Meet Curatorial Residents
Cristobal Alday is a queer Latinx curator and creative from the south west side of Chicago. He focuses on photography, and film particularly dealing with queerness, familial dynamics, and space. He graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Latinx Studies and Art History where he conducted his thesis project on the use of the tortilla and how artists used it as a form of resistance within their practice. He is currently using his space at home to curate. Prior to that he has held curatorial and art handling roles at the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art and studied film at Fundación Universidad del Cine while studying in Argentina where he co-created a documentary focusing on the underground queer tango scene.
Secondary Image: Personal collection exhibition Self (Re)Presentation, featuring works of art by Moises Salazar and Jeffrey Augustine Songco around the theme of materiality and its ties to queerness.
Originally from Metro-Detroit, Joan Roach is an emerging arts writer and curator who focuses on sculptural, textual, and performance-based work concerned with how we conceptualize, create, and restrict social space. Writing from a phenomenological perspective, they highlight work that encourages arts audiences to give critical attention to their relationship with the material world. At present, they are the publication editor for LVL3, an artist-run exhibition space and publication, and a contributor to New City Magazine.
Secondary Image: Exhibition On Being Tender featuring work by artists Madison Kline and Michele Mobley.
Yi Cao is a curator, writer, and art administrator based in Chicago and Beijing. She currently serves as the Director of Curatorial Administration of Arts of Asia at the Art Institute of Chicago. From 2013 to 2019, she was the Curatorial and Education Program Manager at Carnegie Museum of Art, where she contributed to Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (2016). Her recent curatorial projects include The Rounds (2022) and Survey 3: I Sense Something Has Changed (2021) at Chicago Artists Coalition, and Liu Wei: Invisible Cities (2019) at MOCA Cleveland and Cleveland Museum of Art.
She has spoken at conferences and art organizations, including Beijing Inside Out Art Museum (2021), Carnegie Mellon University (2021), International Chinese Fine Arts Council (2021), and Kavi Gupta Gallery (2022). She received the The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events curatorial and research grant (2020). She also served on the jury for The Recharge New Surrealist Prize (2021). Her bilingual writing and translation works have appeared in Art Asia Pacific, Museum 2050, The Art Institute of Chicago’s blog, CMA Thinker, CMOA Storyboard, and artnet News, among others.
Secondary Image: Installation view. Liu Wei: Invisible Cities, MOCA Cleveland, 2019. Photo taken Field Studio.
Meet Artist Residents
Anwulika Anigbo (b. Nigeria 1987) is a humanist domestic artist living in Chicago. Her work investigates questions of self-determination, presence, knowledge production, and memory. Through imagery and processes, she traces the historical and somatic roots of everyday life as it is practiced within blackness across the diaspora. Anwulika works at the intersections of everyday life, rooting her practice in creation as a continuous process of personal and domestic liberation guided primarily by black intellectual thought and ancestral memory. She is a self-taught artist working primarily with film photography.
Anwulika's creative practice is woven into each area of her life including her work as a homeschooling parent and with the Invisible Institute. Anwulika is currently an artist in residence at the Chicago Artist Coalition 2021-2022 and a former member of L’Louise Foundations Career Growth Lab 2020-2021. Anwulika has exhibited her work at the Chicago Artists Coalition (Chicago) and CICA Museum (Korea).
Image: Anwulika Anigbo untitled (2020). Black and White Film, unspecified.
Bryana Bibbs is a Chicago-based textile artist, painter, and art educator who earned her BFA with an emphasis in Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work comes from her personal life, struggles with daily occurrences, the ultimate strive for comfort, and trying to figure out life one step at a time. She is the founder of the “We Were Never Alone Project – A Weaving Workshop for Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence” and is currently an artist at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago, Illinois. Bryana’s work has been on view at the Evanston Art Center, ARC Gallery, and the Bridgeport Art Center.
Image: Bryana Bibbs 9.21.20. (2020). Handwoven, hand-carded, hand-spun wool, angelina fiber, and recycled sari silk. 18 x 11.5 inches.
Farah Salem (Kuwaiti, b.1991) is a Chicago-based artist and art therapist/counselor. Her multidisciplinary practice is rooted within photography and expands into video, performance, fiber and installation. Farah finds subtle affinities between natural landscapes, the performing body, fiber-material structures, metaphors from her cultural upbringing, an understanding of the human psyche, geologic time, movement, music/dance traditions and rituals in The Arabian Peninsula. In her process, she is merging present experiences of human and geologic happenings, while looking at themes of access, agency, power, and the invisibly visible.
She holds an MA in Art Therapy and Counseling from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Farah’s work has been featured at Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), American University Museum Katzen Art Center (Washington DC), United Photo Industries (New York), Mana Contemporary (Chicago), Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE), and Contemporary Art Platform (Kuwait).
