Classical Music Series - Chicago Solisti

Friday, March 2, 2018 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Classical Music Series - Chicago Solisti
Friday March 2
Suggested donation $10

Starts at 8pm
Doors open at 7:30pm

The Chicago Solisti String Quartet embarks on a program of music embodying the pillars of the Harlem Renaissance coupled with the irresistible charm of Fritz Kreisler’s String Quartet.

Take the A Train became the staple of Duke Ellington’s band in the 40’s and 50’s. Lyrics by the Delta Rhythm Boys (or Joya Sherill, depends on who you ask!), orchestrated by Billy Strayhorn and arranged for quartet by Paul Chihara- the A Train pays homage to the NYC subway system that bound inner city musicians after the Harlem Renaissance.

Composed in 1960, William Grant Still’s Lyric Quartette- subtitled ‘A Musical Portrait of Three Friends’- portrays three distinct personalities immersed in his signature harmonic language. Three movements depict the versatility of the string quartet fashioned among the canvas of the Renaissance: The Sentimental One, the Quiet One, and the The Jovial One.

Impetuous. Seductive. Playful. Chivalrous. Charming. These are all words commonly used to describe Kreisler’s violinistic prowess and compositions. A Viennese virtuoso residing in NYC at the height of the Renaissance, his quartet nods prominently to his Austrian roots yet somehow remains positively American in sound, scope, and subject matter.

Kyle Dickson, violin
Caitlin Edwards, violin
Seth Pae, viola
Magdalena Sustere, cello

1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. 2nd floor, Chicago, IL

Classical Music Series - Aether Ensemble

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 8:00pm

Aether Ensemble joins us at Heaven Gallery to perform works by Ravel, Milhaud, Koechlin, Francaix, and Joplin.

Performers include: 
Jenny Shin, flute
Mika Allison, oboe
Jessica Smith, clarinet
Emma Sepmeier, horn
Midori Samson, bassoon

Suggested donation: $10

Doors open at 7:30pm

Formed in 2016, Aether Ensemble is a Chicago-based woodwind quintet committed to bringing quality performances of wind chamber music to the Chicago music community. They have performed with a variety of Chicago organizations, such as Make Music Chicago and RefugeeOne. Members of Aether have diverse backgrounds, holding degrees from Depaul University, Northwestern University, Boston University, The Juilliard School, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to their love for chamber music, Aether musicians are established orchestral players, having performed with such groups as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Northbrook Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Quad City Symphony, West Michigan Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Chicago Composers Orchestra, and Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Musicians of Aether Ensemble are also passionate educators, dedicated to involvement in various community outreach programs as well as maintaining active private teaching studios. To learn more about Aether Ensemble, please visit their Facebook page.

Gallery Talk

Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 1:00pm

Sunday, February 25

HEAVEN IS A PLACE is proud to present a halo of talks, presentations and performances on and for other exhibitions and contexts. Including but not limited to Ross Jordan, Hope Esser, Lorelei Stewart, Tamara Becerra Valdez, Stella Brown, Ruslana Lichtzier, Kathe Bowen, Brandon Alvendia, Anna Showers-Cruser, Becky Bivens and Danny Floyd, our bill includes artists, art historians, curators and critics drawing from and on and into the great beyond, a multitude of media and mediums, feminist futures and what an art is even for. Or from. Doors open at 12, performances start sharply at 1. Be there or -ware.

Coffee donated by Starbucks.

There is also a film screening at the Nightingale Tuesday, March 6 at 8PM

Heaven Is a Place

Friday, January 26, 2018 - 7:00pm

Heaven is a Place
January 26 - March11
Alex Chitty, Anna Showers-Cruser, Sherwin Ovid, Danny Floyd, Jory Drew, Allison Yasukawa, Josh Rios, Stella J. Brown, Brandon Alvendia, Meg Nafziger, Lauren Edwards
Curated by Jesse Malmed


Most of the words used in this text have been used thibsing’d of times. Aside from the occasional neologism, they’re generally used and well used and, like so many luxury goods, we don’t own them, we’re just their temporary steward. It's hard to imagine an exhibition that isn't site-specific. If the works work in a vacuum, well that's about as specific a place as we can imagine. You will have to trust that every word in this sentence was not typed but pasted from a sprawling series of fascinating and far better texts.

