Our Artists

meet the artists

Our artists represent new and unique voices within the artistic community. They bring a diverse set of perspectives and approaches.


Felicia Holman

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Felicia Holman is a cisgender Black woman, lifelong Chicagoan and interdisciplinary artist. An independent cultural producer/programmer and co-founder of Chicago-based Afrodiasporic feminist creative collective, Honey Pot Performance, Felicia's creative/ professional and social practices are f...

"Through this fellowship, I seek to further my curatorial trajectory by honing in on best practices of artist-run platforms and formulate relevant/ sustainable/ replicable development initiatives for emerging creative communities. I envision opening up direct resource access to BIPOC artists (time, space, community, mentorship) in a pilot program designed to nurture and empower peer-to-peer coalition and explore the contemporary feasibility of grassroots artists providing sustainable core-building support for fellow creatives."

 

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Chandra Christmas-Rouse

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Based in Bronzeville, Chandra Christmas-Rouse is an urban planner and data artist. Her creative practice focuses on building spatial imaginaries and interventions as a way to inform dialogue and development in cities and to engage the socio-political realities of disinvestment. Her most recent ...

 

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Salvador Jiménez-Flores

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Salvador Jiménez-Flores is an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Jalisco, México. He explores the politics of identity and the state of double consciousness. Jiménez-Flores addresses issues of colonization, migration, “the other,” and futurism by producing a mixture of socially co...

 

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Norman Long

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Norman W. Long (b. 1973, Chicago, IL) is a sound artist/designer/composer based in Chicago, IL. His current work focuses on sound art production within the larger context of landscape. The processes involved in his practice lie within the area of field recording, electro-acoustic composition and ...

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my work and reflections on this community through soundscape composition and gardening. I've had so many ideas about sound, landscape and gardens, to have just one idea realized feels great."

 

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Nnenna Okore

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Born in Australia and raised in Nigeria, Nnenna Okore has received international acclaim for her richly textured abstract sculptures and installations. Known for their environmental ties, her breathtaking works explore the fragility and ephemerality of terrestrial existence. Through photography, ...

I’m inspired by forms, topographies, and phenomena related to place, memory, time, and language.

 

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Nia Easley

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Nia Easley received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute with a focus in Visual Communication Design. She is an artist creating works that address issues of visibility, accessibility, urban migration, social justice and data visualization.

I create work that address issues of visibility, accessibility, urban migration, social justice and data visualization.

 

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Balas & Wax

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Balas & Wax is the ongoing collaborative art practice of Susy Bielak and Fred Schmalz, whose work focuses on the gravity and strangeness of contemporary cities. Their research draws from ethnography, journalism, and academic research, mining text and visual references, and looking for unexpected...

Balas & Wax acknowledges our family histories and our interest in the tangible and the poetic.

 

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Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

In-Session

Karina Aguilera Skvirsky is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in photography, video and performance. Karina’s half-hour, performance-based film, The Perilous Journey of María Rosa Palacios, documents her travel from Ecuador’s Chota highlands to the coastal town of Guayaquil. The expediti...

My name in a way is a good entry point to have a discussion about my work and where I come from. My mother is from Ecuador and my father's Ukrainian Jewish, born in the US, so he's already second-generation. I spent time growing up in Ecuador as a child and have been mining that experience for my work I recently.

 

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Jose Luis Benavides with Nancy Sánchez, Amanda Cervantes and Daniel Haddad

In-Session

Jose Luis Benavides sees the world primarily through his experience raised by a working-class, queer Latinx single mother in the Chicago community of Logan Square. The convergence of his own queer and intellectual identity mark conflicted point where his artistic practice is defined and undefined...

 

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Amina Ross with J’Sun Howard, Khadijah Ksyia, Jared Brown and A.J. McClenon

In-Session

An undisciplined creator. Amina Ross creates boundary-crossing works that embrace embodiment, imaging technologies, intimacy and collectivity in physical and digital spaces. Amina has exhibited work, spoken on panels and taught workshops at venues throughout the United States. Amina's intention w...

