Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Call for Artists: HYGGE

Artists on the Lam invites all artists to submit work for this online group exhibition, opening January 30, 2023

hyg·ge (pronunciation: hyoo-guh) noun
  1. a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing, evoked by simple comforts such as being wrapped in a blanket, having good conversations, enjoying food, etc.
  2. a form of everyday togetherness; a pleasant and highly valued everyday experience of safety, equality, personal wholeness and a spontaneous social flow

We’ve all been there: trudging through snow, trying to shield our faces from wind so cold it hurts, questioning our lives and life itself.

One thing this pandemic has taught us is how to better appreciate the simple joys of staying in, being with people you care about, and enjoying art together, from watching a film to browsing an online art exhibition—really!

Creating interactive exhibitions—such as 2016’s acclaimed LEXICON and 2012’s acclaimed I CAN DO THAT—had been in Chicago artist and independent curator Jenny Lam’s wheelhouse. When Lam pivoted to digital exhibits during the pandemic, this resulted in such shows as 2020’s acclaimed SLAYSIAN, which not only garnered praise but also had outlets remarking on the very nature of the virtual platform:

Sixty Inches from Center: “Since she couldn’t bring audiences to see the show in person, she brought SLAYSIAN directly to audiences, transforming it into an online exhibition we can view from the safety of our homes. It’s now available for us to click through in digital space, where we are free to take our time and linger over the amazing work of all the artists she brought together, including extra multimedia content that wouldn’t have been possible in a traditional physical exhibition space.”

Winter’s Bloom: “Every one of the featured artists [has] a rich story to share and I encourage you to take a moment to sit with them, to share them. Just this morning my pieces came into bed with me, snuggling on a lazy Sunday. On a whim I pulled up Jenny Lam’s website and we spent the morning scrolling through the exhibit, reading about the artists and choosing your favorite pieces.”

South Side Weekly: “The digital forum offers the opportunity for at-home viewers to take part in this important work—to help these stories grow, evolve, and be seen.”

This new year, Artists on the Lam presents HYGGE, a new online art exhibition. Stay in your PJs, grab your drink of choice, and experience art, all without braving the elements.

All artists working in all mediums and forms—painting, illustration, photography, sculpture, multimedia, installation, textiles, you name it—from anywhere in the world are welcome to apply.

Claude Monet, The Magpie.


Monday, December 19, 2022


Contributed to the #artvsartist challenge with closeups of some of my quick sketches! View my drawings (and more) in full here and here. Lensa who? AI what? All you need is a pencil and paper, baby.

The #artvsartist challenge, with a 3x3 grid of square images; the middle square is of the artist, and the rest of the squares are examples of the artist's art.

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been selected to exhibit my drawing Tree Hugger, which I made when I was in high school, in Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery’s 12th Annual Nature Art Exhibition! View the show here. Thank you, LST!

Artist opportunity: Chicago DCASE’s 2023 Individual Artists Program Grant application is now open! The deadline is January 10, 2023, 5pm. I’m a past recipient. Both times I applied, I was selected to receive the grant!: The first was for my interactive public art and mapping project, Dreams of a City*; the second was when I conceived of SLAYSIAN**. More details for IAP here.

A graphic by the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events that depicts a blue speech bubble with the text "Are you an artist in need of funding?"

*(Recent interviews about that passion project / labor of love!: WGN Morning News (video, recorded live), WBEZ (audio, recorded live), Chicago Reader (article).)

**(Which finally happened in person last year! You can continue to enjoy the original virtual version from 2020 here and read about SLAYSIAN in press coverage (including feature articles, reviews, and interviews with the artists and myself) from 2020 here.)

Can you believe this was a decade ago?: Throwback to December 2012 when I went to Miami for the first time and then wrote my now-classic blog post “Notes from [an] underground [art scene advocate / Miami Art Week virgin].” The middle paragraph of image 3 might be one of the funniest things I’ve written. Also, check out the tags I wrote (bottom of image 4). And the 5th image is the kind of comment I love receiving, and what makes it all worth it.

