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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.

Mariko Brown Harkin

I am enjoying time at home with my three-month-old daughter and am in the process of setting up my home studio. I hope to build a successful home studio practice that allows me to expand on the work I made during grad school and afford me the opportunity to stay home with my girl for a while. Read more>>

David Nasca

I always was a “maker”– as a child, I made kites, armor, flint arrowheads, etc. and eventually picked up leatherworking after inheriting a set of leather tools from a deceased family member. I really delved into leather work in high school. Read more>>

Henry Gonzalez a.k.a Gape One

Now a career artist and adding tattooing to his arsenal, GAPE is excited for what his future holds. Not being bound by anything and having all his time to devote to his passions and creative expression, he is thrilled to watch his art soar to new heights as his love and skill for art both soar along with it. Read more>>

Claire Sukamto

I came to college as an undecided major, took several art classes, and I absolutely loved it. It felt like I finally found something that I have been looking for, inside of me. Since then, I haven’t stopped looking and experimenting, and I have been loving every second of it. Read more>>

Angel Davanport

Some artists work their whole lives be noticed and I’m one of them. I’ve been noticed and that’s a blessing. I didn’t always look at it as a blessing but that was me taking things for granted. I’m on the brink of my second tour this year and I’m in awe. I’m grateful. I’m excited and busy. Read more>>

Claire Bira Forrest

I fell in love with capturing motion and am still growing and learning the beauty of fine art film, moving video, and the magic that light and cameras can create! I’ve been booked solid every year since then and feel incredibly fortunate to be chasing the dreams God gave me to chase. Read more>>

Suzanne Keith Loechl

My life is lived in the world – at home with my family, at the high school where I work part-time, on my walks and bike rides, and during my travels. Returning to the studio is a coming home. For me, it’s where the magic takes place. A place that transforms my life experiences into pigments and paints on a panel. Read more>>

Shane Guzman

My craft has evolved tremendously, and my aim is to provide my clients with stunning one-of-a-kind sneakers. Whether it’s giving new life to an old favorite pair of sneakers or customizing deadstock kicks, I strive to create the best shoe in my clients’ collection! Read more>>

Brian Keane

A friend once said that genius was something you open yourself up to and it can pass through you. This and other ideas set the table for an intuitive approach to art making. Certain life experiences after college generated a consistent theme that continues to inspire my approach to art making. Read more>>

Kelly Eddington

Teaching at its best is the most fulfilling job imaginable, and I loved helping students discover talents they didn’t know they possessed. My first teaching position was wonderful, but after eleven years my job became increasingly difficult, with classes loaded with forty students and no money for supplies. Read more>>

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>>

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