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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Kiss The Brain Pop-Up Gallery Opens In West Town For 2-Week Run

The gallery is displaying photos, paintings and a variety of prints, jewelry and clothing through Sept. 19.

Paintings at Kiss The Brain's pop-up gallery at 1821 W. Chicago Ave. in West Town
Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
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WEST TOWN — A pop-up art gallery featuring the work of more than a dozen creators is now open on Chicago Avenue. 

Kiss The Brain gallery opened last week for a two-week stretch in the in the West Town Chamber of Commerce Pop-Up Project space, 1821 W. Chicago Ave., which provides short-term leases to small businesses to try a brick-and-mortar location. 

Kiss The Brain is the project of West Town resident Amanda Campagnoni, a photographer, digital artist and, now, curator. 

Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
Kiss The Brain owner Amanda Campagnoni at her pop-up gallery space at 1821 W. Chicago Ave. in West Town

Campagnoni said she was inspired to open a gallery during the pandemic, frustrated at experiencing art only on a phone or computer screen. 

“It really did start originally as an effort to get the art out of the digital and into a physical space,” she said. 

Kiss The Brain is showcasing photos, paintings and a variety of prints, jewelry and clothing. All the works revolve around a central theme examining the “relationship between nature and human intervention,” which Campagnoni said includes dilemmas over the role of social media and the internet in artists’ lives and work. 

“A lot of people now are realizing like, ‘I can’t get off Instagram. This not making me happy.’ But … there’s a relationship between the two, like, I also need Instagram to get the word out,” she said. “And does it feel organic to me to do that? Not necessarily, but this is the world we live in.” 

Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
Kiss The Brain’s pop-up gallery at the West Town Chamber of Commerce building, 1821 W. Chicago Ave.

Kiss The Brain is holding several events over the next few weeks, including an artist workshop Sunday and a West Town Photo Walk Sept. 16.

The pop-up runs until Sept. 19, after which Campagnoni hopes to continue to showcase art in some form, preferably in the West Town area, she said.  

“Ideally, I’d love to continue the essence of the pop-up, because I think it’s cool [that] all of a sudden, there’s art on display, [you] come see it while it’s here and then it’s gone,” she said. “But yeah, I’m kind of open-minded to see where this is going to go.”

The West Town Chamber’s Pop-Up Project space is booked through the end of 2021, and it is seeking applicants for 2022 leases. 

Kiss The Brain is open 2-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-8 p.m. weekends.

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