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+ gallery Chicago’s mission is to provide space to underrepresented local artists, makers, activists, story tellers, instructors, and other community organizers to share experiences, skills, resources and locally crafted goods with one another and the public.
Our vision is to strengthen local communities and coalitions examining institutional and social oppression, while considering global impact.
Intentions: Proudly positioned in Pilsen and La Villita . + gallery Chicago will center and amplify the voices of people of all ages who are Black and brown, living with disabilities, immigrants and migrants, gender non-conforming, non-binary and LGBTQIA+, women and Femme, working class and poor. We use “+” as a symbol of intersecting identities and experiences, especially within LGBTQIA+. Everyone is welcome.
punks, pod, and peeps
We have created three groups to remain focused and organized: The + pod are the paid crew and long term volunteers. + peeps and punks are any artists, collaborators or other advocates willing to share skills and resources based on capacity.
Isaura Flores is originally from Chicago, and currently stays in Pilsen. She is a Teaching Artist and Theater Creator. An organizer and board member of the Pilsen Alliance/C.A.P.A.(Concilio de Artistas de Pilsen Alliance), member of IIYC, and ChiResists; her work as a community activist and artist is aimed toward raising awareness about gentrification, education, the #waterislife movement, immigration, and LGBTQIA+ rights.
Mashuska was born and raised in Chicago. After her family was displaced from Lakeview due to rising rents in 1987, she moved around several neighborhoods before moving to Pilsen in 2006. Although she never connected to art seen at museums, she immediately identified with Chicago’s graffiti subculture in the mid-90s. The ban on the sales of spray paint within the city limits and a discovery of Adobe Photoshop would send her on a path towards graphic design. She currently pays the bills by providing web and graphic design for a group of alternative high schools. She also is committed to local and global initiatives centered on digital security and an open internet. Her work is digital art with that remixes existing designs while making subtle or overt political statements.
In 2006, Torie moved to Chicago for access to public transportation and education. She is a self and community taught artist, best known for photographs centering Queer women and Femmes. She uses her practice to uplift herself and others, while questioning social constructs, monoliths and structures of power. Through her work, she searches for solutions to feelings of scarcity and fear. Her work with + gallery Chicago focuses on collaborating with existing social justice initiatives, and creating more opportunities for herself and others to live lives that are affirming as individuals and members of a collective of earth dwellers.
For Kheiron Katsuleas, art is a therapeutic avenue for exploring and expressing nuanced aspects of being a twenty-something which include gender, trauma’s impact on identity, and the intersection of queerness and spirituality. They are an installation artist stuck in a retail workers body. When they get their way, they have an entire room to work with. The common thread in Kheiron's work is nostalgia. They are not sure if things from Grandma's basement or bric-a-brac from Unique count as found items, but those are the things that come together (with some fabric and glitter, of course), resurrecting snippets of time that feel too heavy to hold, to make them into something beautiful to look at. Kheiron is a proud parent of T-POP, a pop up art show and vendor fair for Trans artists in Chicago. When they aren’t making art, they keep their hands busy making candles and potions under the moniker of Transmutare Candle Co.
Serena is a videographer and documentary filmmaker based in Chicago and also organizes with For the People Artist Collective, Chicago Desi Youth Rising, and Left Wing Futbol. She is excited to uplift the work of + gallery Chicago and the amazing artists who will move through it.
Maxine is a local STEM professional and activist. She is the co-host of a queer Palestine podcast, titled Olive Oil & Time, which focuses on creating platforms for Palestinians in diaspora. Passionate about art and the goals of + gallery Chicago, she hopes to assist in developing resources required to support gallery programing.