Off The Streets : Expressions of Our Neighborhood
In the spirit of this year’s Chicago Artists Month theme, “Art Block by Block”, “Off The Streets” will feature artists who add their flare to the personality of Wicker Park by living and working in the neighborhood. These locals were found by word of mouth alone and chosen for their distinction among the masses of under-represented artists in the neighborhood. Six talented individuals will represent the current artistic vibe of the neighborhood once so well known as an art studio village. One of these artists, Laura Lee Junge, began painting in a neighborhood attic studio during Wicker Park’s development into an art haven. Junge returns this earlier body of work to hang in the gallery she now co-owns, with the work of artists currently making Wicker Park their home and inspiration.
One often hears the mantra of the starving artist struggling to get by, and indeed these artists have worked, and continue to work, to feed their passion for art. “Their hard work and struggle endears them to our community and gives them a place in the development of a neighborhood vibe,” says Anna Vlaminck, curator of the exhibit. “They may have helped you to pick out new furnishing for your home or to find an outfit to impress your date, or even made you a drink at your favorite haunt, but it’s their plight to find a niche in the art world that makes you remember them. It’s the hidden talent and voice of an artist that adds the intrigue to the seemingly ordinary in Wicker Park.” “Off The Streets” celebrates the success of the working neighborhood artist and provides the opportunity to see the rewards of their hard work.
This special group exhibit displays a history of Wicker Park artists, both past and present, and their influence in defining the neighborhood. Themes touch on the psychological and satirical, street art, and abstraction in a variety of media.