Aug 3rd 2014

Amie Sell: Home Sweet Home

@ Kitchen Space

2716 N. Monticello Ave. 1F, Chicago, Il 60647

Opening Sunday, August 3rd, from 1Pm - 5PM

On view through Sunday, August 24th

Kitchen Space is honored to announce our August show- Home Sweet Home – work by Amie Sell

“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.

On June 27th, 2014, this artwork was removed from the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival (MAAF) by Mark Fishman, a board member, co-founder and landlord of I Am Logan Square, the sponsor/host MAAF. He is the developer that evicted people from the buildings pictured in the panels. Yes, my pieces in the installation called him out directly as a person who displaces people and I knew that he was somehow involved with I Am Logan Square, but I did not realize he was a board member and made the final curatorial decisions about the festival until after my work was removed.

Thank you to Kitchen Space and too-many-to-name individuals that have reached out to me and want to create positive dialog and action about our changing neighborhood.”


Links to more information about this installation and the debacle with MAAF:
At the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest, a landlord plays censor to a Logan Square artist’s work By Deanna Issacs, Chicago Reader

First It Was The Artists: The Myth Of “Nice” Gentrification In Art By Stephanie Lane Sutton, Chicago Literati

New City Art – news article By Matt Morris

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest Yanks Work Critical of M. Fishman By Darryl Holliday, DNAinfo Chicago


Quick Facts about Affordable Housing:

-Affordable Housing is defined by the Federal Government as ‘paying 30% or less of a household’s income toward housing per month’.

-If you pay more than 30%, you are considered Housing Burdened

– A 34.8% ‘affordability gap’ exists in Logan Square/West Town. This means the demand for affordable housing is not being met by the supply.
See page 28 of ‘The State of Rental Housing in Cook County’ report. The data is from the last census, so remember, a lot can change in a few years… *maybe I could print out page 28 for reference

– 2013 Rental Averages in LSQ
Studio: $800 1BR: $950 2BR: $1,475 3BR: $1,875

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