We talked to one of our favorite artist couples, Sarah and Joseph Belknap, about their creative partnership.
Artists in Conversation:
Danny meets Theaster Gates at his studio on South Kimbark.
I made my first foray into public art in Chicago in 2012. Or rather, attempted to. For months I struggled with pessimistic ward office secretaries, confusing city government bureaucracy, and unresponsive city departments. I sought out advice from a veteran art planner in the city and tried to rebound from each bureaucratic defeat. I asked the artist I was working with for patience and pushed our spring installation proposal into summer. I was moving to Japan at the end of July, so time was running out.
Usually at home behind the camera, we got Casey to do a bit of acting.
Neysa Page-Lieberman on her Mentor, Marilyn Houlberg
"… we are going to a drum battle!” A drum battle? The voice on the phone was my mentor and writing teacher, Randy Albers.
What does it mean to look up to someone? To respect, learn and grown? A mentorship is a relationship based partnership. At The Arts of Life, an alternative day program for people with and without disabilities, artist-mentors play a big part in the community.
Like many performance-based things, doing the show is the easy part. Putting the show together? That’s hard.
I realized after all these years of making plays that I'm a sculptor.
I had fallen asleep in my artistic life; I had been sleepwalking. My rediscovery was an awakening of sorts.
The only thing you know is that if you do not get the visa, you have 10 days to leave the country. It's a complete mind-fuck.
Realizing my vision was priceless. It was crucial in my transition from an emerging artist to something more.
The technique evolved from tweaking the paper with a single pushpin to separate its fibers. The plucked paper resembled lace, which I then use to make individual sculptures and installations. Developing this technique taught me the material and has given me a distinctive voice to approach three-dimensional objects and space.
A commercial fair is a trade show. You are taking your work to market. Learn about your audience. It takes time to build your presence. Hone your organizational skills and talking points. Meet as many people as you can. Find out why they have come to the fair and what kind of art they collect.
Your art may have a lot a meaning for the queer community. This is one kind of success. Just as queer folk don’t devour strictly queer fare, neither should your art feed only the queer set. You will get further, faster, if you have something to say to the broader audience.
The gut contains more neurotransmitters than the brain. Food is information, not just calories. When I was feeding my gut with crappy Sour Patch Kids and Big Gulps, I was sending a message to my brain to feel like crap, too. When I started treating my belly with the same care as my brain, powerful productivity changes happened.
My experience of galleries has been that the more important they are, the more inhospitable and chilly. There’s no place to sit and chat. Terrain is the absolute opposite. When you are at an opening party, you are in my house. You are invited.
Although his design work has made him one of the most sought-after sound designers in the city, Nick Keenan has also become something of a guru for arts organizations looking to expand or improve their web presence.
In 2008, a series of events unfolded that eventually led me to the artistic opportunity of a lifetime. I'm a teacher at Columbia College Chicago and until recently, the Artist in Residence at the Oak Park Police Department. Competition for traditional residencies is fierce and wanting to find meaningful work that interested me, I thought about how to use my art to contribute to my community.