2017 Propeller Fund Awardee International Chicago Underground Queer Transcendence Symposium (ICUQTS) Launch Party

ICUQTS 2018 Launch Party
Sunday December 3, 7pm-12am
Twisted Cantina
TRQPiTECA proudly presents the official launch party for ICUQTS: International Chicago Underground Queer Transcendance Symposium 2018. Join us as we celebrate the launch of our call for artists and fundraising campaign. We will be selling TRQPITECA merchandise and giving away ICUQTS swag for donations, so bring your dollars! DJ sets by Cqqchifruit, La Spacer, and CaliXta! 
ICUQTS fundraising campaign will begin soon, and more information can be found on TRQPiTECA’s website.

2016 Awardee For the People Artists Collective Do Not Resist? Exhibition

Save the Date! 
January 12, 2018
Do Not Resist? 100 Years of Police Violence
Harpin Arts Center
2810 N Milwaukee Ave.
For the People Artists Collective releases the date of the opening of their exhibition Do Not Resist? 100 Years of Police Violence. The curated exhibition will be exhibited at the Harpin Arts Center and opens January 18, 2018 at 7pm! More information will soon be available on For the People Artists Collective’s website.

2013 Awardee Chicago Artist Writers at the Chicago Art Book Fair

Chicago Artist Writers at the Chicago Art Book Fair
November 16-19, 2017
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
12 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago Artist Writers is participating in the first annual Chicago Art Book Fair 2017 presented by No Coast, run by visual artists Aay Preston-Myint and Alexander Valentine (2011 Awardees for Monsters and Dust). The Chicago Art Book Fair, Nov. 16-19, features over 150 independent publishers, and champions the city’s rich history of print and publishing and hopes to inspire the next generation of makers. Chicago Artist Writers has commissioned artist editions for the booth as well as a series of features of small print publishers in Chicago. For more information visit the Chicago Art Book Fair website.

2017 Propeller Fund Awardees Announcement

Propeller Fund Announces 2017 Awardees

Image: Serial Dreamer Co-Op, 2017 Propeller Fund awardee

Propeller Fund proudly announces the ten grant recipients for 2017. Selected from upwards of ninety candidates, these self-organized, artist-led projects continue Propeller’s mission of promoting diversity and small-scale interventions in Chicago’s visual art world. Propeller Fund offers $50,000 (ranging from $1,000 to $6,000) annually to artists producing a wide range of public culture.

Propeller Fund recognizes that independent artist-organized events, everything from informal roundtables and workshops, collectively organized exhibition spaces to publishing endeavors, constitute a large catalyst for the creative activity and vitality of the Chicago visual art world. These projects are responsible for much of the complexity and richness in the art community.

Propeller Fund 2017 Award Ceremony and Reception

This year’s recipients will be recognized in an award ceremony on Thursday, October 19 at the Center on Halsted. Join grant recipients and the community to celebrate with food, drink, and music.

Thursday, October 19, 6–8pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N. Halsted Street
Irving Harris Family Foundation Reception Hall, 3rd FL
Chicago, IL 60613

Award Ceremony: 6:30pm
Awardee Reception: 7–8pm

Free and open to the public

Propeller Fund would like to thank this year’s jury: Aram Han Sifuentes, social practice fiber Artist, Writer, Curator, and professor (Chicago, IL); Gibran Villalobos, 2016 Propeller Fund Awardee Latinx Artist/Art Administrator Retreat (Chicago, IL); Ross Jordan, Curatorial Manager at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (Chicago,IL); Cameron Shaw, Director of Pelican Bomb (New Orleans, LA); Arnold J. Kemp, Artist and Dean of Graduate Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL). Thank you to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the funder of the Propeller Fund through its Regional Regranting Program.

