Monster Artist Talk

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Artist talk by Santina Amato

Free event

The Smile Behind the Mask - Artist Talk

Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Panel discussion by the artists and curators of The Smile Behind the Mask

Free event

Coffee provided by La Colombe

Classical Music Series - Chicago Solisti

Friday, June 1, 2018 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Classical Concert
Friday June 1, 2018
Doors open 7:30 with performance at 8pm

Chicago Solisti joins Heaven Gallery for the third and final concert of the season. Chamber music and chamber orchestra collide in a program that features works by English, American, and Argentine composers. The lesser known but lush and Impressionistic Fantasie for Four Violas by York Bowen sets an adventurous tone that is then juxtaposed with the muscular and dangerous Last Round, an homage to famed tango composer Astor Piazzolla.

The second half of the program begins with a discussion of William Grant Still’s role (or lack thereof) in the Harlem Renaissance, his distinctive compositional style influenced by both European and African-American idioms, and the inspiration for one of his most widely performed works Mother and Child, arranged for string orchestra by the composer himself.

The evening concludes with an archetypal staple of Edward Elgar’s output; his Serenade for Strings, op. 2. Picturesque and emotive, the Serenade provides it’s audience with a scenic, charming, and sincere exercise in Elgar’s English style and a talent for lyricism evident in his larger work

Chicago Solisti is comprised of musicians from the metropolitan Chicago area. They've performed individually across the country as soloists, orchestral and chamber musicians and hold degrees in performance, composition and music education from the most prestigious institutions in the country. Their mission is to provide the cultural landscape of Chicago with creatively programmed and varied format concerts in addition to presenting standard repertoire with fresh perspective.

Refreshments provided
$10 suggested donation 

York Bowen Fantasia for Four Violas
Michael Schneider
Kelly Larson
Danielle Taylor
Emma Strohbusch
Osvaldo Golijov Last Round
Alexandra Switala, violin
Danielle Simandl, violin
Meghan Faw, violin
Alexandria Hill, violin
Michael Schneider, viola
Danielle Taylor, viola
Magdalena Sustere, cello
Aaron Gottl, cello
William Grant Still Mother and Child +
Elgar Serenade for Strings, op. 20
Violin I
Alexandra Switala*
Danielle Simandl
Alison Tatum
Meghan Faw
Violin II
Danielle Taylor*
Alexandria Hill
Susan Miller
Michael Schneider*
Emma Strohbusch
Kelly Larson
Magdalena Sustere*
Aaron Gottl
Double Bass
Joy Rowland*
*denotes principal

The Smile Behind the Mask

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
The Smile Behind the Mask is about the fantasy in everyday. The process of manipulating appearance is common place in how we dress, act, and construct personal avatars on social media. The painters in this show who engineer a space through real life moments, color, shapes, and people, are no different. They employ bathroom humor, sexuality, body building culture, and drunken shenanigans- all while referencing visual tropes from art history. The works range from tender to unapologetically bragging and hope to champion individuals necessity to reconstruct reality.
The Smile Behind the Mask includes eleven painters all working in Chicago:
Caleb Beck
Chris Capoyianes
Hyegyeong Choi
Katie Hammond
Ellen Hanson
Roland Miller
Amadeo Morelos
Kailyn Perry
Tk Suh
Patrick Wilkins
Bryant Worley
Curated by Kenneth Heyne of Rover and Kailyn Perry
Artist talk date: June 3rd 2018
Exhibition runs May 18 - June 24


