Featured Exhibition: Send Me Off & Wish Me Well

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Featured Exhibition: Send Me Off & Wish Me Well

Come join us in celebrating ShopColumbia's 2023 graduating artists.Curated by Artist Relations Director Ava Butera, Send Me Off & Wish Me Well highlights the accomplishments of consigned ShopColumbia artists - showcasing the growth of each artist while being apart of our learning laboratory.

This exhibition features work from:

Adelaide Wilson
I am a filmmaker, photographer, and collage artist attending Columbia. I love incorporating exciting shapes, soft colors, and vintage imagery in my work, these particular collages I made as Valentines cards.

Anabelle Chinski

Hi, I’m Anabelle! Throughout my time at Columbia, I’ve experimented with a plethora of media and styles, but over the last few years, I’ve found my niche working with a mix of traditional and digital illustration. Although my interests in illustration span various markets, I have currently created work in surface design, greeting card, children’s book, and architectural illustration. As I’ve found strengths along my journey of exploring and developing art, I can't wait to see what else the creative path ahead of me has in store!

Anna Busalacchi of Earth Heirloom Jewelry
Earth Heirloom Jewelry exudes earthy vibes by coupling mixed metals with found rocks and beach glass collected from beaches of the Great Lakes. The natural objects that inspire the original designs make every piece unique because each one is different and kept in its original form. Earth Heirloom Jewelry elevates something once seen as ordinary, making it wearable and beautiful!

Archer Seaborn
My name is Archer Seaborn, and art is the only thing I can see myself doing in the future. The first time I saw the movie Spirited Away, I was instantly enraptured in an idolized dream of artistry. For the past four years, there has not been a single day where, in some fashion, I have not taken a pen to paper. I make art in my own time quite obsessively. This starts with a planning phase where I quickly fill a sketchbook with messy thumbnails and map out possible solutions keeping in mind tone, proportion, and viewpoint. If I need a reference, and I cannot find an in-person solution, I opt to take videos of my friends or myself. I usually post the end result on my social media, but I have taken part in a few exhibitions. I also had some of my art displayed in my community college. These experiences opened me up to sharing my art and got me very comfortable with criticism. I find a lot of my art explores my relationship with femininity as a Trans individual, that being confusing, frustrating, and almost robotic at times. However, I make a lot of my art in hopes of connecting with people. There are feelings I have that I find incredibly hard to describe, and I hope that even my silliest drawings can explain them to their fullest. I look forward to my future with art, and I hope you will join me for it!

Aurelia Dominguez
Aurelia Dominguez is a senior majoring in animation and minoring in illustration.

Ava Butera
I am a Senior Art History major currently writing my thesis. Writing is my first love and I hope to share my words with others through my zines.

Becca Chrabaszewski of WishingOwls
Becca Chrabaszewski is a queer, Chicago-born and Chicagoland-based artist specializing in fantasy and nature illustrations. They find a lot of their inspiration from the stories they read and adventures they go on!

Cristina Benavides

A self-taught artist, with an aficionado in storytelling, I decided to mix my hobby with my passion to become an independent comic writer and illustrator. I've recently graduated, so now I'm even more motivated to share my stories and zines!

Dani Johnson of HVNHearts
Combining the manipulation of metal and endless variation of beads, Dani aims to bring unexplainable feelings to the physical realm through their jewelry. Often inspired by music that evokes visceral sensations and trying to please their inner child, they extend their painterly creations to wearable sculptures, earrings that enhance the face of the wearer. Most pairs are one of a kind, only made again upon request; they believe there is a peace in sharing something that can be so personal with only one another, even if the deeper understanding is one-sided. Dani also accepts custom work, and can be contacted through: Instagram: @hvnhearts Email: [email protected]

Giovanna Martin
Giovanna Martin is an illustrator based in the Chicagoland area. She possesses a diverse range of skills that make her a strong illustrator. From illustrating trading card games to design an entire festival from scratch, Martin always accepts a good challenge. She has been drawing ever since her can remember and her dedication to her craft begin in high school. Martin's current goal is to become a tattoo artist, as she enjoys helping people achieve their creative vision.     

On most weekends, you can find her playing D&D, geocaching, exploring nature, and overall being a total creature. However her hobbies continue to grow and change, as her curiosity never rests.

Jada Russell
Jada Russell is a 22-year-old illustrator based in the vibrant city of Chicago, IL. Her passion for art stems from her childhood. Because of this, she discovered a program called Young Artist At Work. Through this program, Jada had the privilege to collaborate with fellow creatives and create a series of awe-inspiring murals that continue to grace her community to this day. The experience proved to be a pivotal moment for Jada, as it helped her to uncover her true calling in life, art. Jada's artwork is an exciting mix of playful experimentation and a testament to her love for all things cute and adorable. Be it stuffed animals, clothes, or even food, Jada has the ability to capture the essence of cuteness in her designs, all the while infusing them with a youthful, playful energy that is uniquely her own. Through her art, Jada aspires to spread joy and happiness and to make the world a brighter, more vibrant place. During her studies, Jada had the opportunity to participate in an exchange program at Korea National University of Arts, where she continued to explore her passion for art and expand her skills. The experience was a life-changing one for Jada, as it exposed her to new styles and techniques that she had never encountered before. She was able to collaborate with talented artists from different cultural backgrounds, which helped her to broaden her perspective on art and the world in general. It was an experience that she will always cherish and one that will continue to inspire her work for years to come.

