It’s always daunting to come up with the top fifty artists’ artists in Chicago, a city flush with creatives and makers dedicated not only to their craft, but to the sustainability and strength of the art community as a whole. Thus it should come as no surprise that so many artists on this year’s list are also teachers and educators, or devotees to social practice, or curating or activism. At a time when folks around the world are calling on art institutions to do better, to practice radical inclusivity, to listen hard and educate themselves, to center the voices and experiences of those too often marginalized by race, gender, age, sexuality or ability, this list is a testament to the multiplicity of people making art in our city. There is no singular narrative of Chicago art, nor should there be. (Kerry Cardoza)
Art 50 was written by Kerry Cardoza with Amanda Dee, Ciera McKissick, Zakkiyyah Najeebah, Amanda Roach, Alisa Swindell and Holly Warren.
All photos by Nathan Keay with photo assistance from Joe Crawford.
Shot on location at the Columbia College Chicago Student Center. Sincere thanks to Meg Duguid and Kari Sommers.
The Hall of Fame
These folks are so well-established and foundational to the art world of Chicago that they are always near the top of the list.