Screenshot 1 of the classic 2012 blog post about Miami Art WeekScreenshot 2 of the classic 2012 blog post about Miami Art Week

Screenshot 3 of the classic 2012 blog post about Miami Art WeekScreenshot 4 of the classic 2012 blog post about Miami Art Week

A 5th screenshot, showing the last comment in the classic 2012 blog post about Miami Art Week

And speaking of older blog posts: Congratulations on winning the World Cup, Argentina! The last place my parents and I traveled to before the pandemic (remember when I lived up to the “globetrotting polyglot” descriptor in my bio?), and I miss it. I waxed wistful about it in the post “Alegría”; read about people, love, life, and getting stranded.

A 4x4 grid of photographs from Argentina (Patagonia and Buenos Aires), late December 2019-early January 2020.

Happy and healthy holidays, everyone! Consider making a year-end gift to Artists on the Lam here. As always, I am so grateful for all of you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Become a Patron

Support Artists on the Lam here

Since its founding in 2011, Artists on the Lam has been dedicated to championing local artists while channeling global perspectives (our motto!), making art accessible, breaking barriers, building community, inspiring people to see the world anew, and demonstrating that art is for everyone—all to acclaim.

Hailed by the press and the public as an “art wave-maker,” “a global arts mover and shaker,” “a pioneer of art that is interactive, collaborative, and as much fun for viewers as it is for artists,” and as an enterprise that “keeps Chicago’s arts and cultural scene fresh, engaging, and thriving” and “embodies everything that we, in the art world, need,” Artists on the Lam has spent the past 11.5 years cultivating a vibrant international community across 177 countries and counting, connecting artists and art lovers from all walks of life.

We’ve launched the careers of emerging artists and provided a prominent platform for emerging, mid-career, and established artists alike, whether it’s through the blog that started it all, which was voted “Best Local Visual Arts Blog” in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago issue by readers like you, or through groundbreaking—and rule-breaking—interactive art shows, such as the landmark exhibition I CAN DO THAT, which was voted the audience choice for “Best Art Exhibit” in the 20th anniversary edition of NewCity’s Best of Chicago issue by visitors like you.

From massive audience participatory shows like LEXICON, which was lauded by visitors as “wonderful training and exercise in the world of art appreciation,” to storied celebrations like SLAYSIAN, which South Side Weekly praised for its “role in educating and engaging with the broader Chicago community” and for “showcasing a subset of artists that have always been part of the city’s art scene, but rarely acknowledged as a collective,” at Artists on the Lam we’ve always prided ourselves in being at the forefront of art.

We’ve also always prided ourselves in being entirely independent and free.

If you’ve ever had fun at one of our events, connected with one of our artworks, enjoyed reading—or been oddly moved by—a post on the blog, found respite perusing a pandemic-era virtual exhibition, or would simply like to express your appreciation for the things we do, consider making a donation here! Your name will be included on a published list of patrons.

Your support goes towards
  • Keeping the site (including the online art galleries of hundreds of talented artists) up and running;
  • Keeping the site and blog ad-free and without any paywalls;
  • Keeping in-person events free to attend;
  • Helping produce these events and allowing them to be the best they can be;
  • Helping pay our assistants;
  • And so much more.

In the past, Artists on the Lam has been awarded grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and has received COVID-19 pandemic relief funds from The Soze Foundation’s Artist + Activist Relief Fund Grant, Chicago Artists Relief Fund, Secret Walls’ Support Your Local Artist Fund, and Propeller IMPACT Fund Grant.

Thank you endlessly for your generosity and for supporting artists and the arts!


Can I make my donation recurring?
Yes! To make your gift monthly, donate on PayPal here.

I’d like to support Artists on the Lam in other ways. Is this possible?
Yes! You can browse the online shop, you can write about / feature Artists on the Lam in articles and interviews, you can utilize our services, you can attend our exhibitions (both in-person and virtual) where you can collect the original works of our talented artists (join the mailing list to keep up with when these events happen), and you can spread the word about all the things we do!

Can I give to you in someone else’s honor?
Yes! You can donate on someone else’s behalf. Make a note of their name and any other details you’d like in the “Additional Info” field.

Is my donation tax deductible?
No, since Artists on the Lam is not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Who/what processes payments?
The payment processors used are Stripe (for credit cards) and PayPal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


Last summer, a college student completed her undergraduate thesis about SLAYSIAN! I have her draft and it’s 26 pages all about the artists in the exhibition I curated! I’ve always talked about wanting to inspire others but when it actually happens I’m always surprised. So unbelievably honored.