 

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Joelle Mercedes and Hiba Ali

In-Session

Joelle Mercedes (UN AFRODESCENDIENTE del Bronx, NYC) is a multimedia artist with a focus on collage, video, sound, performance, and molding. His work is committed to unpacking and reframing origins, through the exploration/manipulation of non-linear narrative, facades, environments, time, food, a...

 

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Avery R. Young with Drew Coleman, Marcus Davis, Mekeba Malik and Javon J. Smith

In-Session

Multidisciplinary artist and arts educator avery r. young is a Cave Canem alum & 3Arts Awardee whose work has appeared in The Golden Shovel Anthology, The BreakBeat Poets and other anthologies. He is on the executive team of The Floating Museum. Along with mentoring Rebirth Poetry Ensemble, he pe...

Using the 2016 film Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins), avery r. young curates an evening of poetry & dance that explores blk queerness, migration and intimacy.

 

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El Cardenal De Aztlán

In-Session

Performance artist, photographer, Sports journalist, radio host of SCREAMS OF COMBAT. 2010 Propeller Fund Grant Awardee (Andy Warhol Foundation, Threewalls, Gallery 400 UIC). Founder of TSC Collective (@TSCCo) and Tamale Spaceship, a food truck and “long-term performance art project addressing ...

AZTLAN GOAL LINE is a radio and performance art project by El Cardenal de Aztlan inspired by the text Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa.

 

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Tarnynon (Ty-yuh-nuh) Onumonu with collaborators Tarynn Jackson and Kayla McClain

In-Session

Tarnynon (Ty-yuh-nuh) Onumonu is a poet, performance artist and teaching artist who is practicing in the Southeast side Chicago Jeffrey Manor neighborhood where she is native. She was awarded second place in the 2017 Guild Complex Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards and represented Chicago as a memb...

In a ruminant fashion, Ty-yuh-nuh finds joy in and draws inspiration from her clients, formerly homeless members of Thresholds Organization.

 

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Makeba Kedem-DuBose with collaborators Nataka Moore, Ennis Martin III, Renee Baker

In-Session

Chicago native, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, has been a Multidisciplinary Career Artist for over 25 years, practicing throughout the greater Chicago land area, as well as regionally (New York, Atlanta, Maryland, Philadelphia, California, Michigan, Florida), and internationally (France, Germany, Ghana, En...

 

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Najee Searcy & Jenna Anast with collaborators Zo//Ra and Melissa Alamndina

In-Session

Najee Searcy
Najee is a local artist and musician concentrating on how we heal those who heal others. He organizes around the arts and youth engagement. Najee is presently involved with YolloCalli Arts Reach as an artist in residence at Barrett Park where he teaches the youth ages 13-24 apo...

 

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Cat Mahari with Rae Chardonnay, Amir George, and Daniel Haywood

In-Session

Cat Mahari creates work with personal and collective transformational possibilities. She is a free style hip hop and house dancer, with ongoing training in multiple modern techniques, ballet, Krump, Traditional West African, Cuban Salsa, and Chen taiji. In addition to movement performance, she is...

If you play and make a statement...and it's a valid statement, that's a truth right there in itself.

— John Coltrane

 

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Imani Elizabeth Jackson & collaborator Jo Stewart

In-Session

Jo Stewart is a movement-theater artist and poet. She uses a combination of gesture, verse, and improvisational scores to make work that meets notions of blackness with queered mythologies. She has previously been an artist in residence at the Anderson Center at Tower View (2018), Atlantic Center...

Ain’t Got No / I Got Life is an exercise in waiting inspired by Nina Simone's song with the same name.

 

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Maya Mackrandilal with collaborators Enid Muñoz, Bhanu Kapil and Udita Upadhyaya

In-Session

Maya Mackrandilal is a transdisciplinary artist, writer, and arts administrator based in Los Angeles. Her artwork, shown recently in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, imagines radical futures for women of color solidarity and liberation. Her writing, which has appeared in a variety of publicati...

