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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.

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>>

Pierce Cruz

I kept to myself at home due to fears of the world around me. I watched a lot of TV and it was one of the things that nurtured my creative mind. I recall making 500 drawings as a kid of various characters I created as well as making movies with my toys being (developing end credits and all). Eventually, I stuck to the idea of imagining my own life as a kind of TV show that I could use for future works. Read more>>

Squeak Starzula

Been painting and creating since I was a lil kid, it’s consistently been the only thing that feels right, like my life purpose. All other things make me feel anxious. I’ve always felt like I have no idea why I’m here or how to be human, so I just create my own world and drown myself in it. There is no separation from my work and myself, it’s all just one thing. Read more>>

Stephany Colunga

I find art in everyday things, from dressing to cooking, communicating, creating objects and music, and the language we choose to use. I love all forms and feel there is not enough time in the day or days in a year to experiment with them all! Read more>>

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