The Franklin

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The Franklin

Address: 3522 W Franklin Blvd Chicago IL 60624
Contact: Edra Soto
Email: thefranklinoutdoor@gmail.com
Website: http://thefranklinoutdoor.tumblr.com
Phone: (312) 823-3632
Open Hours: F 4-6PM, SAT 12-4PM or by appointment


How is the project operated?

How long has it been in existence?
1 year and 7 months.

What was your motivation?
Our motivation has been our involvement with the Chicago vibrant artist-run domestic gallery community. Our exhibition space started as a concept project for an exhibition we titled, LIVING by Example (Living taken from Martha Stewart’s magazine’s name), a humorous way to allude to Chicago artist-run DIY culture. With this project we express our admiration for artists initiatives by taking the DIY factor to a greater level. In the hopes of making a significant contribution to the existing Chicago artist-run gallery community, decided to design and fabricate our exhibition space and transplant it to our backyard (Chicago has less than a hand full of outdoor galleries) after the exhibition. We also decided to open our home during opening nights for the public to experience our personal art collection. Our art collection has been built mostly by supporting non-profit fundraisers, trading artwork, gifts and modest purchases. Having our personal art collection available for public viewing serves as a way of promoting local artists as well.

In addition, I decided to incorporate a personal art project into the mix and turn it into a tradition. The Wedding Cake Project (as part of The Franklin) is available during opening nights for the public to consume. For this project, I replicate my pineapple upside-down wedding cake originally made by my mother. Cakes in general are the dessert of choice to celebrate an important occasion. This cake is a celebratory and welcoming centerpiece.

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
Edra Soto and Daniel Sullivan.

How are programs funded?
Public funding through local grants and self-funded.

Who is responsible for the programming?
Mostly me (Edra).

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
Eleven (11)

What kind of events are usually organized?
Predominantly installation and site-specific work.

How is your programming determined?
Generally, I approach professional artists that can profit from the experience of having a space to show and build their portfolio. It’s experimental for experienced artists.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?

What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Solo or paired artists and invited. Curators have full control on how they would like to represent themselves and the artists they invite to participate. If I organize an exhibition, I have conversations with artists to discuss approach, possible titles, installation and so forth. My personal curatorial approach is the result of negotiations with the artists involved.

What’s working? What’s not working?
Feels like it’s all working well. Opening nights are increasingly more popular. Hopefully writers will be more interested in reviewing our exhibitions in the future.

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
I hope that professional artists that would like to have a space available to explore ideas and engage with East Garfield Park community feel welcome to propose their ideas.

What idea are you most excited about for the future?
A future partnership in between Ragdale Foundation and The Franklin to bring Puerto Rican artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo to Chicago. The 2014 artist roster is looking pretty sweet!!!



Images courtesy of The Franklin.

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