Postcard from the 2010 exhibition "The Chicago Alderman Project"

Postcard from the 2010 exhibition "The Chicago Alderman Project"


NOVEMBER 1, 2011

Please join us for Crossing the Rubikon, an exhibit of work by sophomore year School of the Art Institute students curated by Barbara DeGenevieve.  With this exhibit, Zeb Arrington, Jon Chacon, Alyssa Chappe, Julia Cuddy, Andrew Green, Angel Harrold, Carson Hoerz, Mira Ishii, Vivian Kvitka, Joan Laser, Elliott Mickleburgh, Sandra Nazz, Jannah Tate, Wei Hsinyen, and Marie Weston are declaring their decision to continue on with their BFA program.


OCTOBER 1, 2011

Heather Gabel has long been known as the artist behind the macabre imagery of Chicago’s punk legends Alkaline Trio. For over fifteen years, Gabel has been combining skeletons, lace, blood, back-alley surgery, and the style of a depressed-but-classy European great-grandmother to create one of the most enduring, stylish, and instantly recognizable branding campaigns in underground music. Now, Heather Gabel is bringing a show to Chicago’s Johalla Projects that features a retrospective of her own work as well as her work with the band, exposing the genesis of her iconic Alkaline Trio designs. The installation will include the original xeroxed/ hand drawn / cut/ pasted t shirt designs for the Alkaline Trio plus notes, album art, old photos, and sketches all pulled from Heather’s archives and displayed in classic ‘high school kid bedroom wall flyer collection’ style.


JULY 1, 2011

In Solastalgia, Kendler continues to consider humans beings' relationship with the natural world through the lens of feminism, modern ecology & environmental activism. Works in the show focus on the complexity of issues such as extinction, habitat loss, mutualism and climate change. While cross- pollinating genres and mediums, Kendler draws us emotionally and viscerally nearer to nature -- to rekindle feelings of interconnectedness and wonderment.

JUNE 24, 2011

CTRL is an experiment in webcam culture, S&M and art making. Participants offer submission. Sirianni offers direction. Together they negotiate the limits of their virtual interactions, as shown in this new collection of photographs and videos. Erotics and aesthetics compete in hard-on clad collaborations.

JUNE 10, 2011

There is physicality in analog recordings. Video and sound information is embedded into tactile items, unlike intangible digital formats. Susceptible to malfunctions and distortions unique to the medium, analog objects have a heavy presence of the hand and time in its manipulations. The exhibition Wow and Flutter: Dynamic Range in Analog Art unites artists exploring visual and audio analog techniques in their work. br />

MAY 20, 2011

Ceaseless blooms in Jobless Colors is a collectively curated show by an upper level course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Presenting a breadth of new work in photography, video, sculpture, and new media, the artist’s disparate practices are brought together under a shared sense of ambivalence about leaving the cloister produced by an art education

APRIL 29, 2011

White Mystery unifies music, performance, and design by Miss Alex White and Francis Scott Key White. Equal parts band and brand, their songs manifest on vinyl, CDs, and digital media. Each work is a collaboration with photographer Diane Alexander White, who also leads the design team with hand-printed merchandise for sale at performances, online and in galleries.

APRIL 15, 2011

“Don’t Let Fear Rule Your Life,” the first show of a quarterly series by Saint Alfred. With the intention of displaying new talent, Saint Alfred teamed up with Johalla Projects, a gallery located in the Wicker Park area of Chicago. Started in 2009 Johalla was established as a venue for emerging and mid-career artists. On the evening of April 15th we will introduce three photographers, Adam Jason Cohen, Roy Gardiner, and David Rasool Robinson. Each with specific styles developed during their career, these photographers have yearned for an exhibition to display their passion.

