Can We Get Something Sweet? Haylie Jimenez & Sydnie Jimenez

With Helen Lee "Everyday we live, we move closer to death" in the Milwaukee Ave. Window Gallery

Opening Friday, November 19th 5–9pm

Haylie and Sydnie explore themes related to their experiences as twins and how this has informed how they navigate the world.  In can we get something sweet?, the artists play with a melancholic and joyful dichotomy through the depiction of young black and brown people in settings that are familiar and comfortable to the artists and the subjects being depicted.  In these figurative works we see self expression through style and presentation as a form of self autonomy which can be seen as resistant to a patriarchal society rooted in white supremacy.  Although grief and anger are pretty prevalent in some of the works, these drawings and figures also relay an affirming and relatable energy because of the communities they form and the way in which they interact with each other creating safe spaces and inevitable joy within these chosen families.  These seemingly contradictory feelings align with their identities as biracial twins – as alike, but different – and these intimate works hold space for both grief and celebration in a bittersweet world.

Haylie Jimenez was born in Orlando, FL but spent most of her adolescence in rural north Georgia along with her twin. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in May 2020. Her work depicts/centers around black and brown queer femmes, either in normal everyday settings based from her own lived experiences, sometimes including mythical or magical elements to emphasize certain marginalized realities. Her practice consists of drawings, printmaking, and animation. She is interested in drawing as a form of documentation and in the various ways drawing styles are informed and how lived experiences inform style as well as subject matter.

Sydnie Jimenez was born in Orlando, FL (1997) and spent most of her childhood in north Georgia from which she draws much inspiration. She recently graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 2020) focusing on ceramic sculpture and is a recipient of the Windgate Fellowship (2020).  Ms. Jimenez is currently doing a residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.

Everyday we live, we move closer to death.

The marks we make that can not be undone. The many questions we have that are often unanswered. Each of us carries a history within us. This history within us, this connection to our ancestors, is one we can choose to embrace or erase. If we can sit with ourselves and sit in that darkness, there may be some answers that will be uncovered and possible healing along the way.

Helen Lee (she/they) was born and raised in Chicago to immigrant parents from South Korea. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BA from University of Hawaii at Manoa. Helen’s performances and visual art works weave movement, storytelling, film/video, taxidermy, installation and/or social practice that examines facets of identity, trauma, racism, death, grief, shame, healing and meanings of home. She has had the privilege of presenting works in the US, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Iceland, Finland and Canada. Their performances have been published in “Emergency INDEX” by Ugly Duckling Press and films have been presented by Chicago Park District’s Chicago OnScreen. Their hope is that the work they create can help to amplify the voices of Asian American women and build allyship amongst the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. They are currently a HATCH Artist Residence with Chicago Artists Coalition and a Links Hall Co-MISSION Artist.