Great Good Place


The Great Good Place, an artist project by Brandon Alvendia, is a multi-layered set of collaborative exhibitions which considers the poetic, political, and aesthetic potential of curatorial practice within the setting of everyday life. Tasking artists,independent curators, and collectives based in Chicago with the challenge of outfitting Threewalls’ gallery spaces, the exhibitions within the exhibition will take inspiration from Chicago’s make-do and artist-run culture and reconsider a range of contexts from the one-car garage workshop, the living room sleepover, the backyard bbq blowout, the networking dinner party potluck, the closet office conference, the second bedroom studio visit, to the illegal basement nightclub, all as sites of artistic inquiry.

The show examines the capacity of curatorial ideas to address or even ameliorate the loss of “third places,” a term coined by urban sociologist Ray Oldenberg in his 1989 book, “The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community.” These spaces are sites where individuals can come together for the pleasure of good company and dynamic conversation and serve as the basis for maintaining the vital social energy required for democracy and civic engagement. As more and more artists, curators, and organizers take it upon themselves to transfigure their own personal, private, and work spaces into shared public and social “third places,” this exhibition and program series delves into this cultural ethos that gets by with gritty resourcefulness and playful idiosyncrasy. Alvendia and exhibition collaborators will be activating the space throughout the exhibition with programs, interview sessions, podcasts, hanging out, and making things together with gallery-goers.

The exhibition will also serve as the studio/office and launch site for the first issue of Alvendia’s new publication ATLAS DRIFT, a nomadic web and print-based platform documenting alternative art networks operating at the periphery of the mainstream contemporary art discourse, including short films, artist/space profiles, commissions, programming, forums, exhibitions, and celebrations in different cities around North America. The first expanded edition will feature profiles of the artists, curators, and spaces represented in the exhibition as well as commissioned texts, media and other material generated during the run of the show. Visitors will be able to preview and purchase copies in the gallery as well as subscribe to upcoming issues profiling New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and beyond.

Participants included (to be continually updated):
TRUNK SHOW with Scott Wolniak
Michelle Grabner
 with Alberto Aguilar, Erik Brown, Michelle Anne Harris, Marc Fischer, Jeremy J. Foy, Josh Ippel, Jaclyn Jacunski, James Jankowiak, Anna Kunz, Melissa Leandro, Ivan Lozano, Matt Nichols, Catie Olson, Josue Pellot, Cole Pierce, Ryan Richey, Christopher Smith, and Alex Tam
D Gallery with Holly Cahill, Greg Cook, Jacob C. Hammes, Kevin Jennings, Andy Moore, Will Staples, Shannon Stratton, Brian Taylor, Olivia Swider, and Erik Wenzel
Roots & Culture with Super Sub
Kitchen Space with Spears art space curating Ashley Cook, Elizabeth Weiss, Danny Giles, Caleb Yono, and Jacob Goudreault)
I Don’t Hate This podcast
Anthony Stepter
Lillerne Tapes
Caitlin Ryan
Ron Ewert