Thursday, November 25, 2021


I’m so thankful for the community we’ve built and continue to build.

Selfies by participating artists Priscilla Huang and Robert Apolinar at the opening on Saturday (I definitely didn’t know where the lens on Robert’s phone was):

Something I’m proud of is curating group shows that turn out to be some of the artists’ first real gallery exhibition. (Reminder that for SLAYSIAN—like most of the other big group shows I curate—I put out an open call for artists, which I love doing because I get to “discover” so many talented people.) Sophie Pokorny is one of them:

And another piece that sold at the opening: Double Mother by Alex Belardo Kostiw. Congratulations, Alex! Unbeknownst to me, Kimberly Atwood of Elephant Room Gallery took a photo of me taking a photo of Alex’s piece:

Thank you, Kim!

Although SLAYSIAN 2.0 is physically on view until January 15, I’ve set up an online shop of the available works here, just in time for the holiday weekend. Collect art by 22 talented local Asian artists!

Monday, November 22, 2021

A Stitch in Time

One of the pieces that sold at the opening on Saturday night: Coil (upper left in the third photo below) by Sam Riesmeyer! Congratulations to Sam (a.k.a. The Punk Rock Stitcher) and thank you to the collector for your support!

If you weren’t/aren’t able to make it out and want to own some art by 22 talented local Asian artists, I’ve just set up the online shop for the available works in SLAYSIAN 2.0 here!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Early Thanks

(I make an appearance at the 0:10 mark)

Thank you thank you thank you! To everyone who came to the opening of SLAYSIAN 2.0 last night, to all the artists (I kept raving to everyone about how great of a group you are, and it’s been so fun to finally meet and talk to you in real life)!, and to the folks at Co-Prosperity Gallery for your support and for making this happen in person after two years and for trusting me / my vision! The vibes were perfect, the turnout was amazing (but the atmosphere was still chill), and it was nice knowing that everyone in the room was vaxxed. And I loved so many of your outfits! And I sold some art! (Congratulations to the artists and thank you to the collectors!) For those who weren’t/aren’t able to make it and want a piece, I’ll be setting up an online shop (like DECAHEDRON’s) for this show at the newer Artists on the Lam site soon, so stay tuned for that / bookmark it.

The show runs ‘til January 15. (Viewing days and hours here.) At some point before then we’ll have extra programming like artist talks and demos, so get excited for more opportunities to hang with this incredible exhibition!

If you took any photos or videos, email me at artists.on.the.lam {at} or/and tag me on social media (I’m @artistsonthelam on Instagram and @TheJennyLam on Twitter and Facebook) and I might post yours! (I’ve already been sharing your Insta stories in mine; check ‘em out.)

Saturday, November 20, 2021


Two years later, the day is finally here: SLAYSIAN 2.0 opens in person tonight! 6-9pm, 3219 S. Morgan. Wear a mask and come fully vaccinated (bring proof of vax—a photo is fine) and enjoy amazing art by 22 Asian artists from Chicago and the surrounding Midwest area.

Also, the exhibition is one of Bad at Sports’ Top 5 Weekend Picks!  

Thank you! In case you missed it, the show is also one of Sixty Inches from Center’s November Picks and is featured on Block Club Chicago.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Around the Block

SLAYSIAN 2.0 is on Block Club Chicago!

Thank you to Amy Qin!

Install’s been going well. (Here’s a little sneak peek.) And I’m not just saying that because artist Julius Bautista brought donuts today.

Two more days ‘til the opening!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Great Lakes

“Jenny, stand here and look like you’re telling me where to put this.”

Today was day 2 of artwork install (here’s day 1) and pictured is a regram from Stafford Smith, who drove all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is one of the 22 artists in SLAYSIAN 2.0, which opens this Saturday!

Also, the exhibition is one of Sixty Inches from Center’s November Art Picks—thank you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Hang Time

 SLAYSIAN 2.0 is on Choose Chicago and The Visualist—thank you!

Today was the first day of install and thus my first day doing this, in person, in years. I actually forgot what it was like. And after staring at the artists’ work digitally for two years it’s so nice to be able to see—and touch, which I gotta do when I see art I’m curating—this art in real life! So many textures and details that simply cannot be captured in a JPG, and even the colors are different. (Many of the artists created brand new work for the exhibition too.) And, of course, it’s lovely to finally meet these artists in person!

The show is starting to come together, and it opens this Saturday!

