art curatorial collective


Arts Center

Johalla Projects collaborated with Stocking Urban Development, new owners of Kimball Arts Center, to curate and orchestrate an art program for the Kimball Arts Center building.

Kimball Arts Center is a hub of Chicago creativity located next to The 606 Trail, where Logan Square meets Humboldt Park. The building recently underwent major renovations and has welcomed new retail, commercial, and artist studio tenants into the space. Looking to inspire creativity and collaboration among other tenants and surrounding residents, Stocking Urban connected with Johalla Projects to design an art program.


Johalla conceptualized an Artist in Residence (AIR) program where Chicago-based artists will receive studio space and display new projects at the Kimball Arts Center. Artist Claire Ashley was chosen as inaugural Kimball Arts Center AIR. Ashley mines the language of painterly abstraction, monumental sculpture, slapstick humor, and Pop Art to transform ordinary materials into inflatable painted sculptures. Ashley’s Adam’s Madame, Version 2 will be on the Kimball Arts Center roof periodically throughout summer 2021. Other inflatable sculptures will be on display throughout the building during her residency (June- August 2021). New AIR artists will rotate through the Kimball Arts Center quarterly.

In addition, Johalla helped commission Chicago artist Emmy Star Brown to design and paint a mural on the exterior of the building. Brown’s use of clean lines, thoughtfully structured shapes, unique layering techniques, and vibrant colors gives her universal appeal and has firmly established her as a leading force in the art scene. Her abstract work features fresh palettes and organic additions designed to encourage engagement. The result, always a bold visual statement designed to drive wonder and remind the viewer that there’s beauty in reading between the lines. The mural will invite the surrounding community to venture into the space and explore what Kimball Arts Center has to offer.

Johalla and Stocking Urban hope each artist will “make their mark” on the building’s physical space and community culture through public exhibitions, creative programming, and artwork within the building.

Alex Fuller

High Hopes

Chicago-based artist and designer Alex Fuller embraces creative openings and peculiar spaces with a curious eye for innovative imaginings. Blending typography and language with space and light, his works ask the viewer to reach past the initial read and see through, within, around, and outside his compositional frame.

Fuller is the SVP Design Director at the Leo Burnett Dept. of Design in Chicago. His background as a designer and industry leader spans a vast array of clients and his work has been featured in Wired, Good How, Communication Arts, and It’s Nice That. In 2007 he co-founded The Post Family, a Chicago-based artist collective, and in 2009 he founded 5x7, a limited-edition publishing company for artists’ books.

Alex Fuller’s takeover of the Kimball Arts Center begins, or ends, on the roof with High Hopes towering over the building with intended optimism. Moving through the building’s interior, Fuller’s installation A Star-ish Asterisk, stepping in place of nature’s star filled night sky that is obstructed by the city’s air and light pollution. Navigating further, Fuller inlays two pieces that play with the spatial boundaries and guidelines of the building, how people move through the space, and the formal expansion of typography and composition.