Garden Project: Shape Makers


In this time of tentative gatherings, Maya Bird-Murphy and Stephen Cortez, of Chicago Mobile Makers, have designed configurable furniture for The Arts Club of Chicago garden. Employing modular, geometric forms in bright color, they transform the tranquil setting into a playful, interactive space. Each practical, moveable shape is designed to be used independently or in combination with others to make individual seating, play-form, or bench. Throughout the coming months, the Arts Club will host outdoor sound and performance, as well as open hours for meditation or social gathering.


Schedules will be posted on-line and via social media.




Maya Bird-Murphy is an architectural designer, educator, and maker from Oak Park, Illinois. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Chicago Mobile Makers, an award-winning nonprofit organization bringing design-focused skill-building workshops to underrepresented communities. Maya believes that architecture should not be a privilege and must expand to accommodate more people through teaching and community engagement. She loves Chicago and hopes to make her mark by making it a more equitable place to live.



Stephen Cortez is a recent graduate of the Architecture and Urban Planning program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He’s a Program Facilitator at Chicago Mobile Makers where he leads youth design-thinking and problem-solving workshops. Stephen has an interest in researching critical practice and enjoys exploring the City of Chicago.





Posted May 7, 2021
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Hannah Levy: Surplus Tension

Hannah Levy’s precisely-rendered sculptures exist between the realms of danger and corporeality. Crafted of such evocative materials as steel and cast silicone, her forms at once evoke inanimate decor and sensual beings. In Hannah Levy: Surplus Tension, Levy departs from the specificities of the Arts Club’s Miesian aesthetic of shiny terrazzo, travertine cladding, or sumptuous silk and velvet drapery to reflect upon the underside of mid-century modern. She delves into the details of an architectural moment that is commonly held to be characterized by clean lines and white walls to find corsetlike leather ties around tubular metal chairs or mirror surfaces in black marble akin to reflecting pools. Levy further calls into question the gendering of that aesthetic by acknowledging the contributions of Mies’s longtime collaborator Lilly Reich, who early on used textile to inventively demarcate space as Mies did in his design for The Arts Club rooms. With hanging, pendulous works, grounded elements, and anthropomorphic details, Levy skirts the edges of risk to embody the gallery rooms from floor to ceiling.

Hannah Levy (b. 1991, New York, New York) lives and works in New York, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include the High Line, New York (2021); Casey Kaplan, New York (2020); Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin, Ireland (2018); Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland, Oregon (2017); and White Flag Projects Library, St. Louis, Missouri (2016). Notable group exhibitions include Wege zur Welt – Hildebrand Collection, G2 Kunsthalle, Leipzig (2019); Campi Magnetici (Magnetic Fields), Gió Marconi, Milan, Italy (2019); The Artist is Present, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China (2018); I See You, Savannah College of Art and Design Museum, Savannah, Georgia (2018); Being There, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2017); Past Skin, MoMA PS1, New York, New York (2017); and Things I Think I Want. Six Positions of Contemporary Art, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany (2017).


Register here for a conversation between Hannah Levy and Janine Mileaf on December 8th at 6:00 pm.

To enter the in-person program, please be prepared to present an official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card certifying that you have received a vaccination (photo of card is acceptable) or official documentation of a negative PCR test result.

Audience is required to wear a snug-fitting mask or facial covering over the nose and mouth for the duration of the program.

Posted March 24, 2021
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