Call for entries for the “I Can’t Breathe” exhibition

In November/December 2015, ARC will present “I CAN’T BREATHE”, juried by Mary Patten and Romi Crawford, PhD.

Having endured a year in which video after video has appeared, showing shocking violence by police against unarmed citizens, ARC wants to begin a conversation about these events. The videos have forced all of us to address our ignorance and denial, as well as to ask even bigger questions about the nature of institutionalized racism.

For more information, or to submit an entry:

ARC GALLERY AND EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION is a non-profit, woman-run cooperative gallery dedicated to providing alternative space exhibition opportunities for innovative artists outside the commercial gallery system. Since 1973, ARC has given exposure and support to both men and women artists, providing an atmosphere for the continued development of artistic potential and experimentation.

Karras Performance Festival at ARC Gallery

Karras Performance Co-op, formerly known as Flak, is dedicated to the creation of new performance works through highly synthesized and reciprocal cross-disciplinary collaborations. Karras engages performance as a compound vision of multiple artists with the objective of understanding the core perspectives of others and how this translates creatively into a unified work. The organization is co-operated by Chicago-based composer/artist Shawn Lucas and clarinetist Emily Beisel, whom work the project as curators, creators, and performers. This core duo represents a strong but permeable creative foundation that is capable of assimilating the artistic expression of others.

Four programs of Visual, Musical and Theatrical Works Developed by:

  • Alejandro Acierto: August 20, 2015
  • Shawn Lucas & Mocrep: August 22, 2015
  • Bethany Younge: August 27, 2015
  • Emily Beisel: August 29, 2015

Find out more about these events by clicking here.

ARC Crowdfunding Campaign – Lend your support!

YOU can help expand the reach of ARC!


  • ARC is an educational foundation…that provides outreach to disenfranchised groups throughout the city, helping to facilitate the expression of creative voice.
  • ARC is a gallery… which subsidizes individual and group shows for artists, making the viewing and representation of art more accessible.
  • ARC is a group of artists…who want to expand the gallery’s offerings to the artists and communities we serve.
  • YOU can help expand the reach of ARC.

Click here to connect to the Crowdfunding Campaign and to find out more.

Email down

Hello everyone – our email ( had been down over the last week. If you sent us an email between 6/30 and 7/6, please resend the email to us and we will respond asap.

Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience.

The Body in Revue: A.I.R. at ARC

CAM00847-1A.I.R. Gallery, NY presents “The Body in Revue” at ARC Gallery through June 20, 2015. Following is an essay by Lynne Warren, curator of the exhibition:

There has long been a bond between the women artists of New York and Chicago. In the 1960s as the feminist movement began to influence thought and politics and in the early 1970s as inroads were being made into the arts, women artists in both cities shared a common cause—a critical lack of opportunities to get their ideas out into the world through exhibiting their artworks. Out of networking (especially through the activities of the West-East Bag, or WEB), information exchange, and a desire for change, in September 1972 A.I.R. Gallery (Artists in Residence, Inc.) opened as the first artist-run cooperative to exhibit women artists in America. And in part as a result of the exchanges between New York and Chicago, ARC (Artists, Residents of Chicago) opened exactly one year later. Although accused by traditionalists defending the male-dominated bastion of the fine arts of offering “dabblers” undeserved opportunities, in Chicago ARC allowed a generation of women artists finally to have a voice. A.I.R., founded by a number of pioneering and now nationally and internationally significant female artists, had less overt skepticism to face, perhaps, but it was not easy to be a woman artist in the 1970s in either city. Both galleries have persevered now for over forty years, providing supportive resources for literally hundreds of women in the difficult enterprise that is a career in the arts. And while times have changed, sadly the underrepresentation of women artists is still endemic in many artworld venues. As an expression of this reality, and the strong bond that exists between the two galleries, A.I.R. arranged for an exhibition at their sister institution ARC and asked me to curate a show of the current members. Of the over one hundred works submitted by the twenty-three artists, I have chosen twenty-five pieces, including sculpture, painting, drawings, photography, and various printmaking media. It became immediately apparent that the body was a major motif in many of the submissions; I thus chose the body as the organizing concept. There are works that clearly present the body: the doll-like imagery of Liz Biddle; the darkly reworked comic strips of Francie Shaw; the compelling cast-paper sculpture of Louise McCagg. A rather malevolent figure peeks out of Daria Dorosh’s corner piece; a nude woman drawn in dramatic perspective from above reaches her imploring hand toward the viewer in Cynthia Karasek’s drawing. There are negative and positive profiles presented against geometric shapes in Catherine Mosley’s work; legs and a face surface in richly layered montage of imagery by Joan Snitzer. Barbara Siegel’s mixed media collage combines the human visage with natural forms.

