I met Deadline Projects Art Collective founding member Holly Sabin in her recently remodeled Pilsen gallery space. We sat on the only piece of furniture there, a rose-colored Victorian-esque couch. “I’ve got a lot to do before this weekend,” she said, looking around the mostly empty room, which would soon be filled with art and artists for a show she curated. Titled “Art Party,” the show is intentionally themeless.
“It’s really about bringing friends together, to connect talented people I know with enjoyers and purchasers,” Sabin said. “Art Party” features the work of seven local artists of various mediums, among them Ryan Shultz, who is currently competing on the Bravo network’s “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.” Shultz’s oil paintings expose the fine line between pleasure and self-affliction. Also on display is the work of Kansas-native Shawn Stucky, including his mixed-media image, “When You’ve Forgotten How to Love,” whose muted colors are reminiscent of the gauzy and gray state of dreaming. The work of local notables Scott Ashley, Arielle Bielak, Gretel Garcia, Damien James and Sarah Perez is also on display.
For Sabin and the artists of “Art Party,” the Chicago art scene is all about community. Sabin helped found the Deadline Projects Art Collective in 2007 after meeting Gretel Garcia. Garcia had recently responded to a Craigslist ad posted by Sarah Perez, who was seeking the accountability undergraduate art classes offered, without the outrageous tuition. With Shawn Stucky and local artists James Beckman and Marc Salha also in the group, Deadline Projects Art Collective was born. The collective was founded on the motivation of keeping a deadline, a priceless commodity to any struggling artist with too many other distractions to attend to. It also encourages the artists to pursue new ideas. “When we have these shows, there’s the need to make something new to meet the show deadline,” Sabin said.
Since 2007, Deadline Projects Art Collective has worked with Happy Dog Gallery, Goose Island Brewery and Aldo Castillo Gallery to produce more than a dozen shows, which are typically one-night events. “It’s nice to show a mix of people who are at different stages in their career,” Sabin said. (Naomi Huffman)
“Art Party” runs through early July at Deadline Projects Art Collective, 571 West 18th, by appointment.