CUSP Magazine: Winter Issue 2014


CUSP Magazine is a Chicago based publication focused on helping up and coming creatives gain exposure for their brand and products. Our company is a collective of highly motivated individuals who work together to bring a new voice to the creative community.

than it really was, but then again I am a big fan of Studio Oh and the work they do. It wasn’t just art

that drew us in at every gallery. NYCH Gallery, next to door to Elee, had a DJ playing in a room full of

free stuff. It’s too bad the clothes they had on the racks weren’t free though, because some the items were

completely trendy. Like Elee, a lot of the art on display in October at NYCH dealt with issues of race

and urban living. However, when we came back the next month, the theme was less political. Elee, on the

other hand, was even more political in November than in October.

The mutability was the same to an extent at almost every gallery we visited. I would assume that

it’s a smart business move for galleries to change up their work from month to month to please a fickle

Millennial crowd. Compared to other gallery nights in the city, Second Fridays tends to attract a younger

and more diverse crowd. Hip-hop influenced fashionistas mixed in seamlessly with the University of

Chicago Art History students rocking the sexy librarian look.

One group of girls we spoke to with a decidedly fashion-forward look, dressed so well that they

might as well have been part of the gallery showings, seemed elated to be there. When we asked them

what brought them out, they talked to us about how Second Fridays isn’t just about good art. It’s a

reflection of the intense cultural experience the city has to offer.

“Chicago is a major city in the world, why wouldn’t you take advantage of events like this?” Camillle

Johnson, a local media entrepreneur and student told us. But, it’s more than just Chicago’s world-class

art scene that makes Second Fridays at Pilsen Art District special. It’s hard to imagine many other places

where you could you walk from Pam’s (a working mother who lives in the suburbs) studio, to Elee studio’s

exposition on the grittiness of urban life in South Chicago. When I asked Barret if he had a message

for anyone reading, he told me simply, “Be powerful.” It seemed to be an apt message for the people

who were gathering outside, all from different walks of life and brought together only by art. In a city

that sometimes feels isolated and often segregated, community is difficult to find sometimes. I think that

Second Fridays represents our communities best though. And on top of that, it encourages the kind of

community-driven individuality that inspires artists to give their best, dialogue together and with their

artists, and inspire the community in return, or at least provoke them to think.

For more information on Pilsen’s Art District and events like this, go to




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