A Look at Artist Collectives

January 25, 2016

There is no real way to describe one specific definition of an artist collective, but that is what makes them so amazing and unique. Each one has its own definition and concept that the collaborators have agreed on and claimed ownership to. Some aspects of artist collectives can include event production, classes, gallery spaces, media connections, etc. 


In such widely diverse cities like Chicago, there are so many opportunities for artists to make these relationships and connections with other artists and their communities. We have compiled a list of some of the exceptional artist collectives found throughout the world: 


Canvas (Chicago, Wicker Park): 


Canvas is an ever growing community of event producers, entrepreneurs, and artists dedicated to designing a sustainable creative environment that helps great ideas reach their full potential. Many of the events they produce are a showcase of music performance, gallery artwork and technology capabilities of many artists throughout the city.



ILLROOTS (Everywhere):


Chicago natives, Mike Waxx and Mike Carson are the founders of ILLROOTS, a collaboration of creatives that include directors, producers and artists who help create videos, events and album rollouts. They have worked with renowned artists such as Big Sean, Lil' Wayne and Kanye West in the few short years they have been in the hip-hop scene. 





Fulton Street Collective (Chicago, West Loop):


The Fulton Street Collective dedicates themselves to the development of artists and the artistic community. Through private & shared studios, exhibition & performance space, and an active network of communication and social media communications, FSC creates an environment that incubates artistic vision. They provide access to necessary tools and resources to help artists and communities thrive. 




Last Night In Paris (London): 


This globally-minded hip-hop collective from South-East London uses their own unique style to document their lives with short films, music videos and songs. Last Night in Paris is all DIY (that means no outsourcing) which allows their brand to be completely true to who they are and what they represent. 









Stairway Studios (Chicago, West Loop):


Stairway Studios is a collective of professional artists working in a myriad of disciplines with a strong focus on three-dimensional artworks. Still in its first year, SS is quickly converging on its founding members’ vision: to create a studio that has the capability of providing the amenities necessary for the inventive and exploratory nature of 3-D artists.  Large-scale installations, furniture, lighting design, mold-making, metallurgy, resin work, assemblage, sculpture, ceramics, and painting make up the foundation of skills practiced daily at the studio.

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