"Asian American art and identity: The interrelation between diasporic experiences and artistic production for SLAYSIAN artists" by Amanda Na, dated 18 May 2022. A Grinnell College undergraduate thesis for Professor French's Asian Am Art & Identity course.
(Here’s the online art show, March 2020-∞; here’s SLAYSIAN 2.0, the in-person exhibit, November 2021-January 2022; and here’s press coverage of the virtual exhibition, from 2020.)

And: The previous post has a massive roundup of updates; check it out if you missed it!

Monday, October 31, 2022

Rebel with a Cause

First, some personal art announcements and news:

I got interviewed by CanvasRebel! Read it here. Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story!

I’m happy to announce that I’ve been selected to publish my art in Bruxelles Art Vue’s Limitless Nature book! Here are my pages in the volume, featuring my 2015 photo Fall in Love and my 2017 photos Singing Sands, Danxia, and Binglingsi, all shot on my iPhone 5s (view more of my mobile photography here).

You can get a free digital copy here.

Thank you, Art Vue Foundation!

I’m also excited to share that I have an exhibit at 21c Museum Hotel Chicago: An activation / site-specific installation of my Dreams of a City project! Thank you to Museum Manager Juli Lowe and everyone at 21c for making this happen!

(For those of you who aren’t familiar with my labor of love: From 2008-2009 in Manhattan, and then from 2012-now in Chicago, I’ve been making 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 with a different code on the bottom. I’ve been leaving these postcards in public places all over the city, using the codes to record where I leave each one. So, when a card returns to me, I’m able to match its code with its location / am 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 love letter to the city and a message of hope.

Watch, listen to, and read recent interviews about the project on WGN Morning News (live TV interview), WBEZ (live radio interview on Reset), and the Chicago Reader.)

And now, on to a visual recap of MdW Art Fair! (Photo-heavy, so if you’re navigating from the main page, continue reading after the jump.)

In the lobby of Mana Contemporary Chicago.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Hour of Magic

Baby’s first art fair!

The Artists on the Lam booth is near the southwest corner of the absolutely gorgeous Mana Contemporary floor that MdW Fair is in, and our window faces west (look at that golden hour light!); come watch the sunset with us during the Vernissage on Friday!

I went today to plan where each artwork would go on the wall. The artists [on the lam] will start installing tomorrow and I can’t wait!

Artists on the Lam presents
Mini edition at MdW Art Fair
Curated by Jenny Lam
Cristy Corso
Emily Calvo
Nancy Bechtol
Zachary Trebellas
& you

Tuesday, September 6, 2022


I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been selected to exhibit my 2020 photo Torres del Paine and my 2015 photo Fall in Love—both shot on my iPhone 5s—in Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery’s 12th Annual Landscapes Art Exhibition, and I’m one of the Top Winning Artists in the Photography & Digital Category! Thank you, LST! View the show here and view more of my mobile photography here.

Torres del Paine (early January 2020)

Sold: My 2016 sketches Of Dragons and Assassin II! Thank you so much to the collector for your support! (It’s like the universe balanced things out; that day I hired a fellow artist to be an attendant for my upcoming art fair booth, and then less than an hour later I received a notification about this sale!) If anyone else is interested in giving my art a new home, more of my handmade illustrations/drawings and paintings are available for purchase here.

Of Dragons (2016)

Assassin II (2016)

Here’s a little video I took before sending them off. (Not pictured: How nerve-wracking slowly tearing out Assassin II from my sketchbook without ripping it was.)

And: The updated COVID-19 booster (the one that finally helps protect against omicron) is available in the Chicago area! I scheduled my appointment at Walgreens for next week. Get your shots!

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Midway There

I am thrilled to announce that I will be participating in MdW, the local alternative art fair that’s back after 10 years and will be held Sept. 9 to 11 at Mana Contemporary Chicago! This will by my (and Artists on the Lam’s) first time exhibiting at an art fair! (I so love that MdW is free to apply to, present at, and attend.) And what’s more… I’m putting together a mini version / 10th anniversary edition of I CAN DO THAT at our booth! (Throughout the past decade a lot of folks have been asking me if ICDT would ever happen again, and I’m so pleased to finally be able to give you an answer!) Thank you to everyone at MdW for this opportunity. View more details here or/and keep reading below.

