Petra Bachmaier to Maria Gaspar

Petra Bachmaier

Petra Bachmaier is an Artist and Co-founder of Luftwerk. She works collaboratively with her partner Sean Gallero. Luftwerk creates experiences of spaces and sites, blends history and contemporary media to open a new aesthetic conversation. With immersive light art installations at landmarks such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Illinois, Tampa’s Kiley Garden and most recently at the Garfield Park Conservatory, their installations invite viewers to perceive the environment, histories and concepts surrounding them with a heightened awareness for meaning and place.

Petra Bachmaier holds an MA from the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany. She also holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and spent an academic semester at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.

 Check out Luftwerk's website here:

Sarah Becan

Sarah Becan is a Chicago-based comics artist, author, illustrator and designer, and the creator of “I Think You’re Sauceome”, a food-centric autobiographical webcomic. 

She was awarded a Xeric Award and a Stumptown Trophy for her first graphic novel,The Complete Ouija Interviews, and her work has twice been nominated for the Ignatz Award. Becan’s second graphic novel, Shuteye, was funded with a successful Kickstarter campaign and released in early 2012, and she wrote and illustrated Luna de Cuernos, a long form graphic story for Fifth House Ensemble’s spring 2014 concert series.

Her work has appeared in various publications, including Saveur Magazine,, Barrelhouse Magazine, Ecotone,, and the collaborative serial collection Cartozia Tales.

Check out her website:

Iwona Biedermann

Iwona Biedermann is a Polish-American photographer, artist and independent curator living in Chicago. Focusing on Chicago's diverse communities, Biedermann's photographic work includes documentary, editorial photography, portraiture and fine art. Iwona Biedermann works to capture the ties that bind communities, families, and cultures. She is the owner and curator of Dream Box Foto Studio and DreamBox Gallery.

Find out more about her photography here:

Check out Dream Box Gallery:

Olivia Block

Olivia Block creates original sound compositions utilizing a wide array of techniques and materials for concerts, site-specific multi-speaker installations, live cinema, and performance. Her recorded compositions include field recordings, amplified objects, chamber instruments, and electronic textures. Additionally, she performs multi-speaker electronic compositions, and compositions for inside piano. Her current sound works reflect her interests in ethnographic listening practices and found recorded materials.

Block has performed in festivals and tours throughout Europe, America and Japan for over fifteen years. She has been interviewed in several publications including The Wire, Music Works, Chicago Tribune, Blow Up, The Chicago Reader, and Pitchfork’s Outdoor, among others. Her latest installation, Sonambient Pavilion, which utilized the sounds from Harry Bertoia’s Sonambient sculptures, was featured on the cover of the Chicago Reader. Her latest release, Aberration of Light, is currently released on NNA tapes.

 “Finely nuanced textures of environmental material and occasional surges of sonic power blended with an elegant instrumental architecture.”-- Julian Cowley, The Wire magazine

Check out her website here:

Check out her work here:

Gabriella Boros

Born in Israel to Holocaust survivors, Gabriella Boros immigrated to the United States as a young child. In addition to woodcut printing and painting acrylics on wood panel, Gabriella continues drawing in pen and ink, creating repurposed “Cheese Boxes” and dabbles in soft sculpture. She graduated with a BFA from the University of Michigan.
Gabriella has been included in numerous solo and group shows since 1988. In 2015, she showed at the Visualizations of Gendered Blood show in Boston. In 2014 she had solo shows at the Old Town Triangle Gallery and Rivendell Theater, in addition to group shows both nationally and abroad.  She has had solo exhibitions at the South Shore Arts Center in Munster Indiana, the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, and she created, curated and participated in the international Stone Project show at Substation No 9 Gallery in Hammond, Indiana. In 2010, she had a solo show at Anshe Emet Synagogue of her pieces on wood panel, and was included in a group show in Croatia. A solo show at the University of Illinois in 2007 exhibited her works on paper, while the solo show in 2006 at Schopf Gallery in Chicago displayed her works in oil.

Check out her work at:

Sid Branca

Sid Branca works with performance, media, and text to explore the intersections of pop culture and classical tragedy. She is based in Chicago and Los Angeles. 