Friday, May 18, 2018 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Monster is the first solo exhibition in the US of Australian-born, US based artist, Santina Amato. In this exhibition, Amato contemplates the idea of performance in the everyday both within the public and private realm, presenting ceramic vessels designed to ‘perform’ using freshly made bread dough alongside a series of cryptic painted works on paper and an epistolary to an unknown reader.
The opening night of Monster sees Amato ‘activating’ one of the ceramic vessels on exhibit, making the fresh dough in situ. The rising of the dough physically transforms the sculpture during its live performance as it spews out onto its surface. Exhibited at once and all together but activated individually, the penultimate experience of the dough’s post-performance varying stages of decay, becomes an integral part of the work: the yeast ferments, consuming the gallery with the stench of the dough’s initial stage of ‘decay’, until it eventually dries out, becoming a brittle, yet essential, extension to the ceramic form. Referring to the work as Re-Performing Sculptures, Amato’s ceramic vessels require maintenance, care, and attention after each activated public or private performance: the ceramic vessel require its cavity to be cleaned out, post their prurient performance.
Assuming the role of supporting actor to both the ceramic vessels and the epistolary, the series of cryptic painted works on paper result in abstract reflections on the psychosexual nature of intimacy. They offer a pause among the exhibited works by acting as documents to a moment in an ongoing stage of metamorphosis.
An accompanying text, a rambling epistolary to an unknown reader where discussions on life, death, intimacy, desire, anxiety, the need for making art, and the thoughts leading up to the exhibition by the artist, provide a raw insight into questions of public performance, private expression, and the erotic tension that exists between these two modes of being. The writings reflect on public performance and private authenticity, ending in a space in which one finds a freedom from the loop.
Monster creates an environment that submerges the spectator into a constructed reality, a subjective experience where performing the grotesque aspects of female desire, manifests into a multidisciplinary stage for the Monster.
The works in this exhibition were created at ACRE Residency (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions), Wisconsin (2017) & Process Park Residency (Artslant & Chashama), Upstate New York (2018).
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Santina Amato is an interdisciplinary artist whose work addresses the basic notion of the intimate body, especially the female body. She was born in Australia to Italian immigrants, and has lived and worked in USA since 2010. She received an MFA (Photography) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2017) and a BFA (Painting) from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne Australia (2009). Exhibitions and screenings include Governors Island Art Fair, NY, Leroy Neiman Centre, Chicago, IL, Detroit International Videonale, Kuntshalle Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, MI CURRENTS, Santa Fe International New Media Art Festival, NM, ExFest Film & Video Festival, Chicago,; Brooklyn Public TV, New York,; and The International Women’s Day Video Screening in Melbourne, Australia. In 2018, she will present a solo exhibition at Heaven Gallery, IL, supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a co-curated group exhibition with Sarah Skaggs at HERE Arts Center in NYC and fulfil the role of Artist-in-Residence at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA supported by the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE) Individual Artists Program (IAP) Grant and Crosstown Arts Center, Memphis, TN. Amato is Founder and Director of Moving_Image_00:00, a biannual festival in Chicago of moving image works created by Chicago-based artists.
Amato’s work is part of a collective photographic portfolio at The Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection and The Art Institute of Chicago and video collection at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia.
Image Courtesy of the Artist.
Re-Performing Sculpture I, 2017, Ceramic and Bread Dough. Governors Island Art Fair, NYC.
Exhibition runs May 18 - June 24
Gallery hours Friday & Saturday 1-6, Sunday 1-5

Classical Music Series - CHAI Collaborative Ensemble

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 7:30pm

The Gleam: Works by Whitacre, Trumbore, Bonis & Ripper
CHAI Collaborative Ensemble
Friday, May 4 
Doors open at 7:00pm, starts at 7:30pm
Entrance $20 General Admission
$10 Student & Industry ticket

CHAI Collaborative Ensemble (CCE) concludes its 2017-18 Season with a lively program of works by Eric Whitacre, Mélanie Bonis, and João Guilherme Ripper, and a World Premiere of The Gleam by Dale Trumbore, a song cycle for soprano and chamber ensemble setting the namesake poem by Robin Myers. This recent commission speaks to CCE's dedication to performing works by living composers and poets.

The performance will take place on Friday, May 4th at 7:30pm at Heaven Gallery in Wicker Park, Chicago (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., Suite #2). Tickets are $20/General and $10/Students & Industry. CCE is thrilled to present this program in partnership with Heaven Gallery, as part of their monthly music series.

The Program:
Whitacre: Five Hebrew Love Songs Trumbore: The Gleam (World Premiere) Bonis: Sonata for Flute and Piano Ripper: Cenas Infantis (Scenes from Childhood)

The Artists:
Gillian Hollis, soprano Michael Hoover, flute Laura Perkett, oboe Kelly Quesada, cello Caroline Rothstein, violin Stephen Paul Uhl, piano

CCE is a collective of musicians dedicated to honoring history, advocating for new work, and engaging with communities through adventurous programming of mixed vocal and instrumental chamber music. Our repertoire runs the gamut, ranging from beloved classics to newly commissioned works, with many hidden gems along the way. We see music as a means of bringing people together, and we strive to provide joyful and convivial concert experiences for all our audience members, whether they are seasoned concertgoers or are attending a classical music concert for the very first time. All are welcome at our performances, and we want to share our music with as many people as possible.

