The Crowded Table Artist Residency at PO Box Collective, Chicago, IL

Click here to view 3Arts artist profile.

The Chicago ACT Collective; Art in the Time of…
Chicago Art Department
July 9 – August 11, 2021

The Chicago ACT (Artists Creating Transformation) Collective builds political artistic collaboration and dialogue across multiple communities. We aim to generate work that both reflects and responds to current local needs identified by those most directly impacted. The Collective enacts self and community care through art-making. 

Chicago has a long standing history of justice organizing efforts from settlement housing to labor movements to environmental justice, immigrant and refugee rights and racial solidarity to name a few. Through this work, there have been ongoing learning opportunities for holding space for multiple truths while threading together community efforts. In honoring the fierce work of activism past and present, the Chicago ACT Collective forms bridges between social movements as well as what it means to be in relationship to ourselves, each other, and the communities we are part of. 

Formed in 2016 by William Estrada and Sarah Atlas, a group of artists, activists, educators, arts administrators, and thinkers came together to create work responding to justice and local grassroots efforts which quickly grew into a collective of chosen family. Love in the Time Of…is an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which art has been used to amplify critical conversations across our city’s social justice efforts while simultaneously cultivating a collective culture of love and care.  Writer bell hooks states, ““Embracing a love ethic means that we utilize all dimensions of love– “care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect and knowledge”– in our everyday lives’” (All About Love). 
Through camping, solidarity campaigning through artmaking, zoom check-ins during a global pandemic, radical care as a strategy, and cross collaborations, we have developed an interpersonal love ethic that carries–if not centers–continual conversations on social justice based artwork we are committed to developing in Chicago. 
It is from this lens, Act Collective presents, “Love in the Time of…” as an ongoing ellipse of our commitment to create from the various dimensions of love as we envision and move toward liberation.

El Arte de Hablar con Mi Reflejo | The Art of Speaking with My Reflection


El Arte de Hablar Con Mi Reflejo es la creación de un grupo de mujeres/líderes comunitarias de Little Village, El Arte de Hablar Con Mi Reflejo es la creación de un grupo de mujeres/líderes comunitarias de Little Village, Chicago, la mayoría de las cuales son inmigrantes provenientes de México. Se han reunido semanalmente durante los últimos siete años para las clases de integración artística facilitadas por la artista y diseñadora Jessica Mueller y ahora con la socia comunitaria y ecologista Mara Flores. Esta relación a largo plazo ha sido posible gracias a una colaboración entre Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), Telpochcalli Community Education Project (TCEP) y Telpochcalli Elementary School.

El Arte de Hablar Con Mi Reflejo is authored by a group of women/community leaders from Little Village, Chicago most whom are immigrants from Mexico. They have been meeting weekly for the past seven years for arts integration classes facilitated by artist and designer Jessica Mueller, and now with community partner and ecologist, Mara Flores. This long term program has been made possible through a partnership between Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), Telpochcalli Community Education Project (TCEP), and Telpochcalli Elementary School.

¡Book Release! Friday, May 21, 2021 6:30-8:30 via Zoom!

Book Release & Reading: Shelter in Place: An Afternoon with Artist Mothers
Shelter in Place Artist Mothers Work: A collection of works from the first six
months of the Coronavirus pandemic
Order book here.
3:30 – 4: 30 p.m. CDT

We invite you to join us in a virtual sharing and discussion with a selection of artists
from the new book, Shelter in Place Artist Mothers Work: A collection of works from the first six
months of the Coronavirus pandemic,
compiled by Tulika Ladsariya and Angela Lopez. Artists Elan
Cadiz, Noelle Garcia, Sara Khan, Alyssa Martinez and Jessica Mueller will share their contributions
to the book, and will engage in an interactive discussion led by Ladsariya and Lopez.

