Luis Mejico is an artist based in Chicago, working in performance and sculpture. He has performed and exhibited work at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, Links Hall, Zhou Brothers Art Center, The Oak Park Art League, Water Street Studios, Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, Things are Better in Space Gallery, and Glass Haus Gallery, among others. He was recently awarded the Shapiro Center’s EAGER Grant (Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research). He is currently seeking his BFA at SAIC (2017).
Luis Mejico implements collaborative practices by engaging directly with the public. His interest in challenging the division between artist and audience stems from a desire to unite people through art.
On my 20th birthday, I want to celebrate the 19th year of my life. 19 was a strange and awkward year, suspended between two milestones. 18, being the year in which one is first considered a legal adult, and 20, in which a person enters the third decade of their life. 19 is the odd, gray space in between, not significant by any means. 19 stands as a space of strangeness, of half-being and half-not-being. In the same way, Nineteen, my next collaborative project, will be neither a performance work or a celebration, but both.
Nineteen will be a performance-based celebration in late April, 2015, open to and entirely for the public. Frustrated by the inaccessibility and elitism of some art spaces and art events (whether they are institutional or DIY), I would like to throw a celebration that all people are invited to, where the experience and enjoyment of the audience takes precedence over the "art" of the work. The priority with Nineteen is to ensure that attendees are enjoying themselves and having a good time, and the focus is much less on creating an “art” event for only one crowd.
Rather than throwing the party for myself, I want to create a space where people not just people from an arts background can come together. The Chicago creative community deserves a night of fun and vibrancy that isn’t tied down to a gallery or a show - the people that you meet and the connections that you build should and will be at the forefront of this event, because those connections can be so easily forgotten. Nineteen will bring people from arts and non-arts backgrounds to share drinks, share stories, and spend time with one another in an energized, active space. Like any other party, there will be music performed by live bands and DJ’s, dancing, refreshments, and games, all of which will help people come together with their friends, connect with strangers, enjoy art and music, and most of all, have fun! Attendees can expect to be treated to free food and drink all night, meet new and exciting people, run into familiar faces, and be amazed by the work of local, Chicago artists.
Integrated into the event will be artwork (including sculptures, paintings, video, and so on) meant to enchant, dazzle, and allure. All artwork and all live music will come from local, Chicago-based artists and musicians; I want to ensure that the party is a reflection of the up-and-coming Chicago creative community, by bringing together local and emerging artists to share their work with the public. These artists will also be at the celebration, allowing the public to engage in a real-time conversation with them about their work, further connecting different parts of the Chicago community.
In order to further immerse the partygoers into a creative experience, there will be a number of exaggerated, intervention-style performances; from living party decorations to dancing, singing pinatas, all performances will stay true to the celebration and high-octane energy of the event, and will offer entertainment to the attendees.
In order to throw this celebration, we need backers like you to help make this evening a success! Your donations will help bring the public together with members of the underground, up-and-coming Chicago creative community in a night of celebration, joy, fun, and energy. Consider it this way: rather than giving me a birthday present this year, why not donate toward this goal of unity and connection? I owe my career to the Chicago community that I am becoming a part of. I want this night to be a celebration of that relationship, a giving thanks back to the community I love. By bringing together these artists, you will be giving them a platform to show their work to a large audience.
Where is my money going?
All funds will go to paying for food, drinks, artists, musicians, and decorations; any additional donations after the goal has been reached will go directly toward more supplies (like getting more food/decorations/bands etc). A breakdown of what will be done with your donations is below:
FUNDING GOAL: $1600
FUNDING WILL GO TOWARDS:
Paying for a space large enough to host the event*
Hiring live musicians
Hiring a light / sound technician
Buying decorations / other supplies
Constructing performative sculptures
Hiring photographers / videographers to document the event
Food / Drinks
*We are, of course, looking for a space. If you think your eventspace could host a large number of people and would like to donate it to the event for one evening (with cleanup immediately the next day), please contact me.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
Connect with local, emerging artists from the Chicago community
Enjoy live music by local bands and DJs
Meet likeminded creatives
Free food and drinks all night
A costume contest!*
Performances by exciting Chicago-based performance artists
*Costume contest theme: Celebration! Dress like a pinata, a birthday cake, a streamer; the list goes on!
**Performative sculptures - at the end of the Lineup section are a few sketches of the types of living party-themed sculptures to be constructed for the event.
Victoria E. Fried
"Born and raised on the Hudson River in New York, Tori looks to use her interest of the landscapes and water that surround her in her work. Using both Chicago (Lake Michigan) and New York (The Hudson River) as her inspirations, she uses photography and fiber practices to create a common ground, sharing the beauty and multiple generations of a specific natural space."
"My name is Alec Rudek, and I am a painter and designer who lives in Chicago Illinois. My passion for creating surreal landscapes (which I like to call dreamscapes) and abstracted animals drives me to spread my artwork as much as possible, so that I may one day inspire others to create their own visions. I am currently interested in studying art therapy as a career, where I can help people learn to visually express themselves in ways that are hard to achieve in a verbal fashion."