Contact: Laura Perkett & Talar Khosdeghian

Latinx Nation /18th Annual Benefit

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 7:00pm

Latinx Nation
18th Annual Benefit / Art Auction and Dance Party

May 5
$20 Door

On Cinco de Mayo, Heaven Gallery commemorates Chicago’s Latin heritage and celebrates the victories
of all native people against displacement. For the past 18 years, Heaven has supported the arts and cultivated community from its home on Milwaukee Ave., a historically Native American trail. As developers invade our city and seek to erase us we will unite to create a community land trust to protect our cultural equity. On this day we identify with the miraculous victory of indigenous Mexicans Benito Juárez and General Zaragoza over Napoleon III who attempted to carve his empire out of Mexican territory. On this historical evening we call on the spirit of our ancestors to help us claim victory.

Latinx Nation combines the celebration of non-binary, gender fluid people from all Latin cultures. Join us in moving towards inclusion in language as our generation creates a cohesive postcolonial identity for the descendants of the Americas.  

Our community recognizes the contributions that Latinx has made to this Nation and we honor them and give thanks.

Dance in the spirit to music by Future Rootz: Fanita Banana /SloMo /Sound Culture. 

Aztec ceremony will be performed  
Decorations by Victoria Martinez
Mural by Josue Pellot

Silent auction featuring works by: Scott Mossman/ Kailyn Perry/ Robert Burnier /Celeste Rapone/ Chris Zain/ Jeffrey Grauel/ Alejandro Jimenez-Flores/ Santina Amato/ Olivia Valentine/ Alex Bradley Cohen/ Cathy Hsiao/ Melissa Leandro/ Noel Morical/ Ryan Pfeiffer & Rebecca Walz/ Azadeh Gholizadeh/ Anna Showers-Cruser/ Sarah Mosk/ Brandon Alvendia/ Danny Floyd/ Liz McCarthy/ Sherwin Ovid/ Iris Bernblum/ Gwendolyn Zabicki/ Andreas Fischer/ Caroline Liu/ Daniel Hojnacki/ Claire Ashley/ Frances Lightbound/ Soo Shin/ Mel Cook/ Kate Hampel/ Annie Kielman/ Jeffrey Michael Austin/ Yvette Mayorga/ Nina Rizzo/ Matthew Hilshorst/ Aron Gent/ Sarah & Joseph Belknap/ Hyegyeong Choi/ Caleb Beck/ Edra Soto/ Robin Dluzen/ Leo Kaplan/ Ivan Lozano/ Brendan Luchik/ Tanner Bowman


night brings day / day brings night Artist Talk

Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 1:00pm

Artist talk with Leslie Baum about her current exhibition at Heaven Gallery, night brings day / day brings night
Coffee donated by La Colombe and Mexican patries by Artemio's Bakery.
Free event

Night brings day/day brings night is a selection of intimately scaled paintings from an ongoing project. This project came to fruition in the shadow of the 2016 presidential election. In that moment, the studio became a refuge and a place to contemplate forces greater in scale than the politics of the day. The paintings that emerged meditate on natural cycles and the passage of time: seasonal rotations, the turning of the calendar, and the rhythmic flow of night into day and day into night. Each work imagines a world within a world: a portal, an opening, into the unknowable, and each is tethered to the hope found in the long arc of time.

Leslie Baum has shown her work nationally and internationally, including exhibitions in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Mexico City, Rome, and South Korea. Recent exhibitions include Here Comes the Rainbow, the Cleve Carney Gallery at the College of DuPage, IL, Excuse Me If I get Too Deep, Geary Contemporary, NYC, Ohne Titel, 65grand, Chicago IL, MOUNTAIN and sea at 4th Ward Project Space and Legends for Loose Grids, Waiting Room, Minneapolis MN. Her animation short, the Megillat Breakdown, made in collaboration with Frederick Wells, was included in the Wisconsin Union Film Committee at the University of Wisconsin 2015 experimental film series and in the 2014 Eyeworks Festival. Her drawings and paintings are in the permanent collections of the Chicago Art institute, the Elmhurst Art Museum, and the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital. Her work has been reviewed extensively including in Artforum, Art in America, Hyperallergic, and the Chicago Tribune. She is included in New American Paintings vol. 119 and 100 Painters of Tomorrow. She has received residencies from Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center. Leslie Baum lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

Cornered + Fission Fusion Artist Talk

Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 1:00pm

A discussion with Scott Mossman and Tanner Bowman about their respective exhibitions at Heaven Gallery with a performance by violinist, Brandi Berry Benson

An avid collector as long as he has been making art, Scott Mossman's sculpture has always been colored by a longtime fascination with "the object." Most intriguing to Mossman is a works relationship to the wall where it's placed, the viewer and the gallery space. His sculptures hung curiously high, often times with a dramatic cast shadow, appear to serve a purpose other than art, the function of the oftentimes eccentric, seemingly worn tool, appliance or artifact not being as obvious as the soffit, burglar alarm sensor or boxy precariously mounted heating and air conditioning units that might occupy a similar spot on the wall.

