Starting from the premise that art and creative expression can be a powerful means to transform not just the physical spaces in communities but the people who live there by bringing people together, engaging them in shared experience and offering skill building and networking opportunities, 21 Artists designed four bespoke, place-based interventions in communities in the US and the UK in collaboration with international partners to best fit the needs of the people living in those places.
Thus far, our interventions and exchanges have engaged over 5,000 visitors and hosted 100 community members in workshops, creating unique works of art from 91 artists from around the world.
These interventions began under the premise of cultural regeneration, begging the question of how can we regenerate communities alongside the regeneration of physical spaces? The projects were designed to increase engagement and exposure of arts-based process to the wider public- those who do not normally access the arts; to celebrate and explore process with the same level of attention and reverence as ‘the final product’; and to bring artists from diverse disciplines together on the same platform to create, connect and collaborate through art making.We see these interventions as projects with the potential to bridge artists and communities in locations around the world, opening up dialogue about how we differ, and what connects us, using the arts as a conduit for social change.
See below for more information about each of our interventions and exchanges.
21 Artists' inaugural Chicago Loop project was held in an empty storefront space in downtown Chicago in February 2013 around the theme of CREATIVE PROCESS.
The project brought together twenty-one musicians, painters, dancers, poets and performers in a vacant storefront for twenty-one days, providing workshops, events, performances and studio experiences, culminating in a final exhibition. Artists who participated revolved their work around quotations that were meaningful to their creative processes. Held in partnership with the Chicago Loop Alliance, each artist was given the storefront space for a day in the middle of Chicago's cold, winter months to create a piece of work, either on their own or in collaboration with other artists or audiences.
Hugo Style; Core Project Chicago; Sam Kirk; Sadie Woods; Natalie Osborne; Rico Sisney; Koku Gonza; CJ Hungerman; Faith Humphrey-Hill; Rebecca Hamlin Green; Czr Prz; Suzanne Sebold; Gwen Terry; Victoria Martinez; Abbey Odunlami; Nose Lanariz; Hornbread (Sam Trump & David Ben-Porat); Meg Peterson; Lindsay E. Schirk; Stephen D’Onofri
The London: Blackfriars project was held in May 2013 in an abandoned courthouse building in central London around the theme of TRANSFORMATION.
21 Artists: London Blackfriars brought together twenty-one architects, planners, painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, poets, filmmakers, illustrators and photographers in an abandoned courthouse building in central London in partnership with 3Space. The project culminated in an innovative installation experience for visitors, highlighting the theme of transformation of London's dynamic cityscape. Workshops, events and alternative creative experiences were spread throughout the twenty-one days leading up to a final exhibition and performance on the 21st May, 2013.
Featured artists: Charles Jean-Pierre; Bettina Fung; Natalie Oliveri; Ali Zaidi; Gabriella Parra; Daniel Campagne; Pia Cabble; Matthew Reynolds; Paul Harrison; David Adjei; Warren Fox; Pablo Robertson; Meg Peterson; Sara Dziadi; James Flowers; Yolanda Mercy; Adrian Mills; Laurie Nouchka; Poppy Green; Francesco Benenato; Sequin Kay; Andi Schmeid; Les Mechants
The London East End project was held in November 2013 in an outdoor meeting and community garden space in Canning Town, East London around the theme of REGENERATION.
This third project for 21 Artists brought together twenty-one artists from diverse disciplines to create work around the theme of regeneration. The work of these artists culminated as part of a one night celebration of London's first light night in collaboration with Canning Town Caravanseraiand The Brick Box.
Featured artists: Amine Yahia Cherif; Blanche Ellis; Claudio Legge; Daphne Shen; Sami Haddad; Sequin Kay; Shepherd Manikya; Valeria Olguin Guerra David Salas; James Blagden; Mbeng Pouka; Miguel Souto
Patrick Byrne; Students from New Vic College; Tom Jenkins & Stephen Fairman; Meg Peterson
OVERHE(a)R(e) took place from December 2014 to January 2015 with an exhibition in Chicago in a pop up gallery space and in London at Carnegie Public Library around the theme of ‘The Simple Good’ or CREATIVE SOCIAL CHANGE.
OVERHE(a)R(e) set out to bridge connections between the US and the UK, challenge cultural perceptions and provide a platform for artistic, collaborative exchange on a global stage. After three successful projects, the pilot for a new incarnation of 21 Artists took place in Chicago and London in partnership with Chicago-based organisation, The Simple Good. The project provided opportunities for artists to connect on either side of the Atlantic, broaden their networks and contribute to a global conversation about place, identity and preconceived notions about of what social change looks like in these two cities.
After every participating artist submitted their own "simple good", artists in each city were paired with one another, creating a piece of art based on their artist pair's simple good. The finished work was then shown in a touring exhibition at the Carnegie Library in London and Aplomb Gallery in Chicago.
Featured artists: Aaron Wooten; Angele Anise; Anni Holm; Carson Reiners; Charles Jean Pierre; CJ Hungerman; Julie Cowan; Kirsty Jones; Lynsey Morgan Laurence; Raul Guerrero; David Anthony Geary; Georgina Lowbridge; Gerald Geary; Hannah Pratt; I-M Jerome; James Adams; Monique Muffin; Paula McArthur; Sarah Anna Hansen; Vincenzo Albano; Reggie Eldridge; Ayinde Cartman
By Pablo Robertson