"Georgia is a sculptor currently based out of Chicago. Examining the relationship between memory, media, and identity, Notin gives physicality to the complex ties between them."
"Tyler Lumm is an artist struggling in Chicago."
"Matthew Ryan is an artist working primarily in sculpture and painting. His work focus on understanding all storage, both digital and analog, in relation to the body. His work has recently been part of Student Union Galleries at SAIC and the group exhibition Chained Links. He is currently seeking a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago."
“I grew up thinking my identity was always split in half - I could never truly be a Filipina like my mom or be able to fully assimilate to the whiteness of my dad. This disconnect has always been the drive that informs my work. All that I can say is that I practice art - I practice art to understand my identity. I practice photographic image making, I practice weaving, I practice knitting, I practice garment making, and I study the history of fashion.”
"Luis Mejico explores collaborative practices by engaging directly with a public, both contemporary and historical. His interest in challenging the communicative binary of artist and audience stems from a desire to unite individuals through artwork, by using his projects as platforms for collaboration with new and established histories. By translating specific records, accounts, anecdotes, narratives, and stories (gathered either by public submission or in-depth research) into performance and sculptural work, Mejico develops catalysts to establish a dialogue with a contemporary audience. His rendering of a mix between his own history and the history of another acts as a bridge between the maker and the spectator. At the root of his practice is the desire to produce a reciprocal expression of his and his audience’s interests through the intimate act of exchange."
"Patt Knerr grew up in the woods of Michigan as a child and made his move to Illinois while hitting his teen years. Once in Illinois, Patt instantly recognized a new heightened attention towards religion in his new suburban community that compelled him into finding new outlets of ideology at a very young age. Having his curiosity lead him down many paths, Patt now connects his early interest in existential topics as his ruling factor in becoming an artist."
"Using aesthetic familiarity as a vehicle to discuss a larger idea of the feminine nature of things Chicago based artist Jennifer Page investigates in her work the presence of sexually charged imagery found on the internet. Drawing from these images, she uses the intimate, as well as exploitative, nature to engage in a dialogue about where the female form has found itself virtually and physically placed. Her body of work uses decorative aesthetic to suggest themes beyond 'looking pretty.'"
“My name is Alejandro Zerah, I'm a DJ based in Chicago and I run a label called Hesperian Sound Division with my friend Nick Tillman. Being based in Chicago is something every DJ would benefit from. At the end of the day, this is the city that started what we now call House music. During the 80s and 90s, Chicago was a hotbed of producers, DJs, record labels and nightclubs. Some seem to think the city has lost touch with its House roots, but myself and many others disagree. People can complain all they want about how the scene isn't like London or Berlin, because a lot of the things that go on here are truly "underground". Dance music doesn't always have to take place in ego-filled clubs with overpriced drinks. The neighborhood I live in, called Pilsen, is home to some of Chicago's gems. Spots like Hidden Dog, Giron Books, Rubicon, and Harbees are all doing cool things. There's a great community of people who actually care about the music and the event, without concern for hype. One of the main reasons I moved to Chicago was for its rich history in dance music and for the city's unpretentious, hardworking mentality. What's cool at the moment doesn't seem to matter here. Yes, House is having a "revival" to some, but it really never left Chicago. I think of a night like Secret Value at Harbees with time-tested locals, Specter, Solson, and Damon Lamar, who aren't superstars by any means, but have continued to DJ in the city for years. What will happen is that the next generation of party organizers and DJs, who are committed to keeping things genuine, will start popping up and I'm exciting for that to establish.”
Taylor Effin Cleveland
"Taylor Effin Cleveland is a creative solution to the commentary on self-glorification through digital technologies. A representation of a new-media artist exposing a “real-life” narrative through the meshes of untraditional techniques and forms. Taylor Effin Cleveland juxtaposes formal training in fine arts, with street culture, and cerebral ideas/aesthetics with “WTF” humor."
Eunie Kim is a visual artist, performer, and web designer in Chicago. Interested in creating phantom products that represent inner emotional conflicts while being a super cute DJ pup on the side.
Mr. Nice Guy
"Mr. Nice Guy is a performance artist character. Mixing both low brow and high brow style concepts, blurring the line between what is considered hood and fierce while on stage. Mr. Nice Guy experiments with current street/trap & gangster asescthics. My absolute goal while performing as Mr. Nice Guy, is to make my audience smile, even laugh at times. I believe in truly performing and entertaining. Hypnotic vibes, low beats and heavy bass act as my most basic of tools to help entice my audience throughout my performances. Depending on my mood my shows aren't always dark and melancholy, at times my pieces are about pure fun and having a good time. Mr. Nice Guy is me, I am Mr. Nice Guy."
Rut is a Chicago band made up of three dads who just like to have fun.
Performative Sculpture Sketches:
Risks and challenges
Our largest concern right now is finding a large enough space for the event at an affordable rate that will let us have the space for the night and install for several days before. If you are a space owner in Chicago who has a large enough locale for our event, please contact us as soon as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)