Monday, November 8, 2021


I am so happy to announce that the in-person exhibition of SLAYSIAN is finally happening! It opens Saturday, November 20. Come (properly masked and fully vaxxed). Most of the artists created brand new work for this physical iteration, so you’ll be seeing art that’s not in the online version. Read my official statement here or/and below.

Artists on the Lam presents


On view: Saturday, November 20, 2021, 6pm – Saturday, January 15, 2022, 6pm

Created by award-winning Chicago artist and independent curator Jenny Lam, SLAYSIAN 2.0 is a group exhibition whose journey began in the summer of 2019, when Lam proposed an art show that would function as a celebration—a celebrAsian, if you will—of local Asian American artists. In January 2020, Lam put out an open call for SLAYSIAN, emphasizing the absence of theme and that the artists did not necessarily have to make art about being Asian; simply being and creating were enough. The ensuing exhibition was scheduled to open on March 20, 2020; this later happened to become the first day of Illinois’ stay at home order. As the opening approached, the pandemic became a reality. Lam postponed the exhibition “until things get better (have hope; they will),” as she wrote at Artists on the Lam, and spent the beginning of shelter in place moving the exhibition online, where it served as welcome respite and garnered acclaim from local, national and international outlets. An excerpt from South Side Weekly’s article about the virtual show:
“Spanning neighborhoods, ethnicities, and mediums, SLAYSIAN showcases a subset of artists that have always been part of the city’s art scene, but rarely acknowledged as a collective. […] SLAYSIAN also examines how artists can value their identity while refusing to be pigeonholed by it. […] Their work raises questions of what it means to inhabit spaces designed specifically for artists to grow, but where the Asian American experience may still be sidelined. […] In addition to its role in educating and engaging with the broader Chicago community, much of SLAYSIAN reflects an inward-looking conversation among Asian Americans. […] SLAYSIAN embodies the aspiration that those at the outskirts of a society can redefine what success means for ourselves. […] By allowing for a multitude of stories, […] Instead of being locked into one narrative as victim or immigrant, their art is allowed to grow with the times. […] The exhibition showcases the determination of individuals to find their own answers to what the role of the Asian American artist is.” –Eileen Li, South Side Weekly, June 2020

Now, two years later, you are invited to enjoy this exhibition in person. The show itself has evolved; many of the artists have created brand new pieces for this iteration. At long last, we proudly present to you SLAYSIAN 2.0.

Hailing from all over Chicago and the surrounding Midwest area, SLAYSIAN 2.0’s participating artists include:

Aimy Tien, Alex Belardo Kostiw, Caroline Liu, Charlene Moy, Chris Gallevo, Dao Nguyen, James Gu, Julius Dizon-Cruz Bautista, Justin Suico, Kaitlyn Hwang, Kristin Anahit Cass, Muriel Christensen, Nini Hawes, Priscilla Huang, Richard Gessert, Robert Apolinar, Sam Riesmeyer, Sophie Pokorny, Stafford Smith, Susie Xiong (InsomniaBird), Vivian Le, and Yuqing Zhu.

Opening reception: Saturday, November 20, 2021, 6-9pm
Location: Co-Prosperity Gallery, Public Media Institute, 3219 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60608
You must wear a mask and you must be fully vaccinated. Let’s continue to keep each other and our communities safe. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Visiting hours following the reception: Fridays 4-7pm and Saturdays 2-5pm, closed on holidays and 12/10-11
Masks and proof of vax required

Instagram: @artistsonthelam | Twitter: @TheJennyLam

View SLAYSIAN 1.0 here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Bright and Early

I was interviewed live on WGN Morning News—my first time on TV!—yesterday! Thank you to anchors Robin Baumgarten and Larry Potash for having me, and thank you to WGN for the opportunity and platform to share my Dreams of a City project.

If you missed it (understandable—this was honestly the earliest I’ve woken up in… a long time), you can watch my interview on WGN News’ YouTube (embedded above) or/and on Facebook (embedded below).

Monday, September 13, 2021

Cultural Reset

I was interviewed live on WBEZ! Thank you to WBEZ Reset for having me (for the second time!) and to anchor Susie An for chatting with me about Dreams of a City.

For those who might’ve missed it Wednesday morning, you can listen to my radio interview here.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Well Read

I’m in the Chicago Reader! Thank you to writer Tony Peregrin for this wonderful interview about my labor of love, Dreams of a City.

Online version.

You can read the article about my public art/postcard project online, or/and you can pick up the August 19 issue in print (it’s free!) at Reader distribution boxes throughout Chicago. It’s also available as a PDF.

