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

Ryan Monahan

I tried all sorts of art along my path, fine art, tattooing, design you name it I’ve pretty much tried it. I was working for a design place after graduating design school and I was really getting burned out on the computer. I would come home from work and want to use my hands, get messy, make something that was flat on a digital screen. Read more>>

Tony Kelly

I have been tattooing for 27 years and have been an artist as long as I can remember. I own my shop Hybrid Art Studios in East Peoria but I moved up to the Chicago for a bit to work out of Dark Water Studio to broaden my talent. Read more>>

Ian Taylor

I’m very dedicated to developing my career as an artist, and am drawing or painting constantly. My primary mediums are pen and ink or oil. My architectural background is evident in my personal artwork, which aims to explore our perceptions of space and scale, systems, and the harmonious integration of machine and nature. Read more>>

Roni Packer

When I was 21 I traveled to India and stayed there for a year. When I got back I decided to go to art school. My main focus back then was photography and sculptor, more or less everything except painting, despite the fact that painting was my real secret passion. Read more>>

T.J. Washington

I’m an only child so I’ve always been somewhat of a loner and to be honest, that probably explains why my photos have such a moody vibe to them. I’ve always had a love for photography, seeing great images and moments that made me FEEL something…. Read more>>

Xavier Sanchez

Senior year (February 2016) of high school, my aunt lent me her camera to use at the United Center because my high school was going to play against another school before the Chicago Bulls game. I was a high school basketball manager and wanted to take pictures of the team. I took about 700 that day, no joke. Read more>>

Joseph Pajak

To reflect back and acknowledge that my fascination of animation as a child has grown into a career is unbelievable. I’m incredibly fortunate that I am able to work in a field that I am so passionate about. Read more>>

Leo Perez

y story is pretty much the same as any other inner city kid that’s trying to make it in the art world, I want the world to see that hard work and love for your craft, brings all the success and good things you strive for! Art saved my life and has given me a purpose. Read more>>

Brett Walsh

When I was in college, I started noticing and getting inspired by other graphic designers and photographers on social media and it just re-iterated what I wanted to do with my life. I guess at fundamental level I just wanted to make people feel something. Read more>>

Angie Cornelius

I like their variety of effects, relative fluidity without actually being paint, and they don’t mind a little experimentation. What they don’t like, however, is mistakes and they require a lot of planning since there is no erasing or painting over. Read more>>

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