Image: Farah Salem, Power to See (2019). Fiber/Video Installation, 10 Minute Video.
Gabriel Chalfin-Piney is a multidisciplinary artist and organizer, with a background in performance and exhibition-making for artists and nonprofits. Gabriel’s art practice pulls from olfactory, gustatory and tactile explorations, oral history interviewing, practices of play, care, and abolition, family-style eating, tattooing, object-making and collecting, puppetry, mold, and meditation, prompting audience members to participate as co-creators.
Gabriel holds an MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Art History from SUNY New Paltz. They have shown work at the Dorsky Museum, Panoply Lab, High Concept Labs, and Grace Exhibition Space.
Image: Gabriel Chalfin-Piney, Amanda Bailey, Tamas Vilaghy, Daily Bread, (2019). Boiled beets, red onion, arugula and goat cheese, disposable nitrile gloves and changing pad, 11 minutes (Photo: Ji Yang).
Helen Lee (she/they) was born and raised in Chicago to immigrant parents from South Korea. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BA from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has had the privilege of presenting works in the US, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Iceland, Finland and Canada. Her performances have been published in “Emergency INDEX" by Ugly Duckling Press and films have been presented by Chicago Park District’s Chicago OnScreen. Their hope is that the work they create can help to amplify the voices of Asian American women, making their narratives more visible while building authentic, meaningful connections and build solidarity amongst the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. They were recently named Newcity Breakout Artist and are currently a HATCH Artist Residence with Chicago Artists Coalition and a Links Hall Co-MISSION Artist.
Image: Helen Lee, Everyday we live, we move closer to death, Window Exhibition at Roots & Culture. Photo by Carl Wiedemann.
Jade Williams (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer whose practice reflects the ways that she engages in the radical traditions of alteration, adornment, collecting, and congregating. Each of these meditative actions possess a transformative quality, making them powerful vehicles for space making; and, when performed routinely, healing rituals. Using hair, gold hoops, acrylic nails, original surface patterns, and ornate fabrics, her works are heavily influenced by the 1970’s/80s, metaphysics and her matrilineal line. Jade received her BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her works have been exhibited at spaces including the Krannert Art Museum, the Evanston Art Center, the Leather Archives and Museum, Slate Arts and Performance Center, and Woman Made Gallery. Jade is a 2020 recipient of the One State Artist Project Grant, a 2021 recipient of the National Black Arts Festival Artist Project Fund, and a 2021 HATCH Artist Resident with the Chicago Artists Coalition. She currently lives and works in the Greater Chicago Area.
Image: Jade Williams, When I Think of Home (2022). Cyanotype Collage Prints on Cotton Paper. 130 in x 112 in (for the full wall), 24 in x 36 in per print.
Jennifer Chen-su Huang is an artist and writer whose process-driven works interweave elements of craft tradition, language, history, and memoir. In 2017-2018, she completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Taiwan, where she was a Research Fellow with the Ethnology Department at National Chengchi University, as well as a Visiting Artist at Tainan National University of the Arts. She graduated with her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2018, she presented her research at the Textile Society of America's biennial symposium and was selected for the New Professional Award. Huang has exhibited internationally at Haiton Art Center in Taipei and across the United States at Untitled Prints and Editions in Los Angeles, Kearny St. Workshop in San Francisco, and Gallery 400 in Chicago, among others.
Image: Jennifer Chen-su Huang a hermit’s guide to home economics (2020). Goji berries from Mother's garden encased in silk organza, embedded in hand-dyed, and woven cotton cloth, stretched over wooden bars. 10 x 12 inches.
Nat Pyper is an alphabet artist. In their work and writing, they use language as a sieve and they push the body through it. They also maintain ongoing research on queer anarcho-punk zines of the late 80s and early 90s. Their practice extends from this unruly history and its embodied politics of refusal. Their work has been shown at Chuquimarca Projects and Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, Printed Matter in New York City, and Vox Populi in Philadelphia. Their writing has been published by Are.na, Draw Down Books, GenderFail, Inga Books, Library Stack, Martian Press, and the Walker Art Center. In 2018, they were a Teaching Fellow for the Yale Prison Education Initiative. They received their MFA from the Yale School of Art.
Image: Nat Pyper, #11 from I Take the Sign With Me (2018). Archival inkjet print. 16 x 11 inches.
Nayeon Yang is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago. She moved to the US from S. Korea in 2006. Experiencing the implied status of a 'foreigner' now in both countries, she explores the politics of 'foreign(ness)' and 'presence' as well as capital and labor in a global society through her projects.
