+ Pilsen, Chicago art and community space, featuring art, crafts and activism by local creatives.

1800 W. 18th St. (entrance on Wood St.) Chicago, IL 60608

info@plusgallerychicago.com

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Our Response to Peeling off the Grey

When Teresa Magaña originally approached us to participate in Peeling off the Grey, an exhibition on gentrification she curated for the National Museum of Mexican Art, we thought this show was not going to offer the same impact we have when we come together to use our permanent markers, cardboard, and spray cans to make protest art. It was not until she expressed her vision to create an “organic installation” to “put up messages we would want people to see…in the same format we would create…during an action, protest, march or rally” that we agreed to sit down with her.

Despite being reassured that the only restriction was to abstain from using graphic imagery, we discovered that our original hesitation was valid. Without notifying Teresa, the museum removed the installation after expressing dissatisfaction with our art criticizing the role that the 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis and The Resurrection Project play in promoting development at the expense of the poor. Teresa and the museum’s curator later reached a compromise to reinstall the work with the exception of some of our original messages. Specifically, we were asked to cover up the name “Danny Solis” and to cover up The Resurrection Project’s logo that was originally modified to read “THE GENTRIFICATION PROJECT”.

Today, we made a decision to comply with the museum’s request and we modified our art by placing black bars over the “controversial” text and images. When we originally chose to participate in the show, we saw it as an opportunity to bring attention to the systems of power that gentrify our neighborhoods.

Instead of withdrawing from the show, we challenge all artists not to be complicit in the museum’s choice to censor our message. We ask that artists “co-sign” this statement against censorship and exploitation of poor people. We also ask that artists unite by critically examining the role they play in gentrification when they paint murals for developers, receive DCASE grants, and seek out only resume building or financially lucrative opportunities.

This is not the time to be silent nor divided.

Pilsen Alliance | + gallery Chicago | anonymous artists

5 Things We Learned about Collaborations

“Sustainable Confidence is a journey back into one’s self. It is more than a photo series, it is a way of life. A practice of wholeness, presence and standing confidently in the totality of being human. This photo series focuses on uplifting Black, Brown, Indigenous beauty. Centering fem[me] identified folks of all ages, sizes, and abilities. As well as honoring our mother earth and happily accepting the responsibility of taking care of this earth and checking the choices we make that affect people around the world.”
-Xochyl Perez

 

Whenever someone asks me about + gallery Chicago, it’s easy to just repeat a variation of what’s in our bio on Instagram “community collaborative space ..” because this phrase is the most succinct and accurate description of what occurs in our > 650 sq. ft gallery. In this post, we’ll share how one of our first collaborations happened. We will also share what we learned along the way in order for you to be inspired to make the right connections and take action on an idea. 

+ (plus) gallery Chicago Reflection

We took the month of November to appreciate the many artists, vendors, and community members we have had the honor of disrupting and constructing with this year. This video is a glance of the dope experiences we’ve had this year, including meeting another + (Plus Sign), the artist behind the music. We truly appreciate the many artists and trouble makers who trusted us enough to join this effort.

Along with reflection, we have been setting intentions for next year. Gentrification, respectability politics, sustainability, Afro-futurism, and opportunities for youth are still important themes we’ll continue to explore in 2018. In addition to interactive exhibitions, we have added solo show opportunities for black and brown artists from the Lower West and South Side of Chicago. In addition to our gallery and community space, in 2018, we are introducing an affordable and transitional housing artist residence.

Below is an overall introduction to our current structure.