2017 Awardees

The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food (Thomas Kong, Dan Miller, Nathan Abhalter Smith)
The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food is an experimental art space and repository for thousands of collage and assemblage works made by artist Thomas Kong over the past decade. Housed in an adapted storage room behind the convenience store Kong manages in Rogers Park, The Back Room began as a collaboration between Kong and artist Dan Miller in 2015, with assistance from Nathan Abhalter Smith. The Back Room has since invited artists and thinkers whose practices intersect with Kong’s in various ways to produce an ongoing series of public exhibitions, events and performances in the space. These projects each proceed from a horizontal engagement with Kong’s unique art practice and working context, and the projects are intended to develop conversations around the art field’s relationship to production, visibility, history, hierarchy and value.

Serial Dreamer Co-Op (Aymar Jean Christian, M. Shelly Conner, Roger Fierro, Phillip Lambert, Jordy Marilyn, Elijah McKinnon, Saya Naomi, Honey Pot Performance, Ashley Ray, Erik Wallace)

Serial Dreamer is a collaborative series following residents of a Chicago co-op in everyday lives and their dreams. The project is an experiment in queer series development in how to use one series to pilot multiple series by intersectional artists. Every episode focuses on a different character, serving as a pilot for a series by that writer.

International Chicago Underground Queer Transcendence Symposium (ICUQTS) (Jacquelyn Guerrero, Natalie Murillo)
ICUQTS is an interdisciplinary platform celebrating creative cultural engagement with local and international queer communities through exhibition of visual and performance art, music, panel discussions, and workshops during Chicago Queer Pride month in June 2018. Creating a symposium during such time will reach international audiences with the message that Chicago artists are thriving, collaborating, and resisting oppressive cis-hetero-normative ideologies across all artistic disciplines. Alongside Chicago-based artists, national and international artists will be invited to apply for exhibition opportunities that encourage discussion and engagement within the global queer movement.

An Art of Interruption: Restructuring Narratives of Poverty (Red Line Service) (Billy McGuinness, Rhoda Rosen)

Through three years of working with Chicagoans experiencing homelessness, Red Line Service (RLS) has cultivated a community of participants with an unusual and unexpectedly wide-ranging cultural expertise. Inspired by the breadth of perspectives within this community, McGuinness and Rosen will create an artist’s book that challenges stereotypical narratives of poverty, expands the boundaries of art criticism, and provides RLS participants the chance to engage in a sustained creative and intellectual process. Including essays of art criticism by Chicagoans in transition*, along with a manifesto that explains the nuances of their work and the crucial significance of art that engages directly with the impacts of income inequality, the book will function simultaneously as an artifact, an art object, and a guide to would-be social practitioners.
*McGuinness and Rosen use the word transition to affirm that homelessness is a temporary set of circumstances and not a state of being.

Alternatives to Calling Police During Mental Health Crises (Timmy Chau & Miguel Angel Rodriguez, Rebekah Frumkin, Maria Trucano-Harp, Euree Kim)
Alternatives To Calling Police During Mental Health Crises is a community-based movement to train folx in de-escalation techniques and protect mentally ill community members from police violence and the criminal justice system. The project is a fruit of collaboration of various artists, activists, and professionals of different backgrounds and aims to center the voices of marginalized people, suggest alternative solutions from first-hand experience, and discuss the issue as a community. Their hope is to imagine what a world without police may look like- where widespread policing and mass incarceration are replaced with crisis intervention, community response teams, and restorative justice.

2nd Floor Co-op (Fontaine Capel, Mia Lopez, Katherine Waddell)
2nd Floor Co-op is a one-year creative consortium, think-tank, work-share, and dream machine for select 2nd Floor Rear artist alumni. Four lead artists from past 2FR seasons will be selected to participate in a year-long cooperative residency. Residents will work together to develop original projects, generate content for 2nd Floor Rear’s website and social media, participate in a weekend-long retreat with a public component, and pave the way for 2nd Floor Rear 2019.

