Within the U-Haul Chicago Artist Loft walls, Dianna Frid is creating artwork in a quiet and conducive workspace. Frid is an artist and an Associate Professor in the Art Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is “an artist working at the intersection of text and textile, matter and subject matter” (Frid, 2015). Frid’s sculptures, installations, artist’s books and mixed-media works are shown nationally and internationally. Most recently, her work has been shown in Chicago at the Poetry Foundation and in Mexico at the Biblioteca Francisco de Burgoa.
Frid is familiar with Thomson & Taylor Spice Company building that is now the U-Haul Chicago Artist Lofts. Before renting a workspace, Frid appreciated the buildings exterior. She recalls the building; “it’s presence by the river is compelling to start with”. Once inside, Frid saw beauty in the wood beams that support the 100 year-old structure and in the wood floors. Frid describes the wood floors, “the wood on the floors is also very interesting: the scratched surfaces narrate the building’s history as a deposit for spices where barrels were dragged from one place to another, leaving myriad marks that are still visible. These characteristics make the place rich”.
Although Frid loves running into artists she knows in the hallways her main priority while renting a workspace is to create artwork. Her time at the Artist Lofts has been beneficial. Frid has created artwork for two international exhibitions, one in Switzerland and one in Mexico, as well as local and regional exhibitions. Frid says the space “is both a site for experimentation and thought”. Another reason she enjoys the space is because it is convenient to where she works and the building provides a safe location for her to create art.
If you’re in Chicago, don’t miss Dianna Frid and Richard Rezac: Split Complementary on view January 28 to April 24, 2016 at the DePaul University Art Museum.
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