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Meet Pamela Staker of PS Art Projects in East Pilsen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pamela Staker.

Pamela, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story has been a pretty consistent if not totally straight line from childhood to now. I am an abstract painter. My mom is an artist and she raised me on it. I also excelled at math and science. I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign as a math major and switched to fine art my sophomore year. It’s not as big of a leap as it seems – everything is problem-solving. After I graduated with a fine art degree in painting, I moved to Chicago and worked several jobs in my field with both a commercial gallery and a not-for-profit artist run gallery and finally with an art advisory firm before going out on my own. I needed to learn the business side of the art world in order to have a fighting chance.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think my path has been interesting and I have overcome a range of challenges. There is the universal “how am I going to survive and make ends meet” struggle and then there is my journey of recovery from alcoholism and ongoing struggles with depression. I went to treatment and have been sober in a 12-step program for 14 years now. I don’t know if I struggle more or less than others, but I do know that what I have can make the everyday “normal” difficulties that much more challenging. But here is the thing – all of this is what makes me the emotional, compassionate, and sensitive artist/human being that I am today and I would not have it any other way. My life partner is an actor who is also in recovery. We did an interview a few years ago with Rick Kogan that talks about the intertwining of our creativity and recovery. If you are interested you can listen to it here:

Please tell us about PS Art Projects.
I am a Chicago-based contemporary artist with a concentration in large, colorful, abstract painting and mixed media works on paper. My studio is located in East Pilsen very close to Chinatown and the South Loop and I am open by appointment. I collaborate with a wonderful group of art advisors, dealers, interior designers, and architects, and am often commissioned to do site-specific works for both private and corporate collectors. Enhancing space through art is generally a group effort and I love the talented people that I work with. I have many examples of these collaborative efforts in the images below.

In the near future, I am looking forward to participating in the River North Design District’s Gallery Walk. It is a highly curated effort by Daniel Kinkade Fine Art. I was paired with the interior design firm Blutter Shiff to created Haiku themed vignettes which dovetail perfectly with my body of work. I am creating the works specifically for this space and will be exhibited at O’Brien Harris, 501 N. Wells. The opening reception is September 8th from 5-9 pm and artworks will remain on display through October 13th, 2017. I am also very excited to be starting a new project with my friend and fellow artist Kate Hendrickson. We are going to be making works as a team based on her Underwater series and my Haiku series. We are very excited to see where this collaboration will take us.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
It’s not so much a memory as a feeling. I always felt good around water or out in nature. I have a specific memory of being around 12 years old, at the pool, smelling the chlorine, and hearing the sounds of everyone playing while I am on my towel with my eyes closed and the sun beating down on me. I had such a feeling of peace and all is well in that moment. I felt warm and safe and free.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
1 – Matthew Rachman Gallery | Photo: Nathaniel Smith Photography
2 – Design Firm: Shakoor Interiors
3 – Design Firm: FORM Design Studio | Art Advisory Firm: Friedman Fine Art
4 – Art Advisory Firm: Daniel Kinkade Fine Art
5 – Design Firm: Chicago Epic Design
6 – Open Studio Exhibition
7 – Design Firm: Gensler | Art Advisory Firm: Patti Gilford Fine Arts

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