CHICAGO LOWRIDER FESTIVAL: Culture, Art, Community + Legacy | VOL. 1 (Matt Austin, Edward Calderon, Max Herman, Lauren M. Pacheco, Peter Pacheco)
Through photography, interviews, and scholarly essays, the relationship between the Lowrider subculture’s practices of constructing an embodied identity through car culture, muralism, and storytelling, and the notion of art types manufactured in urban Mexican-American communities of Chicago in a one-of-a-kind print publication. The publication will attempt to demonstrate an intrinsic link between Lowrider participant identities and their objects in order to forward the argument that the expression of identity is the telos of Lowrider art and culture.

Queer the Air (Coriama Couture, Miasarah Lai, Stephanie Jensen, Eddie Jerks, Rachel Jones)
Queer the Air is a docu-web series hosted by Coriama Couture, a Chicago-based artist and sex educator. The series is centered around interviews with Black queer folx, and covers everything from gender identity and relationships, to body image and self care.The show aims to provide a voice for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations surrounding LGBTQ+ issues. Coriama’s charm and matter-of-fact style wit, is guaranteed to keep viewers entertained. She celebrates the variety that exists among Black queer folx with guests from all different backgrounds and lifestyle choices. Queer the Air focuses on spreading #blackjoy. Watch it for the culture.

Youth as Engaged Cultural Workers: Displacement, Housing Justice and the Legacy of Student Uprisings on the Lower West Side (Paulina Camacho, Nicole Marroquin)
Youth as Engaged Cultural Workers places students in deeper context and relation to socio-cultural events involving the construction of Benito Juarez Community Academy in Pilsen. In and beyond the classroom, young public intellectuals drive the conversations, engage pressing concerns like displacement, dissent and police violence, and are the directors of the process, from creation to critique. The program expands to include audiences beyond the school, increasing exposure and processing feedback deepens their critical engagement, as the project is situated at the intersection of art and public scholarship.

The Space Between: Lives and Deaths in Prison (Jose Luis Benavides, Erica R. Meiners, Therese Quinn, Matthew Yasuoka)
$2,000 Research and Development Grant

The Illinois Deaths in Custody Project (IDCP), an initiative including artists, scholars, and community-based organizations, documents, archives, mourns and researches the deaths of all people in custody in Illinois. By inviting the online submission of death reports, eulogies, and other testimonies and documents, partnering with organizations doing related work and offering workshops that prepare participants to gain and share reports and stories about those dying while incarcerated IDCP harnesses digital tools to reshape the meanings, practices and boundaries of public mourning, and challenge the carceral state. IDCP’s lead artist, Jose Luis Benavides, will research and document (photography, video) the spaces, paths, institutions, and processes that constitute these experiences. This documentation will culminate in an exhibition in 2019.

More information about the awardees will be available soon on the project page.

2014 Awardee Terrain Exhibitions Presents the 3rd Terrain Biennial

Terrain Exhibitions Presents the 3rd Terrain Biennial
Now on view through November 15, 2017
Exhibition spans across Chicagoland, the U.S., and internationally
The 2017 Terrain Biennial is an large scale exhibition of site-specific art made for front yards, balconies, and porches, in Oak Park and beyond. Neighborhoods throughout Chicagoland will host events in conjunction with the festival. A map and specifics for each neighborhood is available at The Biennial will be held statewide with sites in Peoria and Springfield and nationally in Los Angeles, Iowa City and Louisville and internationally in Europe. This year, The Terrain Biennial is partnering with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For more information, contact

2012 Awardee Lucky Pierre presents “A Thing of Great Power and Size has Gone Missing (October 7, 2001 – Present)” at Comfort Station

A Thing of Great Power and Size has Gone Missing (October 7, 2001 – Present)
October 7-29, 2017
Comfort Station
2579 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

The project features an extensive timeline citing historical, political, and social events occurring during the U.S. led war on terror, including the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Exhibition Events:

Opening Event: 16 Lectures Concerning 16 War Years
Saturday, October 7, 6-9 PM

On the 16th anniversary of the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom the U.S invasion of Afghanistan, Lucky Pierre invites 16 guests to give 10 minute presentations on one of the years corresponding to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Closing Event: 38-hour Screening
Friday, October 27, 8AM to Saturday, October 28, 10PM

Lucky Pierre will screen for 38 hours the highest grossing films for each of the war years. The films have been re-edited to remove human bodies while maintaining the original runtimes – condensing and measuring 16 years of war into 2,280 minutes of now altered entertainment product. While each of the films is being screened, timeline entries correlating to the year of that film are removed from the gallery wall. At the end of the screening all timeline entries will have been removed leaving the gallery space empty.

