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Chicago Artists Month preview

TOC profiles four of our favorite CAM artists.

 (Photograph: Courtesy of Mary Ellen Croteau / DCASE)
Photograph: Courtesy of Mary Ellen Croteau / DCASEMary Ellen CroteauA self-described artist and agitator, Croteau makes work that challenges visitors to think in new ways about discarded objects, such as the plastic bottle caps she used to create My Eye (pictured, 2012). �By making art with plastic waste, I reclaim and repurpose what would otherwise go to landfills,� the 63-year-old Logan Square resident says. Her work will be on view this fall at the Garfield Park Conservatory, the Illinois State Museum�s Chicago Gallery and the Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square.
 (Photograph: Courtesy of Selina Trepp / DCASE)
Photograph: Courtesy of Selina Trepp / DCASESelina TreppBest known for her video and performance pieces, the Swiss-born Garfield Park resident is currently creating self-referential photographic portraits. Trepp, 39, says of this new direction, �My work is based on experiments. I am looking for a balance between working conceptually and chance-based. My work explores identity and image-making. I am interested in the space between the digital and the analogue.� Her experimentation has produced amazing results, like The Painter (pictured, 2011), currently on view in �Afterimage� at the DePaul Art Museum.
 (Photograph: Courtesy of Hebru Brantley)
Photograph: Courtesy of Hebru BrantleyHebru BrantleyThe Bronzeville native can seemingly do it all: illustration, sculpture, murals and works on canvas. His distinctive style synthesizes many influences, including Japanese anime, comic-book illustration, African-American folk art and urban graffiti. Brantley, 31, brings a storytelling element to his brand of visual art : �My approach is to be a griot,� he says, �weaving narratives around a contemporary context, not to be confined by the trappings of those who try to dictate what fine art is.� The Bridgeport resident�s works, like And We�ll Drift Away (pictured, 2012), can be seen this October at Wicker Park art center One Strange Bird and in �Street Images: The City Speaks Through Art� at Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side.
 (Photograph: Courtesy of Regin Igloria)
Photograph: Courtesy of Regin IgloriaRegin IgloriaRaised in Albany Park, where he still lives, Igloria is fascinated with urban society�s relationships with nature. He explores them through paper-based installations, hand-bound books and drawings. �I am always thinking about movement within a landscape,� the 38-year-old says. �My formal understandings within a drawing come from the same experiences I have exploring nature. I stopped separating the two when I decided there was no difference in those activities.� Examples of these artistic explorations, like Landscape Compilation (pictured, 2012), are on view at Igloria�s solo show at Ryerson Woods� Brushwood Gallery and Albany Park�s North Branch Projects.
By Franck Mercurio |

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