Abigail Lucien

Abigail Lucien is an interdisciplinary artist raised in Cap-Haitian, Haiti and Florida. Working in sculpture, poetry, video, and sound, their practice looks at ways cultural identities and inherited colonial structures transmit to the body and psyche by playfully challenging systems of assimilation through material.

Lucien was named to the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and is the 2020 Harpo Emerging Artist Fellow. They hold a BFA from Florida State University and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Their work has exhibited at museums and institutions such as MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY), Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA), UICA (Grand Rapids, MI), Museum of Fine Arts (Tallahassee, FL), Woman Made Gallery (Chicago, IL), as well as Vox Populi Gallery and The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA. Lucien is currently based in Baltimore, MD where they teach full-time in the Interdisciplinary Sculpture department at MICA.

Photo Credit: Devin Hein

Janelle Ayana Miller

Janelle Ayana Miller is a grandchild of the Great Migration, a Midwesterner with Southern inflection. Her practice is rooted within familial and communal aesthetics, looking deeply into bridging self and time as an act of place making while using modes of collage, found objects, film, food and photography.

Photo Credit: Akilah Townsend

Kevin Demery

Kevin Demery is an interdisciplinary artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds a BFA from California College of the Arts and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 2018 Demery received the Municipal Art League Grant from SAIC and participated in the Artist in Residence programs at both the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE and the Acre Residency in Steuben, WI. He has exhibited work both nationally and internationally at the University of Chicago's Arts Incubator, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and at the Art Berlin fair in Berlin Germany.

Lakela Brown

Born in 1982, Detroit. Lives and works in New York

Lakela Brown received a BFA in 2005 from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Her sculptural relief works evoke ancient art forms such as hieroglyphic wall carvings or cuneiform relief tablets, with imagery that references 1990s hip-hop culture. Door-knocker hoop earrings are posed as celebratory symbols of female empowerment and maturity; embedded in other works are rope chain necklaces, gold- capped teeth, and chicken heads. Brown's pieces are presented as artifacts from another era that have been discovered and placed on display for an examination that is as much anthropological as aesthetic. Plaster relief slabs are installed alongside their bas-relief counterparts, and in some instances three-dimensional cast sculptures are placed alongside their molds. By hearkening back to ancient Greco-Roman methods of mark making, Brown presents a meditation on how objects are historicized, represented, and abstracted in a museological context.

Rhonda Wheatley

Rhonda Wheatley is a Postwar & Contemporary artist. Their work was featured in several exhibitions at key galleries and museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago and the DePaul Art Museum. Rhonda Wheatley's first artwork to be offered at auction was Untitled at Universal Live in 2013Rhonda Wheatley has been featured in articles for the ArtDaily, the New City Art and The Seen Journal. The most recent article is New Major Exhibition Features Chicago Artists Inspired by the Current Moment written for the ArtDaily in November 2020.

Her work is grounded in the speculative, metaphysical, and spiritual, and through it she explores healing, consciousness expansion, and transformation. As an energy healer, she imbues her work with meditative focus and intent. Each sculpture is attuned to the combined energies and symbolism of my materials—vintage found objects and electronics, as well as organic and natural materials, including fossils, cicadas, barnacle clusters, moss, and shed snakeskin. She treats these materials as ingredients that flavor each piece with purpose and power.

Shonna Pryor

Shonna Pryor is a conceptual artist, art programs producer, and an educator at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her multidisciplinary art practice is inspired by references to food theory and its peripheral objects and concepts as a sociocultural lens to examine the politics of identity, memory, power, and play. Afrofuturist -based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic aesthetics are apparent in the visual language of these expressions.

Pryor's work has been exhibited in major cities such as Chicago, Detroit and New York, with esteemed artist residencies at Hyde Park Art Center; High Concept Labs; and Chicago Council on Science and Technology, respectively. Her community engagement and outreach collaboration programs with established organizations and institutions have been instrumental in employing visual art to encourage young people towards S.T.E.A.M. futures, as applied to a just and equitable society.

Ciera Alyse McKissick - Curator

Ciera Alyse McKissick is an independent writer, curator, cultural producer, and the founder of AMFM, an organization whose mission is to promote emerging artists. She is also the Public Programs Manager at the Hyde Park Art Center and on the board of Equity Arts (a project of Heaven Gallery). She created AMFM, originally a web magazine, as an independent study project in 2009 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied Journalism and Mass Communications. Her work since then often involves collaboration through supporting Black and brown artists, local arts organizations, and seeks to stimulate community engagement that's driven by inclusivity, accessibility, intention, and care.

Projects and events have been featured in Terremoto MX, NewCity, Sixty Inches From Center, ABC 7 Chicago, The Chicago Tribune, WGN, WTTW, Chicago Reader, The Chicago Sun Times, Southside Weekly, Afropunk, and more.