Nomadic Studio

the Studios

We considered the studios as art. From interior design, to furniture selection, to hand crafted elements, and attention to function, these studio installs were vital to the intent and spirit of the exhibition. In addition, there were a host of portable studios that were used in and out of the space for workshops, demonstrations and installations.

A.  the Rumpus Room
B.  SITE Office
C.  Workroom
D.  Convertible Stage
E.  Main Gallery
F.  Black Public Radio
G.  Anode

H. Mobile Silk Screening Cart
I. Silver Galleon Press
J. Community Garden Canoe
K. Portable Nomadic Studio


Nomadic Studio Rumpus RoomA. the Rumpus Room

The Rumpus Room was a replica of a basement on the Northwest side of Chicago that is used as a rehearsal space, a composing studio, a venue, a print-making, woodworking and technology workshop, a collaborative art project, classroom and gallery, and most importantly, a fully-functioning recording studio that packs away in under two hours, turning the space into a social club.

The atmosphere of the Original Rumpus Room has always inspired creativity, and the room at the museum was designed to do the same. This studio installation was built by Brian McNally, Faiz Razi, and Beth Wiedner. Original Rumpus Room (below) is owned by Gwen Ihnat & Brian McNally. Tiki Bar (above, far left) was built by George Ihnat in 1963.


SITE Office Nomadic Studio

B. SITE Office

The SITE Office was a physical manifestation of Stockyard Institute Teaching Experiments or SITE. SITE is a multi-media publication initiative that seeks to locate and combine transdisciplinary fields of knowledge in hopes of reconstituting and reimagining educational resources through the lived experiences of teachers. Productions of interest include, but are not limited to, visual art and education curriculum mapping, lesson / unit plans, scholastic research documents, educator experiences and radical experimentation. SITE reviews, revises, and accepts writing, lessons, and curriculum from educators who think creatively. SITE also houses a wall dispenser that is a collection of zines on a broad range of artist profiles, collaborative projects, community interventions, creative experiments and an ongoing catalog of all the individuals and groups working in and through the Nomadic Studio. Jim Duignan, Beth Wiedner and Faiz Razi designed this studio installation and project. Watie White painted the mural on the back wall during the exhibition. ___________


C. Workroom

The Workroom was a place to sit down and make sketches and notes for the handful of projects we solicited from artists. It was also a space to gather for some of our small workshops and a public access arts studio for those who wished to organize ideas of their own. It was equipped with a variety of materials, art supplies and contemporary and historical references. This studio installation was designed by Jim Duignan.

Convertible Stage Nomadic Studio
D. Convertible Stage

Throughout the exhibition, the Convertible Stage in the main gallery transformed several times to represent different venues in Chicago that have closed. A\V Aerie, the loft space in Fulton Market’s warehouse district and the underground club, Union Rock Yards in Humboldt park were paid homage through both the recreation of the venues as well as through encore performances of the bands who played the nights the venues closed.

The artists involved in these venues are still active creative forces to this day, and were given an opportunity to become nomadic and move their spaces within our walls. The stage was designed by Faiz Razi with Marshall Preheim and Pat Kenneally of A\V Aerie and Rich Fessler and Mark Oster of Union Rock Yards. Jose Rosello aided in the construction of the Union Rock Yards stage.


Main Gallery Nomadic Studio

E. Main Gallery

The Main Gallery was a congregational space. It functioned as a classroom, a venue, a workshop, a staging area and was host to the majority of the events at Nomadic Studio. The gallery was flanked by Jeff Zimmerman’s imposing photo-realistic paintings, “Nort” and “Sowf” and Dayton Castleman’s cardboard F-16 Falcon and Canadian Goose, titled “Chicken”. Rob Funderburk also painted “the Robin and the Worm,” a 468 sq ft. mural behind “Chicken”. In addition, the Convertible Stage changed regularly to give the room an inviting, yet constantly evolving atmosphere.


Written by Jim Duignan

August 11, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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