Kennedy Homan
Kennedy Homan is an award-winning Columbia College Chicago '23 graduate that majored in Illustration and minored in Creative Writing. During her time at CCC, she also worked for Webtoons.com as the artist and writer of Andy Bass. As a kid, Kennedy struggled with bullying and peer-isolation. She also struggled with the misunderstandings of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community due to the lack of representation. After embracing herself and finding friends who love and accept her for her, Kennedy found herself passionate towards creating stories of self acceptance, diversity, and empathy. Kennedy's work reflects the messages she needed when growing up, so the children and teens of today feel less alone in their struggles.

Kevin West of TitanX
Hello, my name is Kevin West. I also go by the name TitanX and I am from Olympia Fields, Illinois. My journey in illustration began with the obsession I had with cartoons as a child. For as long as I can remember I have been drawing cartoon characters, writing my own stories, and making comics out of my mother's printing paper. For me, art gives me an outlet to express my humor and my love for cartooning. Currently I am studying traditional animation and illustration as a Senior at Columbia and working to improve my skills daily. When people see my work my hope is that they can see the influences of Dragon Ball, Star Wars, and Avatar The Last Airbender. Growing up those were my favorite shows and I drew them all the time. In recent years I have also been heavily influenced by pinup art, various manga and anime stories, and small zines and comics. When creating my pieces I tend to enjoy using pen and ink traditionally, but when I create digital pieces I find brushes that replicate the appearance of an ink brush or pen. I work in both color and black and white and prefer to do mixes of both when I make comics. Overall, when creating my pieces whether they be comic panels, pin ups, or fully illustrated action scenes I want my semi-realism to show in harmony with my very exaggerated expressions, poses, and themes.

Lauren Sims
Lauren Sims is a Chicago-based writer born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In September 2022, she self-published her poetry chapbook The Birds as the first formal release of her work. This collection of nine poems is an indulgence in innocence, set against the scene of an idyllic summer. Each piece is paired with illustrations created by Sophie Minello.

In 2023, Sims is planning to self-publish and release her full, debut collection of poetry, To Know & To Be Known. The collection will contain twenty-five poems, including some revised pieces from The Birds. It will expand upon themes that the original chapbook established: finding shelter in the natural world, and the lifelong quest for familiarity.

Lilli Hughes
I am a music major who also likes to draw, write stories and make comics. I get inspiration from movies and tv, video games, comic strips, listening to music, funny things, going outside, and pretty much anything I see that I think is cool.

Mats Dahlberg of Mats Applesauce Crochet
Through painting, fiber practices, and the art of drag performances and embodiment Mats utilizes colors and the layering of materials and subjects to create vibrant vehemently queer work. With a contemporary take on historical craft techniques like embroidery, crochet, and rhinestoning, they honor those of marginalized genders who cultivated these practices and whose complex histories have long been neglected. Their compositions lure viewers into a candy-like exterior within which a closer look can reveal more serious undertones and complex issues. Using cheeky double entendre, Mats explores the modern queer experience in relation to social media, body image, sex, love, and self-worth. Through the queering of familiar icons and by paying homage to their queer ancestors, they express their gratitude for the rejection of cisheteronormativity and the embrace of boundlessness. Their depictions of the human form break the confines of the linear body and push to critique the absurdity of the accepted binary gender structure and beauty ideals while exploring the possibilities of the noncororeal trans body. Their work explores the vastness of life in many forms, from single cell organisms, to semi-humans, to wholly imagined forms, as an invitation for viewers to examine what unites living beings and dismantle anthropocentric hierarchies.

Michela Hein
Hi! My name is Michela Hein and I am a photographer and student at Columbia College Chicago! I grew up in a small town, so the most exciting thing to me is the architecture in the city. I have a passion for architecture photography and love being able to capture different styles of it. I have an ongoing project where I photograph different styles of architecture in Chicago! In the future I am hoping to continue to expand this work to other cities such as Detroit and New York!

Sammy Loree
Originally from Troy, Michigan, I've moved to Chicago and am pursuing a degree in Creative Writing. I use drawing as a creative and emotional outlet and have done so for as long as I can remember. My preferred medium is colored pencils and marker pens, but I occasionally use mixed media and acrylic paint. While developing a style over the years, my focus has become creating ethereal, yet disturbed, portraits with feminine muses. I use vibrant colors and surrealistic gore to express themes of emotional distress and spiraling into destruction. My largest inspirations have been from my uncle, Louis, The Cure, and the director Guillermo Del Toro, specifically for his film, 'Pan's Labyrinth' (2006). Overall, my overactive imagination and internal dialogue shape my work into the pieces that you see today.

Sophie Minello
Sophie Minello is a designer and illustrator who loves creating inviting and cute artwork. She is inspired by nature, cartoons, and friends.

Sarah Maali of Devil Horns Art
I’m Devil Horns Art, a Traditional and Digital Illustrator based in Chicago. I am a current Senior at Columbia College Chicago, graduating May 2023. I like to tell stories about underrepresented LGBTQIA+ identities in media. 

Syd Berenyi
Syd is a fine arts major from Chicago who focuses primarily on drawing and painting. She likes to spend time exploring the realms of both illustration-based work (concentrating on characters) and realism/conceptual painting. She has a wide array of styles and works as a result of this exploring, and is always looking for ways to grow further.

Valentine Medina of Trickno Doll
Sugar, spice, and everything nice...

These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little marshmallow. But the baker accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction… Pigment Pink. Thus, Trickno was born, using their ultra-superpower: drawing! With two decades of improving their superpower, they’ve become a student illustrator with a passion for creating original stories and character designs.