Soho House and Threadless bring top artists to West Loop
by Elisa Shoenberger
The work of local and national artists regularly decorate Soho House’s Green Street exterior. Graffiti on Green, a collaborative murals program between Soho House and Threadless, started in January 2015, five months after Soho House Chicago opened.
“Soho House Chicago is a members club for creatives, so we loved the idea of allowing for that creativity to literally live on the building’s corners,” according to a Soho House statement.
Soho House and Lance Curran, Artist Shops Account Director and Comic Book Czar at Threadless and curator of the program, decided to collaborate.
“We thought this would be a fun way to engage the community,” Curran said. Initially, Curran chose local artists but the program has attracted international interest and artists from around the world contact him to participate.
He gets inspiration from being in Chicago. Curran approached October’s artist, Saul Palos, after seeing his work on the nearby B-Line.
“I combine both up and coming artists in a variety of fields with well known and established artists,” Curran said, “I also like to mix it up and work with artists who may have never done murals.”
Soho House features a different artist each month and nearly 60 artists have participated in the program. Curran said it takes artists a weekend to finish the murals.
While the program has livened up Green Street where Soho House is located, Graffiti on Green has also helped boost artists’ careers.
“The combination of Soho House and Threadless promotion of the corners has been very successful in boosting the careers of many of the artists,” Curran said. “We get lots of feedback about how much work they get specifically from being featured as part of Graffiti on Green.”
Chicago-based artist Lauren Asta painted a mural in April 2016 and participated again with Kate Lewis in summer 2018.
“It was my very first job in Chicago,” she said. “I think it had a domino effect of murals, jobs, and connections for me.”
Not only was it her first Chicago commission, it was one of her first murals at street level. “It was such a perfect little spot for communicating with the public,” Asta said.
November and December will feature Chicago artists Joey D and Caroline Liu. Curran has the artistic schedule planned a year out.