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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.

Olga Muzician

I decided to apply to graphic design programs because I didn’t really know how fine arts could turn into a career unless I wanted to become a teacher, which at the time I didn’t think I’d be good at. So, I got into Fordham University in New York for graphic design and learned as much as I could but I actually ended up learning the most in my first internship at Redbook magazine. Read more>>

Abstrak Mind

It was difficult growing up for me living in the environment I was exposed to. Constantly getting into trouble and being evaluated because everyone thought something was mentally wrong with me. There was nothing wrong but the lack of love and compassion. I eventually got kicked out of my grandmother’s house at twelve years old and that forced me to really grow up quick and navigate life on my own. Even though I hated the experience it gave me the tools that made me who I am today. Read more>>

Bruce Riley

The Vietnam war was in my future, the fight for civil rights had been going on for a while, the explosion of music and the expanded awareness that came with the counter couture were my comings of age years. One of my earliest epiphanies was when “you are what you eat” went from being about food to being about the content of consciousness. Read more>>

Cristiano Suarez

I’ve always been attracted to old things, especially because everything I was consuming came a decade or so late. Movies, music, and comics especially. I’ve always been induced to draw, I have aunts who are plastic artists and we have other artists in my family, so this opening happened normally. I have a degree in Advertising and Advertising, and I have worked with the illustration for the field of advertising quite frequently over the last few years around the world. Read more>>

Freddie OldSoul

Her life changed after walking through that door because poetry showed her a strength she thought she never possessed. People wanted to be popular in high school and all she wanted to do was rap. From beating on lunch tables, and coming up with rhymes in music class she was convinced that this was her life. Brother Mike, the former mentor, and creator of You media also inspired Freddie. Read more>>

Mark Ford

I grew fascination for the footwear and product that we carried, but I always wonder what if this item could be in a different color or style. So, one day, I looked up and did my research, one paint that could be applied to shoes. At first, it started off as a hobby but when I progress on my craft, people started noticing it more and more and like some hobbies, they turn into businesses. Read more>>

Mary Ann Trzyna

I challenge myself to be an active, productive artist, making studio time a priority and taking classes and workshops to improve my skills. I am also active in the local arts community in order to support other artists and the arts. Read more>>


HipHop and illustration are the engines to Gr8Sky’s journey. Through self-education, I’ve grown to seek more understanding of my world and share the nature of it with others. I’ve recently moved from Houston, Texas to back to Illinois with goals of spreading my artistry throughout Chicago. Read more>>

Anne Farley Gaines

The most ambitious work I’ve done thus far is designing and producing a 30’x15′ mural in ceramic, paint, and mosaic produced with participants in Wichita Falls, Texas. I love the challenge of SIZE and COMPLEXITY, something having to do, perhaps, with being the youngest of four sisters and the youngest member of both sides of my family and feeling the need for my ‘voice’ to be heard. Read more>>

Stanley Ross

I started designing and playing around with different logos and putting them on different tees. I couldn’t think of a perfect name for the brand and I talked for years and years until one year it clicked! BU$YLIFE. It was 2013 and the crazy part is I had it tattooed all along since 2012. Read more>>

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