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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.

Alexis Gloria

Photography has been in my life for as long as I’ve been able to hold a camera. I’m generally inspired by my family, especially my daughter. Her wanderlust and Neverland dreams are what drive me. The pure, raw joy I see when I get to photograph clients, especially innocent ones are what makes my journey worth it. Read more>>

Margie Criner

I remember spending time in my father’s wood shop in the basement of our house, just outside Detroit. At about six years old, I snuck downstairs and made a walkie talkie out of a block of pine, a nail, and some paint. It was my first unsupervised attempt at using my father’s tools. Read more>>

Danielle Donaldson

I’m a wife and mom of 2 boys, with many interests and hobbies. One interest that always been constant is my love for capturing moments. From disposable cameras, phone cameras & DSLR cameras, I’ve always had one in my hand. I’m constantly learning new techniques, trying new ideas and photographing everything I can. Read more>>

En Las Tablas Performing Arts, NFP

We believe that by teaching our students to care for their bodies, mind, and environment, we also help them care for and respect one another. Most of our students are of Latino/LatinX descent. Because of this, we work to celebrate the traditions, language, history, and artistic manifestations of many Latin American and Caribbean cultures. We always look to support families in their efforts to pass on an important piece of themselves to their children through the arts. Read more>>

Susie Xiong

I was born in Chengdu, China, and immigrated to the United States at the age of four to join my parents on the south side of Chicago. Art has always been a passion of mine since childhood, though culturally family steered me towards law and medicine. In junior high, I decided to pursue art as my career, and worked on getting into as many art classes in high school as possible. Read more>>

Krissie Odegard Geye, Carrie Patterson

How did you and Trifecta Dance Collective’s Co-Artistic Directors Krissie Odegard Geye and Carrie Patterson embark on their latest community initiative, “In.Grained”? Part of our mission of Trifecta Dance Collective is the three E’s- to Engage, Empower and Expand. It is important to us to engage with our entire community, and it is particularly important to me to foster inter-generational engagement and interaction. Read more>>

Shred America

One morning in 2007, feeling inspired, Michael called Arthur with a clear message, “Let’s do something crazy!” From there, the two 20-year-olds came up with an idea: skateboard from Chicago to New York City and make a documentary. They recruited their friends, James Lagen of Des Plaines, IL and Anthony Michal of Park Ridge, IL to be the bike support and cameramen. Read more>>

Roman Sobus

I am a Chicago based photographer specializing in live performance photography. After bringing a camera to a performance in 1972, I was instantly hooked. I knew it was special and had to do it again! With a bit of practice, better equipment and some darkroom skills, doors began to open for me. It was a less restrictive time and it was not unusual for me to have a one on one with an artist. Read more>>

Orli Koloms

I have no formal art training however have always been a creative person. I experience the world with all my senses, as part of my creative process. Art has always been a way for me to fill in where words don’t seem to fit. I find it a way that connects people on multiple levels. Read more>>

Kimmy Noonen

I’m originally from Ohio but I’ve lived in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago for the past 11 years with my husband and now, my two daughters who are 1 & 5 years old. I went to Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio for my bachelors in visual arts and attended University of Chicago for my MFA (2009). Read more>>

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