News & Exhibitions / Chicago

  • Art & Dialogue: Chicago Summary by Naima J. Keith

    11/8/18

    There is a thriving artist community in Chicago, so I was thrilled when I was invited by Artadia to conduct studio visits with a few of the city’s most active practioners. This opportunity also allowed me to learn more about artists outside of the mission of my institution, which is focused on supporting artists of color living and work on the west coast. Since I often sit on juries, panels and recommend artists for awards, I am able to advocate for artists outside of providing an exhibition opportunity. This trip to Chicago helped me think of artists for these opportunities outside of my normal purview and expand the types of artists I may consider. While I loved meeting with all of the artists on the itinerary, below are a few highlights.

    • Bernard Williams is a multimedia artist whose sculptural works explore American culture and consumption. For his car series, Williams recreates a wide variety of contemporary automobiles in plywood and paint. From racecars to electric cars, these striking works cast a critical lens on issues as diverse as corporate branding and environmental concerns. These motionless, powerless wooden cars often appear parked on the street or illuminated in store display windows, adjacent to the real cars they emulate.  
    • Bethany Collins works at the intersection of race and language. Her thoughtful, often subversive pieces unfold on chalkboards, newspapers, books, and other channels of circulated text. One work presents a book with 100 different versions of a traditional American song whose lyrics shift in relation to the song’s cause. Other works play with a lack of words, erasing letters and sentences from transcribed texts and dictionaries or purposely blurring the letters to render these politicized messages illegible. Using innuendo, double entendre, and other modes of playing with language, Collins articulates important messages about history and contemporary society.
    • LaMont Hamilton is a performance artist, photographer, and filmmaker whose provocative works examine the broad subject of blackness. His performances cull from history, where he invokes triggering language and loaded props such as rope. His pieces take cues from older artists and apply collaborative efforts, invoking ghosts as he probes the idea of truth. In his timely presentations, he brings important yet disturbing themes to the fore.
    • Ian Weaver’s sculptures and drawings engage memory and fiction. He produces outlined maps of Chicago that depict the formerly African American “Black Bottom” section of the Near West Side of Chicago—a neighborhood that once stood but has since vanished. These maps are thus archival objects but at the same time futile tools to find that which has been lost. He delves further into the realm of the imagined with his knight pieces, works that reference a made-up group called the Black Knights which employ the signifiers of medieval nights and Black Nationalists from the 1940s. For Weaver, history and myth are interlaced in the present.

    I concluded my trip with a conversation with Naomi Beckwith at the MCA Chicago, which was a real treat since we’ve been friends for years. We discussed our curatorial practice, current state of the contemporary art world and artists we’re working with for future exhibitions.

     


    Naima J. Keith joined the California African American Museum (CAAM) in 2016 as the Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Programs to guide the curatorial and education departments as well as marketing and communications. During her tenure at CAAM, Naima has also curated Hank Willis Thomas: Black Righteous Space (2016), Genevieve Gaignard: Smell the Roses (2016) and Kenyatta Hinkle: The Evanesced (2017). Previously an Associate Curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2011-2016), her notable exhibitions include: Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street (2016), Artists in Residence 2014-2015 (2015), Samuel Levi Jones: Unbound (2015), Titus Kaphar (2014), Glenn Kaino (2014) and Robert Pruitt (2013), The Shadows Took Shape (co-curated with Zoe Whitley, 2013), Fore (co-curated with Lauren Haynes and Thomas J. Lax, 2012). Her historical survey, Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974 – 1989 (2014), traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA spring 2015 and was nominated in 2014 for a “Best Monographic Museum Show in New York” award by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA). Between 2008-2011, Naima worked as a Curatorial Fellow at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, serving as the primary contact for the groundbreaking exhibition Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, organized by guest curator Kellie Jones. She has lectured at the Zoma Contemporary Art Center; Columbia University; The Museum of Modern Art; and Brooklyn Museum. Her essays have been featured in publications for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Hammer Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, LAXART, MoMA PS1, and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Naima holds degrees from Spelman College and UCLA is a proud native of Los Angeles.

  • Announcing the 2018 Chicago Artadia Awardees

    7/12/18

    Artadia is pleased to announce the Awardees for the 2018 Chicago Artadia Awards: Leonard Suryajaya and Derrick Woods-Morrow. As the 2018 Chicago Artadia Awardees, Suryajaya and Woods-Morrow will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds as well as access to the ongoing benefits of the Artadia Awards program. Additionally, Artadia’s booth at EXPO CHICAGO will feature original artwork by the two Awardees.

    In the first round of jurying, Darby English, Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History, Modern and Contemporary Art, Cultural Studies, UChicago; Adjunct Curator, the Museum of Modern Art; Courtenay Finn, Curator, Aspen Art Museum; and Jamie Isenstein, artist, selected five Finalists: Bethany Collins, Daniel Eisenberg, Brendan Fernandes, Leonard Suryajaya, and Derrick Woods-Murrow. Jordan Carter, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, joined English for the second round of evaluations. The jurors conducted studio visits with the five Finalists to determine the Awardees.

    Of each artists’ practice, Carter noted: “Derrick Woods-Morrow poetically gives form to childhood memories, fleeting sexual encounters, and transitory leisure spaces such as beaches and coastlines. Most recently, Woods-Morrow salvaged hundreds of discarded bricks that once formed the foundation of the Washington Memorial in Chicago and began displaying them in stacks and piles in the lineage of Minimalism and Postminimalism. But as in much of his work, a highly personal and intimate dimension was also infused into the project, as the bricks are coated and fired with “stolen” sand from Fire Island, a site of gay tourism where the artist has openly engaged in noncommittal sexual activity—imbuing the brick and mortar foundations of a monument steeped in colonialism with the transitory materiality of sand and the moment of climax.

