No Selves to Defend

NO SELVES TO DEFEND: CRIMINALIZING WOMEN OF COLOR – July – September 2014 – Art In These Times

Opening Reception: Friday July 18th from 6 to 9 p.m. (Closes September 28)

New Jersey 4 by Lex Non Scripta - No Selves to Defend Project

New Jersey 4 by Lex Non Scripta – No Selves to Defend Project

In the words of writer Mychal Denzel Smith, “Marissa Alexander was just trying to save her life” when she was assaulted and threatened (again) by her estranged husband. When she retrieved a gun and fired a warning shot in self-defense, she could not have imagined being convicted and sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison. Yet we know from history that too often women who protect themselves from unrelenting violence are criminalized.

‘No Selves to Defend’ features the stories of women of color who have been criminalized for self-defense. The exhibition examines the contested meanings and historical and contemporary understandings of self-defense. It seeks to locate Marissa Alexander’s story within a broader historical context and legacy. The exhibition also addresses the campaigns and mobilizations that emerged to resist their criminalization and demand their freedom. Finally, it considers how we can support current survivors of violence who have been criminalized for self-defense.

10462540_758473477536481_3957219763445092698_nThe exhibition includes original art by Micah Bazant, Molly Crabapple, Billy Dee, Bianca Diaz, Rachel Galindo, Lex Non Scripta, Caitlin Seidler, and Ariel Springfield. It also includes ephemera and artifacts from Mariame Kaba’s collection.

The exhibition is organized by Project NIA, Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Women & Girls, and the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander. It is co-curated by Rachel Caidor and Mariame Kaba. The exhibition is made possible by individual donors who contributed to a summer fundraiser. The exhibition will be accompanied by discussions and other events. Everyone is invited to participate. See

RSVP here 

Tour the exhibit here:


Stainlessness & Chicagoaxaca

From January 17 – March 22, 2014 Art In These Times will present two concurrent exhibitions:

Stainlessness by Etienne Turpin

Chicagoaxaca: Selections from The Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca curated by Ivan Arenas

Opening Reception: February 12; Closing Reception March 20 (RSVP on Facebook)


Stainlessness by Etienne Turpin: An exhibition including four original etched metal printing plates, the set of prints they produced, and additional archival photographs, presents the story of labor movements in North America and show how they have shaped the cities of Sudbury, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. The exhibition was designed by Etienne Turpin with Captains of Industry, and printed at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Design with the artists Sara Dean and Marnie Briggs.

Bio: Etienne Turpin works across various disciplines and through diverse mediums to advocate for mutual aid, solidarity, and social and environmental justice. His first monograph, Stainlessness, will be published in 2014 by the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press and the exhibition Stainlessness is represented by Sound&Language Distribution.

Chicagoaxaca: Selections from The Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca curated by Ivan Arenas: In 2006, the repression of a teacher’s strike in Oaxaca, Mexico resulted in a grassroots social movement that held the city for six months. The Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca (ASARO), a political street art group, was born during the social movement. ASARO used their art to both reflect on and incite dialogue and action about social problems and social justice. In Chicago, social problems such as violence, privatization, immigration, gender, housing, segregation, and food disparities have mobilized hundreds of groups and thousands of individuals to act in search of greater social justice. The Social Justice Initiative (SJI) at UIC is one such effort. Throughout the coming months SJI proposes the multi-sited collaborative exhibit Chicagoaxaca, which will use sixty-plus woodblock prints created by ASARO between 2006 and 2008 to connect the dots between local and international struggles and to engage in a conversation around art, activism, and academic work with mobilized groups of Chicagoans.

Bio: Iván Arenas is a Mexican-American scholar whose work focuses on the relationship between urban space and political subjects through the lens of social mobilization, aesthetics, and collective memory. As part of the SJI team at UIC, he is helping to develop SJI’s Pop Up Just Art Space— sites fostering collective conversations and thought through provocative aesthetic expression. In addition to his scholarly research, he is a practicing artist and is trained as an architect.

Special thanks to In These Times staff, UIC Social Justice Initiative Staff, Jeremy Kreusch, Ryan Griffis and Alexis Bhagat.

Photos from February 12, 2014 opening reception:

“Reparations On My Soul”

poster image 6.28
“Reparations On My Soul,” a new exhibit by the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials at Art In These Times, explores reparations as a meaningful act of redress for over 100 African American men who were systematically tortured by former Commander Jon Burge and other white detectives under his command on the South Side of Chicago. Displaying works by local and national artists that imagine speculative memorials that recall Chicago’s history of police torture and the struggle against it, this exhibit honors the survivors of torture, their families and the African American communities affected by the torture. This exhibition is on view October 11th through December 2013.


Friday October, 11th 6-9pm Opening Reception and Conversation:

6:00-7:15 – A Conversation: What Do Reparations Look Like?

Including…Martha Biondi, educator, author and activist; Alice Kim, cultural organizer, writer, activist; Joey Mogul, attorney with the People’s Law Office; Prexy Nesbitt, international speaker on African issues, anti-apartheid activist; Mario Venegas, survivor of torture under Pinochet’s Chile; Chicago police torture survivors. 7:30-9pm – Reception with artists to follow.

