With the release of Chicago magazine’s annual Power List, which draws heavily from worlds of business, politics, and philanthropy, we in the culture department put together our own rosters of cultural influencers on the rise. This week, watch for our Chicago culture power lists for music, art, theatre, and more. Will these movers and shakers blow up or flame out? We’re watching to find out.
In the Chicago art world, it’s rare that an artist who toils away in their studio, alone, would end up on something like Chicago magazine’s power list. Today, power comes from helping others before helping oneself. In order to predict who’s on the rise in the art world, I looked to artists, curators, gallerists, and others who wear many hats in order to strengthen the art community.
Odds are that Hazel will be at the center of everyone’s attention within the next decade. She’s a smart and dedicated blogger, curator, and arts administrator. In 2010, she co-founded the website Sixty Inches from Center, which promotes the work of under-known Chicago-based artists. She also works at the Chicago Artists’ Coalition, a group that provides support for emerging artists.
After serving for several years on the Museum of Contemporary Art’s young-collectors acquisition committee, Godard decided to break away from the institution and become a curator himself. He produced several exhibitions of video art—his specialty—before switching gears again. Now, he has co-founded Chicago’s only art gallery dedicated solely to video art, Aspect Ratio, in the West Loop. Although less than a year old, the gallery has been responsible for bringing cutting-edge video artwork to Chicago from internationally known artists, such as Bryan Zanisnik and an upcoming Guy Ben-Ner exhibition.
Preston-Myint is an artist who likes to engage his audience. The Logan Square-based artist uses sculpture, performance, and drawing as a platform for exploring contemporary queer identity, often with a community-supportive component. For instance, Preston-Myint co-founded the Critical Fierceness microgrant, which awards seed money to queer-identified art projects, and he is also the co-editor-in-chief of the culture magazine Monsters and Dust. He opens a group show, How Do I Look?, on February 22 at Roots & Culture.
Shannon Stratton co-founded Threewalls gallery, the artist-run alternative exhibition venue in the West Loop dedicated to Chicago-based artists. Now, after a successful ten years, Stratton is seeking to relocate the gallery and its programs and expand the residency into a studio fellowship program. A successful capital campaign will ensure that Threewalls continues to be one of Chicago’s most important incubators for young artists. In addition to running the gallery, Stratton is a proponent of fiber-based and experimental artwork, and she serves as a teacher and mentor for many emerging artists in that genre.
Getsy has had a brilliant string of successes in the past few years. After earning a PhD in art history from Northwestern University, he was immediately hired as a professor at SAIC. His contribution to the forthcoming book Postpoptransexual: Terms for a 21st Century Transgender Studies may indicate his research specialty, but with so much talk about doctoral degrees for artists lately, SAIC may just head in that direction with Getsy at the helm.
Jason Foumberg is Chicago magazine’s contributing art critic.
Photograph: Randy Michael Korwin Studios