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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.

Emilee Van Harten

Photography allowed me that opportunity, and as my business has grown slowly over the last nine years, our family has too. We live a simple, country life on a little hobby farm in the same small hometown where we met in high school. Read more>>

Blake Brown

My lack of interest in using paints of any sort came from a fear of not being able to control it well enough to execute what I’m trying to get across, and being sort of my own critic I wasn’t down for the challenge as of yet. September of 2016, I began to gain a serious interest in painting as my career search after college wasn’t going too hot. Read more>>

Judy Takács

I began to find ways to paint people… new people, old people, unknown people, beloved people…whoever would sit for me. And, I’d like to say the rest is history… but it was only the beginning and I’m hoping that I’ll be painting people until the day they have to claw the paintbrush out of my cold dead hand! Read more>>

Greg Weiss

Pegged as a natural storyteller with an overactive imagination, even as a small child, I told tales, tall and sometimes true, mostly to get out of work or trouble. Eventually, life brought me to Chicago to study theatre at Northwestern University. Read more>>

Sean Yager

My age led me to grow up in a halfway point between digital and traditional art movements and took some mental adapting to balance my approach to being an artist. I sometimes feel stuck in-between traditional and digital media, not quite fitting into either category wholly. Read more>>

Erika L. Sánchez

I attended graduate school at the University of New Mexico where I got an MFA in Creative Writing. My 20’s and early 30’s were tough. It’s hard to make it as a writer, so I had a series of awful jobs to pay the bills. Now, many prizes and publications later, I teach at Princeton and it feels surreal. Read more>>

El Meaux

I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. My father is an expert ceramicist and my mother, an expert painter, crafter… Just about anything else in that field. In my life, so far, I’ve won a few awards, instructed others in how to better paint and sculpt, and created a LOT of two-dimensional work. Read more>>

Jacqueline Alcántara

I have loved drawing, cutting, gluing, and staring at artwork ever since I can remember. As a child, I hid under tables or behind couches for hours and hours with my box of crafts – happy as a clam.  In junior high, I wished that I could just “do art” when I grew up, but I told myself it wasn’t possible, so I shoved that idea in the way-back of my mind. Read more>>

Thomas Brent Funderburk

I’ve taught in North Carolina, Nebraska, Mississippi, and Italy for 40 years. I am now painting full time in Mississippi. When I was three, I painted a brick wall. The blue sky color made me think I’d made a door through the wall. Nothing has changed. Latest work features objects in a room, an anteroom, that suggests a larger room beyond. Read more>>

Sakyrah Morris aka S.O.S

I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until 7th grade when I decided to take things more seriously. My parents popped up at a talent show that I participated in, and they were blown away. Read more>>

Jhaylen Cherry

I got a camera as an 8th-grade graduation/birthday gift, which not only changed the way that I saw the world but created an intimate way for me to communicate with myself. Like I can lie to myself and everyone else, but not to my art, my camera has always been honest with me, and because of that honesty. Read more>>

Stephanie Dukat

Buffalo State Ceramics department became my family and home for the next four years. During and after graduating undergrad, I worked for two as a production screen-printer for a greeting card company, Great Arrow Graphics. This allowed me to learn the ins and outs of screen-printing. Read more>>

Radius, Ramon Norwood

I started getting into beats in 2001 with the use of Acid Pro I think it was 2.0 or 2.5 from my then roommates, The Stowaways (especially Allen Johnson, known then as Jubilee) who were later part of The Nacrobats, we lived at what was then known as the Dover Crib, there I met Elevation KNA Uncle El, Decay, Gilead 7, Ryan Officer and many more. Read more>>

Krissy VanderWoude

I soon began to realize that this was the direction I wanted to take. I dove in headfirst, began my training and developed a passion for makeup. I had a desire to learn everything I could about the art of makeup and I have never looked back since. Read more>>

Xavier Keyz

I’ve always been involved in schools with musical programs dating back to pre-school, always singing and doing singing activities. During my grade school years, I went to an all-boys school called “St Gregory” where it all began as far as the unfolding and discovering the passion for music. Read more>>

Earn Money

Outside of creation as an art form, I’m recognized by the general populous as an International DJ (which is what I’m most noteworthy for). But I have so many behind the scene accolades to mention but I shall not see as it’s only more accolades to accomplish and I have tunnel vision towards those. Read more>>

Joel Tokarczyk

I realized that psychology brought me to art but art brought me back to psychology. Although I am no longer pursuing animation, I intend on using the therapeutic benefits of art and self-expression to help others as well. Read more>>

Gira Dahnee

The piano was an instrument that I started to play on accident. My family always had them, I had like a toy Casio keyboard, and I’d try to play songs that I’d hear on the radio, but it wasn’t until 7th grade that I received formal lessons within my jr. high school. Read more>>

Qigu Jiang

As an artist, I’ve been experimenting with many different art media including conceptual painting, installation, performance, oil painting, calligraphy, and ink painting in my artistic career. I have exhibited my work worldwide in galleries and museums in Asia, Europe, and here at home in America. Read more>>

Dewayne Perkins

My story starts with me being a little black boy with a speech impediment growing up on the south side of Chicago. I attended Hearst Elementary school, and then Curie High School. I excelled in school because I was told my entire life that because of my skin I will always have to work twice as hard to get anything I wanted. Read more>>

Marrissa Coccaro

I have always been drawn to storytelling. I auditioned for my first play when I was 11 and never looked back. I directed my first one-act play when I was 16, Words Words Words by David Ives. I realized then how naturally directing came to me. Read more>>

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