Current Artists in Residence
Lillstreet’s resident artist program provides a unique opportunity for artists to work in a collaborative, community based arts center offering resources and instruction in a variety of media. Artists-in-Residence are encouraged to develop their existing bodies of work, explore new processes and concepts, and seek instruction in entirely new media and techniques. The residency works with minimal structure, allowing artists to shape their time at Lillstreet to their own goals. Residents spend some of their time dedicated to working with students in order to enrich the education programs, offering students the opportunity to see and learn from working artists. Residents will also work with our community outreach program, ArtReach at Lillstreet, to provide arts education to under served communities in Chicago. We hope that all residents will actively participate in our community, sharing knowledge, prompting new ideas, and building on our enthusiasm for creative expression.
From left: Jessi Meliza, Nora Renick-Rinehart, Amanday Mulcahy, Molly Bishop, Kyle Hendrix, Jessica Armstrong, and Marissa Neuman. (Artist in Residence Artists Talks at Lillstreet Loft. Friday, November 14, 2014.)
Nora Renick-Rinehart — Textiles
Nora Renick Rinehart holds a BFA in Fibers from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Since graduating in 2008, she has had a number of textiles-related jobs including sewing custom handbags and stitching costumes for musical theater. She currently teaches and is a freelance studio artist.
Although her background is in fibers, Nora doesn't limit herself to any one media when approaching an idea or a project. Her work, which tends to be disparate in concept and aesthetics, approaches an experience and tries to suss out it’s universalities. Nora’s current body of work investigates our relationship with the sky and the distinctions between perception and reality, exploring the importance of emotional response versus scientific analysis.
Jessica Armstrong — Metals
Jessica Armstrong received her MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and her BFA in Jewlery and Metalsmithing from Eastern Kentucky University in 2010. She just finished an Emerging Artist in Residence at Millersville University.
Jessica has been a featured artist on Crafthaus and Society of North American Goldsmiths website, participated in wearable art runway shows, and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her work has been published in Lark's 1000 Beads, Resin 8, Art Jewelry Magazine, and MJSA Journal.
Jessi Meliza — Digital Arts
Jessi Meliza earned her BA from The Evergreen State College, where she took the message of interdisciplinary learning and began shouting it from the rooftops. Primarily a digital animator, she takes very seriously the importance of the physical world, where she crafts tiny worlds and paints portraits of her favorite people's pets.
Amanda Mulcahy — Drawing & Painting
Amanda Mulcahy is a Chicago native who fancies herself an urban naturalist, collecting and documenting the minutiae of city life for further studio study. She begins many projects in locations as varied as Lakeview alleyways or Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Although she employs a variety of materials (such as rag paper, bed linens, old text books, Polaroids, and crochet), she approaches her practice from a painter’s perspective.
Kyle Hendrix — Ceramics
Kyle Hendrix is a clay artist who creates wheel thrown and hand built functional vessels. Born on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois, Kyle completed his BFA in Ceramics and Art Education at the University Wisconsin-Whitewater. After graduation, he spent a season at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado as a ceramic workshop assistant. Most recently before coming to Lillstreet, Kyle completed a summer term as an artist in residence at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, Virginia. Kyle’s work now incorporates a variety of clay bodies and firing atmospheres, focusing mainly in atmospheric soda firings.
Molly Bishop — Ceramics
Born and raised in Virginia, Molly Anne Bishop graduated from the VCU craft/material studies program in 2012. Working mostly in clay, she draws inspiration from lizards, popular sports, and travel. After spending 5 months living in a plumber's truck and traveling cross-country, she has an appreciation for all the little creatures across America. She is an avid sketch booker.
She is currently a long-term resident at Red Lodge Clay Center where she is continuing to explore the relationship between two dimensional drawing and ceramic forms, while talking too much about her feelings. She has work in the permanent collections of her mom and boyfriend.
Marissa Neuman —ArtReach
Marissa Zain Neuman is a visual artist fresh out of The Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA and a prior Bachelors degree in Art History from Loyola University. She is thrilled to be the very first ArtReach artist in residence at Lillstreet, and join a team of radical forward thinking folks. Her background in art and social justice is what brought her to find ArtReach. Her practice balances between collaborating with communities and maintaining a disciplined presence in her studio. The work she makes often takes form in ceramics, drawing and painting but her work is best described as interdisciplinary. Her process stems from a curiosity in identity politics and collective consciousness. Through the creation and staging of objects or compositions her practice seeks to explore and reposition cultural narratives. She also loves drinking tea, as long as its not jasmine, and attending potlucks.