Mar 30th 2023

Arts + Public Life (APL) and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC) at the University of Chicago are excited to announce that the 2023 Artists-In-Residence cohort will be Jess Atieno, Shani Crowe and Gloe Talamantes.

The Artists-In-Residence (AIRs) Program supported over 32 individual artists whose work examines themes relevant to South Side communities and engages issues of race and ethnicity. The program has a strong record of helping launch careers, with alumni going on to exhibit works at Studio Museum in Harlem, the Venice Biennale, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, among other venues. The ten-month paid residency program provides space, materials, and stipends. During this program, artists have access to rehearsal, performance, and exhibition spaces on the Arts Block in Washington Park including the Arts Incubator and Green Line Performing Arts Center, and access to the academic and research resources of the University of Chicago.


Jess Atieno maintains a practice informed by inquiries on place, home and dispossession through the lens of the post-colonial. Atieno sees herself as carrying inscriptions of a colonial past and studying as an adult in the US made her increasingly unable to situate herself in a static reality of belonging. With this inspiration, she time travels into history through its material remains: historical photographs, maps and documents, employing them in prints, installations and tapestry. She turns to the idea of place as the transformative site of hybridity that offers alternative strategies for and models of representation within the post-colonial. Atieno holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is an alum of Asiko Art School. Her work has been shown in Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, Austria, Germany, Ivory Coast and the United States. Atieno is also the founder of the Nairobi Print Project.

Shani Crowe is an interdisciplinary artist who received her BFA in film production from Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications in 2011. Her work centers on cultural coiffure, adornment and beauty ritual, as they relate to the diasporic African, and how these practices function as tools to foster connectivity. She is most known for creating intricate corn-rowed hairstyles, then capturing them as large photographic portraits. Shani’s is part of the ensemble selected to represent the US in the Venice Architecture Biennale, her work and performances have been featured at the Broad in Los Angeles, on Saturday Night Live in collaboration with Solange Knowles, the Museum of Contemporary African and Diasporan Art (MoCADA), in Brooklyn, NY, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, in Grand Rapids, MI, Columbia University, and Soho House Chicago. She lives and works on Chicago’s south side.

Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes is a muralist, writer, educator, and cultural worker from Chicago. Gloe has led the city’s first all-women/femme graffiti mural, with the support of an all-women’s Hip-Hop collective, Synergy. Her art consists of mural painting, pr intmaking, documenting and writing. She is the creator of the Brown Wall Project, a public art program that responds to erasure in Chicago and cities around the globe. Through the project she coordinates international exchanges and arts interventions with artists and collaborators from Chicago, Mexico, and Panama. She facilitates free pop-up art workshops in various neighborhoods across the city, volunteers providing meals and mutual aid on the South and West Sides. Gloria believes that art is a universal language that can be used to learn, grow, and heal.

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