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

Nicold Pittman

I took a metalsmithing class in college which was a ton of fun, but never pursued it afterwards because I didn’t have the tools on hand. A friend started taking classes locally at Benches on Division in Wicker Park and I signed up too. Three years later and they can’t get rid of me! I went from mostly simple beaded work to more complex soldered pieces and set stones, and even working with gold and diamonds. Read more>>

Isabella Friehs

I model for established Chicago photographers, such as Shaun Andru, Hims Over There Studios, and Brian Flynn. I model for clothing lines like Iridium, BusylifeClothing pop-up shop events, and body painting events, for example with the artist Melrick Steele (Melrick Tattedup). I have also demonstrated movement in dance tutorials with Corpsetchnique Studios. Read more>>

Sandra Bridges

For me, painting is going from the abstract to the concrete. It is erasure and correction with brush and paint. It is bringing elements into focus and depicting mood and story. When you work to put all those elements together it can be quite daunting and humbling. It reminds me that I am growing and stretching. I am aware the end is beyond seeing. Read more>>

Woods Music

My goal is to spread positive energy and message via music. As a young up and coming artist, my level advice isn’t one to share just yet. But one thing management has taught me is to have patience. Stay focused and remember the only person that can stop you from chasing your dream is you. Read more>>

Vicki Street

During my times of post-grad depression, I’ve been guilty of all of this. I’ve learned that success is not based on what others are doing. We should rejoice in our small victories, reset, then continue to elevate. I define success as making my own rules, creating a new standard, switching it up often, great at what I do, and not being afraid to fail. Read more>>

Jennifer Gardner

Our art is more than just entertainment, it is actually our individual lived experiences. Local, national, and international events and issues definitely have an impact on my art. Some days, I might turn on the TV and see a violent crime or scroll through Facebook and see that a close friend of mine has lost their life to a tragic violence–and I might not want to pick up my pen or open my laptop to do anything productive. Read more>>

Jai Kalondra

My art comes from me seeing a woman of color being negatively portrayed in the media, and their successfulness being undercut by stereotypical comments. For a lot of people, the media is there only exposure to people of color. I wanted to combat this by portraying “melinated” women in a more positive light. I want them to know that yes you are black or brown, but you are beautiful first. Read more>>

Angela Azmitia

Sometimes they exert a determined effort to compensate for their defects, and at times, they display a combination of both strength and weakness. When reflecting on my own work, I look to artists such as Joe Brainard, Dominique Goblet, Manuele Fior, and Marjane Strapati among others, for inspiration, and I often think about the lesser known history of women in American comics. Read more>>

Janell Nelson

Exploring visual communication through many different mediums— from photography, painting to sculpture— I fell in love with all of them. Eventually, I realized that what I really wanted was to utilize those art forms through an omnipresent delivery system—graphic design. Read more>>

Kristina Ryon

I have been a creative my entire life and come from a full family of entrepreneur’s. I was the friend in middle school and high school who always had the camera at parties and events and I would document everything. I knew going into college that photography was my calling in life. Read more>>

Landon Tate

I create music and fashion for lack of broader terms, but my work is truly based in bounce, balance, and form. I seek these pillars to make the world have order. A place where I can control, where I have a voice, and that brings me comfort. Read more>>

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