Check her out at:

Maggie Brown

Maggie Brown is an accomplished singer, songwriter, producer and educator.  Maggie embodies a powerful and passionate performance whether she is presenting alone, acapella, or fronting her own trio, or with Orbert Davis’ full 60 piece Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra.  Brown has recorded with Abbey Lincoln, Jonathan Butler, Ramsey Lewis, Stevie Wonder and her legendary father Oscar Brown, Jr.  In 1995 Maggie launched her own independent label MagPie Records releasing her first solo project FROM MY WINDOW. The CD was nominated for a Chicago Music Award for Best Jazz CD.  Before his passing, Maggie produced a live concert recording with her father entitled: WE’RE LIVE.  The CD was recently re-released internationally on ESP Disk and is available on iTunes.

As a little girl, Maggie absorbed the creative atmosphere of the Avant garde and free music scene. Being the younger sister of bassist, Oscar Brown, III, she regularly witnessed her brother rehearsing and performing with AACM co-founder Brother Phil Cohran and with the Sun Ra Orchestra.  In the 1990’s Maggie began spreading her wings, comfortably hanging in free music circles performing with creative ensembles including: Samana, One Family Band, and The Funky Wordsmyths.  Maggie has worked in more recent times recording with Kelan Phil Cohran and was featured in his Rainbow Ensemble at the 2008 tribute to Sun Ra in Millenium Park; This past summer Brown was a featured vocalist in Doug Ewarts’ Inventions Ensemble as part of the AACM’s 50th Anniversary series of celebrations  at Chicago Jazz Festival and the MCA. She has appeared now on several occasions with Dwight Tribel.

In her hometown Chicago, Maggie Brown is called on to bring authenticity and integrity to whatever the job calls for.  Though her upbringing is rooted in jazz, Maggie is comfortable singing various genres including blues, gospel, pop and even rapping- with impressive conviction and flow.   It is hard to put Miss Maggie in a single category or genre. It is however, easy to see that this seasoned artist is a true entertainer, not just another singer. Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich says of Maggie’s performance, “she is one of the most fiercely committed artists in Chicago.”

Nan Cibula-Jenkins

Nan Cibula-Jenkins has designed shows for Broadway, regional theatre, television, film, opera and ballet. Her work was represented on Broadway with the Tony award winning revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  She was the original costume designer for the American premier of Glengarry Glen Ross at the Goodman Theatre and she also did the award-winning Broadway and tour productions of Glengarry Glen Ross.  In Chicago, she has designed the costumes for The Goat, Dinner with Friends, Wit, Boy Gets Girl, All the Rage, Arcadia, Riverview, Romeo and Juliet, Sunday in the Park with George ( all at the Goodman Theatre); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Herd, Clybourne Park, Good People, Loves Lies Bleeding, The Dresser,  TopDog UnderDog, Glengarry Glen Ross, Molly Sweeney, Death and the Maiden, (Steppenwolf Theatre); Pericles, The Tempest, Anthony and Cleopatra, Much Ado about Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Measure for Measure (Jeff Award), Troilus and Cressida, The Merchant of Venice (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Satchmo, Waiting for Godot, Angels in America, My Fair Lady, The Misanthrope, The Piano (Court Theatre).  Regional credits include work at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Hartford Stage, Alley Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Alliance Theatre, Public Theatre, ACT Seattle, Manhattan Theatre Club and Arena Stage. Film credits include David Mamet’s House of Games, Things Change, and Homicide.  Ms Cibula-Jenkins is a recipient of the Michael Merritt Award for Design and Collaboration.  She is head of the costume design program at The Theatre School at DePaul University.  

Mary Ellen Croteau

Born 1950 in Chicago, Mary Ellen Croteau received a BFA in sculpture from the University of Illinois in 1990, and an MFA from Rutgers University in 1998.  Her art has been exhibited extensively in the U.S. and abroad, and has won numerous awards.  It has been reviewed in the New York Times, the Village VoiceChicago Tribune and The Reader among others.  Her work has appeared on the covers of several publications, including Artpaper,  Where Chicago magazine and a book jacket: The Last Taboo: Women and Body Hair (Manchester University Press); and featured in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and It's Reception, vol 8 (De Gruyter Press, Berlin) and in numerous other books and publications worldwide.

Croteau has lectured nationally and internationally, including at the Accademia de Belle Arte in Florence, Italy, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, and Seoul Women’s University in Korea.  In addition, she has organized, curated and juried numerous exhibitions, including “Attitudes:Good Girls/Bad Women” for The Living Arts Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland and "Are We There Yet?  40 Years of Feminist Art" at ARC Gallery in Chicago.  