Pages 10-11 of the print version.

Also, here’s a moment of zen: A time lapse of me putting stamps on a hundred handmade Dreams of a City postcards.

And a heads up to those of you who’ve been subscribed to Artists on the Lam using the Feedburner email subscription service / Blogger’s FollowByEmail widget: Alas, apparently it’s being (has been?) discontinued. I’ll look for an alternative, but in the meantime, I’ll be manually emailing these blog posts to you. And thank you, of course, for being such loyal followers—many from the very beginning!

Stay safe out there.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Stop in the name of

I got interviewed by Fstoppers about my iPhone 5s photography!

Thank you to writer Ali Choudhry for this feature article!

In case you missed it in May: PetaPixel interviewed me as well, and here’s when I launched my new online gallery of my mobile photography.

Also viewable, of course, is DECAHEDRON: 74 artists, over 350 works of art across all media, celebrating the 10th anniversary of Artists on the Lam. View the virtual exhibition here.

Continue staying safe, everyone.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Decked Out

It’s here! DECAHEDRON is now live!

June 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of Artists on the Lam. Celebrate with us!

It was a decade ago yesterday that I published my first post on what would later be voted “Best Arts Blog” in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago issue (read more about that in the previous post). As part of the celebration, I’ve curated an international exhibition (read more about this in the artist announcement post).

More about the curatorial process for this show that I didn’t mention in those posts: I’m likening it to an episodic TV series where you wander the land embarking on different adventures and meeting different characters, and then in the end you go back and revisit all your old friends and ask them to be part of your heist. Past, present, and future are all intertwined.

The result? 74 artists, with over 350 works of art.

View the exhibition at the following links: the main page and the artists page (click on each artist to enjoy their art and their words). Most of the pieces are available for purchase (and I was literally in the middle of formatting this post when a painting was already sold).

Celebrating 10 years of:

interaction; collaboration; making art as accessible as possible; proving that art is for everyone; championing local artists while channeling global perspectives; shenanigans; worldwide adventures; saying things everyone thinks but doesn’t say out loud; making messes; winging it; figuring it out; the same pair of sneakers; irreverence; puns; so many puns; open calls; giving emerging artists their first ever shows; refusing to use artspeak; not taking ourselves too seriously; troublemaking; optimism / earnestness / hope; leaving pretension at the door; getting people to actually look at the art; getting people to have fun with art and with each other; getting people to see the world anew; building relationships between artists and viewers; building relationships; building community; bringing people joy; a breath of fresh air; being able to touch the art; people coming into a gallery and not feeling intimidated; teaching; assuring people that they do, in fact, “get” art; showing that there’s nothing to “get”; invoking childlike wonder; connection, and not the schmoozing kind; making sure everyone feels welcome; rejecting cliques; breaking the rules; breaking barriers; bridging the spaces between us; standing out; not paying attention to trends; making our own; substance over style; quality over popularity; quantity; cramming an entire biennial’s worth of artists into one room; cramming as many viewers as possible into one room; helping visitors “hone their art appreciation skills”; giving visitors the “opportunity to explore their own interests and gain a better understanding of the kind of art they enjoy and why”; being worth the wait; being down-to-earth; showing there’s an abundance of culture in the Midwest; every medium you can think of; every art form you can think of; artists spanning the widest range of backgrounds, ages, and experience levels; talent; the best people you’ve never heard of yet; exploring and showcasing the underground; “shaking things up” / “rocking the art world” / “making waves”; changing the game; truly new experiences; being truly independent; perhaps being too DIY [but]; knowing no one is an island; using word of mouth; being unconventional; play; passion; constant growth; and art.

Again, thank you.

Here’s to the next 10 years!

(Pictured: A few photos from the opening reception of 2012’s acclaimed I CAN DO THAT, voted “Best Art Exhibit” in the 20th anniversary edition of NewCity’s Best of Chicago issue)

Leave a birthday message!

What’s your favorite Artists on the Lam memory? Perhaps you had a moment of transcendence at one of our interactive shows, or shared a spontaneous experience with a fellow visitor, or simply had fun. Perhaps a particular blog post moved you. Perhaps you’ve been inspired in some way. Your story could be featured on the site as part of the virtual celebration!

You can also send a photo, a doodle, or any other supplemental material. Email artists.on.the.lam {at} gmail {dot} com.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

What Is Time

Today is the 10th anniversary of Artists on the Lam!

