Eat Your Heart Out:

A delicious body of work

by Stina Joy Hensley

Stina Henslee's latest body of work is an ode to the artist's love/hate relationship with food, something she says she has struggled with for most of her life. She writes, "My family lives to eat. Food is how we celebrate, but also how we drown sorrows and frustrations. Food is everywhere, and unavoidable, both literally and figuratively. No one can live without it. Food is at once beautiful, delicious, and emotional. For many of us, it's also all too easy to come by. Ours is a culture of consumption, but one with a mixed message delivered daily: indulge yourself - you deserve it (but only to an acceptable point)."

Throughout these pieces, Henlsee weaves themes of gluttony, labor, passion and waste contrasted with humorous anthropological creatures to portray her personal ruminations on the subject of food in today's society. These works continue the long history of food art, with acknowledgments to Arcimboldo, Maryk Ryden and Peregrin Honig for their inspiration.

Stina Henslee is a Chicago based artist and designer. She spent 1999 in Helsinki attending a fine arts school, and continued her arts education at Washington University in St. Louis where she graduated with a trifecta of impractical degrees: Printmaking, German, and Art History. As an artist, she continues to unlearn what she was taught; namely that all art should be conceptual, political, and

Opening reception: Saturday April 6 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Gallery hours: Saturday May 15 3:00 - 6:00 pm
Closing reception: Saturday June 15 3:00 - 6:00 pm



By Johanna Winter Harper

Exhibition Opening:

Saturday, January 12, 2019


Exhibition Closing:

Saturday, March 9, 2019

3:00 - 6:00 pm


Extra gallery hours: Saturday, February 2 - 3:00 - 6:00 pm

The show features Lincoln Square artist Johanna Winter Harper and a collection of her new works on paper. Titled "Common Areas at the Heart", Harper explores the tension between what it is we desire–for our lives our countries, our children, our politics–and our daily experiences. This may be stressful, humorous, financially ruinous, marvelous, depressing, or fear-inducing, but as with the current climate, painting can hold all of these things in concert.

The many forms and motifs in Harper's work are amalgams of the lived in and longed for. They mix and jumble the tiny angles, the odd corners, and the glanced-over objects found in these spaces. The artist uses a combination of remembered, present, and imagined, places–sometimes confusing–and infusing the work with a longing for the known and understood.

Learn more about the artist at



A solo exhibition by Sonya Benham

Ampersand Cowork is very pleased to present LARKS HEAD: A solo exhibition by Sonya Benham. Continuing our series of supporting local emerging artists, LARKS HEAD opens Friday, June 15 from 6:00 - 9:00pm. 

LARKS HEAD, Benham's premier solo exhibition in Chicago, brings together the traditional craft of weaving with contemporary design. The artist's use of natural fibers and wood paired with modern built structures results in unique pieces that bridge art and craft. 

After the opening reception on June 15, gallery hours will be held in July and August, and artwork can be viewed during business hours of Ampersand Cowork.


Tangla: Sara Goodman solo exhibition

Conceived by Chicago-based artist Sara Goodman, Tangla is the act of trying to imagine the color that does not exist. Artist, poet, curator, VJ and teacher, Goodman creates imagined landscapes and portraits with new and old technology. This solo exhibition, opening Friday, January 19 at Ampersand Cowork, will introduce Tangla via video and works on paper, as well as a virtual reality installation created in collaboration with Violet Forest. 

With the proliferation of the home computer, then the internet, followed by social media, Goodman is interested in art produced as a result of this technological evolution. Her influences draw from video artists from the 1960s to present day, current day Glitch Art groups on social media, vapor wave, net art, GIF art, new aesthetic and the Tachyons + and LZX communities. 

Goodman is the co-founder of S H R I N E, a Chicago-based artist collective formed with collaborator Jim Jam. S H R I N E is the celebration of obsolete and repurposed technology and promoting interaction with this technology in DIY and gallery settings. 

The artist received her MFA in poetry from Columbia College, Chicago, and teaches English, Creative Writing, Film Studies, New Media and Video Art at Fusion Academy High School in Evanston, IL.



Exhibition from February 10th to March 16th 2018.  

50% of all proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. 

Mac Blackout color .jpg

Mac Blackout


The show will feature a collection of the artist's recent work focusing on the abstraction of the human form and spirit as it relates to the urban landscape. These "Geometric Giants" are the subjects of current and future murals on city walls. Many of the pieces in this show are studies for the large scale public works. 

Much of Mac Blackout's work deals with human presence as it relates to our environment and is anthropomorphic in nature. Human characteristics are merged with the geometric forms of our dwellings and technological design creating a cosmic caricature-like portrayal of human existence. This themes can be seen in this new collection as well as the other recent pieces exhibited in this show.

See more on Mac Blackout at


Layne Jackson


We are thrilled to welcome artist Layne Jackson to Ampersand Cowork with her solo exhibition "Fine Romance: A Marriage of Color and Form" opening Friday, October 6. 

A Texas native and long-time Chicago resident, Jackson has created a vibrant collection of Gouache paintings inspired by the complex intersection of her global travel, textile colorists, light sources and nature present in her urban landscape. The artist carries on the heritage of illuminated books, fabric design and botanical paintings in her use of branches and leaves as the base to construct contemporary patterns of found objects and evocative color. 

The paintings, all on cotton paper hand-milled in an 11th century mill in southern France, present the "fine romance" ignited when the saturated color and the artist's lexicon of forms meet and marry. 

Exhibition dates: October 6- December 15, 2017. 

Drop in, have a steady desk, a private office, or use our conference room–choose what’s right for you!