The South Side, which has a rich history of contributions to the visual arts, has been gaining recognition in recent years for its experimental, emerging, and DIY-style of artists and art making. Often bringing lesser known artists and styles into the fray, these new spaces challenge traditional notions of what a gallery is with their wide-ranging programming, choice of artists, and remarkable use of space. For this piece, the Weekly visited and spoke to a selection of makers and art spaces spread across the South Side.
Three years ago, Zoe Nyman started organizing successful open mics and backyard events in Bridgeport, but it was only last October that the Backyard Series took shape. That was when Nyman collaborated with musician and designer Landon Tate to bring around two hundred people to an open mic, poetry, and music event titled “The Backyard Series” located in Nyman’s backyard in Bridgeport. The project grew quickly since its launch in the fall, expanding to institutional venues such as the Experimental Station in Woodlawn. Over coffee at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Nyman sat down with the Weekly to talk about the project’s origins, accomplishments, and ambitions for the future.