    Leonard Suryajaya blends photography and interior décor to investigate issues of personal identity, sexuality, and cultural belonging and displacement. His photographic portraiture casts his subjects—often relatives—in performative scenes of the everyday, often amongst vibrantly patterned wallpapers and commercial props with indiscernible cultural origins. The use of kitsch and pattern-obliterated interiors, both in his photographs and related installations, treats décor as a form of distributed critique. Suryajaya employs decorative strategies to connect the worlds in and outside of his photographs and stage mise- en-scènes, in which the viewer becomes a protagonist in an unfolding drama where the boundaries between the private and the public, the frivolous and the political, the authentic and the imitation, and the celebrated and the abject are continuously renegotiated.”

    English continued: “In his layered multidisciplinary practice, Leonard Suryajaya moves boldly across what appear to be insurmountable differences in the direction of reconciliation and understanding. Refined and excellently crafted, his images, objects, and environments affirm every bit as much as they challenge. Derrick Woods-Morrow makes art that creatively modifies relations of power. His recent work combines elements of sexuality and interracial affinity as well as poetic engagements with questions about how the things and beings of the world change as they move—and are moved.”

    This is Artadia’s ninth Award cycle in Chicago providing unrestricted Awards to artists in the city. Applications for the Awards were open to any visual artist living in Chicago for over two years, working in all media, and at any stage of their career. Artadia is a national non- profit organization that supports artists with unrestricted, merit-based Awards followed by a lifetime of program opportunities. Artadia is unique in that it allows any artist to apply, engages nationally recognized artists and curators to review work, and culminates in direct grants. Since 1999, Artadia has awarded over $3 million to more than 320 artists in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

    The 2018 Chicago Artadia Awards are generously supported by Chicago Artadia Council members, Artadia’s Board of Directors, and individual donors across the country.


    Leonard Suryajaya, Two Bodies, 2017, Archival Inkjet Print, 40 x 50 inches. Derrick Woods-Morrow, Untitled (from the Bags series and the FIAR archives), 2018, archival pigment print, 24 x 18 inches

  • Announcing the 2018 Chicago Artadia Awards Finalists

    6/19/18

    New York, NY – Artadia is pleased to announce the five Finalists for the 2018 Chicago Awards: Bethany Collins, Daniel Eisenberg, Brendan Fernandes, Leonard Suryajaya, and Derrick Woods-Morrow. The Finalists will receive studio visits with second round jurors, who will ultimately select two artists as Awardees to receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds.

    The Finalists were selected by jurors Darby English, Consulting Curator, the Museum of Modern Art; Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History, College Modern and Contemporary Art, Cultural Studies, UChicago; Courtenay Finn, Curator, Aspen Art Museum; Jamie Isenstein, artist.

    Finn praised the criticality and breadth of work from the Chicago applicant pool. Nearly 300 artists, across every discipline, living across city submitted applications. “Artadia continues to not just actively and crucially support, but also bring to light the exciting and groundbreaking practices of artists working across the US. As part of the 2018 Chicago jury, I was taken aback by the strength of submissions, the experimentation in media, and the thoughtfulness and nuance in storytelling and subject matter. Now more than ever, we need artists’ voices and if the pool of artists seen through the 2018 Chicago Artadia Awards is indicative of where artists are going, I could not be more excited to follow their lead. We are in for hard conversations, generous gestures, and a breath of new ways of thinking and looking at the world around us.”

    Of the finalists Isenstein noted: “I was impressed with the breadth and quality of art submitted to Chicago Artadia Awards, but was particularly drawn to the works that are critically engaged with our world. We selected these finalists for the clarity in how their ideas are portrayed in their work and for their original voice. All of these artists’ works are challenging, thought-provoking and relevant.”

    This is Artadia’s ninth Award cycle in Chicago. The application was open to all visual artists living in Chicago for over two years, working in any media, and at any stage of their career. Finalists and Artadia Award recipients are selected through Artadia’s rigorous, two-tier jury review process. In the first round of review, jurors evaluated the merit of all submissions and collaboratively determined the five Finalists.

    Artadia is a national non-profit organization that supports artists with unrestricted, merit-based Awards followed by a lifetime of program opportunities. Artadia is unique in that it allows any artist to apply, engages nationally recognized artists and curators to review work, and culminates in direct grants. Since 1999, Artadia has awarded over $3 million to more than 320 artists in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

    The 2018 Chicago Artadia Awards are generously supported by individual donors across the country, Chicago Council members, and Artadia’s Board of Directors.

  • Application Now Open for the 2018 Chicago Artadia Awards

    5/1/18

    The Chicago Artadia Awards are open to all visual artists living and working throughout Cook County, IL. Individual artists and collaboratives working in all media, and at any stage in their career are strongly encouraged to apply. Artadia Awardees are selected through a two-tier jury process that combines local expertise with outside perspective from leading curators and artists. A preliminary panel will evaluate all online submissions and select five Finalists in June. A second panel will conduct studio visits with each Finalist, gaining a broader context for the artists’ work. Two Awardees will be selected from the Finalist pool to receive unrestricted Artadia Awards of $10,000. The Awardees will also be exhibited at the 2018 edition of EXPO Chicago. The 2018 Chicago Awardees will be announced at the end of June.

    The Chicago Artadia Awards are:
    – Open to anyone living in Cook County
    – Free of application fees and project outline requirements
    – Merit-based
    – Unrestricted

    Apply if you:
    – Have lived in Chicago for at least two years
    – Are not currently enrolled in an art-related degree program
    – Would like to have your work seen by a panel of prominent curators

    Application due
    June 1, 2018
    11:59 pm CDT

    artadia.submittable.com

  • Art & Dialogue: Chicago Summary by Lauren Haynes

    4/9/18

    In my three days in Chicago, I saw a lot and went all over the city (and beyond). The eight artists I met with all work in different areas (some not even in Chicago), so there was a good amount of travel time and the whole experience was a whirlwind. I arrived in Chicago on Thursday, March 22 and immediately had a meeting with Rashayla Marie Brown. Brown was headed out of Chicago and doesn’t currently have a traditional studio in the city, so we met at a café at SAIC. We talked through some of the images on her website and projects that she’s working on right now. Brown also shared information about her most current project where she’ll be based in Atlanta and what she hopes to accomplish with it. It’s an intriguing project that I hope comes to fruition.

