When passing the U-Haul Chicago Artist Lofts located at the intersection of Lumber St. and Cermak Rd. in Chicago, it may appear as just a beautiful brick building. Once inside, it’s seen as much more. The building not only provides traditional self-storage units, there are also workspaces used by small businesses and artists to conduct work. Robb Stone is a full-time professional artist represented by Bert Green Fine Art that rents a work loft space in the brick building.
Robb is primarily a painter, but also works in installations, sculpture, and some video work. Robb explains his artwork, “I am always experimenting with different ways to mix media and create inclusive, multi-dimensional art works”. With 24-hour access available, Robb can come to his studio space on his own time – when the artist vision strikes. Since he has rented space at the Chicago Artist Lofts, Robb has created many art pieces. He states, “I’ve made a lot of work since I’ve been here and I don’t have a favorite, per se. I’ve been able to make whatever I want using the space creatively”. The building is secure and quiet which allows artists to concentrate on their work. There is also a freight elevator that is perfect for moving larger art pieces in and out of the building. Robb shares other reasons the building is a great location for artists, “There is plenty of street parking, easy access to public transportation, and it’s safe. It’s also situated right between Chinatown and Pilsen – meaning that there’s a lot of cool cultural stuff and great food nearby”.
The artist lofts have created a sense of community between artists that occupy studio space. Robb describes the community, “we [the artists] sometimes trade studio visits to look at each other’s work and offer advice, critique, and encouragement to each other. It’s a nice environment”. Robb hopes that more artists will occupy loft space so they can hold open studios. Open studios will allow the artists to showcase their work for the community of Chicago. Not only visual artists are in the building. The artists lofts also have musicians and DJ’s renting space. Robb’s work has even been used in a hip-hop music video, which he says was a great experience.
If you are in the Chicago area, check out Robb Stone’s work in person January 17 – February 27, 2016 at Bert Green Fine Art’s Project Room.
Have you created art related to U-Haul? Tell us about it in the comment section below!