Over the last 20 years, the neighborhood has steadily lost its diverse and vibrant artistic presence. By staying put, Heaven Gallery is disrupting the system of exploitation to the arts and repositioning itself in the market. The gallery has been deeply committed to the creation of an arts utopia that presents a long term solution to gentrification. The mission of our new umbrella organization, Equity Arts, is to advance racial equity while protecting the arts from displacement. This new cultural flagship envisions a multi-tenant enterprise that taps into the power of the creative economy and where the arts will own itself. Through this ownership, Equity Arts will assign the values of equity and sustainability to land, to liberate a building permanently from market speculation for the benefit of the arts and BIPOC.
Nubes Art Fair (new-bes, meaning clouds in Spanish) is the parting of clouds into a new realm of infinite possibility. As Heaven Gallery begins its journey of spatial reclamation for the arts in Wicker Park, we wanted to mark this moment with an art fair that exalts Chicago culture and features BIPOC led art galleries and curators from the South, West and North side. Nubes Art Fair is about the residual memory of place and a reconnection to the land where native people have long walked the Milwaukee Avenue trail. This is a return to Chicago’s spiritual energy and to the birthplace of House music, which was once the heartbeat of Wicker Park.
Nubes is a vision for what equity in the arts look like and a call to dream radically.