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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.

Bekah Wriedt

After saving all my money for a year, I finally bought my first canon, the rebel t3i. I was 15 years old then, and with my camera in hand, all my friends became my models as I practiced everything I learned from the countless photography books, and “how-to” YouTube videos I watched. I constantly asked older photographers how they do what they do. These years of hard work and a constant posture of learning have brought me to where I am today. Read more>>

Kelly Reed

My life changed after I saw Sufjan Stevens perform “Age Of Adz” in 2010. It was the first time I’d ever been moved to tears by a musical performance. I was amazed by the entire production and album – it was full of color, sound, pageantry, depth… I knew I wanted to write music that was challenging and beautiful like that. Shortly after, I started recording a demo album (based on Dostoyevsky’s “Notes From The Underground”), picked up the guitar and, in 2013, joined Shy Technology, a band out of the western suburbs. Read more>>

Katya

And I managed to find myself in it! I get great pleasure from working with watercolors and I am in love with the result of each work! And since my attitude to animals and their vulnerability has always been very reverent and remains so, and I draw inspiration from the world of animals – in most cases – this watercolor project is dedicated to those who live next to us – the world of wildlife, predators, birds, and pets. Read more>>

Iain Stewart

My eyes have given up long ago and the brush in my hand is moving on its own. Over the book on tape, I hear the dogs starting to move around and that means that the only one who can tell me if I’m going to crash and burn or pull off another one is getting ready for her day. As she makes her way through the house, I ambush my wife in the kitchen by the coffee maker which is still warming the dregs of the last pot I made at five. Read more>>

Andrea Dunn

Art direction allowed me to let my creativity out through creating big ideas and use my range of skills to execute them. I love being able to see projects through from start to finish and collaborate with other photographers, illustrators, and designers. After graduation, I interned at a creative agency in Chicago and was hired on full time. Read more>>

Jessica Winton

Though my work is not about diabetes or medicine, it does require listening ears and full hearts. I recall a medical psychiatrist once telling me that his patients with lifelong chronic illness were often the most empathetic people. Does this translate into the way I make my artworks? Read more>>

Allina Macko

Being a successful artist and growing a luxury bridal business outside of the salon is something I am proud of, but being able to collaborate with family and creating art and products has truly been a dream and a gift. Read more>>

Markas Odom

I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist but I didn’t know what kind of art. When I reached high school, I was into animation and thought that was what I wanted to do until I graduated and went to the American Academy of Art Chicago to study illustration. I left after three years to work at Navy Pier as a Caricature artist and found a new passion for drawing. Read more>>

Diana Palomo and Amy Klingler

The infamous name of the store comes from the owners. The Pigeon is Diana Palomo and her last name in Spanish means pigeon. The Hen is Amy Klingler and she used to own backyard hens before Diana babysat them. Not only are we store owners, but we both have college degrees in Ceramics. Read more>>

Margo Burian

Painting for me is about connectivity, experience, and memory. Painting reminds me to slow down, to be in the moment, to enjoy the process. It’s a far different mindset than illustration, where product is the end goal. Read more>>

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