As a major metropolitan center, Chicago is no doubt a hub for diverse art, music, and culture. A look at our museums and galleries shows just that. From colorful abstract patterns to textile work, the fluidity and beauty of art is that there’s something out there for everyone. In celebration of womxn and their contributions this month, we’ve gathered ten Chicago womxn artists you gotta know. Whether you’re currently staring at blank apartment walls or looking to add a new piece to your collection, if you’re shopping for art, show your support for local womxn artists! Check them out below.
You may have seen Emmy’s work in and around the city from Jeni’s Ice Cream and Foxtrot to Soho House and Lululemon. With Chicago serving as inspiration as well as her canvas, the artist is known for her fresh colors, layering, linework, and patterns. These methods and more are seen throughout her work in murals, lettering, paintings, and other mediums.
Emmy’s background in visual communications and advertising coupled with her creativity and talent has partnered her with iconic brands such as the Chicago Bulls, YETI, Vital Proteins, Sharpie, and more.
Brittney is a Chicago-based artist whose striking paintings are filled with bold colors, surreal landscapes, and imaginative forms that evoke emotions and familiarity with the audience. Abstract figures are contorted and transformed within open landscapes, giving us a glimpse into unique worlds and settings.
Brittney often uses blues and reds in her work––these bold, contrasting colors add power to her already-strong pieces as well as feelings of everything from surrender and exhaustion to carrying a heavy burden or trauma.
Kate Lynn Lewis’ portfolio is as diverse as it is wide. Her large-scale mural installations can be found in cities throughout the US, including Chicago in River North, the Riverwalk, Lakeview, Fulton Market, and more. She also has branded work with names like Jameson, Jack Daniels, YETI, Google, the Chicago Bulls, Bears, Cubs, Blackhawks, and more.
Her style is composed of clean and hard lines, bold colors, and emphasis on architectural elements as well as the female form. Check out her free postcards project, where you sign up to periodically receive postcards featuring original art.
Ariel Sinha is a multidisciplinary artist in many ways. The Chicago-based creative is a self-taught UI designer and illustrator and moonlights as a comedian and musician on the side. Her sense of humor and personality can be seen through her illustrations as well as her Instagram captions.
The designer is known for her bold portraits, shapes, and colors. Portraiture is a big focus in Ariel’s work. Her portraits include political and societal figures, pop culture, and everyday people, usually tying in with current events. Her portfolio also includes Chicago-focused art, including of the Chicago Bulls, Bears, and beloved Chicago hot dogs.
Kathleen Rietz is a master of acrylic painting. Her subject matter? Breathtaking floral scenes as well as bold abstract art. Flowers are often used as a focus in her work because of their symbolisms throughout life. The gorgeous color palettes, textures, and techniques bring to life flowers that will never wilt or die, giving your space a hint of spring and summer at all times.
Specializing in abstract art, Brenda Jackson brings texture to her pieces, keeping them rough to the touch in likeness to life and nature. The acrylic and mixed media painter uses her art to evoke “powerful feelings of connection between ourselves and our surroundings.” She works with layers as well as strips them down, allows and embraces accidents, and takes risks.
Molly Costello is a non-binary queer illustrator who explores themes of “interconnectedness, cosmology, reciprocity, biomimicry” in their art and hopes to contribute to a new culture of accountability and collective wellness. They work with several different mediums, like cut paper, paint, clay, and colored pencil. They use bright and vibrant, often contrasting, colors in their scenes. Molly’s hobbies include beekeeping and gardening, which is often seen in their work with elements of nature.
Sam Kirk is a multimedia artist and muralist whose art is meant to “invoke pride, recognition, and political self-identity for marginalized communities.” As a multiracial, queer woman, Sam finds the importance of exploring culture and identity in her work, addressing social issues.
She often produces large scale public installations, reaching a wide and diverse audience. Notably, in 2019, her work took over an entire NYC block near Times Square for the World Pride Celebration. Characterized by bright, bold colors and portraits, Sam has collaborated with EFFEN Vodka, the Chicago Cubs, Houghton Mifflin, Xfinity/Comcast, World Business Chicago, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, to name a few.
With a speciality in minimalist paintings, particularly in a geometric and abstract style, Mary Fedorowski focuses on the beauty of modern landscapes. Her work uses crisp lines, bright neons and pastels, and brings a sense of calm, yet engaging energy. Mary’s landscapes draw you in with their playful colors and would be great pieces to hang in any space, whether it’s minimalist or boho vibes.
Hailey Losselyong’s creativity isn’t limited to canvas. She paints on walls, planters, thrifted apparel, purses, shoes––you name it. Hailey’s passion is big bold paintings of women and her style consists of bright colors and bold lines. She has worked with Dr. Martens, Walgreens, the Ace Hotel, and more as well as led workshops for budding artists. Hailey also often works with nonprofit organizations as well as donates proceeds to causes.
Featured Image Credit: Mary Fedorowski