49 Expressions is a virtual community art gallery created by the young emerging leaders of the 49th Ward Youth Advisory Council. Featuring over 70 pieces by local artists, this gallery highlights the artistic talent and character of Rogers Park. Featured artists range in age from 6 years old to 68 and include both traditional and nontraditional mediums. We thank and appreciate everyone who submitted art, and are excited to share it with the community.
You can view the submissions and artist statements below, as well as the gallery's premiere presentation.
Youth & Adult Submissions
To make people happy with fun pop art
Julie Ann Ausbrook
Many of my experiences living in the 49th Ward center around viewing the neighborhood from my daughter’s eyes. My daughter’s life in the 49th Ward includes swimming at beaches, riding trains downtown, sampling food from different cultures, being surrounded by art, music, and theater, and attending school with children from diverse and rich backgrounds. One day, as we walked home from the playground, I decided to paint the wonderment seen in my daughter's eyes as she took in the beauty of our neighborhood.
This piece, titled “Bait”, shows a figure sitting on a dock using a heart as fishing bait. It was inspired from the memory of dangling feet in the lake on warm days and being carefree with love.
“STOP!” is an geometric abstract of urban landscape. It is also a call to action to stop, rather to stop the violence or to stop and notice beauty in the world.
lewis lain is narrative visual artist and illustrator residing in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. His work focuses on storytelling, simple aesthetic, and recycled "resonant" material. He favors re-claimed windows and found-glass as canvas combined with cardboard and acrylic to create multi-dimensional paintings punctuated by saturated color and bold linework.
As a studio artist, I work with all materials. I create based on whimsy and pull most ideas from a library of sketchbooks I have filled throughout the years.
Frolicking rabbits seem to be everywhere in our neighborhood. Friends have told me it is hard to believe something so delightful can be an infestation. I have tried to play with our complicated relation with rabbits in these ceramic pieces.
This artwork is inspired by the piece “Time Transfixed” by Renè Magritte, an earlier example of surrealism. I used a random, everyday space, a bowling alley, as the base, similar to Magritte’s use of a simple fireplace mantle. From here, I used surrealism to bring color, excitement, and allure to the piece through random but interesting elements like mountains, skylines, and waves.
This piece is called A Full Moons Night. It was done with colored pencils. It is a scene of blue mountains under a dark night sky with a full moon.
Living in, breathing in, and walking the streets and along the lakeshore in Roger's Park, cannot but influence the art work I make. Each piece I begin starts me on a path of discovery that through many twists and turns – requiring conscious and not-so-conscious decisions – leads me to my ultimate destination: a completed piece. The hope is that the work will transport viewers, however briefly, to that other place.
In addition to being an actor in theatre, I’m an abstract expressionist painter; working with acrylics on canvas, and sometimes wood. My work has been influenced by the Abstract Expressionists of the 1940s, 50s, and 1960s. Two of my inspirations: Helen Frankenthaler and Richard Diebenkorn; both specialists in the Colourfield movement. Whether I express myself with my voice, or apply vivid colours and metallics to a canvas, I love expressing myself in the here and now.
I paint to decompress just as much as I paint to express a thought or feeling. Sometimes we try and work through our issues consciously but I have found that painting helps me resolve an inner issue by coming at it from different angles. I also challenge my self by setting time goals so that whatever it is I need to work though, It's going to be done in a particular time frame. I may be decompressing but I don't have forever.
My work explores the intersections of my past and present. Influenced by daily life, Americana, modern art, loud music, and comic books. I use paint, found objects, canvas, discarded materials, and recurring marks to create a language and visual exploration reflecting my journey.
I have lived in Rogers Park since 1992. The beauty of the lakefront and the vibrancy of the neighborhood has made it a wonderful place to live.
One of the beauties of this area is the ability to feel a vast space in such a crowded city.
Any time of year, the lake is a precious part of the 49th ward.
The lakefront can make you feel transported to a completely different world.
This work, created over the last year, reflects my struggle to feel connected to a community while forced to be apart from it. Depicting many different visual styles and themes converging in space to become one whole, the divisions between them disappear the more closely they’re examined. *the piece is 44”Wx32”H*
Lightning Goose - In these dark times, one goose steps forth. With lightning in her breath and love of community in her heart, Lighting Goose protects the 49th Ward. HONK!
COVID-19 - At the start of the pandemic last year, I decided to paint what frightened me. While initially unsettling, it was comforting to have this terrible disease captured in some way. It has hung on my wall since April, a reminder to remain vigilant during this crisis.
Crow on a Fencepost - The crows grow smarter every day, and we would do well to appease them. This crow looks out over the 49th Ward, its current home but future dominion.
The blue ball is Giant Ocean Planet, and the red ball is the nearest star. The mushroom creatures are toads protecting Giant Ocean Planet from the other creatures--a Spike Ship and Anti-missile that are trying to invade Giant Ocean Planet.
This is a picture of a Goomba from Mario World.
This is a pencil drawing of a typical foot bridge over a small brook in a village in the Kashmir Valley. Village women collect grass feed for their livestock. There are chinar trees in the background.
A Sufi Shrine in the mountains of the Kashmir Valley.
Rex is a non-binary artist living in Rogers Park, Chicago. They are graduating with their Master's in Art Education May 2021.
Abolaji O., Grade 2
Adrian D., Grade 1
Ana F., Grade 1
Daniel R., Grade 3
Jacqueline W., Grade 2
Jeremy H., Grade 4
Alfonso C., Grade 3
Antoine B., Grade 3
Daniela A., Grade 2
Jailyn J., Grade 1
Joel X., Grade 3
Jose A., Grade 4
Julian G., Grade 3
Leianne O., Grade 2
Nurbek A., Grade 4
Rebecca L., Grade 4
Serifat S., Grade 2
Simone L., Grade 4
Nusair Z., Grade 3
Rosemary S., Grade 4
Sheena C., Grade 4
Sophia N., Kindergarten