On the occasion of . . .
Online artist talks and discussions

Artist talk recorded on March 16, 2022 with Olive Stefanski about the 2021 exhibition And Before One, What are you Counting? 

Olive Stefanski (they/she) is a queer Jewish artist and teacher, currently living on Potawatomi, Odawa, Ojibwe, Miami, Fox and Illinois land. They have shown their work, both solo and collaboratively, at Fundación del Centro Cultural del México Contemporáneo (Mexico City), Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Mana Contemporary Chicago, Links Hall, Roman Susan Art Foundation, Threewalls, Comfort Station, International Museum of Surgical Science, Roots and Culture, Chicago Textiles Week and Heaven Gallery. Their work is held in private collections across the United States and at Compound Yellow and Heaven Gallery in Chicago. In 2015, they earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, followed by a three-year apprenticeship at the Chicago Weaving School. They currently work as one of two lead artists for the Teen Creative Agency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. They can be found online @floatyplace and olivestefanski.com.

Artist discussion recorded on January 26, 2022 with Nora Moore Lloyd about the ongoing work Birchbark, Wiigwaas shared at Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society from June 17 to September 30, 2020, and subsequently on view as a part of human / nature at the Illinois State Museum in 2021-2022.

Nora Moore Lloyd creates artwork with a focus on indigenous cultures, nature, and documenting community and family history through traditional storytelling and photos. Her work has been exhibited at American Indian Center, Cahokia Mounds Museum, Chicago History Museum, Comanche National Museum, Field Museum, Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore (Bolivia), Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Ethnologia de Guatemala, State of Illinois Museum Gallery (Champaign, Chicago, Lockport, Springfield, IL), and elsewhere. For more information, please visit nativepics.org.

Artist discussion recorded on April 28, 2021 for the old is dying and the new cannot be born by Lucky Pierre, shared at Roman Susan from June 10 to June 30, 2017. 

Lucky Pierre is an internationally recognized Chicago based art-making group working in performance, writing, objects, events, education and activism. They have collaboratively created over 30 works, initiatives and events. Their community-based piece and 150-hour video “Final Meals” has been filmed and screened around the world - most recently at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston. “How to Manage Fear”, a live performance, was featured at the Eurokaz International Theater Festival in Zagreb, and the Belluard Bollwerk Festival in Fribourg, Switzerland. The 12-hour live and streaming event “I Hate America! (I Love America),” premiered simultaneously in London and Chicago and featured over 50 international collaborators and performers. In 2012 the group launched LPFU (Lucky Pierre Free University) as a venue for research-based creation and group learning. They are currently creating a series of new works “Future. Perfect” and an accompanying crypto-currency “The Lucky.” For more information, please visit luckypierre.org.

Artist talk presented on April 22, 2021 for THE AMERICAN. by Julietta Cheung, exhibited at Roman Susan from January 6 to January 26, 2017. 

Julietta Cheung is an interdisciplinary artist who works with language and everyday objects. Her themes and approaches are informed by her experience as a second language user and her background in graphic design. Through her textual appropriations, typographic experimentations, reading performances, and sculptural explorations, Cheung's body of work work examines collective attitudes and common assumptions. For more information, please visit juliettacheung.net.

Artist talk recorded on March 24, 2021 for about a block by Suburban Piano Quartet, performed around Roman Susan June 30 to July 8, 2018.

The Suburban Piano is a performance ensemble, Nadine Dyskant-Miller, Clay Gonzalez, Perry Maddox, and Corey Smith, creating collaborative multimedia performance situations. For more information, please visit suburbanpianoquartet.com.

Artist talk recorded on February 24, 2021 for Song of the Summer by Maddie Reyna, exhibited at Roman Susan from May 8 to May 30, 2015.

Maddie Reyna (b. 1987, American) is an artist in Chicago, IL. She received her Masters in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 and is currently Assistant Director of Academic Programs for Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist's Residency. In 2020, she opened a space in Chicago called Slung Leg, with her husband, Jacob Goudreault. In addition to an active studio practice and exhibition schedule, projects have included co-director of Julius Caesar Gallery, Chicago, host of art review radio show, Wang, and editorial associate for Contemporary Art Daily. For more info, visit maddiereyna.com.

Artist talk recorded February 18, 2021 for Suncatcher by John Marks, exhibited at Roman Susan from December 7 to December 31, 2013.

John Marks is a Minneapolis-based artist and curator working at the intersections of media, music, and visual art. In 2005, John co-founded Art of This, an artist-run nonprofit, and has served as co-curator of the Tuesday Improvised Music Series, a monthly series presenting new experimental music in the Twin Cities. In 2013, John co-founded MirrorLab, a studio, film lab, and project space for explorations in integrated art forms. For more information, please visit john-william-marks.com.

