Arts, Sara oversees all programming, including the annual 3Arts Awards program, 3AP (3Arts Projects), residency fellowships, and other artist support initiatives. 3Arts advocates for women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. Each year, as the result of a competitive nomination and jury selection process, ten Chicago artists receive 3Arts Awards of $25,000, with no strings attached. By providing cash awards, project funding through 3AP, residency fellowships, professional development, and promotion, 3Arts helps artists take risks, experiment, and build momentum in their careers. Prior to 3Arts, Sara was Deputy Director of the Chicago Artists Coalition where she managed fundraising and operations as well as helped to steer programmatic growth and build awareness of the organization’s professional development services for artists. Previously, she served as Program Director at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago, facilitating a range of multidisciplinary programs. She also held positions in development at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, The Drawing Center in New York City, and The Archives of American Art, a research unit of the Smithsonian Institution. Sara earned a BA in the History of Art from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
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