James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

13: Clearing the Cobwebs

Last week was about the importance of keeping a creative clique. Nick Lacke let me know his feelings about it.

"I'm hoping autotelic will serve as that creative clique! I'm also really excited to ramp up and start making shit!"

As you can tell, he’s really excited. There’s power in a group of folks that are keeping you accountable and on task.

Speaking of Autotelic, I happened to share studio space with Nick at that same collective. On Saturday we had a big move from one neighborhood to another. We were located at a small, rustic storefront in the Avondale neighborhood for years—burrowed in a residential area. It became a second home for me, as the neighbors would come down for events and turned a sleepy neighborhood into a mini cultural hub. As Autotelic grew, not only in their reputation but the number of participating artists, so was the need for larger space. The inevitable was coming, we would have to move.

Even though the move was being planned for a few months, I never had a chance to see our new space being built, due to my own schedule. That changed Saturday morning, where 8 of us were ready to make a seemingly big task of packing away a studio and living space above the studio, done quite swiftly.

We arrived to our new studio in Logan Square by the afternoon. For those unfamiliar with Chicago, Avondale and Logan Square are neighboring areas, with the new studio space located approximately 2 miles south of the older space. Arriving at the Logan Square studio was a breath of fresh air with recently painted walls, more elbow room, and extra amenities to work with. As we unpacked the moving truck and cars, we cleared the load in an hour. Once again, a daunting task quickly broken down by teamwork.

Even though we had some slip ups during the move, from friends slipping on ice and bruising knees, to myself falling and twisting an ankle, there was always someone to assist when another was down. It was a reminder that no matter how much it’s enticing to get something done by yourself, help is better in the long run, whether it’s physically moving items or working in the creative process. I’m looking forward to clearing the cobwebs and having a fresh start with my Autotelic “creative clique”.

Thanks for reading and see you next week,

-James

What did I find interesting this week?

1) MAKER Grant: Chicago folks, there's a grant available for artists who show a commitment to their practice and development. (1) $3,000 and (1) $1,000. Get on that!

2) "I Am Still Called by the God I Serve to Walk This Out": Ta-Neishi Coates strikes again with this conversation with Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Bates who was murdered in a Florida gas station for playing loud music

3) Craving the Other: On cultural appropriation and food. Saw some holes in the argument, but a conversation starter nonetheless.

James T. Green