Emergency INDEX Vol. 9
Folding Clothes

MotherArt: Revisited Responds to “On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder #ontyranny
November 3, 2020 – Ongoing

Knots & Nodes: Mother to Mother, MotherArt: Revisited Summit
Chicago Art Department
Opening June 12th, 6-8pm (socially distant)

June 22nd, 5pm on Facebook Live | @MotherArtRevisited, Public Weigh-In, performance by Jessica Mueller, Alexandra, and Ricardo Munguia Mueller

Mothers’ Days by Lenka Clayton

July 15th, 2019, 388 pages, 82 mothers in 19 countries all documented 24 hours of everyday life. So thrilled and honored to be included in Mothers’ Days with many many amazing mother artists Photo: Philip Andrew Lewis

The book will be debuted in Labor: Motherhood & Art in 2020, the inaugural exhibition of the new University Art Museum at New Mexico State University. It will open on February 28, 2020 and remain on view until May 28, 2020.

Four fantastic art shows to catch before they’re gone

Four fantastic art shows to catch before they’re gone

Four fantastic art shows to catch before they’re gone

excerpt: “Maybe you want to start off 2020 right by taking in some meaningful, surprising, or just otherwise very good art. Unfortunately, most new shows won’t be on display until late January or early February, so what to do other than curl up under a cozy blanket and look at last year’s catalogues and coffee table books? Thankfully, a handful of museums and galleries keep their temporary exhibitions up through the new year, four of which are particularly worth braving the chilly weather to go and see.

“Extended Self: Transformations & Connections” at the Hyde Park Art Center provides the kind of reflections I have been seeking out since giving birth to my first child a decade ago. Though the show itself feels heavy-handed at times, the work — by 16 artist-mothers whose mediums range from soft sculpture and beadwork to stop-frame animation — never does, whether for reasons of levity, loveliness or liveliness. The subsumption of the maternal body by the needs of its baby finds painfully funny expression in Kaitlynn Redell’s self-portraits of mom-as-furniture, tending to the well being of her own little one while disguised as a rocking chair, table or walker. Something similar, but more like what happens as children get older, is the balancing act on view in Jessica Mueller’s collaboration with her two teens, a public weigh-in where the kids hang on to their mother and she stands on a scale, bearing them all. The collages of Emily Lindskoog, unfixed and comprised of equal parts artistic and domestic items — oil pastel on paper but also rubber toy pieces and a handle from a mug her kid broke — neatly recompose the messiness of life with offspring. Having one’s own most demanding, wondrous and ongoing relationships represented through art can offer invaluable support, especially when those ties have for so long received short shrift.”
Full article here

image: Emily Lindskoog, Winter Break (detail)

Typeforce 11
Co-Prosperity Sphere
February 28th, 6-11:30pm
Opening Reception

Mother Art: Revisited Summit:Knots and Nodes. Mother to Mother.
Chicago Art Department
March 19-22nd (events TBA) 

Hyde Park Arts Center, Extended Self: Transformations and Connections 
October 12, 2019 – February 9, 2020
January 20th, 12-2pm MLK Day “Freedom Family” Celebration
December 8th 1-4pm Second Sundays

What is the shape of your family? ¿Cuál es la figura de tu familia?

Create block printed portraits and photo portraits of your family based on Public Weigh In, a performance by artist, Jessica Mueller and her children Alexandra and Ricardo. Jessica, Alexandra, and Ricardo will guide you through inking linoleum blocks and composing abstract family portraits AND standing on the scale to take your own Public Weigh In portrait. 

Hyde Park Arts Center, Extended Self: Transformations and Connections 
October 12, 2019 – February 9, 2020

Opening Reception October 12, 3-5pm with performance by Jessica Mueller, Alexandra and Ricardo Munguia-Mueller at 4pm.