    On Friday, Mach 23 my day started with a visit with Bernard Williams in his studio. Williams had some of his Bumper Sculptures displayed in his studio. We talked through some of his Car Sculptures and a few of his past public projects. His studio is also filled with his paintings, including his painting library project which we discussed briefly at the end of our visit. We spent a lot of time talking about a few upcoming public projects that Williams has on the books. Williams is working on a few projects for different neighborhoods in Chicago; extremely large-scale projects. I’m excited to see how these projects develop and if they lead to further outdoor commissions for Williams. My next Friday visit was with Joseph Grigley. Grigley was just arriving back in town after a trip and he shared information about his travels and we looked at images from a recent gallery exhibition as well as images of his White Noise project. Grigley also shared information about his Black Noise project and how he would like to see both White Noise and Black Noise eventually displayed together. After the visit with Grigley, I met with Ian Weaver. Weaver, who is currently based in South Bend, Indiana, came into Chicago so we could meet. Weaver and I talked about his interdisciplinary practice and much of our conversation centered on his Black Knights project. We also discussed the residency that Weaver will participate in this summer. My last meeting on Friday was with Arnold Kemp. Out of all the artists I met with during my time in Chicago, I know Kemp’s work the best as we overlapped in New York City and his work in the collection of The Studio Museum in Harlem (where I used to work). It was nice to have a chance to catch up and hear about how his time has been since moving to Chicago and taking the position of dean of graduate studies and professor in the department of Painting and Drawing. We also talked about a few recent and upcoming projects as well as ideas that are emerging. On Friday evening, I was able to attend a talk at the MCA Chicago between Naomi Beckwith and Hamza Walker around the MCA’s current exhibition, Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen. It was a nice added bonus of the weekend.

    My first studio visit on Saturday, March 24 was with Claire Pentecost. Pentecost has a studio at Mana Contemporary so we talked a bit about the space in addition to her upcoming project. Right now, Pentecost is focused on her upcoming exhibition, The Persistence of the Unsorted opening at the Garfield Park Conservatory on April 26. Pentecost is a 2017-2018 artist in residence at the Garfield Park Conservatory. I saw some of the works in progress and we talked about how it was all going to come together. My next visit was with Juan Angel Chavez. Chavez and I talked about some of his past installations. His studio is filled with the models from many of his projects, so although the large-scale versions no longer exist, I could see a version of the works in addition to images. We talked a lot about outdoor installations, permanence and some of the limits and freedoms that can exist when working outdoors. My last visit of the weekend was in Evanston, IL with Anne Wilson. Wilson gave me some background on a few past projects, but the majority of our conversation was around a new body of work that she’s thinking through right now. We talked about a few of her past performances and video works as well. We talked about the materials she uses in her works and her experience at SAIC with the Fiber and Material Studies program.

    All in all, I really appreciated the opportunity to take part in Artadia’s Art & Dialogue. The artists I met with during the studio visits were all fantastic and really engaged in the process and they all shared a lot. With all the visits I did, I was interesting in understanding if the artists had dream projects that they hadn’t yet realized. For all of the artists, the answer was yes, but they were all working towards those dream projects. The talk at SAIC was also a highlight. The audience (mostly SAIC students) were extremely engaged and had really great questions. After the lecture, a few students expressed how much they would like to have a diverse group of curators and scholars give talks and engage with them. I feel like SAIC would be a great long-term partner for Artadia’s Art & Dialogue program in Chicago as Artadia manages to engage with diverse voices in a strong way. I look forward to hearing more from and about the artists I met with during my visits.

     


    Lauren Haynes is Curator, Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Prior to joining Crystal Bridges in October 2016, Haynes was Associate Curator, Permanent Collection at The Studio Museum in Harlem where she worked for close to a decade. Haynes is co-curator of the upcoming exhibition, The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art opening at Crystal Bridges in May 2018. Haynes has authored and co-authored several catalogues such as Alma Thomas, The Bearden Project, Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art and Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange. She has also lectured at venues around the United States including The Whitney Museum of American Art, Deutsche Bank and Texas State University, San Marcos. She is a member of the Association of Art Museum Curators and serves on the Nomination and Governance Committee. Haynes is a recipient of a 2016 Gold Rush Award from Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

  • Announcing the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awardees

    9/12/17

    Artadia is pleased to announce the Awardees for the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awards: Rashayla Marie Brown and Claire Pentecost. As the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awardees, Brown and Pentecost will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds as well as access to the ongoing benefits of the Artadia Awards program. Additionally, Artadia’s booth at EXPO CHICAGO will feature original artwork by the two Awardees. Pentecost will present The Library of Tears, a large-scale sculpture that employs materials resulting from oil and gas extraction, and Brown will present a multimedia installation featuring photographs, video, and ephemera. This is Artadia’s eighth Award cycle in Chicago providing unrestricted Awards to artists in the city. Applications for the Awards were open to any visual artist living in Chicago for over two years, working in all media, and at any stage of their career.

    In the first round of jurying, Rashid Johnson, artist; Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Susan Thompson, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, selected five Finalists: Rashayla Marie Brown, Alex Chitty, Cameron Clayborn, Faheem Majeed, and Claire Pentecost. Megha Ralapati, Residency and Special Projects Manager, Hyde Park Art Center joined Kholeif for the second round of evaluations. The jurors conducted studio visits with the five Finalists to determine the Awardees.

