How is the project operated?
Johalla Projects is a collaborative project space/collective that works with emerging and under-represented artists with the aim of providing such artists the resources necessary to expand their practices.
How long has it been in existence?
Johalla was founded by Anna Cernigilia, the former operator of South Union Arts, in 2009.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project?
The current staff consists of Anna Cerniglia as Director, Tyler Blackwell as Exhibitions Associate, Jaclyn Mellini heads Special Projects & Public Arts endeavors and Sarah Coleman and Aimee Quinkert are both Contributing Curators.
How are programs funded?
While an element of Johalla exists in the form of a gallery/show space our public and community art projects are backed by our other various undertakings. Such ventures include the long running fund raising event “Pocket Change” which takes place every month at the Empty Bottle. The goal of “Pocket Change” is to promote awareness of one artist with proceeds contributing to our public programming endeavors.
Who is responsible for programming?
Since Johalla is a collective we all play a role in determining the direction of the project.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year?
While Johalla’s gallery exhibition calendar may change to meet the demands of our other public projects, so far this year we have had roughly eight to ten gallery shows and have continued our work on Johalla’s public installations and pieces.
How is your programming determined?
We work with artists who we find interesting and develop relationships with them in hopes of providing a space where they can expand their respective practices and engage the West Town community.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
No, we concentrate on developing connections and promoting dialogues with artists and curators who could potentially become elements of Johalla in order to better construct our vision of the project.
What’s working/what’s not working?
Similar to many other collectives we remain in a constant state of assessment when it comes to how various elements of the project interact but because Johalla operates as an exhibition space and organizes public shows/events, we are able to better understand how to bring the best contemporary art to Chicago through a variety of forums.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local arts scene or community?
We want to provide public programming that will continue to push the envelope of West Town’s cultural production.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
We wish to continue expanding Johalla’s unique business model for gallery and public art.