Features artwork by a diverse group of artists at various stages of art-making and parenting. All works included in the show reveal the physical engagement of the body of the artist as a mother – in metaphor, form, process, image, data or motion. This is a unifying yet divergent premise, allowing for a diversity of work and of artists. Work in the show is grouped in intimate “conversations,” illuminating the importance of having other artist mother role models, and of building a community to support each other through the challenges of parenting and maintaining a creative practice.  Organized by Extended Practice.

2020 Juried National Exhibition: Collectively Shifting

January 17 – February 21, 2020
Third Fridays: January 17th, 7-10pm
Reception: Friday, February 14, 2020 5-7 PM

The exhibition is part of the WCA’s national conference Intersectionality at Columbia College in Chicago.

Individuals do not have a singular identity, especially when we consider who we are and how we are. Rather we have numerous ways that we identify ourselves including race, class, gender, sexuality, age, and (dis)ability.

Maternal Journal 2
November 24th, 2019 Release Party at Red Dirt Studios, 4051 34th St, Mt Rainier MD
Click here to purchase

MJ2 is a 110 page Risograph printed artbook in an edition of 300. It was compiled from an open call and co-edited by artist Leslie Holt and AMS creator, Amy Hughes Braden. Rebecca Pauline Jampol, co-Director of PES, designed and printed MJ2 as a part of the PES Feminist Incubator. The first issue of Maternal Journal was released in November 2018 as an accompaniment to the AMS residency at Washington Project for the Arts.

Spread from MJ2 | Left: Camila Ussa Villamil | Right: Tsedaye Makonnen, photo by Ayana Evans

MotherArt: Revisited presents Interruptions with LonArt at Sheroes Revoluciones
November 22nd-24th
Ugly Duck, 47/49 Tanner Street, London

The Chicago ACT Collective @ Grabolandia // Instituto Graphico de Chicago
November 17th, 2019
National Museum of Mexican Art

SECAC, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
From Houston to Chicago; Rethinking Sustainable Art Practices as Mother Artists
October 19, 2019

Panel sponsored by Watkins College: Exploring the Third (or Thousandth) Way of Being/Becoming/Sustaining Life as an Artist
Chair: Artist and Professor Jodi Hays
Photo Credit: Kaylan Buteyn, Artist Mother Podcast

Recipient of UTC Art Award for Equity and Inclusion

The Chicago Act Collective @ Networks of Resistance //
Just Seeds 

October 12, 2019
6-11pm at Co Prosperity Sphere

MotherArt: Revisited; Interruptions, July 30-August 3, 2019 at Hairpin Arts Center

Artist Parent Index // A searchable database of Artists, Exhibits, and Resources exploring Reproduction and Care taking

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Collective Terrain  // Inaugural Issue // December 2018
Forefronting art that expresses Humanity’s complicated relationship to land

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MFA Thesis Exhibition at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago July 13-29
Opening July 12, 2018 6-8pm (live performance at 7:15pm)
Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State Street, 7th floor, Chicago


Peeling off the Grey
The Chicago ACT Collective
National Museum of Mexican Art
May 11 – October 7, 2018

An exhibition picking, prying and peeling off the layers of gentrification in Pilsen. To expose, let breathe, and share with others what the turmoil and dismantling of a community’s heart looks and feels like. Shown through the work of each artist and activist, the different experiences, documentation, reactions and actions towards defending and protecting neighborhoods like Pilsen.

Es una exposición que pica, arranca y despelleja las capas del gentrificación en Pilsen. Para sacar a la luz, respiremos y compartamos con otros como la agitación y el desmantelamiento del corazón de una comunidad se ve y se siente. Mostrado a través del trabajo de cada artista y activista, las diferentes experiencias, documentación, reacciones y acciones están dirigidas a defender y proteger vecindarios como Pilsen.

ACT Podcast Print.jpg

August 2018, Publication of the first Mother Art: Revisited Journal featuring prose, poetry, and visual work from the members of Mother Art: Revisited.

Collaborative Collisions, CC’s Art Garage, Chicago, IL 2018