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Artists on the Verge

Get to know these local emerging stars before everyone else does.

Art by Jarvis Boyland
Art by Jarvis Boyland
Photo and artwork: Courtesy of Boyland

Jarvis Boyland

Jarvis Boyland

Jarvis Boyland came of age in the era of marriage equality but also of tragedies like the Pulse nightclub shooting and high-profile cases of police brutality. So if you sense a certain anxiety underpinning the Memphis-born 24-year-old’s dream-like depictions of black queer home life, you aren’t imagining it. “I’m into the staging of the domestic and what these scenes of leisure can evoke,” he says. His 2017 painting Feels Like We Only Go Backwards (Pulse) captures such a moment, at once quotidian and miraculous. “Pulse is me awakening to the possibilities of building a life with a queer partner in Chicago — something I couldn’t do in the South.”

Pictured:(Clockwise from top) Before Brazil, Mark (2018); Before Brazil, Robert (2018); Saturday Morning (2018)

See More:A group show at the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator opens July 26. jarvisboyland.com

 

Art by Amanda Assaley
Art by Amanda Assaley
Photo and artwork: Stephanie Bassos

Amanda Assaley

Amanda Assaley

Amanda Assaley is preoccupied with material desires, as you can tell from the fine fibers, like velvet and silk, she incorporates in her installations. But these works also grapple with more insidious wants. A collaboration with artist Qais Assali examines the Shriners’ appropriation of Arab culture. Cement casts of illegible Arabic inscriptions on the Medinah Temple in River North lie by velvet drapes that resemble stage curtains — a nod to the fraternity’s performative use of Middle Eastern motifs. “All objects are rooted in how we want to fantasize embodying them,” says Assaley, a 22-year-old Syrian American. “But Arab culture isn’t a fantasy; it’s real.”

Pictured:(Clockwise from top) Detail of Ahl Al Medinah, Shurafa’ Al Ayn (2018); The line is never in the same place (2018); On July 27th, 2015, I went to a store called “A World Through Rose Colored Glasses” and bought an orange hair dryer chair (2018)

See More:A group show at Pilsen’s ACRE Projects opens August 2. amandaassaley.com

 

Art by Manal Kara
Art by Manal Kara
Photo and artwork: Courtesy of Kara

Manal Kara

Manal Kara

Manal Kara’s textural sculptures — lichen-like ceramics and resin stilettos embedded with barbed wire, snakeskin, and other debris — reflect their creator’s eclectic interests, which range from botany to Juggalo eschatology (look it up, then see Kara’s uncanny ceramic masks). The Moroccan American sculptor, 32, lives in Gary but exhibits widely in Chicago, including at the Hyde Park Art Center and Logan Square boutique Tusk. For an artist drawn to the symbiosis of living things, northwest Indiana offers an escape from urbanity. “I live atop a sand dune in a black oak forest, where I’ve learned a lot about the plant and fungal kingdoms,” Kara says. “I feel like I’m getting back the kind of knowledge people once had instinctually.”

Pictured:(Clockwise from top) Fox Grape, River Grape (2018), Eyeflame (ACAB) (2017), Immanentizing the Eschaton (2018)

See More:manalkara.com

 

Art by Yesenia Bello
Art by Yesenia Bello
Photo and artwork: Courtesy of Bello

Yesenia Bello

Yesenia Bello

Yesenia Bello, a first-generation Mexican American, uses her art to express her experience of navigating identities. She once struggled to learn English; now 25, she’s losing her native Spanish. From drawings of nets to half-baked ceramics that capture transitive states, her work relays a sense of uncertainty and searching. Installations of deftly balanced fabric-wrapped hoses — a nod to her father, a landscaper — beckon you to jump through hoops, a playful exploration of a new lexicon. “Everyone can relate to sensations of not quite knowing or having something on the tip of the tongue,” Bello says. “With art, I can freely explore this in-between space.”

Pictured:(Clockwise from top) Tracing a Speaking Trumpet (Eight of Eight) (2018); Schematic Drawings (#67) (2018); Through the Hoop (2018)

See More:A group show at Hyde Park Art Center opens August 18. yeseniabello.com

 

Art by Caleb Yono
Art by Caleb Yono
Photo and artwork: Courtesy of Yono

Caleb Yono

Caleb Yono

A gymnast and theater kid in high school, Caleb Yono eventually returned to performance as an expressive mode. While a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute, Yono focused on painting and drawing, creating evocative, distorted depictions of feminine subjects. In recent years, however, the 37-year-old has embraced performance anew, transforming their own body with makeup and homemade prosthetics to grapple with the weight of a gendered world. “I learned how I wanted to represent bodies, especially those caught in a threshold state or which show hyperbolic, twisted representations of the human form,” Yono says.

Pictured:(Clockwise from top) Cyclops Odalisque (2018); Sarafeme Sideeffects (self portrait) (2017); A whistle A fold, the Seraphim Mother (2018)

See More:calebyono.com

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