It's now more important than ever to ensure diversity in and access to the visual arts.
- access to arts education
- professional development for artists
- bringing national attention to Chicago's artists
Co-founded by Karla Diaz and Mario Ybarra, Jr. in 2002, Slanguage is an artist group headquartered in Wilmington, California, a harbor area of Los Angeles. Slanguage has built a diverse network of Los Angeles-based artists at various points in their careers, including teenagers, street artists, and established mid – to late career artists, to make artwork, curate exhibitions, coordinate events, and lead art-education workshops. Community-building, education, and interactive exhibitions drive the group’s art practice. Focusing on art education, the collective has organized numerous artist residencies in museums across the United States and abroad. Fostering dialogue about the meaning and value of contemporary art, Slanguage has used their studio space and resources to cultivate relationships between artists, students, communities, and organizations.
Herrera concentrates on public art with a focus on the construction of meaning through context and re-contextualization. In her residency at the Hyde Park Art Center during the summer of 2011, Herrera aimed to explore the extent of our consciousness towards our daily surroundings through several projects. One project included creating and placing sculptures of leaves from endangered local trees made out of glycerin soap on to the trees that exist in Hyde Park. Like the lifespan of these trees, slowly the sculptures disintegrated and were cleansed by the natural processes of the landscape.
Originally from Quincy in downstate Illinois, Conrad Freiburg asserts that Nothing is in his bones. As a result, he is able to focus his artwork on the moment of constant discovery open to many different disciplines such as music, martial arts, philosophy, astronomy, and engineering. His sculptures, drawings and installations often include the viewer to be physically interactive to complete the artistic experiment inherent to the work. Demolition and reconstruction are at the forefront of Freiburg’s investigations. His work has mostly been exhibited throughout Chicago since 1998. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute. He currently lives and works in Chicago, busks with his ukulele all over the country, and is represented by Linda Warren Gallery.
Emmanuel Pratt has spent several years working and traveling around the country with Will Allen, a recent MacArthur Genius award recipient and founder of Growing Power. Pratt now serves as Executive Director for the Sweet Water Foundation, a Milwaukee-based organization dedicated to building inter-generational and interdisciplinary educational programming for sustainability with a focus on the potential of urban agriculture and aquaculture in post-industrial cities. Pratt's professional and academic work has involved investigations of a range of topics, including urbanization and gentrification, race/identity, and most recently the transformative possibilities of community development through intersections of food security and sustainable design innovation.
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