Ka’Lan Jones, Columbia graduate, photographer and now curator, is on a mission to bring female artists in Chicago to the forefront in a showcase titled Créatif Femme. Armed with an arsenal of paintbrushes, cameras and color, Jones and her team of fellow creatives offer a new spin on Chicago’s art scene. To get more acquainted with the Chicago native, I asked her a few questions. Check out the quick interview below, and in the meantime, make sure to check out the Créatif Femme campaign here.
Please introduce yourself, and the team.
I’m Ka’Lan Jones, the creator of Creatif Femme, I’m also a freelance portrait commercial/wedding photographer. The team consists of Michelle West, illustrator and co-creator, journalist/writer Songine Clarke, and cinematographer/illustrator/creative Candice Majors.
How did the creative femme concept come to life?
The concept of Creatif Femme, came from wanting to create an art showcase to feature female creatives who have a connection to Chicago. The artists are either natives to Chicago, or transplants to the windy city. It’s been a dream of mine during my years in Undergrad at art school, to try and create an environment that would display the works of other creatives. I’ve had conversations with other female creatives, who missed the presence of support and community in Chicago for women artists.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I hope that Creatif Femme can bridge the gap in Chicago’s creative scene and create a sense of community and support for young creative women., I hope that the artists involved will be able to form friendships and find inspiration/motivation amongst each other even in difficult creative time when they aren’t feeling creative or can’t think of new ideas.
How to you see the show evolving on Chicago’s art scene?
With the creation of the first show for Creatif Femme, I hope we are able to connect with Chicago based art organizations, and possibly others outside the city. We would like to showcase new and emerging female artists in a large scale annual event with smaller events throughout the year. As a collective, I hope we can gain knowledge on the creative side of business, and be open to passing the knowledge along to other women.
What will set this show apart from others?
I feel what sets the show apart from others is that it is completely curated by the artists themselves. However each woman defines her creative life, and the body of work that she feels best represents her work, is the work that will be showcased in the show. I’ve had the opportunity to be in a showcase of female artists only once before, and I’ve also noticed a lot of the time when newer artists in the city show work, they are creating their own showcase from something they felt was missing. There has been another art showcase that featured women artists, and it was great being able to see the great work from these ladies and how successful they were able to be with their event. With Creatif Femme, we not only want to create an event but also begin a collective that we hope will continue in the future., sisterhood and community are a big part of what Creatif Femme is for, and we’d love an opportunity for collaborations.
Do you think women in art has had a resurgence in recent years, and why?
I feel the art scene is a bit more welcoming to women, than it has been in past years. With the presence of the internet, female artists are being put into the spotlight a lot more and some have been quite successful with getting their artwork out into the world, not necessarily just into the world of art buyers but with genuine support from like minded art lovers.
My work in the showcase will be something new only shown at the showcase, I’ve been working on making new images this upcoming summer. Whatever is in the show, will be of those sessions.
What do you see for the future of the show?
If anything, I’d hope Creatif Femme can become a staple in Chicago, as a collective it could become a source of support and inspiration, I’d also hope to mentor young artists.
How can people help?
People can help us by donating to the show, or by sharing our campaign, following us and sharing our social media pages. We are working on Tumblr currently and have a Facebook page for the show. We would love to hear feedback on ways to improve the show, or future plans for Creatif Femme. Any support we might receive, we are grateful for.