The Ed Paschke Art Center (EPAC), in collaboration with the Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago, recently announced the launch of an artist residency program, commencing with Erin M. Chlaghmo and John Metido, this year’s participants. Beginning in March and continuing through April 26, 2015, both artists will have access to studio space at the center, where they will produce and exhibit work in an open studio that invites visitors to observe their entire working processes, from conception to completion.
Community, a theme reflected in the residency program, is a critical attribute of both organizations. The Luminarts Cultural Foundation advocates art education and appreciation through competitions for young artists in the Chicago area; EPAC also emphasizes the community, reflecting Paschke’s legacy.
Ed Paschke (1939-2004), a Chicago born and educated artist, mentored artists throughout his lifetime. EPAC continues this tradition: it preserves and provides public access to Paschke’s work; functions as an educational source for people of all ages; and provides a means to exhibit art. Although EPAC aims to bring Paschke’s artwork to the public, the artist residency program underscores another aspect of EPAC: supporting local artists, like their first two residents.
Chlaghmo, who creates wall hangings, paintings and tapestries, plans to extend EPAC’s community focus. “I hope to engage the Jefferson Park community, specifically [the] strong Moroccan immigrant population,” she explained in an email interview. “Much of my inspiration comes from my fascination with Moroccan art forms, and pays homage to their textile traditions.” Metido fuses traditional painting techniques with subjects of mass-production, reflecting items found at a store Paschke enjoyed: American Science and Surplus.
How are artists selected for this program? Jason Kalajainen, executive director at the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, described the process to Newcity. First, the artist must be named a Luminarts Fellow. This step includes an application with specific eligibility criteria. Second, the Luminarts Fellow applies for the Ed Paschke Artist in Residence program. This is where the partnership flourishes. The Luminarts Cultural Foundation aids in the challenging task of selecting qualified applicants; EPAC then chooses the artists invited for residency.
With a goal to make the artist residency program an annual event, the Ed Paschke Art Center and Luminarts Cultural Foundation express gratitude and excitement for the partnership. Kalajainen affirms: “By combining our resources we hope to create an experience for these artists that fuels them as they continue to develop their artistic practice.” (Amy Haddad)