Since 2003, Croteau has operated a not-for-profit window gallery in Chicago called Art On Armitage,  bringing fine art into the Chicago streetscape where passers-by can see work by contemporary artists of many disciplines, from many countries. (

Check out her website here:

Nina D'Angier

Depending on the day, Nina D'Angier might tell you she's a designer, an artist, a writer, a teacher, a performer, or a world traveller.  From designing identities, signage, and window displays for various Chicago eateries and cafes to teaching after-school writing and illustration courses for middle and high school students, she infuses her lust for life and creative expression into each project with whole-hearted gusto.  Nina studied Communication Design at Harrington College of Design.  You can connect with her on Instagram (@ninadngr) or if you'd rather not hear from her for about six months, find her on LinkedIn.

Ariele Ebacher

Ariele Ebacher elevates the art of tight wire, one moment gracefully gliding across the wire and the next moment kicking off her heels (literally) and breaking out in dance.  She is the premier wire dancer in the US, delighting audiences and introducing them to this popular European art form.  She has travelled the world performing in circus, variety, theatre productions, festivals, and even on a few cruise ships.  In 2014 she joined the MidnightCircus as the first American circus company to perform at Montreal Completement Cirque.  In 2013/14 she toured the UK and Australia with contemporary circus pioneers NoFit State Circus in their show Bianco.  She has also worked extensively with the Bindlestiff Family Circus and Zoppe Circus.  When not on the road she teaches, trains, and performs in Chicago with Aloft Circus Arts. 

Check out her website:

Jennifer Farrell

Since 1999, Jennifer Farrell has operated Starshaped Press in Chicago, focusing on printing everything from business cards and social stationery to music packaging and posters, as well as custom commissions and wholesale cards and prints. All work in the studio is done with metal and wood type, making Starshaped one of the few presses in the country producing commercial work while preserving antique type and related print materials. Jennifer’s work has been repeatedly recognized both in print and design blogs, and has appeared in poster shows throughout the USA and Europe.

Work can be viewed at

Fereshteh Toosi

The people, places, and things featured in Fereshteh Toosi's art works
include oyster mushrooms used for bioremediation, New Orleans soul
food restaurants, benthic macroinvertebrates, lithium salts, and
Persian pickles. Most recently Fereshteh's work utilizes historical
photographic processes and handmade 16mm film. Fereshteh volunteers
with the Prison and Neighborhood Arts project and rows with a team on
the Chicago River. Learn more about her projects at

Maureen Tolman Flannery

Maureen Tolman Flannery has grounded her poetics in the various landscapes of her life: Wyoming, where she grew up in a sheep-ranching family; Mexico, where she became infatuated with the rich complexity of its culture; and Chicago, where she settled to raise her family of three sons and a daughter.  These offspring, along with her husband of forty-three years have provided much raw material.

She received a Literary Award from the Illinois Arts Council and was thrice nominated for a PushcartPrize. She is a two-time grand prize winner of Sparrowgrass’ Award of Poetic Excellence, and first place winner in Joanne Hirshfield Memorial Award, WyoPoets and New River Poets contests.

Maureen’s poems have been the script of two theatrical productions.  She was one of three poets whose work was selected for Smoke and Mirror Production’s“The Ives of March and Poetry Show,” performed at Chicago’s Loop Theatre.  Evanston Arts Week featured the production of “A Fine Line,” a musical theatre piece with 60 of her poems as the script.

She received her BA and MA degrees in English Literature from Creighton University, and has taught English as a Foreign Language for thirty years.  She has been active in end-of-life care and support of home funerals and green burial.

 Her volumes ofpoetry are Tunnel Into Morning, recently published by Puddin’Head Press,  Destiny Whispers to the Beloved, the Pulitzer Prize-naminated Ancestors in the Landscape, and  Secret of the Rising Up all published by John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. and Remembered into Life, published by New Song Press.  Maureen edited Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Places, an anthology of travel poetry also published by John Gordon Burke, Publisher, Inc. Her chapbook Conversations for the Road can be found on the website  A Fine Line, the libretto of the previously mentioned musical theatre piece, was published by Fractal Edge Press.