Image courtesy of MdW.

Artists on the Lam presents

I CAN DO THAT 10th anniversary edition and celebration

2022 marks the 10th anniversary of Artists on the Lam’s acclaimed I CAN DO THAT, the groundbreaking—and rule-breaking—interactive show that Chicago artist Jenny Lam created and independently curated based on how a lot of people go up to contemporary art and say, “Well, I can do that,” or “my kid could do that.” So at the show Lam had the artists’ original art supplies in front of each piece, as well as blank canvases and other surfaces, and challenged people to see if they could, indeed, “do that,” or if they felt like they could improve a piece, they were able to directly paint or make any mark on that original work of art. It was glorious fun, and was eventually named audience choice for “Best Art Exhibit” in the 20th anniversary edition of NewCity’s Best of Chicago issue. Read more and view [many] photos here.

Now, a decade of anticipation later, Artists on the Lam is finally bringing I CAN DO THAT back! Enjoy a mini version at MdW, an artist-run alternative art fair showcasing over 100 artist-led projects. In keeping with MdW’s focus, the participating artists of this new iteration hail from throughout the Central Midwest. They include: Cristy Corso, Emily Calvo, Nancy Bechtol, Zachary Trebellas, and you. Celebrate with us!

Location: Booth #40 at MdW Art Fair, 4th floor of Mana Contemporary (2233 S. Throop St., Chicago, IL 60608—enter on East side of building)

Opening Night / Vernissage: Friday, September 9, 2022, 5-8pm

Other Visiting Hours: Saturday, September 10, 2022, 12-9pm & Sunday, September 11, 2022, 1-5pm

Admission is free.

You must wear a mask at all times. Let’s continue to keep each other and our communities safe. Read Mana’s COVID safety protocol here.

Instagram: @artistsonthelam | Twitter: @TheJennyLam | Email: artists.on.the.lam {at} gmail {dot} com

More from the original exhibition:
  • Read the original press release for 2012’s I CAN DO THAT here.
  • View the 2012 opening reception photos in their original albums on Flickr and Facebook.
  • Journey behind the scenes of 2012’s I CAN DO THAT via these posts on the blog.

Job Opportunities:
  • Art fair booth attendant needed! This is a paid opportunity. Apply here. [Update: This position has been filled. Thank you to the applicants!]

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Lion’s Pride

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been selected to exhibit my 2016 photo Sai Kung, shot on my iPhone 5s, in Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery’s 12th Annual Seascapes Art Exhibition! Thank you, LST! View more of my mobile photography here.

I’m also excited to share that I’ve been published in Bruxelles Art Vue’s Human Body Is Art 2022 book! My copy finally arrived, and what a beautiful volume it is. I’m proud to be a part of it! Featured on my pages are a 2007 oil on canvas painting and sketches from my 2008 series Gossamer. Thank you, Art Vue Foundation!

And: Today’s my birthday!

14th birthday party, post- laser tag. (Who else had one of
these bubble shirts in the 00s? I think mine—in my favorite
color, of course—was a gift from a previous birthday.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2022


I’m so excited to share that I’ll be exhibiting my art in Italy!

Trieste, Italy. Photo via Lonely Planet.

My 2015 photo Spiral, shot on my iPhone 5s, will be displayed at Trieste Photo Days, an international photography festival in the city of Trieste in northeastern Italy. Thank you to Stefano Ambroset and Urban Photo Awards for the opportunity! This will be my first time showing my artwork overseas.

Monday, July 18, 2022


I’m pleased to share that I’m one of the Urban Photo Awards 2022 Selected Photographers! And they had over 10,000 submissions! Here’s my page in the competition’s gallery, featuring my 2015 photo Spiral, shot on my iPhone 5s.

I’ve also been selected to exhibit my drawing Tree Hugger, which I made when I was in high school, in Exhibizone’s Kingdom Animalia 2022 international online group exhibition! The show runs throughout July.

oil bar on paper

Here’s a fun shirt I ordered from a local bookstore.

