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A Very Long Engagement: Threewalls Works with Claire Pentecost & Cauleen Smith
Alternative Currencies
October 2nd - November 1st, 2015


Since its founding twelve years ago, Chicago’s Threewalls has kept artists at the core of both programming and planning. By way of exhibitions, residencies, symposia (including co-founding the Hand-in-Glove conference and Common Field), publications (including PHONEBOOK, a national directory of artist-run culture), the commissioning of editioned artworks, and the establishment of an all-artist advisory committee known as the Community Cabinet, Threewalls is dedicated to putting their artist-centric mission into practice through a variety of programs and platforms. A Very Long Engagement highlighted two Chicago-based artists (Claire Pentecost & Cauleen Smith, both members of the Community Cabinet) with whom Threewalls has had lasting and meaningful relationships. Included was artwork and publications produced by Pentecost and Smith for the occasion of their Threewalls SOLO exhibitions and/or residencies, as well as limited-edition artwork commissioned from both artists as part of the Community Supported Art – Chicago program.

Threewalls was founded in 2003 to provide greater support and visibility for the visual arts community in Chicago. Over 12 years, Threewalls has worked to form a sustainable organization that provides exhibition space, residency opportunities and artist fees to both local and visiting artists and writers through the residency fellowships and exhibitions. Today, we support SOLO exhibitions of work by local and regional artists; program symposiums to generate open dialogue, create publications on artist-run culture nationwide; give grants to community-based and public art around the city; became W.A.G.E. certified in 2015; as well as partnering with other organizations on exhibitions, publications and education programs as a way to broaden and contribute to the contemporary visual arts.

During October, Vox Populi was pleased to host four alternative arts organizations: Threewalls (Chicago), Possible Press (Atlanta), The Luminary (St. Louis), and KCHUNG (Los Angeles). Vox Populi dedicated its entire exhibition space to the work of these four organizations in October as part of the Philadelphia-wide project Alternative Currencies, which gathered independent contemporary arts groups from around the country to share their innovative modes of working. Across the city, Grizzly Grizzly presented INCA (Detroit/Seattle), Mount Airy Contemporary presented The Suburban (Oak Park/Milwaukee), Rebekah Templeton presented PLUG Projects (Kansas City), and Traction Company presented Galería Perdida (Brooklyn/Chilchota, Mexico).

Alternative Currencies was conceived by Grizzly Grizzly Gallery in partnership with The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design for the exhibition Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico City, 1990-2000, previously on view at The Galleries September 19 – December 12, 2015 and was presented in collaboration with Vox Populi, Mount Airy Contemporary, Rebekah Templeton, Traction Company.

Major support for Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico City, 1990-2000 at the Galleries at Moore has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Major support for Alternative Currencies was provided by Grizzly Grizzly Gallery, Mount Airy Contemporary, Rebekah Templeton, Traction Company, Vox Populi, INCA, KCHUNG, Threewalls, The Luminary, Possible Press, The Suburban, Plug Projects, Galería Perdida – via their organizational members and generous supporters.