On Twitter, "Follow Friday" (#FF or #FollowFriday) is a way to recommend people you think others should know about. It's a very neat idea, though most people just add the hashtag and then list a bunch of Twitter user handles. It's a nice way to give someone a shout out, but often lacks the context. Why should I follow these people? Well I've decided to answer that question & provide that context. Each Friday I'm able, I'll write a post briefly profiling 3 local or relatively lesser known creative people who you should know about. Today is International Women's Day, so it seems perfect to celebrate three creatively awesome women I am proud to say I know.
HOLY CRAP JENNIFER CRONIN IS TALENTED. Sorry. It's true though. I mean. Look at this.
That's a painting. A 67" x 40" painting. That Jennifer painted. Like, with her hand. It also happens to be a self portait of Jennifer and her sister. If you saw a picture of either of them your mind would be even further blown that it currently is. I mean, this is incredible stuff. Venture to Jennifer's website to see exactly why her CV is loaded with exhibitions and accolades. There are surely many more on the way as well.
I like to consider myself one of Jennifer's oldest fans, considering I was privy to her unreal drawing/painting talents from about Kindergarten on. While most kids drawings were disproportionate stick figures, Jennifer's had shading and appropriate depth perspective. Well, they probably did, anyway. I specifically remember being in the 6th grade art club where we got to paint the windows in the library. We were painting our interpretations of Charlotte's Web, and I'm pretty sure the book publisher would have likely scrapped the actual cover design in favor of Jen's had they seen it.
I'm just in awe of her artistic ability and humility despite the loads of talent she possesses.
Raise your hand right now if you personal know a sculptor. I'll wait....If your hand is not raised like mine, meet Seana Higgins. Unlike Jennifer, Seana's art is relativity new to me. I've known Seana since high school, as although we attended different schools we had some similar friends groups in common. It wasn't until 2011, though when I discovered her sculpture. I was brainstorming new artists to bring on as part of an event called I AM FEST I was working on, and saw on her Facebook feed a link to her website and was impressed.
Most of the artists we brought out the first two years of the fest were painters/photographers but that year I was trying to represent a wider variety of Chicago's artistic talent. We reconnected and she displayed at the fest. Though I'm sure it wasn't the most profitable of shows for her, I know for a fact that many of the days attendees enjoyed her work, seeing as how different it was.
Seana has displayed in a number of settings and completed residencies across the country. She'll soon be attending Ohio University and I'm thrilled to see what work she develops there. Find her on them internets and give her a virtual high five for being awesome. Or if you're randomly going to be at Ohio University this fall, give her a real high five and say Coate sent you. But you know, not it a creepy way. *cough*
Cameron Esposito is so funny. I mentioned Cameron before in a post raving about the amount of comedic talent I've been able to experience in my life. Cameron was one of the regulars at the Lakeshore Theater when I worked there.
Cameron is instantly likeable. She does her standup with a smile on her face that just makes you have to smile as well. But like many of the female comics I know, Cameron's comedy is not just standard "aren't men dumb?" female comic fare. She's supremely witty and the way she pieces together a story just makes me want to hang out a bar and make her tell me stories for 10 hours straight.
Cameron like the other two women in this post has received plenty of acclaim for her work. Them internets is littered with hilarious videos of Cameron's standup and important (seriously, you should be reading these) writings for the AV Club in a column called Who In The World is Cameron Esposito? You should also tune into her podcast, hosted with fiancée Rhea Butcher called Put Your Hands Together. It's really awesome, and this past week featured another comedian I've profiled - Denver's Andrew Orvedahl. Below I've included one of my favorite pieces of Cameron's standup. Enjoy!