Take my Hand, Feel your Fantasy Slip Away
Take my Hand, Feel your Fantasy Slip Away

The Sacristy Gallery

September 17, 2021 – November 6, 2021

Take my Hand, Feel your Fantasy Slip Away is an exhibition that approaches the figure as a manifestation of vulnerability, sensibility, and human emotion, through the lens of a lived queer experience expressed by drawings on paper. The aim of these works is not to represent an actual person or figure, but to create an image that gives way into these three artists’ narratives of existence—a peek into an honest sense of pleasure, desire, sorrow, solace, gender, and most definitely a straying away from the mundane. By flaunting images of intense sexual pleasure, eroticism, bondage, alluring fantasy, leisure, gentle intimacy, and unapologetic selfness, these drawings achieve a sense of other-worldly-ness that elevates them into a realm seemingly unachievable, but eternally desirable. Featuring work by Vani Aguilar, Nia Danielle Lovemore Rutledge, and Nicholas Zepeda, Take my Hand, Feel your Fantasy Slip Away seeks to create an exhilarating, yet mysterious mythology that investigates the emotional trauma and endurance of queer folks and their imagination.

This exhibition invites viewers to let go of their reality and enter an atmosphere where they can be seduced, a fantasy where they can share a space with powerful beings, and a private space where they can just feel. Presenting this series of wanderlusting adventures are the drawings themselves, for drawing as a medium allows for an intimate experience between the work and the viewer. Filled with mark-making and detail, this fundamental form of image-making creates a close bond between viewer and drawing. Up-close and personal, these drawings are to be carefully examined they are to be deliciously consumed. 

Take my Hand, Feel your Fantasy Slip Away is curated by Juan Arango Palacios. Arango Palacios is an Artist and Designer born in Pereira, Colombia, who underwent a series of migrations in their youth that shaped their identity. They graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020, and have found a safe-haven within the queer community in Chicago.

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about the artists
About the Artists

Vani Aguilar was born in Southern California to their immigrant father, who migrated from Mexico in 1986, and their Chicana mother. Vani lived in full submergence of Mexican and Chicanx culture up until 2016 when they moved to Illinois to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Where they co-lead the student group Latinxs Unidxs, hosting practicing Artist talks including studio visits for their peers with Guadalupe Rosales. While at SAIC they received multiple grants including the Latinx Visibility Award to attend a course at Oxbow, and the Generational Idea Grant to do research in their father’s hometown in Autlan, Jalisco. Vani is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at SAIC. They are currently located and working out of the south side in Pilsen. Shortly after graduating they exhibited their work in group shows, at Heaven Gallery, Women Made Gallery and took up a Studio Assistant position with Salvador Jimenez.

Nia Danielle Lovemore Rutledge is an Oklahoma-born artist and youngest child of Fay and Mark Rutledge. She is an interdisciplinary artist currently practicing in Kansas City, MO. In her early childhood, she first fell in love with graphite illustration. Rutledge now has gone on to receive  six years of training in graphic design and writing. Nia Rutledge has self-taught the arts of oil painting, animation, guitar, coding and experimental film. She currently has musical performance pieces under the names of Kinky Spooky, and NO INFORMATION AVAILABLE. These projects all incorporate poetry, rap, experimental film and animation. Rutledge has coded  a video game under the title of “Honey Gold” and has various other RPGs under construction. In her leisure, she enjoys studying Japanese and Spanish, reading poetry, admiring the mini highland cow, practicing yoga and picking flowers.

Nicholas Zepeda is an artist born and raised in Chicago’s southwest neighborhoods. He is currently in his last year of pursuing a BFA in Studio at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received a nomination for the Yale at Norfolk Summer 2020 residency. Informed by the aspirations of his immigrant family and his own doubts, Zepeda grew up convinced that the repression of his identities was a consequence of  achieving a conveniently-unspecified ’something greater’. Nicholas is making drawings and paintings that see a new weight to self-discovery after achieving his childhood dream: moving into his own apartment.

About the Artists

Vani Aguilar was born in Southern California to their immigrant father, who migrated from Mexico in 1986, and their Chicana mother. Vani lived in full submergence of Mexican and Chicanx culture up until 2016 when they moved to Illinois to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Where they co-lead the student group Latinxs Unidxs, hosting practicing Artist talks including studio visits for their peers with Guadalupe Rosales. While at SAIC they received multiple grants including the Latinx Visibility Award to attend a course at Oxbow, and the Generational Idea Grant to do research in their father’s hometown in Autlan, Jalisco. Vani is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at SAIC. They are currently located and working out of the south side in Pilsen. Shortly after graduating they exhibited their work in group shows, at Heaven Gallery, Women Made Gallery and took up a Studio Assistant position with Salvador Jimenez.

Nia Danielle Lovemore Rutledge is an Oklahoma-born artist and youngest child of Fay and Mark Rutledge. She is an interdisciplinary artist currently practicing in Kansas City, MO. In her early childhood, she first fell in love with graphite illustration. Rutledge now has gone on to receive  six years of training in graphic design and writing. Nia Rutledge has self-taught the arts of oil painting, animation, guitar, coding and experimental film. She currently has musical performance pieces under the names of Kinky Spooky, and NO INFORMATION AVAILABLE. These projects all incorporate poetry, rap, experimental film and animation. Rutledge has coded  a video game under the title of “Honey Gold” and has various other RPGs under construction. In her leisure, she enjoys studying Japanese and Spanish, reading poetry, admiring the mini highland cow, practicing yoga and picking flowers.

Nicholas Zepeda is an artist born and raised in Chicago’s southwest neighborhoods. He is currently in his last year of pursuing a BFA in Studio at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received a nomination for the Yale at Norfolk Summer 2020 residency. Informed by the aspirations of his immigrant family and his own doubts, Zepeda grew up convinced that the repression of his identities was a consequence of  achieving a conveniently-unspecified ’something greater’. Nicholas is making drawings and paintings that see a new weight to self-discovery after achieving his childhood dream: moving into his own apartment.