 

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AJ McClenon with Angel Bat Dawid

In-Session

AJ was born and raised in "D.C. proper," and is currently based in Chicago using performance practices, sound, video, movement, theatre and writing to share experiences living in a Black body. AJ holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Bachelor ...

What are the consequences of a citizen's performance as superhuman while being classified as subhuman by the world at large?

 

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Minh Nguyen and Jacobo Zambrano

In-Session

Minh Nguyen is a writer and organizer of exhibitions and programs currently living in Chicago, IL, by way of Saigon, Vietnam. She graduated from University of Washington with a Bachelor's degree in Literature and is attending School of the Art Institute for a Master's degree in Modern and Contemp...

 

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Sabba Elahi with Ahalya Satkunaratnam & Mohamed Mehdi

In-Session

Sabba S. Elahi (pictured above) is a multi-disciplinary visual artist, educator, and cultural organizer. Through her artwork she subverts textile and the craft of embroidery to confront representations of dehumanized Muslim bodies, militarism, belonging/nationalism, and personal/collective/inheri...

 

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Jenna Anast

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Jenna is a multi-disciplinary artist focused on digital media and performance art. Jenna is an educator dedicated to uplifting the stories and voices of people of the global majority and dismantling the way media weaponizes Black and Brown people.

Jenna is the founder of Journey’s ...

“Media is a spell and it has the power to shape the narrative. And if you shape the narrative you can shape the future.”

 

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Ireashia Bennett

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Ireashia M. Bennett is a Black queer new media artist who communicates complex social issues into accessible formats through media and storytelling. They have produced multimedia essays, short documentaries, and experimental films that center and prioritize Black queer disabled perspectives and...

 

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Aquil Charlton

Rad Lab

Multimedia Artist. Social practitioner. Musician.

Aquil (‘AQ’) Charlton uses his imagination to envision a more just world. As an electronic musician, he performs live improvisations and collaborates with other electronic musicians and visual artists to create immersive experiences. <...

 

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Safiya Eshe Gyasi

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

Safiya is an award winning Mental Health, Trauma & Creative Release Advocate, and Speaker who has created a technique of using art and storytelling to create artistic healing experiences for individuals who have experienced trauma. Ideal clients include individuals, organizations, and companies w...

 

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Chineze Mogbo

Outside the Walls Rad Lab

During Chineze’s research year with Threewalls she explored the mental wellness of the South Shore residents, coping with PTSD and their radical desire to "heal". For Chineze the first step is getting first-hand accounts of what the people felt about healing. Through conversations with the Sout...

Art is a powerful healing tool of self-expression. Through Art and an open mind, you have the power to change your mood, your health, and ultimately your reality."

 

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Rae Chardonnay

Culture of Care

Rae Chardonnay is a DJ and cultural programs producer based in Chicago. She is the Founder of Black Eutopia, a series of segmented programming intended to cultivate space for marginalized communities; and co-founder of the award winning Party Noire where joy for Black queer, trans and gender non-...

 

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Rhonda Wheatley

Culture of Care

Rhonda Wheatley is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist, energy worker, and educator whose installations and interactive projects are grounded in the speculative and metaphysical. Her recent projects include a solo show at Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC); group shows at the Museum of Contemporary...

 

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jireh l. drake

Rad Lab

jireh l. drake (they // them) is a Chicago-based unapologetic queer, black, trans non-binary baddie & abolitionist organizer. they are a mixed media drawing and sculpting artist & writer. ​they use art to tenderly unearth trauma & imagine new worlds where we strive to put things as right as po...

Hope and joy are crucial in a world that’s trying to kill/condition Black folks into survival.

 

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Jorge Félix

Rad Lab

Jorge Félix is an Afro-Boricua multidisciplinary artist, and curator based in Chicago. He became known in the city for his ‘Body Construction’ painting installations where he molded the canvas to create reliefs, sculptures, and installations. From an early age, Félix’s grandfather instill...