    “Rashayla Marie Brown is developing a new paradigm that shifts the way we consider identity and representation today,” Ralapati said. “The work enacts a code of ethics for all who participate in it: artistic collaborators, patrons, and of course the artist herself. Rashayla is on the verge of big things, which we hope this Award will help make possible.” Kholeif expanded upon the selection of Brown as an Awardee: “Rashayla Marie Brown’s practice critically explores modes of production and display. Working as a true interdisciplinary artist, her work encompasses photography, installation, and performance, and brings together these fields in new and discursive ways. Her work engages with questions of identity and how it is posited for a world that has become increasingly fragmented and we truly believe that this Award recognizes her analytical thinking in relation to the broader social, cultural realms of what it means to be an artist working today.”

    Kholeif went on to describe the significance of Pentecost’s work: “Claire Pentecost’s rich practice interrogates the fundamental meaning of what it means to live in the world today. In the age of great social turmoil, her work returns us to the elemental facets of life, soil! How do the elements that we use help fundamentally construct us as human beings? How have corporations co-opted ways of living and how are they changing our collective future? Pentecost’s work proposes a possible utopia, but also urgently raises key questions about the nature of the changing environments that we inhabit each day. In an age where the precarity of the environment is continually brought into question, her work feels more important than ever, and we hope that this Award will continue to expose to as broad as possible an audience.” Ralapati reiterated this sentiment: “Claire Pentecost has spent two decades evolving a practice, which ardently interrogates the cumulative impacts of climate change on our planet and all its life forms. Her work reminds us of the great urgency of this issue, to science and art in equal measure.”

    Artadia is now holding Awards cycles in each one of its cities every year, allowing the organization to provide more consistent support to distinct arts communities across the United States.

    The 2017 Chicago Awards are generously supported by The Joyce Foundation, Artadia’s Board of Directors, and Chicago Council members.

    Image details, left to right: Rashayla Marie Brown, Credibility, Viability, Accuracy/Maya Angelou as a Sex Worker/Can’t Knock the Hustle, 2016 archival pigment print, 24 x 36 inches; Claire Pentecost, The Library of Tears, 2016, petroleum coke, Baken crude, Texas sweet crude, Alberta tar sands, Athabascan River mud, Calumet-Saganashkee Canal algae, sulfur, copper, zinc, asphalt, aluminum, clay, wax, paper, glass,wire, gauze, glue, string, feathers, fur, snakeskin, egg shells, seeds, shredded US currency, scaffolding, miscellaneous, 72 (l) x  31 (w) x 144 (h) inches.

  • Announcing the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awards Finalists

    6/28/17

    Artadia is pleased to announce the five Finalists for the 2017 Chicago Awards: Rashayla Marie Brown, Alex Chitty, Cameron Clayborn, Faheem Majeed, and Claire Pentecost. The Finalists will receive studio visits with second round jurors, who will ultimately select two artists as Awardees to receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds.

    The Finalists were selected by jurors Rashid Johnson, artist; Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and Susan Thompson, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

    In her reflection on the jurying process, Thompson noted that the Finalists are a diverse group of artists with a range of professional experience: “It was highly rewarding to review the work of so many impressive candidates and also quite a challenge to select just five finalists from among the many talented applicants. In selecting the Awards Finalists, we identified artists making compelling work in a variety of modes and mediums whose practices  explore formal, material, conceptual, and/or social concerns. The Finalist list includes emerging artists whose work shows great promise and about whom we were eager to learn more, as well as more seasoned practitioners whose applications highlighted a new and intriguing direction in their practice. It was an honor to participate as a juror for the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awards, and I look forward to seeing the results of the next round of review.” Johnson also remarked on the quality of the applicants: “It was great seeing so much talent coming out of Chicago.”

    This is Artadia’s eighth Award cycle in Chicago. The application was open to all visual artists living in Chicago for over two years, working in any media, and at any stage of their career. Finalists and Artadia Award recipients are selected through Artadia’s rigorous, two-tier jury review process. In the first round of review, jurors evaluated the merit of all submissions and collaboratively determined the five Finalists.

    In addition to receiving the unrestricted funds, the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awardees will have the opportunity to exhibit work at Artadia’s booth at EXPO CHICAGO in September.

    The 2017 Chicago Awards are generously supported by Artadia’s Board of Directors and Council members.

    Image, clockwise from top left: Rashayla Marie Brown, Credibility, Viability, Accuracy/Maya Angelou as a Sex Worker/Can’t Knock the Hustle, 2016 archival pigment print, 24 x 36 inches; Faheem Majeed, Socially Engaged Protest, 2016, vinyl and marker, 10 x 6 x 5 feet; Alex Chitty,for another who isn’t, but never ceases to be, 2016, powder coated steel, cork, c-print, xerox print, altered Fanta-can, cast white bronze, chromed steel, rope, maple, glass, cast brass, blush brushes, 65 x 50 x 5 inches; Claire Pentecost, Amor Fati, 2016; Cameron Clayborn, Untitled (Vinyl 8), 2017, glitter vinyl, steel, upholstery nails, 20 x 72 x 2 inches.

  • Application Now Open for the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awards

    5/1/17

    The Chicago Artadia Awards are open to all visual artists living and working throughout Cook County, IL. Individual artists and collaboratives working in all media, and at any stage in their career are strongly encouraged to apply. Artadia Awardees are selected through a two-tier jury process that combines local expertise with outside perspective from leading curators and artists. A preliminary panel will evaluate all online submissions and select five Finalists in June. A second panel will conduct studio visits with each Finalist, gaining a broader context for the artists’ work. Two Awardees will be selected from the Finalist pool to receive unrestricted Artadia Awards of $10,000. The 2017 Chicago Awardees will be announced at the end of June.

