Art in the Windy City: 5 Chicago Artists to Know

Chicago ArtistsChicago has long been the major cultural hub in the Midwest and home to many great musicians, performers, and visual artists.  Let’s explore some amazing Chicago artists, and dive into the impact they’ve had on the Windy City.

Derric Clemmons

Contemporary stars on Chicago’s art scene come from all walks of life and very diverse backgrounds. Derric Clemmons‘ work, for example, is inspired by the grittiness of the urban scene and focuses on objects and sometimes people that others have cast aside, drawing out their story. Working with various media, his creations are often abstract and multi-layered.

Deborah Boardman

Deborah Boardman has lived in the Edgewater neighborhood for the past two decades, and her art delves into the interaction of the physical and historical attributions of art, alongside religious and spiritual aspects. In particular, she uses the ancient practice of water divination (“dowsing”) in her creation of a visual dialogue about the environment and its sacred spaces.

Dennis PaSamba

Dennis Pasamba’s passion is the art of dance. As he writes in his Artist Statement for Chicago Artists Month in October 2013, he draws his inspiration from things like the movement of people through the city streets, the bounce in a child’s quick step, and the fluidity of a covert gesture. He sees a beautiful dance in the aesthetic of life and seeks to convey its beauty by encouraging dancers of all ages to express themselves through the universal language of dance in all its forms.

Myra Kalaw

Myra Kalaw sees art in discarded scraps of paper as she travels throughout her native city. From pieces of of old maps, ticket stubs, flyers and even labels from cans and wrappers from candy, she constructs paper wallets and intricately folded origami. The transformation from obscure trash to eloquent art is handled skillfully by her capable hands as she re-purposes her treasures.

Benyamin Maccabee

The artistic talent of Benyamin Maccabee earned him a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. His dedication and passion for making art come alive while remaining accessible and affordable led him to his position as curator of Studio 71 on Chicago’s South Shore.

Chicago Comics and Actors

In addition to turning out some talented visual artists, Chicago has also produced its share of comedic geniuses over the past decades. One of the luminaries who hails from the Windy City is comedian Bill Murray, who grew up in a suburban enclave to the north and cut his comedic teeth at The Second City before going on to stand-out success at “Saturday Night Live” and on to star in many comedy movies.

Fellow “SNL” castmate John Belushi was also raised just outside of the city and joined The Second City before becoming one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982 at the height of his fame. Another Second City alumnus who went on to critical acclaim was the late Chris Farley, who followed Belushi’s and Murray’s career trajectories to “Saturday Night Live” before breaking out in movies. He died in 1997 in Chicago.

Improve Your Talents with Art Classes in Chicago

Art is alive and well in Chicago – on the streets, in the theaters, and in the galleries and studios of Chicago artists. It’s in the sway of a dance, the stroke of a brush, the fold of a paper and the effortless fluidity of water. The artists of yesterday and today influence the students of tomorrow, the youth who yearn to express themselves in new and creative ways.

If you’re interested in improving your own artistic talents, students of all ages can thrive in the nurturing, one-on-one environment of private arts lessons and classes. For adults, setting aside time each week to tap into your creativity can be a wonderful stress-reliever. And as parent, one of the greatest gifts you can bestow on a child is the gift of early exposure to art. Try taking your child to tour a museum, hear a symphony, or see a ballet, which will introduce them to the arts. If they enjoy it, consider finding a private teacher for your budding thespian, pianist, or painter. Encourage them to stay creative, have fun, and dream big!


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 Photo by chicagogeek

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