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Thought-Provokers: North Side

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 the North Side that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Thais Fry

My love for photography started as a child. I have vivid memories of my parents documenting our family vacation or any special or ordinary functions in our daily lives. Being a child from the ’80s, there was always an excitement to see the photos revealed after picking them up in the film store. Read more>>

Steven Cushner

I have been a working painter for close to 50 years. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and my oldest friend is Stan Klein, founder, and director of Firecat Projects. Stan and I have had parallel careers – we both went off to art school, we have worked as art handlers, museum and gallery preparators, framers, teachers, curators, writers, speakers, and performers. Read more>>

Rebecca Gould

I’ve now started teaching classes which have made me learn even more about this world! Over the last five years, my life has changed so much. I am so happy that I’m able to share my craft with my oldest daughter as well. She has become my assistant and it means so much to me that she has seen me build this business with my own hands. Read more>>

Pauline Kochanski

Of great interest to me, as a student and beyond, has always been art (study and making) and history. One is my heart & spirit, the other my mind & politics. I studied many avenues of art making and finally decided to focus on photography, receiving my undergraduate degree from Columbia College Chicago. Read more>>

Joseph Evans

Music I’ve always truly loved and felt at home with. Music has been the real through-line of my life. When I picture myself in any chapter of my past, it’s typically me wearing a pair of headphones and just getting through some moment. When I was in school, I would write and play in the middle of the night in the basement of the house I lived in after hours of studying. Read more>>

Lia Kohl

I’m classically trained as a cellist, but when I moved to Chicago five years ago, I started expanding my practice. Initially, I was playing with dancers and exploring improvisation in that context. Choreographer and performance artist Victoria Bradford invited me to be part of a piece with a group of seven dancers. Read more>>

Beatriz Ledesma

My interest in the manifestation of the unconscious through the art-making process and its healing qualities mobilized me to obtain further training in the psychotherapy process at the University of Chicago (2001) and then, obtained a doctoral degree in social work at the Institute for Clinical Social Work (2009). Read more>>

Jenny Boully

After earning my degrees from Hollins, I began to write poetry in prose and then, after I earned an MFA in Poetry from Notre Dame, I began to write essays in the manner of prose poetry. I experienced a great confluence of genre and uses of words and forms, a feeling that I am sure goes back to my childhood of vibrant cultures and languages. I think, too, that my parents gave me a lot of freedom, probably more freedom than they should have. Read more>>

Aaron Williams

As I got older rock bands like Nirvana sparked me to have an interest in playing music. Found mother’s old dusty guitar and played it not stop, pretty much teaching myself. In High School, I was asked by a classmate to start a band due to some poems I read in Mr. Hendee’s English class at Glenbard West High School. The only goal was to write three original songs from those poems and play the school Talent show. Read more>>

Ana Mabeline Aguirre

My art reflects the intensity that connects me with my being a woman, with my being an immigrant and with understanding life as a continuous metaphor of the inner world. I was born and raised in the semi desert north of Mexico and I have been planted in the high desert in Central Oregon. Read more>>

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