    The Chicago Artadia Awards are:
    – Open to anyone living in Cook County
    Free of application fees and project outline requirements
    – Merit-based
    – Unrestricted

    Apply if you:
    – Have lived in Chicago for at least two years
    – Are not currently enrolled in an art-related degree program
    – Would like to have your work seen by a panel of prominent curators

    Application due
    June 1, 2017
    11:59 pm CDT

    artadia.submittable.com

  • EXPO CHICAGO 2016

    9/12/16

    Artadia is pleased to be exhibiting at EXPO CHICAGO this September. This will be the fifth year that Artadia has participated in the fair.

    Artadia will be showing paintings by 2004 Chicago Artadia Awardee Phyllis Bramson. Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Menil Collection, Houston, TX, selected Bramson’s work from a pool of Chicago-based Artadia Awardees. Kamps notes “the dreamlike worlds and gemlike colors of Mughal miniatures, Japanese shunga, French rococo painters, and American outsiders like Henry Darger are some of the inspirations for Phyllis Bramson’s new paintings. But her genius lies in her ability to transmute these disparate sources into wild and wondrous new visions. Like her Chicago Imagist peers, Bramson conjures up delightfully deranged and exuberant amalgams of figuration and decoration that vibrate with spectacular and sexy new energies.” Recent exhibitions of Bramson’s work include Phyllis Bramson: In Praise of Folly – A Retrospective, 1985–2015 at Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL and Under the Pleasure Dome at Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL.

    Artadia has been presenting Awards to artists living and working in Chicago since 2001. Subsequently, eight Award cycles have been held in the city, providing critical funds to nearly 80 artists. Partnering with EXPO CHICAGO provides Artadia with a platform to offer Chicago artists continued support and the opportunity to exhibit new work. Chicago Artadia Awardees include Nick Cave (2006), Theaster Gates (2008), LaMont Hamilton (2015), and Cauleen Smith (2015).

    Why “Bad Behavior” and “Inappropriateness” Can Be an Artist’s Necessity in the Studio
    Booth Talk with Phyllis Bramson and Toby Kamps
    Friday, September 23, 2016 at 12:30pm

    Phyllis Bramson and Toby Kamps will discuss the artist’s studio practice. Specifically, they will explore how “bad behavior” can be an important element in the process, using Phyllis’ new work exhibited in Artadia’s 2016 EXPO art fair booth as a reference.

    Phyllis Bramson lives and works in Chicago, advising painting and drawing graduate students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the recipient of three National Endowments, a Senior Fulbright Scholar, Tiffany Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Grant, and the Anonymous Was A Woman Award. She was selected as one of two artists for the Annual Distinguished Artist interviews during the College Art Association’s 2010 Conference in Chicago. Bramson has mounted over 30 solo exhibitions at institutions, including The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Cultural Center of Chicago, Boulder Art Museum, and Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. Group exhibitions include Seattle Art Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Contemporary Museum of Art, Chicago, Smart Museum, New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Corcoran Museum’s 43rd Biennial.

    Toby Kamps is the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Menil Collection in Houston, TX. Prior to working at the Menil, Kamps held positions as Curator and Department Head, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Maine College of Art, Portland; and Senior Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College, the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, and the Getty Museum Leadership Institute. In 2015, Kamps was a Fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership, New York, NY.

    Preview the artwork below:

     

  • Art & Dialogue: Chicago Bad at Sports Interview with Elysia Borowy-Reeder and Ben Stone

    8/5/16

    Visiting curator Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Executive Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, joined Bad at Sports hosts Dana Bassett and Duncan Mackenzie for an interview with Awardee Ben Stone (2002 Chicago) during Art & Dialogue: Chicago earlier this year. The discussion touched on Stone’s Harry Caray balloon performance, his recent show at Western Exhibitions, and the role that humor plays in his work.

    LISTEN HERE.

  • Art & Dialogue: Chicago Public Program with Elysia Borowy-Reeder

    4/22/16

    Presented as part of Artadia’s Art & Dialogue series, Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Executive Director at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit gave a Public Program at Rational Park co-hosted by Threewalls. Elysia’s talk centered on the innovative arts scene developing in Detroit and discussed how MOCAD has played a significant role in the development of Detroit as a highly regarded art city.

    “The arts scene in Detroit has hit a turning point. For decades, the city seemed stuck with a reputation of being a post-industrial cultural wasteland. But in recent years, Detroit seems to have achieved a certain type of notoriety within the art world at large.” – Elysia Borowy-Reeder

    Elysia Borowy-Reeder

    As Executive Director of MOCAD, Elysia Borowy-Reeder plays an essential role in establishing the vision, goals, and strategic plans for the organization. Fulfilling MOCAD’s mission through close collaboration with key stakeholders, Borowy-Reeder tirelessly works to sustain the museum and to secure its permanent future in Detroit for generations to come.

    Borowy-Reeder joined MOCAD as Executive Director in April of 2013. She is former Founding Director of CAM Raleigh and served in leadership positions at MCA Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Having curated over 40 exhibitions — most recently Rob Pruitt‘s Obama Paintings and Jose Lerma’s La Bella Crisis exhibitions for MOCAD — Borowy-Reeder will curate the largest exhibition of Sanford Biggers’ career in fall 2016. Elysia Borowy-Reeder holds two master degrees from MSU, was named a 2008 Getty Museum Leadership Fellow, and attended Yale School of Management and Antioch College.

    Threewalls

    Threewalls is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing Chicago’s cultural capital by cultivating contemporary art practice and discourse. Through a range of exhibition and public programs, including symposiums, lectures, performances and publications, Threewalls creates a locus of exchange between local, national and international contemporary art communities.

    Learn more about Threewalls: www.three-walls.org

    16_03_24MOCAD_001 16_03_24MOCAD_00516_03_24MOCAD_04016_03_24MOCAD_04416_03_24MOCAD_009

    Photograph and video credits: Elysia Borowy-Reeder (Radically Yours in Detroit), March 24, 2016, Courtesy Threewalls and Artadia.