Artist talk recorded February 10, 2021 coinciding with Surveilling Snow Lily by Colleen Plumb, exhibited at Roman Susan from February 1 to February 28, 2021.

Colleen Plumb (American, born Chicago IL) makes photographs, videos, and installations investigating contradictory relationships people have with nonhuman animals. Her work explores the way animals in captivity function as symbols of persistent colonial thinking, that a striving for human domination over nature has been normalized, and that consumption masks as curiosity. Plumb's work sheds light on abnormal behaviors of captive animals in order to bring attention to implicit values of society as a whole, particularly those that perpetuate power imbalance and tyranny of artifice. One of her current projects, Invisible Visible, reflects upon the industrial food system and meatpacking industry through the bones and bodies of chickens.

Plumb's work is held in several permanent collections and has been widely exhibited. She has written for the Center for Humans and Nature, an organization dedicated to exploring and promoting human responsibilities in relation to nature, and has collaborated with the Nonhuman Rights Project and Phoenix Zones Initiative. Her first photography monograph, Animals Are Outside Today (Radius Books, 2011) critically documents our ambivalent dispositions towards animals. Plumb's recent photography book, Thirty Times a Minute (Radius 2020), examines the plight of captive elephants with contributing essays by nine experts working in legal, ethics, and scientific fields. Plumb's work has appeared in LitHub, Psychology Today, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Village Voice, Blow Photo Magazine, Feature Shoot, New York Times LENS, Time Lightbox, Oxford American, Photo District News, and Artillery Magazine. Plumb lives in Chicago and has taught photography and video at Columbia College Chicago since 1999. For more information, please visit colleenplumb.com.

Artist talk recorded February 3, 2021 for A Study in Rhyme & Song – From Minstrel Show Tune to Children’s Nursery Rhyme by Sadie Woods, exhibited at Roman Susan from October 6 to October 28, 2017.

Award-winning artist Sadie Woods has had an exciting career, showcasing her talents everywhere from academia to nightclubs, boutiques to museums. As a multidisciplinary artist, curator and deejay, Woods' work focuses primarily on social movements and resistance, and producing collaborations within communities of difference. She also deejays under the moniker Afrodjia, focusing on diasporic Afro-Latin and -Caribbean music and culture. She has exhibited her work and deejayed nationally and internationally. Publications include Harald Szeemann Méthodologie Individuelle published by JRP Ringier with Le Magasin—Centre National d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble, in collaboration with the Department of Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art, London.Woods received her BA from Columbia College and MFA from The School of the Art Institute. She is a 2020 recipient of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Esteemed Artist Award and currently Faculty at the School of the Art Institute, Residents Orchestrate Project Manager at the Chicago Sinfonietta, and resident deejay on Vocalo 91.1FM and Lumpen Radio 105.5FM. For more info, please visit sadiewoods.com.

Artist talk recorded on January 27, 2021 for Death of a Moth by Christine Wallers, exhibited at Roman Susan from September 12 to September 27, 2015.

I am a nonrepresentational artist making temporal works that take the form of large-scale installations and intricate works on paper that are more than drawings, but not quite sculptures. It is this space of “more than, but not quite” that thrills me. Light and its shifts play a significant role in the perception of my work. In both installations and works on paper, my pieces change as viewers move around them and as light illuminates areas at different angles. In this way, my work is constantly shifting, suggesting a sense of movement that elicits a physical awareness and empathy in the body. My creative practice also values the imperfect, ritualistic, and contemplative process of hand rendering.

     – Christine Wallers

For more information, please visit christinewallers.com

Artist talk recorded on January 20, 2021 for Breathing Room by Alejandro T. Acierto, exhibited at Roman Susan from April 8 to April 27, 2017. 

Acierto is an artist, musician, and curator whose work is largely informed by human relationships to technology. He has exhibited projects at the 2019 Havana Biennial in Matanzas, the Film Society of Lincoln Center (NYC), Issue Project Room (NYC), MCA Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Boundary Gallery (Chicago), and Roman Susan (Chicago). His performance works have also been presented as part of the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, the KANEKO (Omaha), Rapid Pulse Performance Art Festival (Chicago), Center for Performance Research (NYC), and Center for New Music and Technology at UCBerkeley. Recent curatorial projects have been presented in East Tennessee State University’s Tipton Gallery (Johnson City), Coop Gallery (Nashville), and online for the Wrong Biennial through his online gallery twosixteen.net. He is also co-author of CQDE: A Feminist Manifestx of Code-ing published by Sybil Press with KT Duffy, and has contributed writing for the Journal for Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas and Imperial Islands: Vision and Experience in the American Empire after 1898 edited by Joseph Hartman for University of Washington Press.