It was on Monday, June 6, 2011, that I published my first blog post here.  

(Looking at that post, which is incredibly embarrassing, it’s funny how I’m much further removed from my 2011 self now than my 2011 self was to my teen self I kept referring to in it. (What a sentence.) I was so young but was writing like I was so jaded and world-weary. (Which isn’t surprising considering I already felt old and that time was passing too quickly when I was only 7.) But that was part of the charm of those early posts, of course.)

Thank you, everyone, for being a part of this extraordinary journey.

To celebrate, DECAHEDRON is virtually opening tomorrow! Save the date. (One day from now. But still.)

Until then: Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I’ve been going on a few art outings (artings?)*, and you can treat your eyes with my photos on Instagram (or your other social media of choice: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr).

*(My first one (in over 14 months) was last week, and it was a Special Preview of Frida Kahlo: Timeless at Cleve Carney Museum of Art inside McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage. Featuring 26 original works on loan from Museo Dolores Olmedo, alongside a multimedia timeline and replicas of objects from Frida’s life, plus other special programming, it’s the largest Frida Kahlo exhibition in the Chicago area in more than 40 years, and it’s now open to the public. (Among my photos I naturally included one of her revolutionary politics; it was an integral part of her identity.) Afterwards my family and I visited the Morton Arboretum (only a few minutes away from the CCMA), where a new exhibition of sculptures by Daniel Popper called Human+Nature just opened and will run for at least a year. And yesterday we went to Immersive Van Gogh Chicago. Vincent is a reminder: Support us artists when we’re still alive.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Red Letter

As of yesterday I’m fully vaccinated! First thing I did? Went to my P.O. box for the first time since March 2020! (And afterwards I went to buy socks with more support. Really wildin’ out here.) And what a pleasant surprise to see so many Dreams of a City postcards! Which means: even though I left these postcards throughout Chicago before the pandemic (I stopped once it was time to lock down), all of these dreams were mailed during the pandemic.

Fitting that my first activity was gathering hope. After I scan these, I’ll be sharing them daily to @dreamsofacity. Follow along!

(For those of you who aren’t familiar with my labor of love: From 2008-2009 in Manhattan, and then from 2012-early 2020 in Chicago, I made thousands of pre-stamped self-addressed postcards, each with the prompt, “Tell me one thing you dream of doing before you die. Use this card as your canvas,” and each—this is the most important part—with a different code on the bottom. I left these postcards in public places all over the city, using the codes to record where I left each one. So, when a card returned to me, I was able to match its code with its location and was able to tell where each one was found, and have been gradually creating a map of the city from all your dreams. It’s a 13-year-old love letter and a message of hope.

View all 100 mapped Manhattan dreams 2008-2009 on Flickr, all 600+ mapped Chicago dreams 2012-2020 on Instagram, and more information on this page.)

Another momentous occasion: On this day 10 years ago, I thought of the concept for the first art show I independently curated, Exquisite Corpse!

I assigned artists who didn’t know each other beforehand into pairs/groups and had them collaborate on creating new artwork for the exhibition. The late great Paul Klein came to preview it, and he gave me my first real review. It was glorious.

Next up / 10 years later / virtually opening this June: DECAHEDRON!

P.S. In case you missed the previous post, PetaPixel interviewed me about my new online gallery for my iPhone 5s photography. Check it out!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Pixel Perfect

I got interviewed by PetaPixel about my iPhone 5s photography!

Thank you to writer Anete Lusina and editor-in-chief Jaron Schneider for this great feature!

Monday, May 17, 2021


I got my 2nd dose of the Moderna vaccine!

I was prepared for the side effects, which is why I made not one but two art announcements beforehand. Take a look if you missed ‘em.

Speaking of of vaccines: As of one week ago, my parents are now fully vaccinated. On Friday, for the first time since April 2020, my mom went inside the grocery store instead of getting curbside pickup! (Like I’ve said, we’ve been strict—me most of all.)

And: Thank you for including me and SLAYSIAN (still on view since March 2020!) in this wonderful collection of recommendations for Chicago’s AAPI businesses and makers, One Design Company!

Via One Design:
“Local AAPI businesses, makers, cultural centers, and more deserve celebration and support, always—but right now, that’s especially true. In collaboration with our Asian American colleagues, you’ll find a studio-curated collection of 67 Chicago-area businesses, organizations, and makers across 8 different categories. Join us in supporting them now and well into the future.”

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, everyone.

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