The Chicago Artists Resource has teamed up with StoryCorps Chicago to bring you "Conversations with CAR". Through this collaboration with StoryCorps, the Chicago Artists Resource conducts interviews with Chicago-based artists about their personal experiences and the way these experiences have had an impact on their creative process.
This week's featured artist is Tracy Kostenbader.
As a practicing artist and arts organizer, Tracy co-founded AnySquared Projects, an all-volunteer collaborative/network. AnySquared Projects' mission is to produce exhibits, create projects, encourage art-making, and organize events with fellow artists and neighbors. The community-oriented focus of AnySquared emphasizes cooperation and, in tandem with Tracy's career as an artist/organizer, is of a piece with how Tracy chooses to live a life of value. Via these creative avenues, Tracy spends a good portion of her life working directly on social justice issues.
Tracy encourages others through her role as a relationship-builder - creating venues for artists and putting her skills to good use by making the resources of AnySquared available to all who are interested. Tracy facilitates AnySquared's weekly, free, and open art-making sessions at her studio, curates both ongoing arts series and pop-up exhibits, organizes community murals, and participates in and plans community arts walks and festivals while also promoting others in the arts community. Tracy has created a livelihood of working on and supporting group and collaborative projects with fellow artists and arts supporters.
As an individual artist, Tracy makes time in the studio during and between group projects. She has developed a large body of experiential work relating to topical issues.