     

  • Art & Dialogue: Chicago Summary “Radically Yours In Detroit” by Elysia Borowy-Reeder

    4/6/16

    Image: Mobile Homestead in front of Mike Kelley’s Westland home, 2012. Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

    Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Michigan State University alumna and Executive Director for Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). As Executive Director of MOCAD, Borowy-Reeder plays an essential role in establishing the vision, goals, and strategic plans for the organization. Fulfilling MOCAD’s mission through close collaboration with key stakeholders, Borowy-Reeder tirelessly works to sustain the museum and to secure its permanent future in Detroit for generations to come.

    Radically Yours in Detroit

    Radically Yours in Detroit

    My talk for Artadia focused on the innovative arts scene in Detroit and how MOCAD has played a significant role in Detroit’s development as a highly regarded art city. As we head toward the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 riots—or rebellion, depending on who is telling the story—we can easily see the power of art firsthand as it revitalizes a place that has been impacted by decades of poor social mobility, corruption, and unfortunate economic choices. This is a special and unique time for MOCAD, which is about to celebrate its ten-year anniversary. We have adapted a new strategic plan that makes us both more solid and more radical in our programming efforts. MOCAD wants to lead culture and support cutting-edge work happening in Detroit. We have been called the most progressive museum in the United States.

    Living and working in Detroit has dramatically changed my perspective on visual art and exhibition making, and I was fascinated to see so many elements of the scene in Chicago mirroring ours in various ways. When I visited Gaylen Gerber, a brilliant Chicago artist who was recently in the Whitney Biennial, I was finally able to ask a question I had been thinking over intensely: Can one take appropriation to such an extreme degree? Gerber will often paint a monochromatic layer over another artist’s work or an ethnic artifact, thereby confronting issues of authorship, collaboration, and perception. We agreed that he was raising important questions that go beyond modernist aesthetics. Ai Weiwei has likewise “appropriated” ancient work for his own art by painting on Han dynasty urns. Ai captures the industrial world’s disconnection from making—our loss of crafts, and even of basic respect for them—in ways that make me think about how Detroit’s industrial past might play out in the postindustrial present.

    I am deeply interested in work that goes beyond the gallery system. Chicago’s Temporary Services is relevant in that respect. Its cofounders, Brett Bloom and Marc Fischer, are very engaging and very resourceful. They champion public projects that are ephemeral, and that operate outside of conventional or officially sanctioned categories of public expression. My question when visiting Marc’s living-room studio was: Is this art? (It is clear that the work operates outside the gallery system, but I no longer see that as necessarily a radical stance.) This question led to an animated discussion. There are several prison advocacy groups in both Chicago and Detroit because of their high incarnation rates, and Temporary Services has created several small publications on the topic of problem solving while serving time. The intent of Temporary Services more broadly is to support and encourage anyone who finds new ways of putting their art into the world, to increase the diversity of ideas out there, and to create challenging aesthetic experiences. This type of DIY attitude is likewise very central to Detroit’s artist community and has clear applications here.

    The Chicago artist Juan Angel Chavez has a studio and gallery in front of his house. He is doing very interesting work that has meaning for the regional audience as well as a broader one. He also advocates for public sculpture. For its part, MOCAD has the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead. We consider it a public art piece that is also a domestic space in which Kelley both lived and created.

    The arts scene in Detroit has hit a turning point. For decades the city seemed stuck with the label of “postindustrial cultural wasteland.” But in recent years, we seem to have achieved a certain notoriety and respect in the art world at large. Marred by decades of social immobility, Detroit has massive hurdles to confront. But it is not a cultural wasteland. From my perspective, the city’s worst-impacted years have created fertile ground for the development of entirely new artistic movements, from Cass Corridor to the birth of techno music to DIY artistic interventions. Chicago has many amazing artists, but the museums in Chicago do not champion their local talent. I believe that this is worth protesting. I hope that Chicago continues to support alternative spaces and champion the vital work happening there, as it will build in that city a greater sense of community and place.

     

  • Art & Dialogue: Chicago Summary from Tina Kukielski

    9/17/15

    In July of 2015 Tina Kukielski visited Chicago as an Art & Dialogue curator in residence. During her stay, Kukielski delivered a public program at Threewalls, and visited the studios of 10 Artadia Awardees. The following is an account of her stay.

    Years before I would ever visit the grand city–as an adolescent–the vision of Chicago that I had in my head was one of the stockyards of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle: blood oozing through the streets, toiling workers, and miserly slumlords. The image quickly vanished as we rolled up to the hipster hotel, the Acme on East Ohio, where I would be staying. Just a few blocks away was my favorite Chicago modernist landmark: the Marina City towers. There is something about those tubular corncob columns overlooking the sinewy Chicago river that screams of the utopian promise of a different jungle–the reinforced concrete jungle–signaled by postwar modernist architecture. Sinclair’s wasteland would be a distant past–at least from where I sat in the now stylish and commercialized River North.

    towers

    Danny Orendorff, a curator at Threewalls, a non-profit exhibition space and residency focused on local artists, was my enthusiastic and gentle guide through the gridded city. We started north at the home-studio of artist John Neff, nestled in the tree-lined streets 30 blocks north of Wrigley Field. John, like a number of the artists I would see in their studios, had attended my talk at Threewalls the night before. This led to a series of illuminating conversations throughout the weekend about curatorial practice and exhibition methodology, and how to think para-institutionally. John was a formidable interlocutor and he shared with me some of his own curatorial and archival projects, many of which were based in pedagogical and collaborative models. In 2011, John resurrected the nearly lost archive of artist Robert Blanchon who had died in 1999 of AIDS-related causes, showing parts of Blanchon’s oeuvre alongside a body of his own photographs that echoed the elder artist’s ephemeral printing process.

    Neff_Blanchon_GOLDEN_2
    John Neff Prints Robert Blanchon, 2011, installation views, Golden Gallery Inc.