And I’ll close with this: A page from my diary when I was 13, Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, summer 2001.

Some links:

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Sum of its parts

Some exciting announcements and news:

I’ve been selected to publish my work in Bruxelles Art Vue’s Human Body Is Art! Here are my pages in the book, featuring a 2007 oil on canvas painting and sketches from my 2008 series Gossamer. Thank you, Aleksandra Rowicka and Art Vue Foundation!

I’ve also been selected to exhibit my 2014 photo Haka in Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery’s 12th Annual Figurative Art Exhibition, and Pivot Design featured me in their story of Chicago artists who inspire them! Thank you all!

Congratulations to SLAYSIAN artist Kaitlyn Hwang for being an Outstanding Service in Arts and Humanity Awardee! Here’s her interview with Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs:

Like the previous post, I’ll close with my highlights of recent art around town: Nick Cave’s first retrospective Forothermore at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (here’s a related Gala Performance featuring none other than Patti Labelle and Nona Hendryx, also on TikTok); Immersive Monet & The Impressionists at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, by the same folks behind Immersive Van Gogh (note that I still wear a facemask); and more on Instagram.

Happy summer, everyone! (Even to those of you south of the equator. I’m mentally sending you some of our record heat.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Still reigning supreme

Happy 10th anniversary to 2012’s I CAN DO THAT, the rule-breaking interactive group show featuring over 40 artists from around the world that I created and independently curated based on how a lot of people go up to contemporary art and say, “Well, I can do that,” or “my kid could do that.” So at the show I had the artists’ original art supplies in front of each piece, as well as blank canvases and other surfaces, and challenged people to see if they could, indeed, “do that,” or if they felt like they could improve a piece, they were able to directly paint or make any mark on that original work of art. It was glorious fun, and was eventually named audience choice for “Best Art Exhibit” in the 20th anniversary edition of NewCity’s Best of Chicago issue.

Opening night. Photo by Sophia Nahli Allison, 2012.

The closing reception was on this day 10 years ago!

Read more and view [many] more photos (76 total!) here.

Here’s to art, and to you!

P.S. On a completely unrelated note, my 2017 photo Singing Sands, shot on my iPhone 5s, is included in this NZ Herald article, “World’s Best Smartphone Photos Revealed”! And according to this piece, this year’s Mobile Photography Awards received over 5,000 entries, submitted from over 90 countries!

P.P.S. And for my highlights of recent art around town—such as my favorites from Expo Chicago’s in-person return, including this trippy sculpture—peep my Instagram.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Sing, O muse

What a wonderful surprise*: I’m honored to share that I’ve received an Honorable Mention in the 11th Annual Mobile Photography Awards for my 2017 photo Singing Sands in the Travel/Adventure & Transportation Category! Thank you, MPA!

*(Because I didn’t know the results were revealed a month ago and then recently randomly saw an article about these awards and clicked on it while trying to remember if I’d entered the competition or not and then scrolled and spotted my photo.)

And look what arrived!

As announced in the previous post, my work was published in the latest issue of ArtAscent. It’s a beautiful magazine and my photos are featured on pages 58 and 59. Here’s a little video as well.

I’ll close with this: Last week I wrote a Twitter thread about the omicron explosion in Hong Kong (8 tweets total), with an important message/reminder or two about the pandemic. Take a couple minutes and give it a read.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Power to the

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been selected to publish my photos Nomad (2017) and Float On (2016) in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal’s “People” issue as a Distinguished Artist!

Thank you, ArtAscent!

Print and digital copies of the international magazine are available here. You can also preview the artists here, and my page is here.

And a call for artists: The Chicago Transit Authority is seeking artists to create new, original public artwork for the new Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr CTA stations. (This art opportunity was sent to me by one of the artists in SLAYSIAN. We’re truly an artist community; love it.)

Monday, February 21, 2022


I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been selected to exhibit my 2015 photo Pythagorean (outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre) in The Chateau Gallery’s The Art of Street Photography online exhibition! And “this was easily the most competitive competition [the gallery director] and guest jurors had ever seen!”

Thank you, Chateau Gallery.

This is the third show I have a piece in this month so far! Take a look at the previous posts for the other two.

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