Conditional Citizenship - Prison + Neighborhood Art Project

Opening February 8, 2019 6pm-10pm
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted Chicago IL 60608 info@URI-EICHEN.com

The designation of “citizen” is a powerful tool: both to confer a range of rights to certain individuals of a particular nation state, and also to exclude or dehumanize because of where one is born or their carceral status. In this way, the framework of U.S. citizenship functions to both grant rights and exclude them. Jelani Cobb suggests the idea of “contingency citizenship” when thinking about how Black and Brown people experience the law. Alicia Garza also refers to the tenuousness of citizenship for black folks, saying that citizenship is conditional: “This is the harsh reality for black people in America today. That we are expected to participate in democracy while receiving conditional citizenship in return.”

For people in prison, citizenship rights are fully suspended: the site of the prison becomes a territory of exception. When a person is awaiting trial for a criminal charge (even if a person can post bail), full citizenship rights are limited and monitored by “pre-trial services” which can include curfews, drug tests and more. After completing a prison sentence, and even after parole, people are excluded from housing options, job opportunities, and even access to higher education based solely on the conviction for which they served time. Today, 6.1 million people cannot vote—a core right of citizenship—due to a past conviction.

Over the last year, artists William Estrada and Aaron Hughes from the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project led print workshops with incarcerated artist to explore ideas of outsider, citizen, immigrant and other. The Conditional Citizenship exhibition features art from these workshops.

Poetry reading at 7:30: Audrey Petty, Tara Betts, Simone Waller, William Estrada and Sarah Ross will read writing by poets at Stateville prison.

Open by appointment outside of receptions through 3-1-19. For an appointment, call 312 852 7717

Screening of Message to the Grassroots: “The L.A. Uprising: Before, During, and... Is It Over?” and Q&A with Producer Nancy Buchanan

Opening February 23, 2019 7pm-9pm
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted Chicago IL 60608 info@URI-EICHEN.com

Discussion with LA producer Nancy Buchanan after the film.

So begins this program in the words of activist, organizer, and host of Pasadena-based cable access program Message to the Grassroots, Michael Zinzun. 27 years later, we are still grappling with the impact of the upheaval in Los Angeles in 1992 following the acquittal of the police officers whose criminal acts were watched by the whole world.

“The L.A. Uprising: Before, During, and... Is It Over?” is an hour-long documentary that aired in June 1992, just two months after the uprising. Produced by community organizers already well-embedded in the movement for police justice in Los Angeles, it explores the history of LAPD misconduct and violence, the Rodney King case, as well as the community’s own vision for the future.

Following the screening will be a Q&A with producer Nancy Buchanan, a Los Angeles-based video artist. From 1988-1998, she produced "Message to the Grassroots" with former Black Panther and community activist Michael Zinzun (1949-2006). Zinzun co-founded the Coalition Against Police Abuse in the early 1970s, and he worked with the families of those injured or killed by police; his show often focused on police brutality and other issues concerning social justice.

Fifteen episodes of “Message to the Grassroots” are now available to the public for the first time through the work of the Media Burn Archive and the support of the National Endowment for the Arts. Media Burn is a Chicago-based nonprofit that collects, preserves, and distributes documentary video and television produced by artists, activists, and community groups. Their mission is to use archival media to deepen context and encourage critical thought through a social justice lens.

Photo caption: Michael Zinzun reporting from the wreckage of a bookstore in Los Angeles, June 1992.

A Frame of Reference

Opening March 8, 2019 6pm-10pm
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted Chicago IL 60608 info@URI-EICHEN.com

Foil Thermocollage

Jeff Kinzel, Kathy Steichen, Christopher Urias

“Kill your television.” “Drain the swamp.” “She’s a brick house.” Whether in political rhetoric, advertising, or lyrics, the metaphor elicits an emotional response. Cognitive scientists parse language in an effort to understand why people often make irrational choices—it seems clear that people respond to how something is said, often disregarding its larger context and meaning. The metaphor becomes a “frame” through which we are compelled to consider information.

Realizing that something as simple as a metaphor may influence our reasoning and encourage us to pause and try to be conscious of these influences. Once we consider that all information is framed in one way or another, we may be able to stand back and see ourselves looking at that information in a new way.

How does this translate to the visual realm? A Frame of Reference looks at works that illustrate people confronted with various framing devices: crowds looking at an animal on display or an art exhibit, people taking photos of someone taking a photo. These images themselves become metaphors for the rhetorical frames we encounter every day.

Open by appointment outside of receptions through April 5, 2019. For an appointment, call 312 852 7717


Opening April 12, 2019 6pm-10pm
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted Chicago IL 60608 info@URI-EICHEN.com

Tamara Torres - Photos & video, A Solo Exhibition

*La Feminista. Soy Yo?"("The Feminist. Am I?") a photography and video installation featuring women of different generations amplifying on the word feminisim.

Open by appointment outside of receptions through May 4, 2019. For an appointment, call 312 852 7717

Torres’ photography, paintings, collage and performance art all offer elucidations of broader cultural movements intertwined with her own personal stories. Her art grapples with racism, women’s rights, and injustice in this era. Whether it’s her own personal story of perseverance after being born “a statistic,” as one teacher told her, doomed by the circumstances of birth, or telling the stories of those who have faced adversity and discrimination because of their background or culture, her art faces the truth of our common humanity. .

