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Thought-Provokers: Downtown

Chicago has always had an artistic soul. The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community. Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive. Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around Downtown that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Lora Fosberg

I’m deeply influenced by nature and man’s relationship, or lack there of, to it. Although my work is conceptual, it has a tendency to be deeply emotional. I’m interested in connecting with my audience by using imagery and text that is easily digested by sophisticated art enthusiast as well as novices. Read more>>

Brittany Laurent

I learned a very specific kind of attention and reverence for visual order from the ornamental ritual of a mass. I didn’t realize until much later, after years of working with photography, that this visual sensibility was innate from early on, probably because of the sheer number of hours spent passively staring at an altar space. Read more>>

Michelle Oben

My commissioned photos include professional portraits, engagement photos, and even photos for dating apps (yep, that’s a thing)! I love this side hustle because, at its core, it’s about connecting with another human and capturing their spirit (I know, that’s corny, but it’s SO true). My non-commissioned work is what I love the most. Read more>>

Seth Apter

I work on board, paper, canvas, and metal. Much of what I make can be hung like traditional art but I also make artist books, journals, installation art, and free standings assemblage. I often integrate found and altered objects into my work. Despite creating quite diverse projects, they typically share the qualities of texture, layers, and dimension. Read more>>

Sungjae Lee

I experienced the feeling that I am finally using the correct media to express my interests in gender/sexuality and deliver my messages on marginalized existences. I also took part in a school organization called QIS (Queer in SNU) and promote human rights issues on campus with LGBTQI friends. Read more>>

Carole Hennessy

I have been breaking my landscapes into puzzles, depicting them in various stages of completion or deconstruction, sometimes missing pieces. These are meant to convey some of the difficulty of operating a family farm successfully as well as the beauty of the farmed land and buildings. Read more>>

Indira Freitas Johnson

The children expressed their feelings in words and drawings, which were then painted on a commuter train that traveled from the far suburbs to downtown Mumbai. The children’s responses were powerful in their simplicity and straightforwardness like the child who said, “I took my pills and I was cured” which was exactly the message we wanted to convey. Read more>>

Kayla Latondras

I’m capturing things that some people might miss or don’t appreciate in the way I’m shooting them. I like to think I look at the world differently and I’m simply doing my best to try and share how I view things with everyone around me so they can appreciate and see the beauty too. When I look at my work and decide to post it, I hope people can take that and go out and make their own images. Read more>>

Brittany Bautista

I learned to stick with my gut, whether it comes from a place of confusion or confidence. When you do those things, you are expressing yourself to the core because you’re consistently working on your [artist] self. There’s no lesson I wish I learned earlier because as you do, you see the artist journey is on a very unique path for you. Read more>>

D Liva

My goal for every one of my songs is simple: the listener MUST be able to remember one part of the song a day after listening to it. One of my biggest frustrations with the average song is that it’s virtually indistinguishable from those of other artists in the same genre, time and place. As a result, most songs are easily forgotten. Read more>>

Laura Janis

My focus with my blog and my Instagram page is to always create content that is inspirational yet relatable. Social media has this bad reputation nowadays of being a place of comparison, competition, and judgment, and I really want to help change that. I truly believe social media can be used for something positive. It can be a place where people come together and share their creativity and be themselves. Read more>>

Vinod Kalathil

As a visual person, my interest in photography continued, but I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to it. Around 2014, I started traveling around the world extensively for my job and my interest and skills really took off. I also joined the online Arcanum photography Academy and became very active on several social media platforms, especially Google+ with its vast photography communities. Read more>>

Kameron Sears

I’m not sure I’d consider my story to be super unique. (haha) I’ve always been a visual person in general, but my love and interest in photography started when I downloaded Instagram, after that, I was hooked. I immediately finding and following people who photographed and it just opened up a whole new world to me. Read more>>

Evan Kasle

When you’re young, people tell you that “You can be anything you set your mind to! Shoot for the stars!” Then, you get a bit older, and they say “You can do anything that is realistic! Will it make money?” My response varied person to person, but I never wanted to mention that I wanted to spend my life on anything related to art. The tale of a starving artist is widespread. Read more>>

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