photo: Lisa Flores
Exhausted by the challenges of coordinating alternative-space art activities, Lisa Flores decided to bring her talent for mounting shows a bit closer to home. In April 2006 she opened All Rise Gallery, located in the same space as her tucked-away living quarters. While there are a few tell-tale signs of occupancy–a sofa at the back of the gallery space and a coy cat named Mojo who watches the art lovers admire the art–the one-room gallery is well-defined, with crisp white walls, an uneven brown floor and plenty of sunlight from the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Milwaukee Avenue.
The bustle on the street downstairs in some ways matches the pace of this third-floor gallery: Shows usually turn over monthly, typically arranged by guest curators who approach Flores with a show in mind. The high turnover means the gallery's opening night parties, which have featured hair and fashion shows and catering from neighborhood hot spots; they're reason alone to check out the space. On a typical afternoon, though, you're likely to have the airy room to yourself, with plenty of time to focus your attention on the colorful pieces lining the uncluttered walls.
Featuring mainly emerging work, the gallery focuses on urban expressionists hailing from Chicago as well as across the globe. The wide-ranging exhibitions showcase photography, sculpture, mixed media and video installation and tackle topics like private space, the limitations of conventional art material and gender identity and roles.
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood