Home Sweet Home

2014

This installation was censured by a developer created 'arts' organization that took over a now defunct local arts festival. It directly called out one of their board members who has evicted countless families from the Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago. 

People were actively being evicted from the apartments above my site-specific installation in one of the empty commercial spaces below. I used the opportunity to shed light on the situation. 

Artists are often used as tools for gentrification to gain exposure and create 'hot' neighborhood myths for developers to artificially inflate housing market prices and displace poor people. 

 

Artist Statement

It is the intangibles that make a home and community. The memories, shared emotions, feelings of security, sanctuary and safety. The laughs, the cries, building of trust, the forming of relationships with respect, love and sharing. Tolerance, acceptance and ability to ask for help. Comfort, familiarity and dependability all ease the stress of uncertainty. 

Discord shakes these intangibles and makes them seem out of our reach, or maybe that we are undeserving of them. This discord is pervasive in our culture that focuses on capital gain at the expense of others discomfort. This discord is happening right now for many in our community, Logan Square, as their homes are disrupted and the community is gentrified without input from its residents.

For the last 6 months, I've become heavily involved in organizing around the issue of affordable housing that is disappearing from our neighborhood, Logan Square. I've met people who have been part of mass evictions from their homes, seen rents skyrocket and the demographics shift dramatically in certain areas. This deeply concerns me and leaves me with a heavy feeling of loss, but hopeful that action can be taken to slow this process. 

Art included in this Installation:

  • (4) Large White Panels – Digital architectural photos printed on fleece blankets

  • (1) Chair – Found object with cross-stich

  • (1) Collage – Vellum, B&W photo transfers and acrylic paint

Milshire, blanket, 2014
 

After this installation was censured, it took my art practice into a different direction and the art community around me changed. Many people in the community reached out to me and the project was exhibited at a number of other local venues and in people's home.  

This was my first mingling of art and activism. 

Housing is a human right.

3335 W Diversey,  blanket, 2014