Puerto Rican artist Pedro Vélez wom Artwork-In-Residence Grant at Evanston Art Center, Illinois

Pedro Velez, Twitter Song for the Default (2015)
The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is excited to launch an inaugural “artwork-in-residence” program, inviting 6 artists to “move in” to the second floor Evanston Art Center project space for 4-week residencies. From June 2016 – March 2017, the Art Center will proudly host artists Adriana Kuri Alamillo, Judith Brotman, Joseph Cruz, David Giordano, Kirsten Leenaars and Pedro Vélez. Each of the artists chosen by curator Jessica Cochran will address the residency theme Society!during their 4-week stay. Taking this opportunity to create a space for the political, the personal, the imaginary, the speculative and the unregulated, residency artists will have work that engages, reflects or models society today in myriad ways. “This program gives artists the chance to use a semi-public hybrid work/gallery space in a way that they see fit – for the production, display and development of their work. There are no “strings attached” in terms of a final product or outcome,” stated Jessica Cochran in her curatorial proposal for Society! Artists were required to submit proposals that included how they intend to use the Art Center’s space and their plans to engage the Evanston community through public programs in correlation with their residency.

Jessica Cochran is a curator living and working in Chicago. She is currently completing a curatorial fellowship at the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and her upcoming exhibitions include Roman Susan (Chicago), McCormick Gallery (Chicago), Center for the Book (New York) and the Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago). After seven years spent in academic galleries, she is now a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the curatorial manager of a growing private collection of contemporary art based in Chicago, Indiana and Palm Springs.

Pedro Vélez In collaboration with L.M. Rodríguez, Surrender Flag to the Paulson Ricans, Painting is acrylic on canvas and painted push pins. 2014-2015

“Since our move to the new facility, we have had big dreams of running an artist in residency program,” mentioned President & CEO Paula Danoff, “and we are thrilled to be working with Jessica to create this unique artwork-in-residence experience and to witness how these artists choose to use our space while engaging our community.”

Society! will commence with multidisciplinary artist Pedro Vélez from June 2 – June 30, 2016. Vélez’s work merges his interests in journalism and art criticism into visual essays that take the form of large sculptural paintings, photographic collages, and limited edition posters. Taken together Vélez’s approach creates a vibrant stream of consciousness commentary on a variety of issues, encompassing race, politics and other aesthetic concerns. During his residency, Vélez will use EAC’s space to develop his most recent body of work, which explores personas, places, events, and other sources of inspiration that constitute an artist’s muse. Velez will set aside a wall in the gallery space for community members and visitors to the Art Center to submit subjects, places, names, and photographs. Velez will crowd source these submissions into artwork in progress as well as new work created during the residency. By inviting community members and visitors to collaborate with the development of his work, Vélez seeks to find what type of active role viewers can play by helping him assemble the narratives of his work.

Vélez received his M.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent exhibitions include the 2014 Whitney Biennial in New York; Private and Social Portraits at The Portrait Society in Milwaukee; Morally Reprehensible at 101 / Exhibit, LA; #DrunkDictators, an “On The Wall” installation at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago; Ransom Notes and Surrender Flags at AREA, Caguas Puerto Rico; and No Regrets at Oliver Francis Gallery in Dallas. His work has been featured and published in a large number of publications, including the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Al Jazeera America, Huffington Post, New York Times, Artforum, Mutual Art, Frieze, Artspace and The Miami Herald.
The Society! artwork-in-residence schedule is as follows:

June 2 – June 30, 2016                       Pedro Vélez           
August 14 – September 11, 2016       Joseph Cruz
October 2 – October 30, 2016                        Kirsten Leenars
November 6 – November 27, 2016     Judith Brotman
January 8 – January 22, 2017             David Giordano
March 5 – March 26, 2017                 Adriana Kuri Alamillo

Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibitions, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives.

Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: 9am – 9pm, Monday – Thursday; 9am – 5pm, Friday; 9am – 4pm, Saturday & Sunday. First and second floor gallery spaces are handicapped accessible. Limited free parking is available

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