APRIL 8, 2011

A Variety of Fits is an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Adam Grossi. Grossi’s work is a soft, fleshy underbelly to normative culture’s rational exoskeleton. Through the prisms of mundane objects – piles of t-shirts, rolling clouds, and suburban fashion models – the disparate works in this exhibition cohere into a fractured vision of what it feels like to cloak one’s consciousness in the pleasantries of normalcy.
MARCH 25, 2011

Johalla Projects is pleased to announce the launch of our new online gallery with a release party on Friday, March 25. We have selected a handful of artists active in our exhibitions and public works projects to share their visions through our website. Though we are not directly representing these artists, all works featured on our site are available for purchase.

MARCH 3 –MARCH 5, 2011

Talking with Fear about Dying Tomorrow features Matt Austin’s new work incited by a month-long road trip that followed his ACRE Residency. The exhibition features photographs documenting a variety of individualized interactions with one’s environment, such as carving into a tree or posing for a tourist photo. By exhibiting photographs of these aesthetic gestures, Austin is reiterating personal messages and extending them to a different audience, presenting the function of another’s visual work as no separate than his own. His work encourages an appreciation for the ways in which we recognize the common desire to feel special and tangibly represent the significance of our experiences.


Ryan Duggan is an artist living and working in Chicago.  His work spans a number of mediums, but shares a common tonality.  Each piece is a glimpse into his process, never telling the full story, but giving the viewer just enough of the narrative to work with.  Negativity, humor, and honesty are used alongside themes such as death, memory, social hierarchy, and religion. Presenting the ephemera of daily life in combination with the slick language of advertising and signage, Duggan’s work creates a feeling that is both familiar and uncomfortable.


Johalla Projects, in conjunction with the ACRE residency program, is excited to present new and unexhibited photographs, videos and three dimensional objects by Matt Siber. Known for his Untitled Project and Floating Logos, he is continuing his exploration of commercial signage, underscoring how it infiltrates environments, subliminally penetrating psyches with simulacra that both mirrors our culture and delivers transparent messages. His recent project Pulse meditates on the relationship between the camera's gaze and the automated sign. Giving way to chance, Siber records what he refers to as "urban rhythms" with film and video in various locations in Spain, France and China. This exhibition also marks Siber's first showing featuring sculpture; like his photographs, these conceptual works deconstruct the semiotics of advertising, branding and desire and, in the tradition of Minimalism, exist as objects of aesthetic pleasure.

JANUARY 14, 2011

Come show us your love! In 2010, we brought you 50 Artists/50 Aldermen, The Art of Touring, WHO'S YR SHAMAN?, Pit Worship: Montgomery Perry Smith, among other presentations and have exhibited hundreds of works for view. Outside the our gallery space, we have participated in the Lakeview Art Festival, campaigned for alderman Joe Moreno, and completed public murals in Wicker Park and Logan Square. Please help us continue to mount exhibitions and make art available to you. The evening will feature an art auction and a raffle. Art work has been donated by Nick Adam, Cynthia Plaster Caster, Ryan Duggan, Jon Gitelson, Sean Fader, Drew Griffith, Andrea Jablonski, Chad Kouri, Leo Kaplan, Jenny Kendler, Ivan Lozano, Chris Silva, Ian Whitmore, and many more.

DECEMBER 10, 2010 – JANUARY 8, 2011

The Daley Show art exhibition will feature portraits and other art specific projects/installations of Mayor Richard M. Daley, by different Chicago artists. The show will commemorate the mayor’s role as the preeminent political figure in Chicago during the past two decades, and his undeniable importance in shaping the future of the city.   This exhibition can be viewed as a farewell in many regards.


Brought on by a prevailing sense of existential calamity, I Don’t Feel At Home In This World addresses both a personal and cultural proclivity towards the end of time. The images depicted by Drew Griffith and Matthew Whiting are like hallucinogenic visions forecasting an impending cataclysm. Through a series of drawings, paintings, and sculptural objects, a linear narrative is constructed weaving these visions together. The fabricated worlds depicted in these works are grounded in reality through the inclusion of customary objects from our own world. The images are rife with the structures synonymous with humans – ships, airplanes, temples, graveyards – but they are all empty. The resulting void is inviting, but speaks of an unseen ominous presence.