 Maureen’s poems have been heard on “Dial-A-Poem, Chicago,” and WBEZ’s “Metropolis.” She was a spoken word feature at the Ethnic Arts Festival.  Her poems have been published in over two hundred literary reviews and journals, including Atlanta Review, Amherst Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blue Mesa Review, Buckle &, California Quarterly, Comstock Review, Evansville Review, Full Circle Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Kamaru, Margin, Meridian, Midamerica Poetry Review, Natural Bridge Magazine, NYBig City Lit, Out of Line, Owen Wister Review, Poetry East, Pinon Poetry, Pudding, Rainbow Curve, Riverwind , Rockhurst Review, Runes, Santa Fe Literary Review, Slipstream, Square Lake, St. Anne’s Review, 13th Moon,  Troubadour, Vermillion Literary Project, and White Pelican Review.

Her work has been included in over fifty anthologies with such diverse subjects as implied in these titles: The Practice of Peace, Split Verse: Poems from Divorce, Making Peace with DeathEssential Love,  To Honor a TeacherStanding on the Ceiling, Hospice Anthology, Animal Blessings, Intimate Kisses, Tokens, Woven on the Wind, Proposing on the Brooklyn Bridge, Mothers and Daughters, Times of Sorrow; Times of Grace, Hunger Enough, The Pagan’s MuseIntensive Care and The Widows’ Handbook.

 Maureen is secretary/treasurer of Poet’s Club of Chicago.

Check out her poetry:

Krista Franklin

Krista Franklin is an interdisciplinary artist whose work floats between the literary and the visual. Her art draws from the well of African diasporic histories, popular culture, personal narrative, folklore, black spiritualism, ritual and magic, and the psychic interiority of people of color. Her practice engages a diverse range of artistic mediums from collage, hand papermaking, print, poetry and performance, installation, artist books and sound. She is the recipient of the Propeller Fund and the Albert P. Weisman Award, and has held residencies at A Studio in the Woods, Cave Canem, and the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life Initiative. Her poems and visual art have been published in Black Camera, Copper Nickel, Callaloo, Vinyl, BOMB Magazine and Encyclopedia, Vol. F-K, and her chapbook of poems Study of Love & Black Body (Willow Books) was published in 2012. She is the co-curator of the city-wide poetry and art initiative, EKPHEST: A Festival of Art + Word, co-founder of 2nd Sun Salon, a community meeting space for writers, visual and performance artists, musicians and scholars, and a frequent advocate for creative collaboration. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts – Book & Paper from Columbia College Chicago.

Check out her website here:

Marnie Galloway

Marnie Galloway is a comic artist and illustrator working in Chicago, Illinois. She was born in Austin, Texas and studied philosophy and symbolic logic at Smith College. Her three-part wordless comic series "In the Sounds and Seas" won a 2012 Xeric Grant, was nominated for the 2013 LA Times Book Prize for Best Graphic Novel and made the Notable Comics list in Best American Comics. She is a co-organizer of Chicago Alternative Comics Expo and a co-host of the biweekly panel podcast Image Plus Text with cartoonist Sam Sharpe. Her illustration and comics clients include 826CHISaveur MagazineCricket Magazine and Chicago Zine Fest. She lives in a quiet building with her husband Tom, two monstrous cats and her beloved bicycle, Ed Jr.

Check out her website:

Check out Image Plus Text, the podcast she co-hosts with Sam Sharpe:

Maria Gaspar


Maria Gaspar is an interdisciplinary artist born in Chicago. Using installation, sculpture, performance, audio, and community-engagement processes, her artistic practice negotiates matters of space, contested geographies, and authority. Her action-based and performative interventions with youth and adults explore the social and political body through long-term processes. Gaspar's art practice includes founding major community projects, such as City As Site (2010) and The 96 Acres Project, a current series of public, site-responsive art projects that examine the Cook County Jail and the impact of incarceration on communities of color. She has presented her work at The MCA Chicago, the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, the Alpineum Produzentengalerie, and Artspace New Haven, amongst others. Recently, Gaspar was awarded a Creative Capital Award, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the National Museum of Mexican Art Sor Juana Women of Achievement Award, and residencies at the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago and Project Row Houses in Houston. She was featured in the Chicago Tribune as Chicagoan of the Year in the Visual Arts in 2014. She is an Assistant Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gaspar received her MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.  

Check out her work here:

Check out 96 Acres here: