When All That’s Left of Me is You

Friday, July 4th, 2014



When All That’s Left of Me is You
Paintings and Poetry by Artist/Writer Rachel Slotnick  -  inspired by the music of Ruth Margraff
Saturday, August 9th, 2014 – Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Opening reception:
Saturday, August 9th, 2014
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Music by Ruth Margraff and the Cafe Antarsia Ensemble

Playful treats for the savvy set from Jo Snow Syrup.


The exhibition features Slotnick’s images and poetry projected on 4 foot square blank canvases, angled off the wall forming wing-like objects or possibly the turning pages of a book. This form meets content project’s goal focuses us to examine our conscious and unconscious memories.   As the projector blinks in and out of poetic narratives and mysterious portraits, it is the moments in between – when the canvas is blank – that we are allowed to reflect.

“My artworks combine my experiences as an inner city school teacher with the final chapter of the lives of my grandparents and their debilitating memory loss”, explains Slotnick, an adjunct teacher of  Studio Art and English at Malcolm X College and the Illinois Art Institute in Chicago.

“I enter a classroom filled with tragedies of Chicago violence, armed only with philosophy and poetry.  I am forever altered when a young woman paralyzed by gunfire wants to learn to draw cartoons for her daughter; and a bipolar, suicidal man asks me to help him with his poetry.  My paintings document the unfolding student dramas– cataloging students as tragic peacocks of wild abandon, an octopus too powerful for his own good, and a snowman melting in the desert,” reveals Slotnick.

“My work goes on to chronicle the loss of cognition, and is paired with music and poetry. Slotnick’s Peacock and Horse paintings are in
complement to Margraff’s song lyrics, “Peacock” and “Land of the Great Horses”.


Rachel Slotnick:

Originally from Los Altos, California, Rachel Slotnick is a painter and writer.  She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in May 2010.  Her work is on permanent display at the Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She is a muralist for the 35th, 46th and 47th wards.

Her poetry was recently published in the Elimae Literary Journal, High Chair Poetry, and she was a finalist in the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards.   Look for her upcoming publications in Mad Hatters’ Review and Thrice Fiction. Rachel currently resides in Chicago where she works as Adjunct Faculty in Art Studio and English at Malcolm X College and the Illinois Art Institute.

The Human Space

Thursday, May 29th, 2014




The Human Space
Photographs by Andy Karol & Oli Rodriguez
June 7th – July 26th, 2014


Closing reception: Saturday, July 26th, 2014

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm


The event is free and open to the public.


The Human Space is an exhibition of photographs by Andy Karol & Oli Rodriguez. 

Chicago-based photographer Andy Karol is known primarily for her portrait photography in gender and sexuality. Through artistic gender exploration, Andy hopes to initiate greater understanding and acceptance for all genders with a more aspiring goal of identifying and defeating sexism and genderism.

Andy was born and raised in Valparaiso, Indiana and graduated from Indiana University Northwest with a B.A. in Communication. When Andy is not photographing for personal and art projects, she is capturing families, musicians, and headshots. Andy is most known for her moody and darker undertones in the work that draws upon rich emotional connections.

The Project “Eden: Expressions in Gender” brings gender fluidity and variance center stage with its thirty black and white, fine art nude portraits of subjects expressing their own non-conforming gender. “Together, the subjects and I collaborated on the posing that would best express their own gender variance. It was important for me to include a wide range of people who identify at various places on the gender spectrum, as well as with varying sexual preferences,” explains Karol.

“The project includes individuals who identify as transgender, genderqueer, intersex, tomboy, gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, queer, and those who refuse to use labels. The amazing part about the project is that I didn’t specifically have to seek out one “type” or “label”; such a wide variety of people were drawn to the project! All subjects were digitally photographed in the nude using local, wooded scenes around Chicago.

In my eyes, there is nothing closer to the state of natural being than the connection between that of earth and the purity and vulnerability of the human form. The nature settings emphasize that gender fluidity is natural and that strict conformity to the binary is a human-made condition. Also, in stripping everything down, we are able to have a more intimate look at the person presented. Such intimacy invites the viewer to connect with the subject with fewer distractions, who, in “standard society,” does not fit the conventional gender norm for their physical sex.

The name “Eden” has a distinct binary association to it, originating in a story that has been used for centuries in order to demonstrate expected gender roles and bind us to them. I thought that in using ‘Eden’ in the title, I would further drive home the point of a binary world that we have created ourselves. Eden’s origins being in a garden and involving nudity also fit well into the theme of the project.”


Oli Rodriguez’s “Papi Project” is an interdisciplinary project including 3D photographic sculptures, video, photography and performance. The project vacillates between exploring the effect of technology on gay/queer hook up culture as well as a simultaneous conceptualization of generational loss.

The landscape photography investigates locations of previous cruising spaces. With the internet made accessible to the public in 1993 and the concurrent generational loss of queer/gay men to the AIDS epidemic, these locations of cruising were symptomatically reduced then lost. Thus, this project spans the years from 197893, roughly the era of the AIDS epidemic in America.

The video component initiates collaboration with men that have survived the epidemic. “I seek out men who had sexual relations with my Papi (dad) and ask them to have any mediated contact with their consent. These men have full documentative power (videoing us), as well as full power of dictating our interaction.

The portrait photography functions as archival art, which depict the queer nuclear family. The 3D sculptures appropriate from the archive of portrait photographs, reviving these documented historical moments into a fragmented physical contemporary space,” explains Rodriguez.

Super Summer Camp 2014 is here!

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Super Summer Camp registration will open on Monday, March 10th, 2014.

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We believe fun, freedom and creativity are summer must haves!  So, we’ve really taken summer camp to a whole new level this year!

Visual art includes: mixed media work, bookmaking, drawing & comicing, photography, painting and shadow puppet theater, music/guitar, hip hop & movement, drama, yoga & meditation, an hour of outdoor play, weekly field trips and SO much more!

And we like the big and the littles together and believe that mentorship enhances a camper’s experience.

Ages 4-12 welcome.

* All campers are required to bring lunch and something to snack on! Although we are always respectful of any/all food allergies, we have no food restrictions in the gallery.


Super Summer Camp runs from June 23rd – August 15th, 2014


9:30 am – 3:30 pm. Full and half-day camp available.

* 3 or 5 day sign-up preferred.


10% sibling discount will be honored.

$65.00 full day. $35.00 half day. (Please contact us to make payment arrangements for half-day campers.)


You can register here:


$10.00 Kids Open Studios!

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Weekend art making fun can be so simple when you hang out with us at our Kids open studios!


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Upcoming open studio dates:

(dates subject to change due to private parties & events)

* Please check our FB page on the day of for current open studio information!


No Open Studio dates this month. Please check back soon for  upcoming June dates! 


$10.00 per child.

No pre-registration necessary!