Heaven Is a Place brings together a banker’s dozen of artists each making work for a specific show, just not the same one. Each work constitutes a(n art) historical insertion and a speculative citation and a wormhole to another exhibition. Featuring some of Chicago’s sharpest, this exhibition offers the opportunity for a bit of historical re-vision-ing, in which the august museum group show from our birth year—first discovered through a tattered library copy of the exhibition catalogue—finally includes our work; where the hot new show at the cool new space in the temperate old town that included every idea you have but not the name you use gets rectified; where the doodle in the margin becomes canon with the blithe affect of a butterfly. 

Artist Talk
Sunday February 25th

Princess Kazayah: New Years Meditations & Reggae Music

Saturday, January 13, 2018 - 9:00pm to 11:00pm

Join Heaven Gallery and Dove Muzik for a musical performance with Princess Kazayah featuring Wadadah and Ras I-Dre.
Gather your closest friends and celebrate the new with positive vibes.

Princess Kazayah's aims to touch as many hearts as possible and point them to a better tomorrow. Through her music, she wishes to show the people a positive way to live and to look at life no matter what circumstance they are facing. Her music brings light, joy, and most of all peaceful vibrations. With the voice of an angel mesmerizing her audience with soothing sounds & harmonies, she causes automatic “feel good” vibrations and thought provoking meditations. Her music is one of a kind and is a blend of R&B, Gospel, Roots-Reggae, Lovers Rock & Dub.

Doors open at 9
Performance at 9:30pm
$10 suggested donation
Refreshments provided

Shanelle Mitchell "Princess Kazayah" was born & raised in the city of Evanston that borders Chicago. She was born to two Jamaican parents and grew up in the 7th Day Adventist Church from her youth. That has given Kazayah a deep spiritual essence in her music. She is used to singing at her church from a very young age. After connecting with local producer Ras Wadadah II, who exposed her to original roots-reggae, she found a deep love for the King's music. Her music is regarded as angelic when hearing her soft melodic voice and her uplifting lyrics in praise of the Most High.

Kazayah is busy working with D.O.V.E Muzik's band as well as working hard in D.OV.E Muzik studio on projects of her own as well as collaborations with various artists. In Summer of 2014 she released a mixtape entitled, "Troddin: The DubTape" with 12 songs on the project. She then went on to be featured on a new release by D.O.V.E. Muzik & Riddim Yut Productions called "Chimurenga." She has even indulged in the craft of producing her own music as well as others for her musical family.

After performing live for the first time in 2013 locally in Evanston she has went on to perform on stages all around the Chicagoland area as well as Jamaica, Belize, Mexico, California etc. In 2015 she performed alongside some of Reggae music's top up & coming artists such as Dre Island, Cali P, Micah Shemaiah, Mr. Williamz, Keida, Exile Di Brave, Suns of Dub, Pentateuch, The Uprising Roots Band, Kelissa McDonald and more. Recently in Chicago Kazayah has performed at the Wild Hare, "the reggae capital of the Midwest," alongside her D.O.V.E. Muzik family. Since the she has performed at various shows around Chicago, also opening up for Sizzla along side her D.O.V.E muzik family when he came to Chicago. Most recent Kazayah has teamed up with Warrior King for a single (remix)/ music video that was released on June 9th 2017 distributed by VPAL music.

The Finger is Also Pressed by the Stone Opening 12/1

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 7:00pm

The Finger is Also Pressed by the Stone
Soo Shin and Kate Hampel

Binaries are useful. They provide structure, they help us say firmly, “This is this and that is that.” They simplify a world that is chaotic, obscure, and largely unchartable. Paying attention to such clean, definitive lines allows us to put on socks and shoes in the morning, to live our orderly lives.

