Gallery Hours & Location
1112 N. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60622
Tuesday: 6:00–7:00pm (there is a drop-in figure drawing held from 7:00–9:00pm)
Saturday (3rd and 4th Sat. of the month): 2:00–5:00pm
Or by appointment.
*Note that the gallery will closed for viewing art during the week prior to every opening, because of the de-install of the prior show and install of the new show. Other gallery events, including popup art shows,will continue be held during this time.
Monthly Art Shows, Opening Nights for Shows, usually the 2nd Saturday of the month, 6:00–10:00pm. Some opening night shows have been held on Friday nights and also a Sunday night.
Closing Night for Shows, usually the first Saturday of the month, 4 weeks after the opening, hours vary, afternoon or evening. The closing night for the show usually has an artist(s) talk.
Agitator Co-operative Gallery Mission Statement
Agitator cooperative gallery is a worker cooperative that makes decisions by consensus, valuing each member’s input equally, relying on non-hierarchical collective decision making. Agitator seeks to promote and engage significant art, including art made by conventionally overlooked artists.
Members of Agitator are diverse artist-curators with various racial, socioeconomic, gender, and sexual identities. Members share a common goal to curate art work that agitates or campaigns to provoke dialog and generate diversity, while respecting each artist’s vision and self-definition.
Membership Application: We are accepting applications for new members to join our group. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
We currently have seven active members; our member cap is sixteen, so we have room for nine more members. New members can join at a special rate of $100.00 per month for six months for their first six months of membership.
Limited membership in the group is possible through donating to Agitator through Patreon as a junior and senior artist subscriber; click the Become a Patron on the Sponsorship Page of this website to become a Patreon supporter.
Current Inactive Members
Lorenzo Angel Bonilla, Jennifer Anne Buckley, Karmen Elaine, Spencer Hutchinson*, Emilio Nadales, Frederick Nitsch*
*Founding members of Agitator
Agitator Member Statements about their current art practice and joining Agitator
There are a few things I experienced in 2016 that solidified a personal mission obtainable through my art practice and through community and collaborative activity.
I saw Henry Rollins speak (for the second time.) Rollins is the former singer of punk band Black Flag, now a spoken word and political speaker. He spoke in Chicago in early spring 2016 when the world was starting to get nervous about the next US presidential election. Without naming any names, Rollins explained to his audience that no matter who was elected we would survive. If we wanted to take action, do it within our own communities. Soon after this I also saw 2 members of Russian feminist protest punk band Pussy Riot, recently jailed by Putin, who advocated the same grassroots movements. A few months later I finished a book (for the second time) called Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. Near the end of the book the main character, an agitator named Woodpecker, talks about political turmoil and how there are always two sides to the underground: “There’s the underground involved in political resistance and the underground involved in preserving beauty and fun-which is to say, preserving the human spirit.”
These concepts have become my personal mission and is manifested through the mission of Agitator.
My art practice embodies this mission through a scientific approach. I analyze parts of everyday life like heartache, misunderstandings and perspective and relate it to physiology. What actually happens in the body when these human qualities occur? How can we better understand one another with completely unique brains, experiences and associations? The only way to begin relating to another person’s perspective is to listen, ask genuine questions, and accept the differences between us all.
I create my best work when I am involved with a group of people I respect. Whether it’s meeting a specific challenge for a particular project, learning how to work with new personalities, or just being influenced by a variety of goals and work ethics – healthy groups inspire me to reach beyond what I would go for on my own.
I also jump at every opportunity to unlearn hierarchical group structure. I hope that Agitator both teaches us as individuals and inspires the people we come into contact with every day.
Larry E. Kamphausen
Iconography integrates artistic, spiritual, and religious aspects of myself. What drew me to the painting of icons was the power of the imagery and its insistence on encounter. Traditionally the icon is touched and kissed, venerated. One isn’t just an observer of an icon, and an Orthodox Temple isn’t a museum. Icons make the transcendent visible and accessible. Iconography isn’t only about making the transcendent visible but also an assertion about the value of the body and matter. The transcended is found in the body of particular human beings, the Saints, and Jesus of Nazareth, the divine human (these are the traditional subjects of iconography): Iconography is the expression of belief that the transcendent is encountered in material reality. Recently I’ve begun to explore the connection of matter and the spiritual or transcendent in other subject matter, painting still lifes and landscapes in an iconographic style and technique.
Agitator in its inception was my idea, born out of my involvement in the community art scene in Chicago, specifically in Roger’s Park, as an iconographer. All of that was collaborative and often collective action but not always democratic. As a pastor and social entrepreneur I’ve founded consensus-based collective, cooperative, and collaborative enterprises. Agitator is my first foray into founding something in the arts. Like iconography, Agitator brings together various aspects of who I am and what I do.
I decided to join Agitator Gallery in order to meet and work closely with other visual artists, as well as to have the opportunity as a member-curator of a cooperative organization to have an equal voice in how to manage and lead a gallery and a potential studio-event space.
The concept of a cooperative member art gallery really appeals to me, because I want to be a part of an art space that works on the basis of member consensus rather than the veto power of the authoritative and often last word of one manager, who controls how a gallery and/or art space functions.
Like other art spaces and groups, Agitator also offers me a chance to learn from and work closely with and potentially collaborate with other visual artists.
Artistic growth, development and inspiration — the synergy of an art space where member artist-curators create, cooperate, and collaborate — this is a model I hope our cooperative gallery fully realizes. In turn, the success of our gallery cooperative model can inspire other visual artists to join together to create more such gallery cooperatives.
My reasons for wanting to be part of Agitator are two fold. First, and admittedly on a very personal level, I’ve been wanting a community of artists with whom to share ideas and my experience as an artist. Too much of working alone can feel isolated and compartmentalized away from the kind of meaningful engagement with others that I think I and everyone needs. To a one, I’m very pleased to say, this group delivers on that as I’ve gotten to know them.
Second and perhaps more to the point, I was looking for individuals that could and wanted to envision this collective in this gallery space as very real force for good. Much to my pleasure, I’ve discovered people who see and articulate that in different ways from me and still are patient and invested and care to listen to one another. I think ultimately, we model the change we wish to make.