    As we stood making coffee in his kitchen, assemblages of found objects lined the walls floor to ceiling, a charming collection amassed during several years John spent moonlighting in thrift stores and salvage yards. I was reminded of the old idiom: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    For tk IMG_0253
    John Neff’s apartment collection

    This sentiment became a welcome thematic for the forgotten or overlooked, a position that seemed to recur throughout my itinerary, evident in Deb Sokolow‘s hilarious schematic drawings involving entertaining and twisting tales of conspiracy theories or her late uncle’s relationship to a young Lee Harvey Oswald.

    DS13_Ch13_Oswald_Riving_panel2
    Deb Sokolow, Chapter 13. Oswald and Your Cousin Irving, 2013, acrylic, graphite, charcoal, tape, collage on paper mounted to three panels

    And by different measures manifest too in Cecil McDonald Jr.‘s illuminating and inspiring collagist delves into the musical scores of early 20th century African American performers and musicians while working in a large studio in residence at the Chicago Cultural Center and Public Library in the heart of Chicago’s loop.

    008_McDonald_Cuts and Beats
    Cecil Mcdonald, Jr., Cuts and Beat, PhotoMontage, 2015, series, size varies , 2015

    The impulse to retell a revisionist history was challenged further by artist Jason Lazarus’ own archival programs. His Too Hard to Keep photo blog designed as a kind of reliquary for once personal pictures now deemed too difficult to look at, or keep, would come up later in my summer when looking at photo blogs with some of my MFA students. THTK had reached a critical mass of followers and Jason had newly sent, hand-packaged submissions lying around the studio. There, in the developing Lower West Side a short cab ride from Shane Campbell’s gleaming new space on South Wabash, Lazarus was also in the process of finishing a work to be shown in the debut exhibition at SF MoMA’s grand reopening: a collection of photographs plucked from flea markets, but without their subjects evident nor exactly revealed.

    detail
    Jason Lazarus, studio detail, 2015, research for installation of At Sea, to debut at SFMOMA, spring 2016

    Instead the backs of the printed paper were turned toward the viewer, showing only hand-written captions in the beautiful script of another era. What the images were of, what they looked like, and from where they came would be left to our imagination.

    All the driving around Chicago eventually made me carsick (my stomach is much weaker since moving back to New York), but Danny–my humble sherpa–dosed me with Dramamine and let me curl up in his backseat. I retreated back to my hotel to recover, found a snack next door at Eataly, and once rested made my way to the last gasp of the opening day celebrations of The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now at the MCA Chicago. There I ran into my friend, the critic and art historian Solveig Nelson and we too gabbed about the old and new, revisionist histories and our plans for the future.

    – Tina Kukielski

  • Announcing the 2015 Chicago Artadia Awardees

    Artadia Announces Awardees for Seventh Chicago Artadia Awards and Feature at EXPO CHICAGO.

    Chicago, IL – Artadia is pleased to announce the 2015 Chicago Artadia Awardees. LaMont Hamilton and Cauleen Smith will each receive $12,000 in unrestricted funds. Laura Davis and Irena Haiduk will each be awarded $5,000 in unrestricted funds. Each artist will receive the lifetime benefits of the Artadia Award program including access to our New York residency, Awardee exhibitions, connections with curators and participation in Artadia projects at art fairs across the country. Artadia is thrilled to be partnering with EXPO CHICAGO to present work by the Chicago Artadia Awardees at this year’s fair.

    “Congratulations to LaMont Hamilton, Cauleen Smith, Irena Haiduk, Laura Davis—and all ten finalists for the 2015 Chicago Artadia Awards,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “And congratulations to Artadia for continuing to recognize artistic excellence in cities throughout the U.S. and introduce local communities to the international art conversation. The important work of this organization—and the work of these talented Awardees—helps to enrich Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy.”

    Applications for the Chicago Artadia Awards were open to visual artists living in Cook County, IL for over two years and working in all media and at any stage of their career. In the first round of jury review, Naomi Beckwith, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, joined by Lumi Tan, Curator at The Kitchen, and artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty selected ten finalists from an applicant pool of 450 Chicago-based artists. A voice of local expertise during both rounds of the Chicago Award deliberations, Beckwith noted that, “it was a pleasure to serve on an Artadia jury in New York. The encouragement, attention and, of course funds they bring to artists are key in making sure important contemporary artists are given a platform. I’m especially thrilled to serve in a capacity that brings further support to artists in the Chicago community.”

    Beckwith was joined by second round jurors Dominic Molon, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, RISD Museum, and Ruth Estévez, Gallery Director and Curator, REDCAT, to conduct studio visits with the ten finalists in late August. Estévez noted “Chicago’s Artadia finalists all came from very different disciplines and working subjects, moreover all of them share an incredible curiosity for experimentation, trying to find new ways to move forward with their own practices, breaking grounds with an amazing energy. These artists gave me a little taste as to what Chicago represents today, an incredible creative and prolific art scene.” Molon further emphasized the strength of the finalist pool making the jurors’ “task even more difficult in selecting those individuals who are making work of incredible insight, significance and urgency. The overall group emphasizes the remarkable strides that Chicago has made in the past few decades in having the ability to sustain a strong, vibrant, and diverse art scene.”

    Since 1999, Artadia has recognized artistic excellence in cities across the United States with unrestricted, merit-based Awards and connections to a network of opportunities. In addition to Chicago, Artadia currently funds Awards on a rotating cycle in Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

    The 2015 Chicago Artadia Awards were made possible thanks to the generosity of The Joyce Foundation, Artadia’s Board of Directors, members, and individuals across the country. Special thanks to EXPO CHICAGO.

  • Announcing the 2015 Chicago Artadia Awards Finalists

    8/7/15

    Artadia is pleased to announce the ten finalists for the 2015 Chicago Artadia Awards. The finalists were selected by first round jurors Naomi Beckwith, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Lumi Tan, Curator at The Kitchen, and artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty, following a panel review of 450 applicants in early August.