Deemed one of Chicago’s 2010 Breakout Artists by NewCity Magazine, Montgomery Perry Smith takes over the entirety of Johalla Projects with Pit Worship. Smith’s work is a sideways examination of the human form. Crafting intricate sculptures out of materials ranging from felt and lace to saliva, Smith explores the complexity of human sexuality. Smith’s work bursts with appeal, and speaks heavily of desire, mirroring forms of the body and inviting the viewer to delve in deeper. But under the allure are the traces of frustration and awkwardness standard in sexual exploration.


Art, religion, and spirituality are deeply intertwined. For thousands of years artistic production was concentrated in manufacturing houses of worship and objects for religious devotion. Many of these forms were believed to hold enormous power; some housed remnants of holy materials (such as human body parts), some were utilized in ritual practice, and a few were believed to contain the energy of saints, souls, or god(s). In the mid-nineteenth century, artists began exploring non-religious themes and, eventually, the importance of religion in art waned. Although art from the last two hundred years appears to lack a strong religious viewpoint, it would be incorrect to assume that it no longer possesses any spiritual significance.

JULY 16 – AUGUST 7TH, 2010
Curated by Andrea Jablonski and Anna Cerniglia

This exhibition brings together some of the talent from the book “ART OF TOURING” ( square root books ) and the local music community to showcase creative endeavors when not rockin’ on the stage. Whether video, pictures, sketches or written word , these musicians keep their creative edge sharp while whittling away the hours in a van, on a plane or walking about the cities they frequent.


Friday July 9th, 2010

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibition) was founded in 2010 with the ambition to provide the arts community with an affordable, cooperative, and dialogue-oriented residency program. ACRE investigates and institutes models designed to help artists develop, present, and discuss their practices by providing forums for idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects. The residency itself takes place in rural Southwest Wisconsin and brings together artists from across disciplines and levels of experience to create a regenerative community of cultural producers.


opening: Saturday, June 26, 7-10pm

June 26 – July 3, 2010

In collaboration with Barbara DeGenevieve, a mixed media exhibition that explores themes of sex.


June 12, 2010
Banshee is a group exhibition exploring the subject of adolescent women. In Irish mythology, the Banshee is a female spirit viewed as an omen of death that appears as either a hideous, old hag or an enchanting, young woman. This showcase of photography captures the status of the contemporary American girl. Anna Cerniglia of Johalla Projects has organized this exhibition with the intention of taking this group of photographs to be shown by our affiliates in Rome. With the popularity of imagery of young females in contemporary photography, we hope to shine a light on some Chicagoans who have been portraying this intriguing theme.

Featuring work by:
Caitlin Arnold
Aron Gent
Maureen Peabody
Daniel Shea
Greg Stimac

an exhibition curated by Anna Cerniglia and Susanna Horvatovičova
May 7-22, 2010
Artists featured: Elise Blue, Ben Russell, Rakele Tombini, Chiara Tommasi

Curated by Jes Ashley
April 24, 2010 (one night event) 
Artists featured: Kate Brock, Kimberly Kim, Megan Noe, Sarah Q. Laurie Reese, Jess Sikon, Krystal Thompson, Maria Ulrich