Photos from Opening night:

On Tuesday, October 22 from 6-7pm The Public Square will be hosting a Cafe Society conversation (a discussion series about current events) at Art In These Times in conjunction with the In These Times magazine Hot Off The Press Party right after.
Photos from 10/22:
Friday, December 13, 7-9pm
Chicago Artists Against Torture: Beats, Rhymes, and Rhythms

Words, performances, and readings by Alderman Joe Moreno, UGOCHI, Darby Tillis, Krista Franklin, Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, Marvin Tate, Alice Kim and more…Event Documentation by Bronte Price for CTJM:

Crisis Image Archives

Crisis Image Archives

Crisis Image Archives

In 2012 a team of artists and visual culture researchers sought out to document all of the visual representations of “the crisis” appearing in the last 5 years of the 300 magazines and journals archived in the Alternative Press Center in Chicago. Totaling 750 images, these illustrations and photographs compose a record of the collective visual imagination of the international political and cultural left. Frequently used graphic tropes portraying bankers, fat cats, Keynes, Marx, Obama and protesters are found alongside more surprising depictions of agony, desperation, and holistic futures.

The stakes of this project are threefold:

  1. Totalling 750 images, these illustrations and photographs compose a record of the collective visual imagination of the international political and cultural left as expressed in printmedia.
  2. The archive project challenges what is and is not indexable about visual culture, in the context of a collection and organization focusing on indexing texts of the alternative press.
  3. And finally, to instigate a conversation amongst artist and designers about representing our current economic history.

P1010153An exhibition of this project in photographs and binder archives will be on view at Art In These Times until September. For further info:

June 30th at 5-8pm

Opening Reception: Cultural critic Brian Holmes will provide commentary at the opening.

Sunday July 14th at 2pm

A Crisis Image poetry workshop with the Next Objectivists Poetry Workshop

Saturday August 24th at 2pm

Crisis Image Design charrette with local graphic designer on how to visually represent crisis. RSVP On Facebook


Press: A great review by Albert Stabler in Newcity Chicago!

+ Check out our shout-out in Chicago Magazine!


Videos from the opening (Thanks to Andrew Mausert-Mooney for the camera work)

Photos from the exhibition:

Ocupados and Occupations



Chicago muralist José Guerrero’s “Occupation Planet”

Opening Reception: Friday, February 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Art In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago.

Espacios Ocupados: Defining 99%, an exhibit by Instituto de Nuestro Cultura, features work from contemporary Caribbean, Latin American and Latino/a artists that explores shifting cultural identities in a post-occupy world. It is displayed alongside Encampments, Occupations and Tent Cities, an exhibit curated by AREA Chicago that examines historic actions such as the Fayette County Tent City, the occupations of Alcatraz and the Mad Houser hut cities.

Closing Reception

CVL_ClosingReceptionClosing Reception
Report to the Public: An Untold Story of the Conservative Vice Lords
Friday January 18, 2013
5:30 – 7pm

Art In These Times
2040 N Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor
Exhibit closes January 25.
We regret that this exhibit is not wheelchair accessible.
For questions, please call the Hull-House Museum at (312) 413-5353

This exhibit will live on. See for more details.

This evolving, multi-site project was created by a partnership between the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and former members of the Conservative Vice Lords, led by CVL spokesman Bobby Gore and Benneth Lee, co-founder of the National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly 
Incarcerated.Don’t miss this opportunity to view Greetings from the Holy City, an installation by photographer Jason Reblando. Reblando was commissioned by Hull-House to photograph an area of North Lawndale known as the “Holy City,” where the Conservative Vice Lords worked in the late 1960s. He documented residents who work for positive change in the community today.

Jason Reblando (b. 1973, Flushing, NY) is a photographer and multimedia storyteller based in Chicago and Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. He received his MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, and a BA in Sociology from Boston College. After college, he worked as a community organizer in southern Oregon in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. He is a recipient of a Follett Fellowship from Columbia College Chicago, a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Illinois Arts Council. He has produced radio stories for Eight Forty-Eight on Chicago Public Radio, and has been commissioned to create multimedia stories for various clients. His photographs are part of the collections in the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Midwest Photographers Project of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He teaches photography at Illinois State University.

CVL Exhibit Tour

Public Tour
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Art In These Times
2040 N Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor

The Hull-House Museum recently opened an off-site exhibit at Art In These Times. The exhibit deals with the history of the Conservative Vice Lords (CVL), a street gang from North Lawndale. The CVL became a community organization that fought the effects of drugs and violence in their community. You can learn more about the exhibit here:

Some of the big questions we hope to address are: Can gangs change? What would it take for gang members today to bring peace to the streets?

We are inviting youth workers and others invested in this conversation to join us for a special tour of the exhibit on Thursday, August 23 from 6-7pm. The exhibit is located at Art In These Times Gallery, at 2040 N Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor.The tour will be led by Benny Lee, who co-curated this exhibit and is a former member of the Insane Vice Lords. He now works for TASC and is a co-founder of the National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated.

The tour is free but RSVPs are required; please email in order to secure a space. We deeply regret that the exhibit is not wheelchair accessible.