Sofrito Conversations welcome community leaders, elected officials, artists, and neighbors to make old fashion recipes of ‘sofrito’ at a round table while facilitating a storytelling conversation about cooking traditions.

 

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Tiffany Johnson

Rad Lab

Tiffany Johnson is a grassroots researcher and survivor advocate interested in community building through ancestral technologies and creative modalities. She is ACRE’s Programs Director and the Curator behind the Chicago Park District’s Anchor residency program. She is also co-stewarding the ...

[This work is] an in-depth exploration of community space-making/shaping, focusing on survivors' embodied knowledge and alternative practices of collective care.

 

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Kiela Smith-Upton

Rad Lab

Kiela is a lifelong Chicagoan with a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and 30 years of professional arts experience teaching, consulting, planning, and creating collaborative community-based mural projects. Kiela’s leadership in conceptualizing, designing, and creating art with co...

This project will center artist led collaboration, formal and informal action research, and placekeeping activations.

 

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Sojourner Wright

Rad Lab

Sojourner Zenobia (They/She), is an embodied sacred space facilitator, multidisciplinary performance artist and earth steward. For over a decade Sojourner has been facilitating Black and queer centered ritual and meditation practice space where hundreds of people have deepened their connection wi...

Sojourner’s fellowship addresses public health through reframing what a healer is according to the Lawndale community.

 

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Peregrine Bermas

In-Session

Peregrine Bermas is a creative and curious earthling living in their birthplace, so-called chicago. Their practices include illustration, ritual, somatics and herbology. As a community herbalist, Peregrine is passionate about holding space for remembrance of ancestral, kitchen-accessible, and bio...

 

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Abena Motaboli

In-Session

Abena Motaboli is a Basotho - Ghanian Interdisciplinary artist, educator, and writer based in Chicago. She grew up in Lesotho, Southern Africa before moving to the U.S where she obtained her bachelor's degree in Fine Arts at Columbia College Chicago. Her practice is interdisciplinary, experimenta...

I am inspired by the stories the plants and the land tells us when we listen, and as an earth citizen and immigrant how grounded and interconnected we are through the soils.

 

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Tulika Ladsariya

In-Session

Trained in painting, Tulika Ladsariya is frequently drawn to objects associated with traditional women’s work using domesticity and nurture to discuss personal history, addressing the political through the personal. Born in Mumbai, India and living in Chicago, USA, her work is an exploration of...

 

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A.Martinez

In-Session

A.Martinez (she/her) is a poet, visual artist, mother, and organizer living in Chicago. Her work explores family, rituals, nature, and the body. Alyssa’s social practice involves participatory community gatherings including those for mothers in the arts. She also works as an arts administrator ...

 

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Jessica V. Newman

In-Session

Jessica Newman (she/her) is a Black woman mover and cultural bridge builder. At an early age, her experiences encouraged Jessica to interrogate the educational and economic inequities. Jessica focuses on workplace inclusion, racial healing, and advocacy in hopes to transform where and how we work...

Time. Space. Universe(s) and the key connector being our souls and bodies as one or many. Dancing reflects our times and our ability to reimagine and reshape our reality. Though my life environment called for lack, I am deciding to respond in abundance. It's crucial we make our MOVEment matter. For me it starts within the soul and manifests in the body/being. -a dancer tales

 

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Rodney Simpson, Jr.

In-Session

Rodney Simpson Jr. (he/him/his) is a Black queer embodied storyteller and creative. The spirit of his vocation is aligned to fostering Black joy while uprooting oppressive systemic structures. Rodney is driven to unlock therapeutic spaces in community with his company Modos Chicago by changing th...

 

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STAY INFORMED

Threewalls is always finding new ways to share our artist’s unique voices through exhibits, talks, and gatherings. We would like you to be the first to know about these opportunities.