With Olive Stefanski "To Cradle a Kind Thought" in the Milwaukee Ave. window gallery

Ivan LOZANO enlists Google Image Search to find “difficult” digital images that he prints and transforms into packing tape photo-transfers. For this body of work, digital images of burning American flags are cropped and cut up to remove context and are then collaged into compositions inspired by visual and mythological elements in pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures.

In search of our underlying values and aspirations as individuals and as a society, Liz Ensz enlists the commemorative properties of textiles and cast metal to examine the designed and found icons of the American character. Works in this exhibition ruminate on capitalist theology and the complex moral calculus necessary for mass-cultural investment in disposability and the simultaneous human desire to imagine permanence through emblems, monuments, and self-celebration. While disparate intentions inform these impulses- one to remember, and the other to quickly forget- each will materially describe our society to future generations.

LIZ ENSZ was born in Minnesota to a resourceful family of penny-savers, metal scrappers, and curators of cast-offs. Ensz has exhibited her textiles and sculpture nationwide, including Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA; She has been awarded residencies at The John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program in Foundry, Sheboygan, WI; Salem Art Works, Salem, NY: Playa, Summer Lake, OR; LATITUDE, Chicago, IL; and Blue Mountain Center, Blue Mountain Lake, NY; and has been the recipient of City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Grant, The Creative Baltimore Fund Grant, The Gilroy Roberts Fellowship for Engraving, and The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Travel Fellowship. Ensz is currently based in Chicago, but is open to suggestions.

IVAN LOZANO (b. 1981, Guadalajara, Mexico) lives and works in Chicago, where NewCity Art recognized him as a “Breakout Artist” in 2014. He received a MFA from SAIC in 2011. LOZANO was the programming director for the Cinematexas International Short Film festival, co-founder of a feminist video collective (Austin Video Bee) and a net art blog (CTRL+W33D), and founder of an ad-hoc digital press (IMAGE FILE PRESS). His work has been exhibited at the Leslie-Lohman Museum for Gay and Lesbian Art (NYC), the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), the National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago, IL), the Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), The Hyde Park Arts Center (Chicago, IL), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), the Texas Biennial (09 and 13), FotoFest’s Talent in Texas series (Houston, TX), and others.


The necessity of rupture to shapeshift into a more compassionate form; a portal and a passageway presents itself on the verge of explosion. To be moved and to be carried forward onto a path of clarity. The past burns in infinite licks. An offering to the creature of patience: an exploration of love as a practice of vision, form and details.

To Cradle a Kind Thought is  collection of handwoven textiles and fiber art inspired by a desire to make tangible a feeling of bliss and to engage with the presence of rupture as a pathway towards growth and transformation. Each textile was handwoven on a floor loom, using techniques of inlay, plain weave, random treadling, rya knots and quadruple woven cloth. They are crafted with commercial yarn, handspun yarn made by the artist, gifted handspun yarn, and yarn that is hand dyed with natural dyes, such as indigo, avocado skins, onion skins  and turmeric. The use of touch, time, labor and attention  in the practice of making the material manifest is connected to a spiritual practice of care, nurturance and compassion. All of the work in the space as well as the window space itself has been given reiki, as to also attend to the energetic well being of the installation. To give time becomes a manifestation of love.

Olive Stefanski is a multi-disciplinary artist and community organizer working at the intersections of performance, fiber art, and  sound. She is both a solo artist and a prolific collaborator. She has created a significant body of work as one half of the performance duo MOUTHY WOMEN with the artist Magritte Nankin. Currently, she is at work with Johanna Brock towards the creation of a violin and viola sound art and performance project, as well as a series of textile art pieces with Carolina Poveda.

She is also a founding member and co-organizer of the Chicago Skillshare Network, a grassroots  education collective dedicated to organizing economically accessible, peer to peer workshops that teach creative skills and other forms of marginalized knowledge to all who seek to learn.

Both solo and collaboratively, she has shown her work at the Fundación del Centro Cultural del México Contemporáneo, Defibrillator performance art gallery, Mana Contemporary, Links Hall, the Roman Susan Gallery, Threewalls Gallery and the International Museum of Surgical Science.  She has also shown her art in community centers, universities, public sidewalks, art collectives and other artist run spaces, backyards, basements and site-specific installations. In 2014, she was selected to be a featured artist for Chicago Artist’s Month by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. She graduated with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015.