The cost of wearing shoes, though, is not knowing the feeling of the ground under one’s feet. The heavy cost of certainty is flatness. To be positioned too definitely in pragmatic order is to miss the richly indeterminate space where “this” and “that” become question marks, pulses, flows. This gray area, where multiple gravities compete, is a conceptual staging ground for Kate Hampel and Soo Shin.

In their work, both artists suggest body as the foreground where the dynamics of power, seeing/being seen, and knowing/not-knowing is constantly challenged. These works are at home in a day-to-day world of indeterminacy. They invite the viewer to move around them to look at and consider them, and to slowly walk into the borderless landscape that they engender. The finger is also pressed by the stone is a space of ambiguity where the rough, textured surface of the ground can be truly felt.


Kate Hampel examines the aesthetics of violence, from the individual to the institutional. Her current projects draw material from geopolitical power struggles, with all their attendant implications for the gendered or othered body, as well as from sensationalized narratives. Text works, sculpture and installations speak with multiple voices and implicate the viewer through their presence in the space.

Soo Shin (b.1981, based in Chicago) investigates the psychological experience of uncertainty and vulnerability in our search for certainty and translates these into bodily experiences. In her work, the idea of uncertainty has been emphasized as a potential space for new understanding and acuity. Her work provides physical space for the body and is presented as physical conditions for viewers. By suggesting work as a mixture of internal and physical experiences, she explores body as an abstract agency where objectivity and subjectivity is inseparable.

The viewer’s own physicality has a presence in the show, reflected in textures and activated by scale. These gestures are deliberate on both artists’ parts—for Hampel, as an examination and undermining of contemporary understandings of the gendered body, while for Shin the body serves as a locus for internalized struggle.

Alchemist Opening 12/1

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 7:00pm


Cole Pierce, Esau McGhee, Kelly Kaczynski 

Presenting three alchemical practices, each focusing on construction and speculative philosophy, working intuitively to transmute materials and language into the experiential equivalent of turning lead into gold. Coming from different contexts and conceptual bearings, these artists begin with base elements: simple geometry, primary colors, and raw materials.

Pierce implements a relief painting process by taping off geometric-based grids and applying several bold gradients of acrylic. The tape is removed to reveal rigid layers of accumulated paint that have formed triangle, square, and circular shaped patterning across the canvas. Although his use of geometry is informed by the Op Art movement of the late twentieth century, he dedicates his practice to confronting the expectations of the errorless, measured precedent set by Op Art. His subtle inconsistencies and evident brushstrokes violate this expected, calculated abstraction and lend itself toward a more unpredictable form. The interruptions circumvent the viewer’s perception and create a phenomenological experience by challenging the viewer’s ephemeral transition between comprehension and delusion.

Esau’s studio practice represents an archive. Years of accumulated and excavated material rest throughout the space similar to an anthropological study. This approach allows Esau’s work to move through materials and work across multiple mediums to invent new ways to give material form to language. Dealing with current concerns ranging from displacement to systemic violence on those deemed as other… There is a misnomer that through project “completion” some ideas are laid to rest, but over time these things are always present as material and remnants or actions are reassessed and reintroduced, catalyst are created between works from the past and present ideas.

Kelly Kaczynski is an artist working within the language of sculpture.


Cole Pierce received his MFA from Northwestern University and received his BSS in Art and Sociology from Cornell College. He has recently exhibited at THE MISSION, Roman Susan and Johalla Projects. He received a DCASE (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) grant in 2016 and was a SÍM (Association of Icelandic Visual Artists) resident in Reykjavík, Iceland. He recently completed a 60’x11’ mural in the Rogers Park neighborhood, funded by the 49th Ward. He lives and works in Chicago, IL.

After receiving an MFA from Northwestern University in 2013, Esau has gone on to be a HATCH resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition. He’s also turned out challenging exhibitions such as Economy of Movement at Harper College, Blackitolism at Sector 2337 and 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s at Elastic Arts. Esau has also exhibited in New York and Los Angeles.

Kaczynski received an MFA from Bard College, NY and BA from The Evergreen State College, WA. She has taught with Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Kaczynski is currently a Lecturer with the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL.

This project is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Façades Artist Talk

Sunday, October 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

Walk-through of Façades with Ella Wearing and Frances Lightbound. 

