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Thought-Provokers: Northwest 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 Northwest Side that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Kasia Zajac

My little brand has gained many loyal fans and clients. I offer genuine gemstones handmade jewelry, mostly bracelets at a very fair price. Mad Hare Creations is very personal and unique. I design jewelry for people who play with trends and express themselves through fashion. Read more>>

Olivia Kohler

I learned how to see the world through the eyes of my father, who is an architect. He was always looking at something about a building or a home while we would be in the car or out and about. That instinct transferred to me once I got a camera in my hands. Read more>>

Michael Trujillo

I used to get into so much trouble in kindergarten! I’d be put in the corner desk with only my crayons and blank paper. Drawing and coloring put me at ease and helped me focus. It eventually turned into more of an escape for me, and I could not stop! Read more>>

Lamda Mahrya

I’ve loved art from the moment I could hold a pencil and for a time my focus was solely in Fashion Design. My passion for visual art was truly realized in college, during my couture fashion illustration courses. However, I never quite felt I reached my full potential. Read more>>

David Ladon and Seth Adams

We’ve had some great years and some lean years, like when we were transitioning from Boston to Chicago, but like watching a garden grow, it’s been immensely satisfying. We keep working to write better songs and put on better shows because we believe in the music–and also because it’s so darn fun! Read more>>

Lu Natalino

My first job out of college and worked at the Adler Planetarium as an animator. I created 3D dome shows and got to work on amazing projects for NASA and Sesame Street. After doing that for five years, I changed career paths and became art director for a marketing agency. That’s where I picked up my first camera and put all my focus on video and photography. Read more>>

Zack Baumgartner

After 2 years of singing and playing out as a singer songwriter (2016-2018) I decided to start a pop-punk band with a purpose. That purpose is to change the world through making people feel less alone. That is where When the Sun Sets Came from. Read more>>

Dee Forrest

I’ve always been drawing and my mother, being an art teacher, has the archives to prove it. I always gravitated towards the arts, but two years into college the need to survive saw me dropping out of school, and relegating art to a peripheral activity. It stayed there for far too long. Read more>>

Kumiko Murakami

Meanwhile I work as a fabricator for artists, designers, performers, and organizations. I also use my fabrication skills for my profession at a college as an instructional specialist to train students how to use a variety of equipment from power machines like table saw, planer, and bandsaw to digital fabrication machines such as laser cutter, 3D printer, and CNC. Read more>>

Michelle Dorr

Art filled our lives and home. My dad was a self-employed commercial artist and illustrator but his true passion was animal and human portraits. His studio was at home and I spent long hours standing on the back of his chair watching him design a logo or sketch out a portrait. Read more>>

Tony Armendariz

While still a student at the Academy, I began a twenty-two-year career in the corporate world in which I worked as an airbrush illustrator, graphic artist, color proofing technician and web designer. After leaving the corporate world I pursued my interests in watercolor painting and teaching. Read more>>

Joanne Vena

As printmaker and sculptor, I have often worked in groupings or series of related images. In my early work, I transformed and animated objects. Paper party hats became groupings of conical landscapes cast in metal. Boomerangs were refashioned from aboriginal weapons to become a school of flying fish. Read more>>

Kevin Andrew Prchal

My story started the day I bought my first skateboard. That was when my identity really started to take shape and consequently my desire to express myself. Before then, I was just sort of doing what the rest of the neighborhood kids were doing, but skateboarding was new. Read more>>

VersAnnette Blackman-Bosia

Creativity has been etched in my veins for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I was always making things. Doodles, crafts, and making crayons “talk” to each other just to name a few. I wrote my first poem at the age of 11, and was obsessed with making vision boards and collage art. Read more>>

Melissa DuSold

Ever since I was little girl I wanted to be an actress. My grandmother was a huge influence in my life and her having been former Dallas debutante always instilled that personal level of look your best at all times and that included always making sure you had makeup on when you left the house. Read more>>

Rachel Hefner

My father is a professional photographer and so I’ve been around photography my entire life. I used to hate it when he would take out his camera during every single life event both big and small. Until about 4 years ago, I didn’t realize what a gift it was to have my father capture these memories for me. Read more>>

Lisa Marie Sipe

I always knew I would live a life steeped in creativity I just wasn’t exactly sure what that looked like. My first idea was to be a fashion designer. Just watching a fashion show can bring me to tears. I spent two years at Harper College in their fashion program and was successful. Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Danny Diaz

    August 22, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Thank you So much for being listed among these fine individuals, artists and thought provokers! Truly honored…

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