Open by appointment outside of receptions through May 4, 2019. For an appointment, call 312 852 7717

May through September- The Supreme Court of the United States

October- Chip Thomas

November – Corey Hagelberg

URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 South Halsted
CHICAGO Illinois 60608



Second Fridays of the Month


6PM - 10PM

URI-EICHEN Gallery Board

Richard Berg is the Past President of Teamsters Local 743 where he was an activist in the Teamster reform movement for more than 20 years before being elected president. He was a member and union steward for the Teamsters while working in the Department of Environmental Services at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He has also worked as an Organizer for AFSCME, as a Business Agent for the Teamsters, as a Union Representative for SEIU Local 73 and a Staff Representative for AFSCME Council 31. He was also previously the Treasurer of the Chicago Area Labor Support Committee, Executive Board Member of the Chicago Chapter of the Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement, International Steering Committee Member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, 30th Ward Coordinator for Harold Washington for Mayor in 1987, Staff for James Exum for 48th Ward Democratic Committeeman, Steering Committee Member of the Illinois Chapter of the Labor Party, Wisconsin Chair of the Midwest Coalition Against Registration and the Draft, Co-Chair of the Marquette University Coalition for Divestiture and President of the Marquette University Progressive Student Organization . Richard is currently working for the Chicago Teachers Union and serves on the Steering Committee for the Chicago Labor Speakers Club. He also enjoys fine art whenever possible.

Paul Durica is a teacher, writer, and public historian. Since 2008 he has been producing a series of free and interactive public history programs under the name Pocket Guide to Hell. These talks, walks, and reenactments use costumes, props, music, and audience participation to make the past feel present.Paul’s writing on Chicago history and culture has appeared in Poetry, The Chicagoan, Mash Tun, Lumpen, and elsewhere and, with Bill Savage, he is the editor of Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (Northwestern UP, 2013). He is currently the Director of Programs for Illinois Humanities.

Ruth Needleman, professor emerita in Labor Studies at Indiana University, has taught labor and Latin American studies since the late sixties. After 4 years in Latin American Literature & Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she worked for the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez.

Ruth has been awarded honors for excellence in teaching, research and service, for her work, including a book, Black Freedom Fighters in Steel: the struggle for union democracy, and many articles on black history, race, class and gender, leadership development and on movements in Latin America. She contributed to a book on the right-wing in Chile, published by Quimantu, Allende’s publishing house, prior to the fascist coup. She has traveled extensively, presented in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Japan, Colombia and more.

She pioneered courses in Labor & the Arts at IU, and established a 15-year college-degree program called Swingshift College, enabling steelworkers to complete college degrees in a customized worker program based on transformational pedagogy. Currently she is writing about this program and the role and character of “pedagogy for liberation” for the 21st century. She is also teaching a course on global social movements at the School of the Arts Institute.

John Pitman Weber is active in community based public art, having co-founded the Chicago Public Art Group almost 45 years ago. His public works in mosaic, paint, cement, and brick are currently found in Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, Vitoria-Gasteiz, (Spain), Spencer, IA and libraries of Broward Cty, FL. He is also active in the studio with painting and woodcuts. One of his large woodcuts is currently included in the Gulf Labor Coalition’s presence at the Venice Biennale. He is emeritus, retired from Elmhurst College. His home-studio is in Pilsen.

Larry Redmond: I've always had an interest in art. As a child, I used to draw comic book characters. When I entered college, I had hoped to major in art. However, at the time UIC didn't have an art department.

Now, I express myself visually through photography. I love photographing life in the street, especially marches and demonstrations. But my interest is expanding to fine art photography. I hope to do portraits and still lifes within the next year or so.

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I majored in Philosophy and minored in English. I later attended the John Marshall Law School, earning a Juris Doctor degree. I studied art and photography at Chicago State University where I developed my passion for Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.

I have recently become a member of the Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers because I appreciated the organization's dedication of professionalism and excellence in the practice of the art of photography. I am also a member of the Washington Park Camera Club. I currently live in Chicago with my wife and family.

Kathy Steichen co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery with her husband, Christopher Urias, in 2011. She has led the programming development and coordination of hundreds of visual art and community events at the gallery in the last seven years. She built an organization that brings thousands of people into the space to enjoy art, music and participate in discussions on social justice themes. She has been involved in racial justice, anti-war and human rights issues for over 25 years. She is an alumna of several social justice and arts programs at Las Palomas de Taos, housed in the Mable Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. She founded Amnesty International chapters at the University of Iowa, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked as the Student Program Coordinator of Amnesty International in the Mid-west Region. She worked for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s first primary run as the field coordinator of the 48th Ward in Chicago in the first Campaign School. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has a M.S. in Union Leadership and Administration from UMASS Amherst. She has worked in the labor movement for twenty years as an organizer and union staff representative where she represents private and public sector local unions. She has been a practicing print-maker for over 25 years focused on work related to social justice theme

Christopher Urias co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery. He is a Pilsen, Chicago native who graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.