And then there are the works that insinuate the body: a face emerges from Jayanthi Moothy’s abstract, linear forms. The garlands of forms in Sylvia Netzer’s whimsical India ink drawing form a delightfully silly face. The blurred, richly colored forms in Maxine Henryson’s photograph can be seen as side-by-side robed figures. Similarly, Luisa Sartori’s frieze of old-fashioned streetlamps have some of the anthropomorphic feeling of the bewitched brooms in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice section of Disney’s Fantasia. Other works refer more obliquely to the body: Ann Pachner’s print featuring hypnotic, radiating color patterns is titled Abundant Heart and calls to mind both the physical beating and emotional emanations of that vital organ. Elisabeth Munro Smith’s abstract painting, All gone, with its cuplike shape and title evokes a baby (although it also calls to mind more adult concerns given the trickle of black that falls out of the shape). Even those works that do not depict or insinuate the body allude to it. The bow-like shapes of Erica Stoller’s scrap-plastic tubing sculptures are human scale and therefore evoke tools or instruments of some sort. Nancy Storrow’s hypnotic rendering of whirled lines and forms seems a metaphor for the tornado of emotions that can beset us. Jane Swavely’s poetic painting Hudson River June trip #1 reveals the viewpoint of an individual standing, observing a particular, and seemingly much-loved, landscape. Several works allude to the body by presenting images of houses and domestic items. Ann Schaumburger uses the most basic form of the house in diminutive but insistent geometric abstractions. Julia Westerbeke presents a viscous substance oozing out of an electrical socket in a disturbing vignette of small, everyday things gone wrong. Laura Petrovich-Cheney’s Block by Block assembles bits of recycled wood into a colorful, abstracted map of a neighborhood, the title a delightful double entendre. Kathleen Schneider’s Rosette III, a colorful mandala of flower-like forms, evokes a charming formal garden. Bodies other than human are also present: Yvette Drury Dubinsky fashions a lovely flow of forms that features fish and frogs ‘swimming’ in the blue offered by the technique of cyanotype. And finally, Mary Sweeney’s poignant White Bees, a resin rendering of dead bees, reminds us of our own mortality in evoking bleached bones, and in the consequences we human can rain down on the other creatures of the earth. It is not surprising a group of women might focus on the body and various implications of the body. “The Body in Revue” with this particular spelling is meant to evoke a showing, a parade of artworks, but it also should call to mind a review, a re-seeing. The works of the artist-members of A.I.R. have a collective weight as certainly as each artist has a unique and expertly expressed vision.

Apply to be member of ARC Gallery

ARC is accepting applications from POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS OF ARC

Consider joining a women-run cooperative gallery that has just celebrated its 40th year of serving artists.  Be mentored by artists who have learned how to navigate the art world in a cooperative, nurturing way.  Learn how to work with others to put on exciting exhibitions.  Explore the art world outside of the commercial-gallery system.

And please feel free to pass this information on to your women-artist friends!

Click to apply for membership



Make an End-Of-Year Donation to ARC

Please Help Maintain our 40-Year Commitment to Excellence in the Arts

You can donate by clicking here

ARC is an internationally recognized not-for-profit, woman artist-run organization that is home to an exhibition space that has been part of the Chicago art scene since 1973. Founded as an alternative to the mainstream gallery structure during the pinnacle of the women’s movement, ARC Gallery has successfully and continually provided opportunities for artists working in all media without reference to gender, race, sexuality, age, religion or political views.

ARC is one of the oldest cooperatives of its caliber in the country and was the early home to such artists as Miriam Schapiro, Kay Rosen, and Betty Parsons.

T-shirt contest winner

Rhonda Thomas’ created the winning design for “The ‘F’ Word: Feminism Now” t-shirt contest.

The t-shirts will be on sale at the ARC Gallery, starting at the show reception, December 5 from 6-9pm. All proceeds go toward the ARC Gallery.

Opening Reception, November 7 2014

We had a great turn out for Ruti Modlin’s PENTIMENTO, Laura Cloud’s multi media “Sky Impressions and other thoughts” and Candace Law’s encaustic/mixed media – “Improvisus” at ARC Gallery on Friday, Nov 11. The show is running through November 22 – please stop by!

Join us – Opening Reception 11/07/14

Please join us next Friday, November the 7th, 2014 for the opening of Ruti Modlin’s PENTIMENTO show, Laura Cloud’s multi media “Sky Impressions and other thoughts” and Candace Law’s encaustic/mixed media – “Improvisus” at ARC Gallery between 6-9pm.

The ARC GAllery

  • November 7, 2014
  • 6-9 pm
  • 2156 N Damen Ave, Chicago
  • 773 252 2232
  • Drinks and refreshments will be served.