Ad-Hoc Playground at Elm Park from August 15th to August 18th!


SHoP and the friends of Elm Park invite artists, musicians, performers, storytellers, educators, adults and children of all ages to participate in our first 4 day Ad-Hoc Playground. Since SHoP no longer has a physical space, we are thinking of an outdoor community center without walls with a constantly evolving, additive and participatory process of engagement with our public space. Come out, bring cardboard for a huge Fort Cardboard, make an interactive installation or project or come visit ones made by other artists (artists involved will be listed on Facebook: We hope to have an outdoor concert night Saturday evening and ongoing creative interventions and interactions with the park and it’s neighboring community, focusing on how we can more creatively use our public spaces for social gathering and learning sites, playscapes, living rooms, exhibition space and performance venues without big funding

History: The Ad-Hoc Playground is SHoP’s second investigation into refining a replicable model for the creative transformation of public parks, empty lots and otherwise underutilized public spaces into spontaneously un-programmed play-gardens that may foster newly enriching, but otherwise unlikely, relationships among community members and continue a conversation that meaningfully addresses the humanistic needs of the surrounding community.

Location: 5215 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60615

ELM PARK IS OPEN: from 8:00 am to 11:00 every day.

Ad-Hoc Playground invites participation on these days:

(8/16) FRIDAY
(8/18) SUNDAY

Scheduling will take place on Facebook so please check in frequently. We will also have a community board for sign ups.

Upcoming installations by:

Chiara Galimberti:
For the Ad-Hoc Playground Project I would like to focus on tracing shadows around the park each day for the duration of the park’s occupation. The different shapes of the various elements of the park, from organic forms to man made objects, will be temporarily captured on the paved pathways of the park. The result would be traces of an ever changing phenomenon that would transform with time, as people use the park and add their own tracings. I would like for the tracings to be an exploration of vulnerability their temporality and minuteness, in contrast with the burliness of adjacent apartment buildings and strip malls.

Andrius Kulikaukas:
“Think Through” a walk-through, transparent labyrinth reflecting his lifelong philosophical commitment to the application of knowledge and the quest to discover absolute truth.

More to come, see details on our facebook event page and website:

Home Gallery and SHoP present: Form Follows Function off a short pier


Artists Marissa Lee Benedict, John Preus, and Kevin Reiswig have been commissioned to create specific items of furniture, structures, and/or modifications of existing things and spaces within and around the Nord/Shaeffer home. Each commission reflects both a practical and social wish, the fulfillment of which is tacitly bound up in the artistic process. The exhibition further explores home life as an arena that necessitates intervention and rupture from outside; domestic life is an incrementally self-imposed set of activities, habits, attitudes and rituals, born of archaic patterns, personal history; social life as an art form; the concept of home as the place most familiar, but founded upon the imaginary.

Opening: Saturday July 20th
6:00 to 10:00 pm
Opening performance at 8:00 pm by John Preus, Tadd Cowen and Aaron Shapiro

Closing Brunch: Sunday September 22nd

11:00 am to 3:00 pm
This exhibit will develop over the course of it’s two month run. Visits after opening by appointment. Check in regularly to see progress on commissioned pieces at our blog sites - HOME gallery, on Facebook, or

We look forward to seeing you here!

HOME Gallery

Kevin Reiswig: some thoughts on his work

I get asked many questions regarding the circumstances of my artistic creations: “Who inspired you?” “Where are you from?” “What are you interested in?”, etc. etc.  An answer to any of these questions would be multi-faceted, would require many pages of text, and I would have to open my mouth to talk much more than I’d like to..  However, I’ve noticed there are things in my home which would give a curious observer clues into the motivations and obstacles of my life, telling a story without words: the accumulations and processes of my studio, the adornments of my bedroom, or the books I have read.  In my installation at HOME gallery, I intend to describe my self and my work through a collage of objects and images.  I will do this in the spirit of reflection, in which I hope to offer many (but certainly not all) answers to the one question which has haunted me my entire life: Why did I make that?…

Marissa Lee Benedict: some thoughts about her work

Just re-reading Ken Isaac’s manual, and came across the term “head-tooling” (his word for rethinking or remodeling) – other titles I like from his book: “Getting It Together”, “Interchangeable Parts”, “Liberated Space” …

Revisiting a dialogue around form, function and utopian models of living begun in the 1960s and 70s by the Whole Earth Catalogs and Ken Isaac’s 1974 utopian manual How to Build Your Own Living Structures, I am interested in considering how and what we consider “living” – whether that be the “liveliness” of the materials we work with, the places we occupy or the people we cohabit this planet with.  Invited by Laura Shaeffer and Home Gallery to literally intervene in their living, sleeping and working habits, I am excited to build a modified set of twin “living structures” for her two children’s bedrooms. Grafting these structures into the exiting oak bedframes, I would like to consider how a “living structure” can integrate itself into the daily activities that constitute work, play, sleeping, etc. while providing the flexibility and room for the growth and change required by the  evolving, transforming needs of “living”.

SHoP will be featured in The Urban Operating System at this year’s Versionfest!

June 14, 2013
6:00 – 11:00 pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S. Morgan Street
Admission: FREE

Come and visit us: we’ll be in the window, surrounded by University of Hip Hop’s mural panels, sitting on some new chairs by John Preus and Kevin Reiswig, reminiscing about the past with Jim Duignan’s Primer on SHoP at Fenn House and rethinking the future with you!

The Urban Operating System celebrates the energy and imagination of people who make the city a better place to live, work and play in. The Urban Operating System is the beginning of a year long campaign to examine applications promoting opportunities for renewing our public space. Read more about Versionfest here:

Check out our new class with John Preus!

Woodlawn/SHoP: a case study in developing a local arts and community space.
Monday, June 17, 2013, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and runs for 6 weeks.

Location: The first meeting will take place at Home Gallery, 1407 E 54th Place. Subsequent class locations will vary. This class is sponsored by the Civic Knowledge Project at the Graham School of the University of Chicago.

John Preus, artist/activist, founded Dilettante Studios in 2010 which designs and builds cabinets, furniture, and residential and commercial spaces, relying almost exclusively on 2nd-hand materials. He co-founded the art group Material Exchange in 2005, and until 2010 collaborated with co-founder Sara Black. Preus is currently co-founder and co-curator with Laura Shaeffer at SHoP, and was formerly Creative Director for the Rebuild Foundation shop, and lead fabricator for Theaster Gates studios.

For reservations, contact:

Zamin and The Happy Maladies @ United Church of Hyde Park

11x17 zamin maladies poster

Thursday, April 4, 2013
7:00 – 9:00pm

SHoP (Southside Hub of Production) and The United Church of Hyde Park present Zamin (Chicago Hindi Indie rock) and The Happy Maladies (Cincinnati Chamber Folk)

Reception afterwards with light refreshments and drinks.
Entrance fee: $10
$5 for students (and economically challenged)


Poster artwork by L.D. Nehls Art and Design