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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.

Michael Goro

I’ve first established myself as an artist while in the Soviet military. It didn’t take me very long to figure out that being “an artist” was better than digging trenches and I put my skills to good use painting large portraits of Lenin and laying out propaganda. Read more>>

Dorothy C. Straughter

I began to inhale the history afforded by the Edward J. Williams collection at the Stony Island Arts Bank which depict African Americans, Asian Americans and women in demeaning caricature and became enthralled by its content. These caricatures informed by continuous research equipped me with historical perspectives difficult to find in other venues. Read more>>

Bryant Furniss

I am self-taught, I started with an interest in Macro photography, seeing very tiny things up close. I then moved on to landscape and perspective. I enjoy being self-taught because I continue learning everyday with different light types and settings. Read more>>

Rashelle Roos

I was backpacking through Europe when I finally got it. I had dropped out of undergrad with an undetermined major because it just didn’t feel right. So I saved up some money to travel, and it worked! I found amazing art and architecture, and I found myself. Read more>>

Bryan Sperry

I realized we were born into systems that control us and steal our soul and wanted to avoid that at all costs. So I used art as my weapon to make people aware of this control grid to awaken the minds of the masses. Read more>>

Chris Arnold

I believe this to be my first memory and beginning to what would become my career as an artist. It was little adventures such as this that would eventually put a pen in my hand, and bring my ideas to life. Read more>>

Audry Cramblit

When I began sculpting in 1999, I knew I had found my bliss. In 2006 I was invited to teach sculpture at The Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Art, it’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had, and it’s helped me grow as a sculptor in ways I would have never imagined. Read more>>

Katherine Bourdon

Music and the Visual Arts have always been equal loves for me. I continued to draw and paint throughout the years; however, I made the choice to work professionally as a musician. Read more>>

John Otter

I was drawing from a very early age and never seemed to stop. After high school I took some time off to experience life, a few years later I began taking art and art history classes at community colleges. I spent about four years in community colleges exhausting my course options, during which I dove into printmaking. Read more>>

Jade Rector

The opportunity to connect my love of visual art with the gratifying experience of teaching has been life changing, and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to have that intersection! Read more>>

Lindsay Locatelli

From painters and sculptors to builders and crafters, I was deeply influenced and inspired by their paths. Throughout my entire education, I was intent on taking courses in learning every artistic medium that I could. In 2009, I graduated with a BFA in Furniture Design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Read more>>

Joyce Wilson

My photographic career is like a roller coaster ride. I started in photography out of necessity to put food on the table. It was 1960, and I was a young mother with three young children. A photographer friend of mine needed someone to dress in a pixie outfit. Read more>>

Gordon Kent

I’ve photographed models throughout the United States, Europe and China. Prior photography, I was an elite model spending most of my career in Paris, Milan, and all over Europe. I was fortunate to work with many creative and talented people while living and working in over 14 different countries and treasure the insights I’m using today. Read more>>

Angela Henderson

I’m not sure I really ever understood what Art was or how it functioned in society, but I always had the impulse to make things. Art was not something I came to early on. After leaving religion, I pursued studies in Design and ended up working for myself. Read more>>

Jeremy Estes

Music, both as something to consume and to create, has always been an extremely personal activity for me. As an introverted kid the magical sort of pleasure I discovered in music provided a form of escape I could find no where else. Read more>>

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