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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.

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>>

Heidi Fahrenbacher

Bella Joy Pottery was started in 2006. In the spring of 2013, I had hip surgery. To some, this may not seem like a big deal, but as a potter, your most valuable tool is your body and mine was broken. Due to the recovery process, which takes about a year, I had to change my production methods. Read more>>

Grigor Eftimov

Shortly after my art training, I began storyboarding for commercials. This was something I had no experience in but was determined to make happen. After about a year of apprenticing as a storyboard artist, I was comfortable to take on live jobs for clients. This over time allowed me the financial freedom to start doing more personal work and open up my own atelier in 2013. Read more>>

Lee Jackson

I’ve been drawing for a large portion of my life since I was young. A childhood friend would always draw comics about our group going on different adventures all over the world. I would love reading them and always look forward to the next issue that he’d make. Eventually, I decided to just create my own, and it just kept going from there. Read more>>

Bianca Cardenas

From a young age, I have always had an interest in art and could never see myself doing something that was not art related. I grew up in a Mexican – American household. I was raised to never forget where I came from. Although there were moments I felt ashamed of who I was and tried to hide that part of myself. Read more>>

Quintella Watkins

My journey has been hard at times, but knowing I find strength in a higher power in which gives me the push to keep going and to never give up. In those moments when I’m using my hands to create works of art, it’s just me, Kristopher and God. I hope that people will read my story and know that there is hope and healing after being in a deep dark place in life. Your happiness lies in your passion! Read more>>

Brian Harper

When I was around 14 or 15 years old, I became interested in photography – mostly as a means to document my friend’s skateboarding. My love of photography quickly consumed me as well and while I started my interest in making images as a way of documentation, I moved into more and more creative and non-traditional aspects of image making. Read more>>

Jihoon Woo (Unjibbed)

I started out doing graffiti, painting, and film making, trying to use these practices as a means of escape from a rather dry and uninspiring environment. During one film project I was working on, I remember I had to edit audio and I opened up Garageband for the first time. As soon as I realized, I could record and edit my own sounds, I was hooked and there was no way of getting me out. Read more>>

Brooke Butler

I got my hands on a DSLR camera and my life changed. I taught myself everything there was to know about shooting in manual mode and photoshop from the internet especially youtube. I was able to express myself by using images that allowed me to channel my anger and sadness. I was never good at expressing myself using my words and photography was the first art form in which I felt I could create an image and feel a sense of relief and satisfaction. Read more>>

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