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Preview 9: A Boldness to Dare and Try
Reception Opening

Friday, Sep 6, 2019 / 5-8PM

Work by

Latham Zearfoss Tamara Becerra Valdez Flor Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero Leticia Bernaus Karen Dana Cohen

Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Preview 9: A Boldness to Dare and Try, featuring works of art by Leticia Bernaus, Karen Dana Cohen, Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, Alejandro Jiménez-Flores, Tamara Becerra Valdez, and Latham Zearfoss.

The six dynamic visual artists in the exhibition demonstrate a mastery of the formal and conceptual, as tools to advance their creativity and confront social challenges. They are dedicated to their respective crafts and have triumphed in unexpected artistic environments, despite opposition that may stifle their creative expression or personal identity. In various assertions, this group of artists redefines and claims culture and space as her/his/their own, without apology.

Preview 9: A Boldness to Dare and Try is curated by Asha Iman Veal.

The exhibition runs from September 6-20, 2019, with an opening reception on Friday, September 6, from 5-8PM. A closing reception and breakfast will occur on Friday, September 20, from 9-11AM, in conjunction with EXPO ART WEEK.

BOLT solo exhibitions 2020
January 3 - February 13, 2020 | Latham Zearfoss
February 21 - April 2, 2020 | Tamara Becerra Valdez
April 10 - May 21, 2020 | Alejandro Jiménez-Flores
May 29 - July 9, 2020 | Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero
July 17 - August 27, 2020 | Leticia Bernaus
October 2 - November 12, 2020 | Karen Dana

About the curator
Asha Iman Veal is an arts organizer, dedicated to the possibilities of redirected routes of dialogues across global space. Her affiliation includes the Exhibitions and Residency Team at Hyde Park Art Center, the Faculty of Arts Administration & Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and recent Development strategy for Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. Her previous roles at arts and advocacy organizations include playwright Eve Ensler’s V-Day global movement to end violence against women and girls, and she has worked on research and arts-based projects in Vietnam, Tokyo, Scotland, Canada, and Cuba. In 2019 she was curator for The Tokyo Show: Black & Brown Are Beautiful, Hyde Park. In 2018 she juried for Arts + Public Life/The University of Chicago Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture; Ox-Bow; and ACRE.

image: Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, MYTH OF CQQCHIFRUIT, 2015, video, 10 min.

About Artists
2019 - 2020
Latham Zearfoss

Latham Zearfoss produces time-based images and objects about selfhood and otherness. Often collaborative, these works ask: how do we come to know ourselves as social human subjects? Across media, the work is anchored in the belief that identity is a cumulative, political effect, inherited through a kind of collective bargaining. These themes find evocative, sensual resonances through dramatic shifts in color and light, reverberating soundscapes populated by disembodied voices, queerly uncanny iterations of the not-noticed and everyday, and “soft borders” - spatial markings of undetermined significance that invite participation, transgression, even penetration.

Latham Zearfoss works in Chicago, where they produce time-based images, objects and experiences about selfhood and otherness. Outside of the studio, they contribute to collective motions toward joy and reflection through social projects such as a queer dance party (Chances Dances), a critical space for white allyship (Make Yourself Useful), and an itinerant conference on socially-engaged art (Open Engagement). Latham graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in 2008 and the University of Illinois at Chicago with an MFA in 2011. They have exhibited their work, screened their videos, and DJed internationally and all over the U.S.


Artist photo: Harry Culy

Image: Latham Zearfoss, Moving, Even Still; 2019, Cardboard, spray paint, tape, wheat-paste installation from ships in the night at the Engine Room in Wellington, New Zealand; 32 x 7 x 3 ft

2019 - 2020
Tamara Becerra Valdez

Every landscape is frequented by past ways of life. How to address a way of being in the world asks us to be attuned to place, time, and intent. Through an interdisciplinary art practice, Tamara Becerra Valdez observes the meaning and function of discarded and abandoned materials to consider how historical topographies arise through traces in the urban social landscape. The ephemeral nature of human behavior leaves an impression in her work. 

Her work has been exhibited at Mexic-Arte Museum, Gallery 400, Comfort Station, and Sector 2337 as part of the 2018 Lit & Luz Festival. She has held positions in programming and special collections at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and the Harry Ransom Center. She has been an artist-in-residence at ACRE Projects and Human Sciences. From 2017-2019, Valdez served as a Graduate Research Fellow supervising the artistic and creative direction in the collaborative, multi-disciplinary project, “Political Ecology: Platform Chicago,” supported by the Institute for the Humanities (UIC) Humanities Without Walls consortium and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Tamara received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 


Image:  Tamara Becerra Valdez, NENO at Cullerton and Throop St. (Second Geographies), 2018, Video still 

2019 - 2020

Flor* (b. 1989) is a process-based conceptual artist making gestures that occupy the space of painting, writing, and performance. Their practice is concerned with how the language we have or lack, subordinates our subjectivities, identity formations, and the space we are allowed to occupy. They have had recent solo exhibitions at BAR4000 (Chicago, IL), Heaven Gallery (Chicago, IL), and Efrain Lopez Gallery (Chicago, IL), as well as a two-person exhibition at Apparatus Projects (Chicago, IL) and performances at Gallery 400 (Chicago, IL) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. They have been featured in reviews and publications such as New American Paintings, Chicago Artist Writers, and Newcity Art. They attained a BFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012.

Artist Photo: Autumn Elizabeth Clark

Image: Flor, una noche maravillosa —a fantastic night, 2019, Soft-pastels, flower petals, plaster; 8 x 10.5 in.

*previously known as Alejandro Jiménez-Flores

Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero is a multi-disciplinary artist uncovering the complexities of Caribbean heritage and queer identity through ornate visual art and captivating musical performance. Also known as CQQCHiFRUIT, Guerrero has DJed, performed, and exhibited across Chicago, the US, and internationally. Guerrero is Miami-born and Chicago-based, is a cofounder of TRQPITECA, and Registrar at Hyde Park Art Center.


Artist Photo: Glitter Guts

Image: Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, Cqqchifruit Dentata, 2019, Live musical performance, 40 min. Photo: Colectivo Multipolar

2019 - 2020
Leticia Bernaus

The work of Leticia Bernaus (b. Argentina) displays an intriguing take on the conflicting contemporary link between nature and culture. Bernaus is a photographer and experimental filmmaker exploring contemporary issues of diversity, displacement and belonging and forms of colonialism. She superimposes materials and formats, blurring the borders between animal and mineral, immaterial and physical, documentary and fiction. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Argentina, Brazil, United States, Spain, England and Italy. She lives and works in Chicago, USA.


Image: Leticia Bernaus, Agnosis, 2019, 16mm film sculpture, silent, 03:19 min

2019 - 2020
Karen Dana Cohen

Karen Dana Cohen was born in 1982 in Mexico City and lives and works in Chicago, IL. She received a BFA from The National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City (2005) and earned her MFA degree at Hunter College, New York (2011), where she based her art studio up until 2017. Her early work consists of scenes where family dynamics evoked visual tension in a composition. By experiencing her own family from abroad and beginning to grow into a family of her own she began exploring her painting practice as a more process-based research. The paintings of her recent work are often part of a specific arrangement based in gestures that she discovered inherited from women in her past as a mandate of femininity. The paintings offer an intimate narrative of the role immigrant women need to reinvent their whole self in order to survive, while at the same time defend their own identity through generations.  


Image: Karen Dana, There is a transplanted gathering in between my steps, 2018, Oil on canvas, 72” x 60”

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