Façades Opening Reception

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 7:00pm


An exhibition by Frances Lightbound and Ella Wearing

Ella Wearing and Frances Lightbound are UK-born artists who have been residing in the US for the past three years - Frances in Chicago, and Ella in New Jersey and New York. Centring upon a shared interest in notions of the façade - as it relates to appearance, perception and reality, as well as in the architectural sense - this exhibition shows recent sculptural, installation, and lens-based works by each artist, as well as works on paper. Having previously collaborated in 2014 on a three person show in London, in which they explored connections between their immediate urban environments of London and Glasgow respectively, the two artists come together to find new points of conversation amongst their approaches to urban space in their specific, but potentially disparate, locations. 

On recent trips back to London in 2017, Ella Wearing has been re-engaging with her home neighbourhood, which has featured as a point of research in previous work. She seeks to grapple with memories of home amidst ferocious urban change, and begins to look further back into the rich local history of her neighbourhood, and the monuments that have survived - namely a 151 foot Victorian clock tower that stands at the centre of it all. She uses google maps to create drawings and videos, which become virtual simulations of a memory, such as the walk to school. This once recurring route is mapped out onto its present architectural configuration of the area, since its past one is no longer accessible. By using devices of repetition and cyclical patterns in her work, as well as visual layering, merging, and fragmentation of architectural forms, Ella attempts to piece together some of the complex attitudes and associations we have towards our urban surroundings, and how these relate to other places we might have inhabited with varying degrees of intimacy; nostalgia, alienation, detachment, powerlessness, order, design, pathos, play - all become intertwining thoughts that drive her work. 

Frances Lightbound’s work examines objects, structures and materials that effect and enforce divisions of space with varying degrees of subtlety – barriers, fences, thresholds, window shades. Remaking, fragmenting and shifting the context of these familiar forms, she produces two- and three- dimensional work that employs degrees of abstraction to encourage multiple associations while retaining a critical subtext. Her work is driven by an interest in the spatial, social and linguistic roles of objects and structures: how elements of a built environment produce space in both the physical and psychological senses of the word, and how these objects materialize (and support the functioning of) more abstract systems such as law, capital and property ownership. Recent works combine domestic references with those drawn from urban space, introducing elements of uncertainty to delineations between personal and public spaces and considering the varying degrees of agency we may or may not have over our surroundings. 

Ella Wearing has exhibited in and curated various group exhibitions in the UK and the US, and was most recently included in an exhibition at Ille Arts in Amagansett, NY in April 2017, and an exhibition in London called Monopoles in October 2016. In 2014 she was a contributor for Central Saint Martins academic arts journal ‘Unknown Quantities’, before moving to the US to pursue her MFA at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, where she graduated in 2016. She obtained her BA (Hons) in Painting and Printmaking from The Glasgow School of Art in 2012.

Frances Lightbound is based between Chicago and Glasgow, Scotland. Her work has been exhibited in venues in the US and UK, including a solo exhibition at DEMO Project, Springfield, IL in 2017, and she has recently curated projects for Kruger Gallery (Chicago) and the Terrain Biennial at Enos Park (Springfield, IL). Frances has been awarded the Luminarts Visual Arts Fellowship, Field Notes Fellowship, EAGER Grant and the New Artists Society Award, and is a 2016–2017 HATCH Projects artist resident at Chicago Artists’ Coalition. She earned her MFA in Printmedia from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016, and a BA (Hons) in Painting and Printmaking from The Glasgow School of Art in 2012. 

Image, Provisional Construct I, by Frances Lightbound.

Not Knowing Artist Talk

Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 1:00pm

An artist embarks on her task without knowing what to do. There is some kind of energy that she is manifesting as she works, and it has a larger form. To know in advance as to what that form is, is to reduce it.

--George Saunders on Not Knowing

Panel discussion with Claire Ashley, Karen Azarnia, Robin Dluzen, Dan Devening, Andreas Fischer, Celeste Rapone, Melody Saraniti, Ann Toebbe, Noah Vaughn, and Gwendolyn Zabicki.