For more information, visit Lucky Pierre’s website.

Propeller Fund Studio Resident 2015-2016 Floating Museum Closing Event for River Assembly

Call + Response
A merging of sound design, movement & sculpture
October 7th12-1pm
Polk Bros Park, Navy Pier 
Join the Floating Museum for the final day of River Assembly! Composer and performer avery r. young leads his deacon board and a team of dancers in a performance that merges sound design, movement and sculpture.  The dancers will build a structure in response to a score of funk and blues infused soul inspired by the founder of gospel music, Thomas Dorsey.  After the structure is built the dancers will respond and move about the new structure.
For more information, visit the Facebook Event.

2012 Awardee Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project Hosts Family + Friends Day

October 14, 4-6pm
Sullivan Galleries
33 S. State St.

Meet faculty and friends of the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project for food, drink and
conversation about an exhibition of artwork developed in Andres Heranadez’s spring class at
Stateville prison. The artwork will be on view from August 29 – October 14, 2017.
Free and open to the public.

For more information visit Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project’s website.

2015 Awardee John Preus Organizes “Infinite Games 50/50,” Now On View Through March 15

Infinite Games 50/50 is now on view through March 15, 2018
Open House Contemporary 
740 N. Ogden

In 2013, despite significant protest, the City of Chicago closed 50 Chicago public schools (CPS), displacing 12,000 children in the city’s south and west neighborhoods. John Preus gained access to CPS materials that were slated for the landfill, and he redirected six semi-loads of damaged desks, tables, chairs, and bookshelves to a vacant storefront in Washington Park. Over the past four years the materials became material for John Preus’ work, a natural tool for his interest in creating dialogue about contemporary social-political, civic, and labor structures. Countless repurposed cubes, tables, and sculptural furniture objects created by John Preus have been disbursed throughout the world as Infinite Archive Series ; yet most CPS materials remain unused. They have inspired John Preus to open his project as a community undertaking, inviting artists and designers to respond to the materials conceptually and functionally.

50 participating artists created installations, objects, wall pieces, functional work, interventions, and offsite projects for a 6-month exhibition at Open House Contemporary (OHC). Located at 740 N Ogden, OHC is a gallery and award-winning AirBnb, owned and operated by artist and designer Matthew Kellen. OHC consists of three 3-br apartments in a single building, which will be completely open for artists’ projects and sitespecific installations. Local artists made work, with fabrication and collaboration as needed, while international participants sent designs for prototyping or adaptation to the CPS materials.

Infinite Games continues John Preus’ ongoing project of giving new life to discarded CPS materials; opens his salvaging and reuse practice to other artists, and most importantly deeply embeds the project within a lived architecture and design space. For John Preus, “the leftover detritus from the social and economical upheaval [of the CPS closings] becomes archived into functional form. The material world hides traumas and victories,” and by putting a community of artists and designers in contact with disposed materials, new dialogues and conversations will emerge that will point to more ambitious responses to Chicago’s architectural displacement.

Propeller Fund 2017 Award Ceremony and Reception

Propeller Fund 2017 Award Ceremony

Thursday, October 19, 6-8pm

Center on Halsted

3656 N Halsted St., Chicago IL 60613

Please join us as we celebrate the 2017 Propeller Fund grant recipients and the community with food, drink, and music.

Selected from a pool of over one-hundred candidates, these small, self-organized, and radical projects are vital to Propeller’s mission of promoting diversity and small-scale interventions in Chicago’s visual art world.

Free and open to the public.