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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.

Melanie Lex

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I discovered photography, fell in love with it, and decided to move to Chicago to earn a degree in Photojournalism at Columbia College Chicago. Read more>>

Emily Davis

I mainly shoot digitally but I have my fair share of film cameras I love to experiment with. The city has inspired me in so many ways and has given me the opportunity to achieve so many things. I absolutely adore working and living here! Read more>>

Spektral Quartet and Doyle Armbrust

The story of Spektral Quartet is in some ways an improbable one. The vast majority of string quartets tend to focus on either traditional music or contemporary music, and spend much of each season touring on a handful of programs. Read more>>

Sarah Becan

I’ve been reading and drawing comics since I was a kid, but I didn’t really take them seriously until I read Art Spiegelman’s MAUS when I was in college. That’s when I realized just how much potential there was in the medium, and that I wanted to be a part of it. Read more>>

Susan Kerns

I struggle to sit still. I was born and raised in Iowa, but I started road tripping literally the day I got my driver’s license. I also went to five colleges for various degrees and have lived in even more places (and worked a lot of jobs along the way). Read more>>

Chris Guarino

I grew up drawing, playing and exploring the old factories, and storm drains near my home. These things allowed my imagination run free. Read more>>

Devon Crenshaw

I began writing and recording songs daily. Eventually learning to play the mandolin, bass, and guitar. A few years later a friend and I became a performing duo, playing shows in various cities throughout Arkansas. Read more>>

Yvette Marie Dostatni

I loved the sound the camera made when the metal shutter clicked heavily with each press of the button. My Grandfather also was a lithographer for the Chicago Tribune. He worked on the 4th floor of the paper. Read more>>

Joshua Elias

Traveled, worked in Berlin writing stories about colors and teaching children to act in the word plays that I wrote. I worked for the US Military. The Wall was still a wall. Read more>>

Tyler Snodgrass

The first job I ever wanted was to be a newspaper strip cartoonist. I read the Comics section of the paper every day before I went to school, and I started drawing my own comics on printer paper when I was around seven years old. Read more>>

Robyn Seale

My process in digital art translated well to my street art process, and things just stuck. I actually decided to move to Chicago when I went on the 606 to spray paint. Read more>>

Darius Dennis

I believe that the job of an artist is never an easy one and that visual artist have an ability to help to world heal in ways that can’t be found in any other field of work or study. Read more>>

Katie Hall

My passion for capturing life in photographs goes back much further than that. I’ve always had a camera within arms reach. I remember as early as 5 years old wanting to be a photographer, so it’s no surprise that photography has always had a presence in my life. Read more>>

Darius Airo

Drawing and image making have been my favorite things since I was a young child. I graduated from SAIC undergrad last May and am still in the midst of calibrating to living and having a practice. Read more>>

Olivia Petrides

Love of the outdoors was a family thing. My father was a wildlife ecologist. We lived for years in Africa and traveled extensively in Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and the American West for his research. Read more>>

Layne Jackson

Tap danced into a corporate art department in a fast new small company in Austin (Dell Computers), and developed a department in International Marketing to guide the global business. Great learning experience! Read more>>

Nancy Rosen

I’ve been making art my whole life, since I’m five . Going along, soldiering on, making work. A recent opportunity has found me making artwork for a character portrayed by Lily Tomlin on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. Read more>>

Joanna Pinsky

Shaping paintings became a lifelong exploration beginning with abstract geometric shapes to slices of areal perspectives of landscape to my current work of architectural fragments and heroes. Read more>>

Michael Novo

My journey as an artist began as a career in technology. I was a data analyst at a large corporation and a hobbyist photographer on the side. Read more>>

Tina Mari Rucker

Tina Mari Rucker was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and grew up in Georgia and South Carolina. She later moved to Illinois and attended Columbia College Chicago where she received her BA in filmmaking. Read more>>

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