Aug 20th 2022

Paloma Valencia’s SOUVENIRS + Connor Young’s FOUL PLAY: Closing Reception

@ The Martin

2500 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Saturday, August 20th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Sunday, August 21st

Paloma Valencia’s SOUVENIRS & Connor Young’s FOUL PLAY will come to a close on August 21st after our Marketplace event – join us in celebrating their month long feature in our space the night before on August 20th from 6-9pm!

The Martin requires proof of vaccination for all guests. A card-only bar will be available for purchase all night.

Not able to make it but want to see and collect the work from afar? Check out the works available on our website HERE.

Pair your visit with dinner next door at Split-Rail and a cocktail at Dorothy afterwards (21+)!


In SOUVENIRS, artist Paloma Valencia believes that these transient places deserve the same commitment to remembrance. In her creative practice, Paloma questions her own fraught relationship to American commercial architecture and cultural identity. With close relationships to her nomadic, immigrant family who left Cuba due to political upheaval, she seeks to create her own heirlooms in response to the loss of records, photographs, and mementos. As the daughter of two architects, she brings her critical eye to architecture and printed media’s shared chase for permanence. In commemorating the essence of these structures through varied mark-making, Building imagery through the reductive process of carving and the multiplicative process of printing, she seeks to preserve and share the distinct sensory details of the spaces she inhabits. As structures change and memories are collected and reimagined over time, Paloma works against the inevitable to record these familiar storefronts and interiors before they slip away.

FOUL PLAY aims to capture the abrasive pairing of vibrant candy and horrifying decay, referencing what it was like growing up queer in a conservative environment. The dichotomy between these two allows the artist, Connor Young, to attract while simultaneously repulsing, creating a sense of stimulation and disgust. The hyper-juxtaposition of these two sensations reminds the artist of his upbringing, homophobic tendencies only leading to death and decay in my sweet, colorful world.


Paloma Valencia is a printmaker and painter based in Chicago, Illinois. She was born in Miami and graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019, with a BFA in Studio Art. In 2020, Paloma was the Artist in Residence for the Printmaking and Book Arts Department at Lillstreet Art Center in Ravenswood, where she currently teaches printmaking classes to first-time students. Drawing inspiration from the industrial pockets of Miami and Chicago, her practice is an on-going and flawed exploration of the modern American identity through commercial architecture and the contemporary urban environment. Her subject matter stems from her collection of compulsive street photographs, featuring laundromats; diners; ice cream shacks; gas stations; and dive bars. Her primary focus is currently relief printmaking, but her prints are informed by painting and screen-printing techniques. Her prior professional experience as an graphic designer, art director, and copywriter for an architectural rendering firm influences her aesthetic and conceptual approaches to creating her work.

Connor Young is a photographer and multimedia artist who constructs images with juxtaposing themes between childhood nostalgia and provocative horror. Born in Des Moines, IA and currently based in Chicago, IL, Young uses both found and handmade objects to construct the eerie vignettes captured in his subliminal photographs. Beginning with drawings inspired by favorite films from childhood, his practice has expanded greatly – eventually pursuing a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, set to graduate in 2023. His film works have premiered in film festivals including the Wicked Queer Film Festival (Boston, MA) and the Iowa Motion Picture Awards (Pella, IA). Young’s photographs have been exhibited in galleries like Filter Space (Chicago, IL), 3 Square Art Center (Fort Collins, CO), and Stola Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL). Young hopes to express elements of his past experiences as a queer child in the Midwest through the synthesization of beloved media, eliciting a dynamic sense of recognition with the viewer who visually feasts on tableaux of saturated colors and nostalgic iconography.


The Martin is an artist-first, full service creative space since 2018. Having proudly hosted over 400 public events since it’s inception, The Martin aims to be a safe and accessible space for any celebration or artistic expression. Founded & Curated by Whitney LaMora, The Martin shares a home with beloved neighborhood restaurant Split-Rail and is located above Dorothy, a neighborhood lesbian bar for every friend of Dorothy.

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