    The ten finalists for the 2015 Chicago Artadia Awards are:

    Laura Davis
    Irena Haiduk
    LaMont Hamilton
    Paul Heyer
    Mika Horibuchi
    Sabina Ott
    John Preus
    Terrence Reese
    Laurie Jo Reynolds
    Cauleen Smith

    The jurors were excited by the range of artists who applied and by the vastly different studio practices they encountered during the application review. Of the 2015 finalists, Lumi Tan said she was, “incredibly impressed by the diversity of the applicants, and their ability to both reflect the local character of Chicago while engaging with aesthetic and social concerns shared by the greater international community of contemporary artists.”

    This is Artadia’s seventh year providing unrestricted Awards to artists in Chicago. The first round of finalist selection asks two curators — one from the Award city, another from New York — and an artist to engage in discussion about the quality of the submissions received. Of the process, Sara Greenberger Rafferty commented that, “it was a rare honor to participate in a fair, merit-based process that will culminate in cash awards to talented artists working in the vital cultural landscape of Chicago.”

    A voice of local expertise during the Chicago Award deliberations, Naomi Beckwith said that, “it was a pleasure to serve on an Artadia jury in New York. The encouragement, attention and, of course funds they bring to artists are key in making sure important contemporary artists are given a platform. I’m especially thrilled to serve in a capacity that brings further support to artists in my vibrant Chicago community.”

    Beckwith will be joined by Dominic Molon, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, RISD Museum, and Ruth Estévez, Gallery Director and Curator, REDCAT, to conduct studio visits with the finalists later this month. The 2015 Chicago Artadia Awardees will be announced and exhibited at EXPO CHICAGO from September 17th – 21st.

    The 2015 Chicago Artadia Awards were made possible thanks to the generosity of local and national foundations, individuals, and the Artadia Board of Directors and members. Special thanks to The Joyce Foundation.

  • 2015 Chicago Artadia Award Application Now Open

    5/1/15

    Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue is now accepting applications for the 2015 Chicago Artadia Awards from all visual artists who have lived and worked within Cook County, IL for two years or more. Individual artists and collaboratives working in all visual media and at any stage in their career are strongly encouraged to apply. Awardees will be selected through a two-tiered jury process that employs a panel of prominent curators and established artists in the late summer of 2015. A selection of work by the Awardees will be displayed at EXPO CHICAGO, September 17 – 20.  This is the seventh Chicago Award cycle.

    For access to the web-based application, please visit:
    artadia.submittable.com/submit

    DEADLINE: July, 31 2015 6 PM EST

  • Artadia at EXPO CHICAGO 2014

    8/13/14

    Artadia is excited to announce a Special Exhibition on view at the third annual EXPO CHICAGO.

    At EXPO CHICAGO, Artadia will be presenting two separate large-scale installations by Jim Duignan (2008 Chicago Artadia Awardee) and Jillian Conrad (2012 Houston Artadia Awardee).

    More

  • Artadia Awardees in the 2014 Whitney Biennial

    11/15/13

    Congratulations to:

    Gaylen Gerber (Chicago 2001, 2007)

    Joseph Grigely (Chicago 2004)

    Carol Jackson (Chicago 2002)

    Click here to see: the 2014 Whitney Biennial Artist List 

    Click here to see: Artadia’s Artist Registry

  • Dan Gunn wins Artadia / EXPO Chicago Award

    9/23/13

    Chicago, IL— Artadia is delighted to announce that Dan Gunn is the winner of the 2013 Artadia / EXPO Chicago Award. Gunn will receive an unrestricted $2,500 cash award for his presentation at Monique Meloche Gallery’s booth at EXPO Chicago. More

  • Artadia Introduces the Artadia/EXPO CHICAGO Award for a Chicago-based Artist

    7/3/13

    Renewing their partnership with EXPO CHICAGO for the second year, Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue will present the Artadia/EXPO CHICAGO Award, a new prize awarded to one Chicago-based artist during the fair. Artists with work on display by EXPO CHICAGO exhibitors will be eligible, and the award will be chosen by an esteemed panel of jurors, led by Nora Burnett Abrams, Associate Curator of The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.
    More

  • Awardees for the Artadia Awards 2012 Chicago Announced!

    4/22/13

    We are thrilled to announce the Awardees for the Artadia Awards 2012 Chicago: Deb Sokolow and Tirtza Even at the $15,000 level. Samantha Bittman, David Hartt, Lisa Lindvay, Heather Mekkelson, and Ian Weaver at the $3,000 level. The awardees were selected by an outstanding jury: Shannon Stratton, Executive & Creative Director, threewalls, Chicago; Evelyn Hankins, Associate Curator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Jill Dawsey, Associate Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

  • Exhibition Exchange: Hyde Park Art Center

    6/12/11

    Mess’n with Texas

    Exhibition Dates: June 12 – September 11

    Reception: Sunday, June 12, 3-5pm

     

    Work by 2010 Houston Artadia Awardees:

    David Aylsworth, Bill Davenport, Augusto Di Stefano, Nathaniel Donnett, J Hill, Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher, and Nestor Tropchy

    Seven award-winning contemporary artists from Houston debut work in Chicago in the exhibition Mess’n with Texas presented at The Hyde Park Art Center from June 12 until September 11, 2011 in Gallery 4. All of the artists included are recipients of the Artadia Award 2010 Houston given to artists who demonstrate innovative and notable art practices.

    Under the auspices of Artadia’s new Exhibitions Exchange program, The Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, IL and DiverseWorks Art Space in Houston, Texas partnered for an exchange of artworks between the two cities. In conjunction with Mess’n with Texas, the work by Chicago-based 2008 Artadia Awardees Melika Bass, Juan Angel Chavez, Jim Duignan, Theaster Gates, Kelly Kaczynski, Dutes Miller & Stan Shellabarger, and Kim Piotrowski were presented in The North Wind and the Sun at DiverseWorks from March 11 until April 12, 2011.

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