Courson (left), 24, and Adams, 25, met at the Art Institute; last year, they converted Courson’s second-floor Wicker Park apartment into the gallery Lloyd Dobler.

Where: The gallery is actually Courson’s front living room, which overlooks Division Street, plus the entryway nook and hallway (for installation pieces), and the kitchen. “We’re going to get an intern this summer who we’ll make sit here and clean,” says Adams.

Day jobs: Courson is an assistant at Bucket Rider Gallery; Adams is a photo archivist. Says Courson: “I’ll sit at work with my cell phone next to my work phone, answering one, ‘Hi, Lloyd Dobler,’ and the other, ‘Hello, Bucket Rider.'”

That name: Lloyd Dobler is John Cusack’s character from the 1989 teen love-and-angst film Say Anything. “We wanted to embody this young spirit,” says Courson.

Memorable moment: A “coloring party,” complete with a homemade coloring book filled with friends’ quirky drawings, mazes, and connect-the-dots pages, and a ten-foot glass-top picnic table made by the Mighty Bearcats, a Chicago-based design collective. “We probably had at least 100 people stop by that night,” Courson says.

Up now: Large paper installations by Natalia Ivancevich, an Art Institute grad, and Cynthia Muir, a Columbia College alum, through June 16th.

On the horizon: A summer solstice video screening and an art scavenger hunt in July. “There’ll be art installed around the neighborhood which, hopefully, will become permanent pieces,” Adams says. “We’re really into street art.”

Catch them: 1545 W. Division St., second floor; 312-961-8706. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.



For three years, Rashid (left), 28, and Parker, 27, worked together at Rhona Hoffman Gallery. In 2006, the duo launched Duchess with an Alexander Stewart drawing made entirely of cassette tape.

Where: The front living area and small bedroom in Rashid’s fourth-floor Grand Avenue walkup, which she shares with an understanding roommate. “She’s in production,” Rashid explains. “In her profession you have to do your own projects, so she’s supportive.”

Day jobs: Rashid still works for Hoffman; Parker has since left to pursue a career in marketing.

That name: Inspired by the Larry Jordan film Our Lady of the Sphere

Street cred: After Stewart’s show, which was a hit, they featured drawings and paintings by Chicagoan Stacey Nemeth, a wearable show by Huong Ngo, and the first Chicago exhibition by San Francisco–based art star Mitzi Pederson.

Long-term plans? Neither Rashid nor Parker sees Duchess getting any bigger anytime soon. “There’s something special about what it is right now,” Parker says. “Since we don’t have to depend on it for income, it’s an energizing stress.”

Up now: A solo exhibition by Brooklyn artist Jamisen Ogg, through June 13th

Deals? They’ve sold a few pieces, but all earnings have gone toward bills, cleaning supplies, and touchup paint. “We don’t pay ourselves so we can call it a hobby on our taxes,” Parker explains.

Weirdest moment: “There was a couple who stayed past closing time once and were making out in the hallway. It was pretty grotesque,” Parker reports.

Catch them: 1043 W. Grand Ave., fourth floor; 312-933-5317. Besides openings and appointments, the gallery is open to the public only on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m.

Photography: Lisa Predko