Apr 15, 2023 - Business

Get to know The Hallway Gallery founder Britni Mara

Photo: courtesy of Britni Mara

Britni Mara is a Chicago native, a visual artist (primarily through paint) and founder of The Hallway Gallery, a pop-up project that turns unused walls in residential buildings, empty storefronts and in-use office spaces into art galleries for female and nonbinary artists.

The latest: Mara is planning the next iteration of The Hallway Gallery for this spring/early summer at The Forge, a woman-run education center for filmmakers and actors.

What's happening: Mara spoke with Axios' Maxwell Millington about her work and her aspirations. The interview has been edited for clarity.

How do you define art?

  • Art can be anything that makes you feel something.

What local artists do you really admire?

  • One of my favorite artists and humans is David Ellis, who goes by "Ewrks." He works in Rogers Park, and he makes music as well. His art is really provocative and interesting.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

  • For me, it comes from lived experiences. I catalog those experiences, and it comes through in my artwork. I also love to travel, and lately I’ve created series that focus on escapism from the cold, gray weather in Chicago.

How does living in Chicago impact your work?

  • There’s so much vibrant culture in (Chicago) between art, food and music. I think the Midwestern charm makes the city less intimidating than New York and LA, and every artist I’ve met has been willing to cultivate a community and network and help each other.

What is one of your dream projects?

  • It would be a dream for me to showcase at The Biennale. It's the equivalent of the Olympics for art. I would love to (create something) that evokes conversation from a grand scale.

Go deeper: Britni's artwork.

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