A newly renovated building on Fullerton and Drake will soon be brimming with artwork from Chicago-area creatives.
Founded and operated by resident artists, and husband-and-wife, Melissa Mendiola Polonsky and Jordan Polonsky, Positive Space Studios is a workspace and gallery located at 3520 W. Fullerton Ave. The facility was created to offer affordable, quality studio and gallery spaces to the diverse community of artists throughout the Chicagoland area who are looking for room to create and display their work.
Melissa, a mixed-media artist and former art instructor, and Jordan, a visual designer and painter, have lived in Logan Square for nearly 13 years and dreamt of creating a collaborative gallery for resident artists for years, but had not found the time or means to do so with taking care of their now 3-year-old daughter, Maybeline.
It was in mid-October when Melissa noticed the ‘For Lease’ sign plastered on the then-deserted building while driving down Fullerton Avenue. She jumped at the opportunity. “If we don’t do it now, we never will,” she figured.
She pulled over and called the owner, who was ecstatic about the couple’s vision for the space. Within three weeks, Melissa and Jordan met with a crew of contractors and molded the space into art studios.
The 2200-square-foot facility is scheduled to open its doors to artists in January. Equipped with 11 total studios, leasing rates will range from $165 to $725 per month, depending on size. The gallery is the focal point of Positive Space Studios, with exhibits alternating monthly.
Artists from throughout the Chicagoland area, including Ukrainian Village, Uptown and Albany Park, have already begun to show interest in renting studio space to display their artwork by contacting the owners via the website and Instagram.
With specialties in embroidery, printmaking, photography, painting, sculpture and street art, many creatives are looking forward to showcasing their art in the coming space. “I’m just in awe of the talent and the range. We couldn’t ask for anything better right now,” said Melissa.
Mentors and other creatives throughout Chicago are already reaching out to the couple and showing interest in contributing to the studio. “We have people coming in who are like, ‘This is exciting. I don’t necessarily want to rent from you, but I want to be involved. How can we help?’” she said.
Other plans for Positive Space Studios include art classes for children and adults in the community.
The couple is blown away by the level of support for their new business, and they’re excited to give back to the Logan Square community.
“Were open, were flexible, we want to be involved, and were open to new ideas,” explained Melissa. “Jordan and I aren’t just the people collecting rent. We want to be a group of artists that work together. Then, through that, network and bring more people in and be the cool spot where people feel comfortable coming in,” she said.