Meeting at Harold Washington College two years ago, Edwin Martinez and Tattianna Howard decided to create a new arts group and collective in Logan Square, so they called on their friends from the music and visual arts worlds to join them and build their group. The impulse to create an arts collective that would include, and at times combine, visual and musical art, was driven by a desire to share space and collaborate with other artists.
Formally, LoudArts found its first regular and larger physical space that the founders could call their own when Martinez’s mother provided the group a first floor in a Logan Square two-flat. Enlisting the help of his street artist friends, Martinez and Howard painted murals on the walls and floors after he had cleared out most of the furniture and altered some walls to make it a more open space.
Sound, Visuals Meet at LoudArts Live Performances
Martinez is a musician who plays trumpet, and he is currently a member of HazyDripz, which he characterizes as “a hip-hop, soul, funk band.” Howard is a painter who studied at the American Academy of Art, and she often paints live while a band performs or a DJ spins. At LoudArts events, Howard is often joined by several other live painters.
Starting in June 2014, the LoudArts space began to feature art exhibits, spoken word and music performances. At some point LoudArts (often written as LoudARTS) was compelled to seek out a new space, and the group found one in August 2015 at 2602 W. Fullerton Ave., where members meet regularly on Thursday nights starting at 7 p.m. Most evenings are open studio time for painting and drawing, but one night a month is devoted to spoken word with SpeakUpChicago. On a recent spoken word evening, a constant flow of visitors and participants came to SpeakUpChicago.
Some art supplies are available for use, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own as well. Most visitors and regulars at LoudArts range in age from their late teens to mid-20s.
LoudArts has been holding art exhibits with live painting and music every few months. The last art exhibit featured a show on Halloween, the Trippy Horror Show, which featured four artists and live music and DJs. LoudArts has also held events at other venues, notably the Hairpin Arts Center (2810 N. Milwaukee Ave.), a space open to local Logan Square artists to hold exhibits and performances, in November 2015.
Founders Actively Recruit Talented Artists to Perform
Martinez and Howard say they actively seek out talent and invite people to their space when they go out to exhibits and performances or visit other neighborhood art groups, notably AnySquared (2328 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Indeed, the founders of LoudArts are currently building a small team of organizers to help them grow and develop, and perhaps expand into other art fields, such as fashion. Howard describes the mission of LoudArts as “a creative space where we showcase local Chicago talent.”
With its energetic and ambitious founders and their collaborators, LoudArts has become yet another promising venue to support such talent, as well as a destination check out for explorers of the Logan Square arts scene. LoudArts can be found on Facebook.