2015-16 Artists-in-Residence

For Immediate Release | Nov 9, 2015

The CSRPC and Arts + Public Life initiative have selected three artists for its residency program.  Read more here >>

Greg Bray is an artist who works primarily in painting, collage and assemblage. His work moves along the arc of representational abstraction, producing in its wake spontaneous improvisations that interpret space and suggest random form as structure. Through these mediums and the continued evolution of his technique, Bray is able to relay the stories of his life experiences, including the daily happenings just outside of his doorstep in Grand Crossing where he has lived and had a studio since 1986. Finding inspiration in the futurist, cubist, afrofuturist and early muralist movements of the twentieth century, Bray uses texture, geometric shapes, vibrant color and found objects as a way to recall, transform and translate the stories of his life and surroundings. Bray received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute in 1978 and has received several awards including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.  Artist webpage >>


Aquil Charlton is a teaching artist and consultant who applies his youth development experience & artistic practice as a visual artist, musician, writer & DJ, toward his vision for a more just society. He is passionate about providing creative, imaginative spaces combined with educational tools that empower and validate children from systemically marginalized communities. Charlton started off as a teaching artist and muralist with Umoja Student Development Corporation, then went on to co-found The Crib Collective, launch the ALT-City arts ensemble of the Chicago Public Schools All City Arts program, teach at Urban Gateways, and serve as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department. He received his degree in non-profit administration from North Park University in 2011.  Artist webpage >>


Nazafarin Lotfi is a visual artist and educator who lives in Chicago. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and her BA from the University of Tehran in 2007. Lotfi works with quotidian and discarded objects and her work is rooted in the ambiguities and uncertainties of looking. Recent solo exhibitions include: Poiesis at Fernwey Gallery, Chicago; White Light at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago (two-person show); Love at Last Sight at Brand New Gallery, Milan; Circles at Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago. She teaches at Harold Washington College and the College of DuPage.  Artist website >>




Installation Shot by Tom Van Eynde. 

Resonant Objects
July 8 - August 28, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, July 8, 6-8pm

Resonant Objects showcases the breadth of production by Chicago-based artists Greg Bray, Aquil Charlton, and Nazafarin Lotfi during their participation in the University of Chicago's Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture Artists-in-Residence Program. Over the course of ten months, Bray, Charlton, and Lotfi worked in close proximity to each other in the studios at the Washington Park Arts Incubator, generating research, artworks, and happenings that fostered interactive relationships with diverse publics and spaces on Chicago's South Side. On view in the Logan Center Gallery and at the Washington Park Arts Incubator, Resonant Objects features works that examine the artists' shared interest in the social and spatial conditions of their surroundings. 
For more information >>

installation and opening reception photos >>


Brown Artists Social
July 12, 2016 - 6-8pm

The University of Chicago's Arts and Public Life Initiative (APL), the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC), and current APL/CSRPC Artist-in-Residence Nazafarin Lotfi, are pleased convene Middle Eastern and South Asian artists based in Chicago for a gathering on July 12th at the Arts Incubator in Washington Park. 

This event is meant to a create a much needed space for Brown artists to come together, meet each other and to celebrate the community's work and contributions to the arts and culture in Chicago. We hope that in providing a space for folks to meet one another, that it will inspire future gatherings within these artist communities.
For more information >>


Art + Rap: A Conversation with Aquil “AQ” Charlton & Open Mike Eagle
July 15, 2016 - 6-8pm

Join us for a conversation featuring current APL/CSRPC Artist-in-Residence Aquil “AQ” Charlton and rapper Open Mike Eagle.  Hosted by J. Bambii and moderated by What Is A Rayot, this conversation will bring together two artists whose DIY-approach to hip-hop has generated broad conceptual practices that encompass music, activism, lyricism, and visual art, falling somewhere in between.  
For more information >>


Aquil “AQ” Charlton & Special Guest at the 13th Annual Silver Room Sound System Block Party: “Freedom Love Joy Peace"
July 16, 2016 - 12-10pm

The Silver Room Sound System Block Party, started in 2002, celebrates cultural diversity through expression, music and art, and is a free event organized by The Silver Room and owner, Eric Williams along with Ron Trent. Once a quaint affair for friends and family of The Silver Room, the event has grown into a vibrant and diverse, all-ages, neighborhood gathering and continues to be a platform for famed and up-and-coming artists from the Chicago-land area.
For more information >>


Head Cleaner: A Performance by Wheat Paste Viaducts
August 21, 2016 - 6-8pm

Head Cleaner is the final event produced by 2015-16 Artist-In-Residence, Aquil ‘AQ’ Charlton, for the Resonant Objects exhibition currently on view at the Logan Center and Arts Incubator. This is also the first of several performances and recordings planned by Wheat Paste to publicly display and develop material for their debut release. This beat driven, mixed-media performance features the trio as they combine hand-spliced 16mm film with hardware-based electronic music using improvisation and structured composition to create a distinct audio-visual event.
For more information >>