Director, Sixty Inches From Center; and Arts Program Officer, Field Foundation of Illinois
Throughout her career, Tempestt Hazel has made it her mission to increase opportunities and to highlight the work of artists often relegated to the margins, people of color, women, LGBTQIA folks and the differently abled. She founded and directs Sixty Inches From Center, a comprehensive online arts journal, which continues to build its coverage, in part through a recent Envisioning Justice residency in collaboration with Illinois Humanities. She has also worked since 2017 as a program officer for the Field Foundation.
ShanZuo Zhoushi and DaHuang Zhoushi
Founders, Zhou B Art Center
The Zhou B Art Center has been a cultural staple in Bridgeport since it was founded by brothers ShanZuo Zhoushi and DaHuang Zhoushi in 2004. It provides studio space to nearly fifty artists and regularly stages exhibitions in its vast first- and second-floor galleries. Every third Friday, the center holds an open studio night, where community members from all walks of life visit to view the work being made. The brothers, acclaimed abstract painters, recently opened an art center in Beijing, and have plans to construct another, featuring studios and exhibition space, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Carl and Marilynn Thoma
Among Chicago’s most active collectors, Carl and Marilynn Thoma are also dedicated philanthropists who believe art has the power to change society for the better. In 2014, they founded the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, which focuses on funding innovative arts initiatives and artist fellowships. The Foundation recently awarded its inaugural Bold Initiatives grant to the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, which will help museum become more welcoming for all audiences through free admission and on-site educational staff. It was also a major supporter of the MCA’s 2018 exhibition, “I Was Raised on the Internet,” to which the foundation also loaned work. Carl serves on the boards of the Terra Foundation for American Art and SITE Santa Fe, and is a commissioner for the National Portrait Gallery, while Marilynn sits on the boards of the Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Humanities Festival and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Executive Director, Comfort Station
Jordan Martins sees the administration of Comfort Station like he sees his art practice: as collage-making, a deft layering of a multiplicity of pieces which work together to create ambitious art programming. See the “Art Leader of the Moment” interview for a conversation on the importance of cultivating creative partnerships.
Jeffreen M. Hayes
Executive Director, Threewalls
Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes is making and holding space for artists at the margins. Hayes says that Threewalls “is demonstrating how values of inclusion and equity seamlessly woven into the structure of an organization can exist organically and make a significant impact on contemporary art and leadership practices.” Her work within and outside of Threewalls is a prime example of leadership practices. She creates sites for black and other artists of color across generations, such as her recent curatorial work on Augusta Savage that has brought a resurgence of interest in the essential early twentieth-century artist.
Tricia Van Eck
Founder and Artistic Director, 6018North
Tricia Van Eck has provided a platform for experimental art and community engagement in Chicago for over two decades years, first as a curator at the MCA and now as founder and artistic director of 6018North. Her recent project “Living Architecture” featured an exhaustive list of emerging Chicago artists, whose works responding to the history of migrant communities in the Edgewater neighborhood overtook the old mansion that 6018North occupies. Van Eck is next partnering with Amanda Williams and Maya-Camille Broussard to transform 6018North into the Justice Hotel, where guests will be invited to stay and engage with a group of “concierges” about the necessity to sacrifice in the pursuit of justice. This group of concierges and local youth have driven the principles and programming surrounding the Justice Hotel, which is meant as a test run of a project that will move to Englewood, where local community members will guide the principles and focus of the hotel. With projects like this, Van Eck is paving the way to empower diverse communities across the city.
Gallerist and Owner, Catherine Edelman Gallery
After thirty-one-plus years as a linchpin River North gallery, Catherine Edelman moved the oldest gallery in Chicago specializing in photography by living artists to West Town. In the new space, Edelman and her team plan to expand educational programming and use more space to showcase new and established photographers. Edelman says that she feels “it is incumbent upon us to showcase work that reveals the power of the photographic image to effect change.” Last year, Edelman’s belief in the power of photography led to her co-founding of CASE, a nonprofit dedicated to fine art photography that brings awareness to issues of children’s human rights and the refugee crisis.
Managing Founder, Bad at Sports; and Chair of Art and Art History, Interim Chair of Design, Columbia College Chicago
As a founder of the artist-run weekly podcast Bad at Sports, Duncan MacKenzie is one of the most in-the-know people in the Chicago art world. The podcast, which recently celebrated its fourteenth anniversary—and 700th episode—moved to terrestrial radio in 2017, and broadcasts every Wednesday morning at 11am on WLPN 105.7 FM. MacKenzie has served as chair of art and art history at Columbia College Chicago since 2017, which has undergone significant recent changes, including creating more cross-pollination with business, entrepreneurship and arts management courses. In August, he also became the school’s interim chair of design. MacKenzie is looking forward to Bad at Sports’ fifteen-year anniversary, multiple book projects and collaborating with the Hyde Park Art Center for the next iteration of “Artists Run Chicago.”
Director of Exhibitions, Columbia College Chicago; Director, The Visualist
Meg Duguid has gone from curating one of the tiniest spaces in Chicago—a gallery in her purse called “Clutch”—to executing projects infinitely larger in scale. As director of exhibitions at the Department of Exhibitions, Performance and Student Spaces at Columbia College Chicago, she organized “Where the Future Came From,” a living archive of feminist artist-run activities in Chicago that individuals were invited to add to over the course of the show. As founder of the nonprofit Culture/Math, Duguid, along with her partner Michael S. Thomas, administers The Visualist, an epic listing of current Chicago-based arts events. Regardless of size, the themes of archiving, collaboration and community building remain central to Duguid’s projects. In this spirit, she intends to expand The Visualist as an archival resource of past Chicago arts events and to develop a portal where artists can access resources for healthcare and financial stability.
Leslie Hindman and Thomas Galbraith
Founder and CEO, Hindman Auction House
Just over a year ago, Thomas Galbraith took over as CEO at Hindman Auction House, bringing with him years of experience bridging art, business and technology. Galbraith oversaw the development of a website overhaul, including new back-end technology to make the online auction process seamless. Hindman, which abbreviated from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers earlier this year, also unveiled a new brand identity and growth strategy. Hindman recently acquired Cowan’s Auctions, and Leslie Hindman has hinted at more expansion, which will help the auction house stay competitive. Despite these changes, Hindman remains committed to making client needs their priority. It already operates more salerooms in the United States than any other auction house, and conducts more than a hundred auctions a year.