Noted for his “insatiable” performance by the New York Times, Acierto has performed written and improvised music extensively throughout the US and abroad as a soloist and chamber musician. He is a clarinetist and founding member of the Chicago-based new music collective Ensemble Dal Niente and can be heard on several recorded projects on Carrier, Albany, New Focus, Parlour Tapes+, and Avant Media Records. His last issued solo record was also released on Prom Night Records.

Acierto has held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Banff Centre, High Concept Laboratories, LATITUDE, Chicago Artists' Coalition and was an Field Guide Consortium Fellow and a Center Program Artist at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. A 3Arts Awardee, he received his undergraduate degree from DePaul University, an MM from Manhattan School of Music, an MFA in New Media Arts from University Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and was an inaugural Artist in Residence for Critical Race Studies at Michigan State University. He is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Digital Art and New Media and a Mellon Faculty Fellow in Digital Humanities at Vanderbilt University. For more information, please visit alejandroacierto.com.

Artist talk recorded on December 15, 2020 coinciding with the exhibition Measures of Distance by Lia Kohl and Nick Meryhew. To view excerpts of the videos mentioned in the talk, visit romansusan.org/measures-of-distance.

Lia Kohl is a cellist and multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. She creates and performs embodied music and multimedia performance that incorporates sound, video, movement, theatre, and sculptural objects. She is a curator and ensemble member with the acclaimed performance ensemble Mocrep, with whom she has toured nationally and internationally. She has presented work and performed at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and held residencies at Mana Contemporary Chicago, High Concept Labs and dfbrl8r Performance Art Gallery. As an improviser she performs around the world and with her clarinet/percussion/cello trio, ZRL. She plays with Chicago bands Whitney, OHMME, and Circuit des Yeux. She tours with Chicago based puppet theatre company Manual Cinema.

Nick Meryhew is an experimental musician, curator, improvisor, and armchair geologist. Their work explores ideas of assemblage, hybridity, and nonhierarchy through a sculptural approach to found sound. They frequently improvise as a medium through which to investigate social dynamics both personal and political. Nick is a founding/former member of performance ensemble Mocrep, and has presented work at No Nation Gallery, The Hideout, Art Institute of Chicago, High Concept Labs, and MCA Chicago. They currently perform in Chicago with The Lucky Trikes, Runaway Labs Theater, and alongside noise artists Hedra Rowan and Jen Hill. They have curated at Logan Square's Comfort Station since 2017, primarily working on the experimental sound and performance series Gather. They are currently co-artistic director of AG47 Collective, a youth arts collective that facilitates interdisciplinary arts workshops and exhibitions for teens in Logan Square.

Artist talk recorded on December 8, 2020 coinciding with the installation of It makes me wanna by Paige Taul at MirrorLab in Minneapolis, MN. To view the works mentioned in the talk, please visit Transit, It makes me wanna, and I am on paigetaul.com.

Paige Taul is an Oakland, CA native who received her B.A. in Studio Art with a concentration in cinematography from the University of Virginia and an M.F.A from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Moving Image. Her work engages with and challenges assumptions of black cultural expression and notions of belonging. Her interests lie in observing environmental and familial connections to concepts tied to racebased expectations and expose those boundaries of identity in veins such as religion, language, and other black community based experiences. 

Artist talk recorded on October 22, 2020 coinciding with the exhibition growing down by Rebecca Beachy. 

Rebecca Beachy is an artist, writer, and educator in Chicago whose practice involves deepening attention to the materialities inherent in urban and natural orbits. Her work engages the many subtleties and the complex relationships we have with the natural world. She holds an MFA in Studio Arts and an MA in Art History from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Born in 1982, Beachy grew up in Denver, Colorado. Past exhibitions include Ralph Arnold Gallery with Roman Susan, Loyola University, Chicago; Sector 2337, Chicago; New Capital Projects, Chicago; Iceberg Projects, Chicago; FRISE, Hamburg, Germany. Beachy’s work has been featured in publications such as Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, UK; Æther Sofia/Haga, Bulgaria, Netherlands; City Creatures, University of Chicago Press, New New Corpse, Green Lantern Press. Beachy’s work has been written about in White Hot Magazine; ArtSlant; Hyperallergic; Armseye; Art Papers; NewCity Chicago; Chicago Reader; Chicago Tribune. Beachy is a recent recipient of 3Arts Make a Wave Grant. For more information about the artist, please visit rebecca-beachy.com.