10 Years at Roots & Culture Pt. 1 With 40000, artLedge, duchess, & Green Lantern

Roots & Culture is emphatically thrilled to announce ROOTS, the first of our 10th Anniversary exhibitions (the second, predictably titled show, CULTURE will open June 25th, stay tuned for more info).  In the spirit of a sort of active nostalgia, we decided to look backwards to the scene that set the stage for Roots and invite four of our favorite, most influential spaces from the greater Wicker Park area of the mid-aughts to stage new projects at the gallery.  Though retired (or reconfigured), the four programs, 40000, artLedge, duchess, and Green Lantern, inspired energies of possibility, hybridity, and conviviality that continue to reverberate in the halls of R&C today.

Each space is mounting a new project within the exhibition. 40000 will exhibit a salon style hang of portraits and self portraits by gallery artists: ever looking and always seeing. David Artledge will present a collaborative painting installation for which artLedge will gaze upon its future it conceived in the past. duchess will present a correspondence project for which they have asked their community (artists + participants, supporters, collectors, etc) to mail a postcard to R&C from their current location. Green Lantern will curate a selection of timely and ambitious projects from the gallery’s history. And tying the show together is a selection of works by artists who overlapped with the four spaces and programming at R&C.

Featured artists include: Brandon Alvendia, Brian Andrews, Mike Andrews, Amanda Browder, CamLab (Anna Mayer and Jemima Wyman), Lilli Carré & Alexander Stewart, David Coyle, Howard Fonda, Caleb Lyons, Josh Mannis, Dave McKenzie, Brian McNearney, Heather Mekkelson, Jamisen Ogg, The Reverend Seymour Perkins, Aay Preston- Myint, Carmen Price, Tom Sanford, Deb Sokolow, Shannon Stratton, Nevin Tomlinson, and more!


40000 existed from 2005 to 2009, first on the corner of Augusta and Winchester in the East Ukrainian Village, and later in the 119 N. Peoria building. This was a decidedly commercial venture that largely failed for a variety of reasons, but not for lack of trying. Many of the artists that showed at 40000 were talented friends and support for them extended to like-minded visual art venues like Roots & Culture. Many of the artists that showed at 40000 were talented friends and support for them extended to like-minded visual art venues like Roots & Culture.

Named after a patch of unusable flooring at the top of a spiral staircase in an apartment at 1638 N Western in Chicago, artLedge provided an idiosyncratic exhibition space uniquely defined by its small size and odd arrangement of walls. artLedge organized 28 exhibitions and events with over 200 artists from 2004-2007 in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and London.

duchess was an apartment gallery run by Katie Rashid and Kat Parker from March 2006- September 2007 at 1043 W Grand Ave. In their short, but formidable tenure they showed work by Alexander Stewart, Huong Ngo, Stacey Nemeth, Mitzi Pederson, Howard Fonda, Jamisen Ogg, and more.

The Green Lantern Press started as a second floor apartment gallery above a Singer Sewing Machine Shop. For five years that space hosted exhibitions at the intersection of public and private space, within a vibrant community of artists, writers, and artist-run spaces.