U-Haul Chicago Artist Lofts Feature: Tony Smith

Chicago artists and local businesses enjoy the U-Haul Chicago Artist Lofts because they offer a quiet space to complete work. The work lofts are special to the artists that come to create all forms of artwork inside the building. Tony Smith wears many hats as he creates his artwork. He is a multimedia arts instructor, photographer, documentary filmmaker, musician, and a producer. While renting at the U-Haul Chicago Artist Lofts, Tony has worked with other great artists and created his most important piece of artwork.

Chicago Artist Lofts Feature: Tony Smith
Tony Smith
Black and White Photography
Photo courtesy of the artist

Tony enjoys the privacy and the location the artist lofts offer. He recalls, “this location is key, working in the South Loop offers me a great meeting place for my photo sessions, and or creating art”. The location is also safe, Tony appreciates the attention to detail and security the management team offers to visitors and tenants. The other essential ingredients Tony says are a must, “heat, electricity and water [that] have always worked like a charm”.

Tony returned to Chicago in 1995 and started renting at the artist lofts in 1999. Since returning, the majority of his art has been created at the U-Haul Chicago Artist Lofts. He has even created his most important work as a documentary filmmaker while renting at the work lofts. The film is titled “Soul of a Woman”. The documentary is about an art exhibit called Soul of a Woman that was held at the South Shore Cultural Center. The exhibit featured 45 female artists who displayed paintings, photography, sculptures, spoken word, drumming and fashion. The studio loft space was ideal for taping interviews for the film. Tony was able to film interviews of 15 women artists. The loft space provides acoustics that are good for recording. In 2008, “Soul of a Woman” was a featured film at The Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Although Tony enjoys being with other artists at the work lofts, he does have a dream neighbor. Tony explains this dream neighbor at the lofts, “Jimi Hendrix, because I love his music and sense of style. The guitar is my favorite instrument and his combination of Blues riffs and electronic distortion is the foundation of Rock and Roll music as we know it today”.

Have you created art relating to U-Haul? Tell us about it in the comments below!


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