Yang has exhibited at different venues including Chicago Artists Coalition, Roots and Culture, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery (Chicago), 849 Gallery at the Kentucky College of Art and Design (Louisville), Roy G. Biv Gallery (Columbus), PAB Open (Bergen), Latitude 53 (Edmonton), Rund Gallery (Seoul), Suchang Youth Mansion (Daegu), and Mythtake Museum (Cheongpyeong). She received an MFA in Sculpture from the Ohio State University and a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is an alumna of residencies such as HATCH Residency at Chicago Artists Coalition, Wedge Projects, High Concept Labs, Birdsell Project, ACRE, Wassaic Project, and others.
Image: Tomorrow’s News (2022). Two-channel video with four see-through mirror panels. The history of the transfer of the rayon industry in East Asia (projection 1) and in Europe and North America (projection 2). Dimensions variable.
(Installation view at Chicago Artists Coalition)
A Night Visible to the Naked Eye Project website: Avisiblenight.com
Art as (not) Labor website: Artaslabor.com
Osée Obaonrin is an interdisciplinary artist and poet originally from the Republic of Benin, who currently resides in Chicago, IL. Obaonrin received a BFA with a concentration in Fiber & Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work focuses primarily on documentation. Documenting self. The feelings of grief and acts of mourning as a means of reflection and also as a means of actually performing the processes of grief and mourning. She attempts to reconcile with the losses that have opened her to grief, the pain that has come along with it and perhaps find hope as a means of resistance.
Image: Osée Obaonrin come as you are (2017). Mixed media on paper, 30 x 22 inches.
Roderick Sawyer is a Southside-based creative that explores the importance of language and storytelling through his art practices. On one hand, Sawyer’s work involves creating video documentaries, photography publications, and editorial articles that analyze Graffiti as a complex system of communication, self-expression, and resistance. On the other hand, Sawyer focuses on creating photo collages and zines that represent his exploration of language acquisition, dialect, and identity through the study of spoken languages like Spanish. Sawyer’s work functions as a tangible and archival experience.
Image: Roderick Sawyer Estoy Perdido, Pero Está Bien (2019). Photobooks created in Puebla, Mexico, from the "A Continuar" series. 5.5 x 8.5 inches.
Sirimas Benz Amatayakul (b. Bangkok, Thailand) is a process artist working primarily with acrylics. Her unrelentingly and unashamedly playful work is influenced by her academic yet colorful upbringing. She is currently exploring the family dynamics and intergenerational trauma of Asians through her work. She paints as a means to document, question, defy, and honor the culture that she grew up in. She pushes elements in her paintings to the point where they stop making sense to the human mind as a symbol of her freedom to express herself.She received a Master’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University in 2007 and a Certification in Expressive Art Facilitation from Open Studio Project in 2015. She is also a founder of Dear Artists Project, a platform whose mission is to nurture and support women artists to become whole, healthy, and successful on their own terms.
Image: Sirimas Benz Amatayakul, Will you marry me when I'm old? (2019). Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches.
Meet Mentor Curators
Carla Acevedo-Yates was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and has worked as a curator, researcher, and art critic across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. Previously, she was the associate curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University where she organized solo exhibitions of new work by Johanna Unzueta, Claudia Peña Salinas, Jesús “Bubu” Negrón, Duane Linklater, and Scott Hocking. She recently organized Fiction of a Production, a major exhibition of work by Argentinian conceptual art pioneer David Lamelas and cocurated Michigan Stories: Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw. She earned an MA in curatorial studies and contemporary art from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, where she was awarded the Ramapo Curatorial Prize, and a BA in Spanish and Latin American Cultures from Barnard College, where she received the Clara Schifrin Memorial Spanish Prize in Poetry. In 2015 she was awarded a Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for an article on Cuban painter Zilia Sánchez.
Janine Mileaf is Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Arts Club of Chicago. A scholar of the interwar avant-garde, she was formerly Associate Professor at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Please Touch: Dada and Surrealist Objects After the Readymade (2010), and has co-edited volumes with Susan Rossen on the history of The Arts Club, as well as Chicago surrealism. At The Arts Club, she has curated exhibitions with such international artists as Kerstin Brätsch, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Jennie C. Jones, Janice Kerbel, Sharon Lockhart, Josiah McElheny, Roman Ondak, David Salle, Amy Sillman, and Simon Starling. In 2014, she launched an ongoing series of garden projects that feature visual artists based in Chicago.
Photo credit: Nathan Keay
Ross Stanton Jordan is a curator interested in the confluence of politics, history, and visual culture. As Curatorial Manager at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Ross supports the production of exhibitions and programs that connect the social justice issues of the past to the present via collaboration with artists and community-based organizations. He holds dual master’s degrees in art history and arts administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Photo credit: Jennifer Myxter Iino
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