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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.

Heather SKipworth

I was born and raised in New Mexico. My art has definitely been influenced by the vibrant colors of New Mexican art, culture and landscape. My parents were always coming up with crazy creative ideas… so I pretty much hit the crazy creative gene jackpot. Read more>>

Manvee Vaid

I am is originally from Mumbai, India living in Chicago since 2002 where I started my family. I have been working with indigenous art groups since 2010, focusing on visual folk and tribal artists from India. Exhibited and documented some unknown traditions here in Chicago some of which are slowly disappearing. Read more>>

Diana Leviton Gondek

I majored in Fine Arts, specializing in watercolor. After college I became Art Director at Northwestern University. I came back to Fine Art and a new found love of oil painting and now an artist-in residence at Chicago’s Zhou B Art Center. I’m well established in the Chicago art scene with group and solo shows. Read more>>

Bri Vega

I am a wife, mom and nanny with a love for photography who flourished my passion into a career. Photography is my escape and my chance to create something for me and for my clients! Read more>>

Valerie Lorimer

I’m a self taught illustrator/artist with degrees in music (it’s all creative!), and I worked as a professional accompanist in Chicago for many years before moving to graphic design, illustration, and fine art full time. I’ve had a passion for art from a young age – when I was 8 I received my first set of pastels from family friends. Read more>>

Lindsay Chan

I hope people (and my clients) take away a genuine feeling of warmth and love for the work that I do. I put my whole self into each photo session that I do and want families to have photos that their proud to hang on their walls. I want to create beautiful work, but also work that people look at and can see the love and connection families have for each other! Read more>>

Steven Koch

Maybe not fitting in has been the point all along. I like that. Forget being like everyone else, this is me. While I sucked at school, got bullied and all that jazz, my love and passion for my art brought together some of the coolest friends anyone could ask for and opportunities of a lifetime. I’m literally in love with life and all the trials and tribulations that come with it. That’s the spark for my love for photography. Read more>>

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