Welcome to 2nd Floor Rear 2015!

2nd floor version 5 letter

2nd Floor Rear is an annual festival of art in experimental contexts, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant projects, celebrating Chicago’s vibrant community of alternative and DIY art spaces. This year’s festival is comprised of 25 events scheduled concurrently and back-to-back. 2nd Floor Rear 2015 will run continuously, late into Saturday night and throughout the following morning, afternoon, and evening. Expect visual art, theater, installations, new media, performances, puppetry, workshops, social practice, and more.

The curatorial premise for 2nd Floor Rear 2015 is part feeling, part idea; it’s Chicagoans’ annual substitution of “stay warm” for “see you later”. It’s also the hypnotic quiet at winter’s core that makes the season’s deep melancholy savorable. In the midst of another winter, we sought forms of art that might warm us, draw us in, and make us stay.

This year, we hope to bring audiences anti-spectacular wonder and radical tenderness. We want Chicagoans feel present and connected even in their winter fugue states. We want to carve out a safe place to be vulnerable and wildish. We want things to resonate–to find us all again days later while we’re waiting in line at the Walgreens checkout counter.  This year, we’re offering utopic gestures, cathartic documents, collaborative making, rituals, immersion, hangouts, fem(me)inisms, forms of encounter, virtual hypnosis, and one freewheeling, sweaty dance party featuring grooves by Tess of (Slo ‘Mo) and Audio Jack.

2015 featured artists, collectives, and curators include Society of Smallness, Elena Tejada-Herrera, Tegan Brace, Betsy Zacsek, Juneer Kibria, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Cooper Collier, Marya Spont-Lemus, Dao Nguyen, Jane Jerardi, Hideous Beast, JVG/WAR, HI typ/O, Grace Needlman, Will Bishop, Matthew Coleman, Brian T. Leahy, Sarah Bastress, Bryant Worely, J. Thomas Pallas, Katie Vota, Jessica Speer, Hannah Tarr, Third Object, Traci Fowler, Inside the Artist’s Kitchen, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Ann Kreitman, Shaina Schrooten, Jeremiah Jones, Liz Ensz, Ali Aschman, Christina Doelling, Chelsea Coon and the Queen of Luxuria (Carron Little).

Featured exhibition spaces include the I am Logan Square Gallery, Hume Gallery, Dreamland D, Kitchen Space, Corner, the Whistler Storefront Gallery, Tritriangle, and Autotelic Studios. Special thanks to our community partners: I am Logan Square, Crown Liquors, Uncharted Books, the Whistler, the Church of the Advent, and Slo ‘Mo. A very special thanks to the businesses donating in-kind: Bang Bang Pie, Two Brothers Brewing Company and Hazzard Free Farm.



Some helpful tips:

Keep an eye out for festival guides along the way. You can also Download our 2015 festival guide here! And check out event locations on our Google Map. Also keep an eye out for the pennant banners marking each location:


And these signs:


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