Following up his recent one-person exhibit "Overhead" at the Noyes Cultural Center in Evanston, where his sculptures were hung high and heavily lit, his current exhibit at Heaven Gallery "Cornered" is dominated by recent works, many created for the space, that play off the meeting of two walls, the point where walls end and where the ceiling begins. As with the aforementioned Noyes exhibit, his pieces, oftentimes reflective of his fascination with architectural styles and structures, choose to interact with the idiosyncrasies of Heaven's Victorian vernacular roots.

Fission Fusion:
Fission Fusion is collaborative show by Tanner Bowman and Brendan Luchik, examining the push and pull between two individual artists working with collage and painting using experimental processes. The work began at a time of transition, as Luchik was in the middle of moving to New York City. The artists questioned how they could salvage remnants of Luchik's studio space, which may have otherwise been discarded, and use the collected scrap materials in an attempt to capture the essence and grit of a domestic studio space which would no longer exist. During the construction of the work the artists used their time to to reflect upon philosophy, psychology, poetry, landscape, and the connections between their creative outputs. These personal conversations, ranging in topics from Jungian Psychology and William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell”, to Sedona sunsets and gridded city living, directed the subject matter and processes used in constructing the images and assemblage. Also on display are Bowman and Luchik’s individual work which is meant to distinguish the visual conversation between the two artist's work and style. 

Berry Brandi Benson:
Violinist and 3Arts awardee Brandi Berry Benson will perform unaccompanied violin pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries at the opening reception of Overhead - Recent Sculptures by Scott Mossman, at the Noyes Cultural Center Nov 13 from 2 to 5. Ms. Berry Benson has appeared with numerous ensembles in the U.S. including Newberry Consort, Ars Lyrica, and Bach & Beethoven Experience and her "four-string acrobatics" and "indispensable skill" (TimeOut Chicago) have been praised as "alert [and] outstanding" (Chicago Classical Review), has also been noted for her "riffs…powered by a flashing blur of bow arm, [as they] rolled out with irresistible glee" (Washington Post).

Inspire & Empower: Women Creating Change in Their Communities

Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 10:30am

Inspire & Empower: Women Creating Change in their Communities
Free Event

In celebrating International Women’s Day, Heaven Gallery invites nine women who are making positive impacts in their communities. This group includes women that are running for office, activists that are creating housing and art cooperatives, and community leaders. These women will speak about their community-based projects, share their stories, and open the conversation about the importance of women in leadership. The goal of this event is to inspire women to create new initiatives and to bring visibility to the various projects being presented. This day is for women inspiring women to aim higher and that no dream is too big. #PressforProgress 

Speakers include: Amara Enyia, Amina Ayo Norman-Hawkins, Barbara Koenen, Carlyn So, Delia Ramirez, Laura Weathered, Natalie Figueroa, Sendy Soto and Elaine Coorens

Starbucks Coffee and refreshments provided

Dr. Amara Enyia is a Public Policy expert on city and state policy as well as international affairs/foreign policy with expertise in Central Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. She writes extensively on issues of education, economic development, fiscal policy, equity in policy, and systems thinking. Dr. Enyia has worked in various policy areas including economic development, public finance, housing, education, food security, and community development. She holds a Masters degree in education, a law degree, and a PhD in Education Policy. In addition to her public policy consulting work, Dr. Enyia is a political consultant and strategist. She is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Cooperative Economics and Economic Innovation (ICEEI), an entity that seeks to diversify the
economic ecosystem through educating, advocating, and developing policy for cooperative economic models and financing tools that support cooperative enterprises. She serves the Executive Director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and serves as Policy Consultant for several education organizations. Dr. Enyia serves on the boards of
the Chicago Community Loan Fund, the Communities First Association, and Life Development Center. She is a Public Policy Global Leadership Fellow with the Global Strategists Association and serves as a regular commentator and contributor on policy and politics for various media outlets.

Delia Ramirez is currently running for 4th district representative. She an accomplished social service director, community leader and coalition builder who has dedicated much of her life and career to the Humboldt Park and Logan Square communities. She has served as the board president of Logan Square Neighborhood Association, District Advisory Chair of the 14th District Police Department, Co-founder of the Chicago Justice for our Neighbors Free Immigration Clinic and currently the President of LUCHA, a community development and affordable housing organization in the district. Delia is Deputy Director of the Community Renewal Society, Chicago's oldest faith-based social justice organization, where she oversees the development, organizing and policy units. Her bid for office will bring a uniting spirit, political savvy and independent fortitude that will allow her to lead coalition building efforts across caucuses, understanding that leverage, strength and influence in a united black and brown caucus are better positioned to lead a progressive agenda that leads policy change on the issues that impact them most. United With Delia’s campaign has recruited family, friends, neighbors, old colleagues, and fellow voters to join the massive grassroots mobilization effort. Delia is committed to developing the campaign’s volunteer infrastructure into a sustained independent political organization that steers Delia’s legislative priorities as an elected official.