50 ALDERMEN/50 ARTISTS: A Group Show
March 19, 2010 - April 2, 2010
How many Chicagoans know what their alderman looks like? How many Chicagoans can tell you who their alderman is, and what he or she has been doing lately? We’re not pollsters, so we don’t have any hard data to provide answers to these questions — but we are artists, and we’re interested in using art as a vehicle in depicting and learning more about the aldermen who represent us at City Hall. To this end, we invite other Chicago artists to join us in producing 50 ALDERMEN/50 ARTISTS: A group exhibition of portraits that will enable people to learn more about the 50 aldermen who make up the Chicago City Council, and raise awareness of local government. On Friday, March 19, 2010 from 7-11pm, Old Style and HUM proudly presents 50 ALDERMEN/50 ARTISTS at the Johalla Projects, 1561 N. Milwaukee.
For the exhibit, 50 artists from across Chicago will be invited to choose one alderman to feature in a 16″x22″ portrait, using their media of choice. Participating artists will be required to interview or attempt to interview the alderman they are depicting. All 50 aldermen will be invited to the opening, which will include biographical information and a voter registration table. In addition to the show, we hope to feature the 50 alderman portraits — as well as portraits of Richard M. Daley and Cook County Board President Todd H. Stroger — in an "alternative voting guide."
Aldermen serve four-year terms, during which they vote on regulations and rules that affect all of us. And sometimes they participate in the notorious Chicago political machine: Since 1974, 30 aldermen have been convicted of federal crimes ranging from tax evasion to bribery. (A couple of others died before going to trial.) Whether ethical or corrupt, aldermen make our city what it is, and make Chicago’s history. 50 ALDERMEN/50 ARTISTS hopes to acknowledge this fact, as well as celebrate the richness of our local political culture.
In keeping with the spirit of 50 ALDERMEN/50 ARTISTS, the League of Women Voters of Chicago will register voters on March 19 events. We are asking artists who participate in the show to donate 25% of the sale of their work to the LWV.

DIY/Zine Art Show and Gadabout Film Festival
Friday, March 12, 2010
Curated by Chicago Zine Fest

Johalla Projects Art Auction Fundraiser
Friday, January 29, 2010
Curated by Johalla Projects
Artists featured: Zach Abubeker, Esteban Alcozer, Caitlin Arnold, Alis Atwell, Nathan Baker, Cindy Bernhard, Lucas Blair, Bridey Bowen, Bridgette Buckley, Elijah Burgher, Erik De Bat, Charlie Deets, Philip Dembinski, Craig Doty, Jack Edinger, Sara Fagala, Heather Gabel, Aron Gent, Jon Gitelson, Jourdon Gullett, Kyle Harter, Anni Holm, Courtney Howell, James Jankowiak, Chad Kouri, Claudia Isabelle Lara, Ashley Rae Mathias, Colin Matthes, Joseph Miller, Jessica Munguia, Maureen Peabody, Ben Russell, Joseph Rynkiewicz, Justin Schmitz, Daniel Shea, Montgomery Perry Smith, Myles Smutney-Hyde, David Snedden, Ben Speckmann, Brian Sorg, Christopher Starbody, Julia Stotz, Laurent Varlet, Max Weber, and Nick Wylie

Getting Acquainted
Friday, January 8, 2010 - Saturday, January 23, 2010
curated by Joseph Rynkiewicz
Artists featured: In b Flat, Kristin Freeman, Shane Lavalette, Jason Polan, The Listening Project, and Daniel Shea

Snow Globe
Saturday, December 18, 2009 - Saturday, January 2, 2010
Curated by Johalla Projects and Christopher Starbody
Artists featured: Aron Gent, Chad Haldeman, Garrett Jensen, Johalla Projects, Sonia Levy, Steven Karl Metzer, Justus Roe, Phil Schuster, Momoko Seto, and Nick Spiese

Long Hand
Saturday, December 5, 2010 - Sunday, December 13, 2010
Curated by Emily Green and Caitlin Arnold
Artists featured: Jesse Avina, Melissa Damasauskas, Matt Shaw, Alise Spinella, Julia Stotz, Peter Takamori, and Casey Ann Wasniewski

The Undercolor: The Primer of Life
Friday, November 13, 2009 - Saturday, November 21, 2009
Curated by Anna Cerniglia
Artists featured: Erik De Bat and Brian Keller

Harold Arts Harvest 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009 - Saturday, November 7, 2009
Curated by Harold Arts
Artists featured: Brandon Alvendia, Zak Arctander, Caitlin Arnold, Michael Boles, Emily Clayton, Kyle Cronan, Elliot Eggler, Allison Grant, Aaron Harris, Kate Jenkins, Stacie Johnson, Katy Keefe, Kevin Malella, Aliza Morell, Michael Morris, Aay Preston-Myint, and Renee Staeck