Re<new>All | Hairpin Arts Center | Galleries | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: April 9-26 2015
When artist and activist Amie Sell's installation Home Sweet Home was removed from the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival last summer because it explicitly criticized the gentrification of Logan Square (and, not quite implicitly, landlord and festival sponsor Mark Fishman), several artist neighbors reached out to her to talk about gentrification in the neighborhood and what to do about it. Together they organized "Re<new>All," an art show at the Hairpin Arts Center that will, Sell hopes, turn the gallery into a sort of community center, with artist talks, musical performances, a party, and a potluck. "We enjoy collaborating with each other on programming that brings people together," Sell says. All the pieces in the show deal in some way with gentrification. Aga Furtak and Fernando Espinosa Herrera both incorporate abandoned buildings into their work: she uses them as settings for erotic photographs, while he creates video installations of the empty spaces. Herrera will also show burlap puppet sculptures of archetypal Logan Square residents. Street artists Attitude 7 and Peaceflow will contribute an enormous mural and do live painting, respectively. And Sell will be building another installation: a 32-foot woven sculpture of a home attached to the gallery walls by 60,000 feet of string, representing the way community networks anchor individual residents to a neighborhood. "We want to have more dialogue about how artists get integrated into gentrification," says Sell, "and to dispel some myths, like that artists are gentrifiers. We're a component within the mechanism of gentrification, but we don't bring capital. The developers see the potential of artists, that art districts attract people. But instead of having an idea that will bring new people into the neighborhood, how about keeping the people already in the neighborhood?" —Aimee Levitt

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