Sendy Soto has been a policy advocate and community activist for over 20 years. Born in Guatemala and raised in Logan Square where she remains a resident, she is the System Director for Community Benefit and Advocacy at AMITA Health System. Her role is to increase access to health for underserved and uninsured populations. She also advocates for federal policies that improve health outcomes across the United States. She is currently a fellow of Chicago United for Equity and a board member of Healing to Action. Sendy spends her free time empowering individuals and families who are assimilating to the United States either by hosting international students or mentoring immigrant and refugee families. Her previous experience includes the offices of then-Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, supporting them in their fight for DACA, DREAM Act, and VAWA. Sendy received her B.A. in Justice Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.

Carlyn So is active in Chicago’s cooperative housing scene, using her background in web design and architecture to explain and promote co-ops and connect people. She has a passion for design strategy and community development, especially affordable housing, and believes shared property ownership can reduce real estate speculation and increase human interaction. Carlyn grew up in Bridgeport and is working to start a co-op there. She is on the Steering Committee of the Pilsen Housing Cooperative (PIHCO), which is forming as a limited-equity housing cooperative for artists and families in Pilsen; it is an anti-displacement strategy. 

Barbara Koenen is the founder and director of Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (CCRx) which cultivates creativity and reduces waste by reimagining and redistributing surplus. Prior to CCRx, Koenen was an artist and bureaucrat who worked for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs for over 20 years, creating and directing programs like Chicago Artists Resource, Creative Chicago Expo, and Chicago Artists Month.

Natalie Figueroa is an activist and community organizer that has lived at the intersection of art and resistance for over 18 years. Natalie, a Chicago Native, began as an HIV activist at age 15, organizing alongside youth of color to address issues of police brutality, segregation, access to comprehensive health education, and racial injustice. As a member of Housing Works and Leftist Lounge Chicago she helped create platforms for artists and activists to come together creating a space for both healing and action. Currently, she is focused on collective liberation, connecting like-minded souls and building with her “Y.G.B.Portland family." 

Laura Weathered is the director of Near NorthWest Arts Council. NNWAC is a artist/activist organization committed to preserving, maintaining and developing community. This non-profit organization directed by artists to advocate for resources that supports affordable space for creative work, to build a vital, healthy, sustainable community. NNWAC worked directly with artists to design, develop and build a 25 unit work/live condo community in a 46,000 square foot industrial building. The organization is also a partner in the Bronzeville Artist Lofts, a mixed use rental property which provides 16 work/live studios on 47th Street completed in 2014.

Elaine Coorens Long time resident and Community leader of Wicker Park. She is the editor and publisher of Our Urban Times, a locally owned and published community newspaper dedicated to news and information relative to the near northwest Chicago community. Elaine is on the Wicker Park Preservation & Development Committee and currently leading a forum on women running for 4th district Illinois State Representative. She is also the author of Wicker Park from 1673-1929 and Walking Tour Guide.

Amina Norman-Hawkins born in the United States and raised in Nigeria, she is an internationally recognized voice of grassroots hip-hop activism. She is a writer, performing artist, filmmaker, and hip-hop practitioner who has spent the past 20 years actively involved in the preservation of Chicago’s hip-hop culture and community; as well as a staunch advocate of Hip-Hop as a vehicle for social change. She is co-founder of Chicago Hip-Hop Initiative, Chicago Hip-Hop Heritage Month, and the ‘B-Girl Power’ movement. In 2010 Amina became a U.S. Cultural Envoy spending two weeks leading a team of three Chicago-based Hip-Hop artists on a Peace & Tolerance tour throughout the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire. She produced the documentary ‘Keep It Moving-The Movie" which premiered to in the 2011 Chicago International Movies & Music Festival. Currently, Amina performs around the country as one half of the Hip-Hop duo Urbanized Music, alongside producer/emcee Coolout Chris. She is also currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College, and additionally serves as a Teaching Artist for Columbia College’s Community Schools. In both roles she brings her expertise as an artist into the classroom with the hopes of inspiring and empowering students unlock their most authentic creative potential through the arts.