There was a time when Chicago’s Magnificent Mile was underwater, a time before settlers had filled in the lake to make land for these buildings. There was a time further back when this land of the Anishinaabe people, including the Chicago area, was flooded by a great deluge. At that time, Earthdivers – specifically the muskrat – dove into the water to retrieve some mud to repair the earth. All things dredged may be temporary. It is possible and within imagination that the land in this place, the place of the Arts Club of Chicago, may once again be held by the original people or pulled back into the water. The Waves May Break Here Still is a printed mural of a painting by the same title that celebrates the potential impermanence of the human built environment.
Andrea Carlson (b. 1979) is a visual artist currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Through painting and drawing, Carlson cites entangled cultural narratives and institutional authority relating to objects based on the merit of possession and display. Her work has been acquired by institutions such as the British Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Walker Art Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. Carlson is a 2008 McKnight Fellow, a recipient of the 2017 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors award, a 2020 Artadia award, and a 2022 United States Artists Fellow. Along with several artists based in Chicago, Carlson helped form the Center for Native Futures.
(Image: Exit by Andrea Carlson, 2018. Screenprint, Highpoint Center for Printmaking Editions.)