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Juan William Chávez

Juan William Chávez is an artist, activist, and director of Northside Workshop. His studio practice focuses on sculpting space within urban ecosystems through partnerships and collaborations as a way to address social and environmental issues. His work includes public sculptures, multimedia installations, paintings, drawings, and unconventional forms of beekeeping and agriculture. His exhibitions focus on themes of the urban environment, ecology, sustainability, craft/labor, activism, identity and archaeology of place.

Chavez has exhibited at ArtPace, Van Abbemuseum, McColl Center for Art, Tube Factory Artspace, 21c Museum Hotel, Laumeier Sculpture Park, and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Most recently Chavez’s work was included in El Museo’s survey of contemporary Latinx art, ESTAMOS BIEN - LA TRIENAL 20/21. His interdisciplinary approach to art has gained the attention and support of prestigious institutions like the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, Graham Foundation, ArtPlace America, Andy Warhol Foundation, and Art Matters Foundation. Chávez holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Personal website

Beehives painted in bright colors on a bench, which is placed in the center of the tiled floor and surrounded by wood panels with plants to the sides. The tiling and panels both resemble beehives.

The Indianapolis Bee Sanctuary, 2018

wooden beehives, cedar, native plants, handmade hexagon concrete pavers. 15’ x 15’ x 7’.
Construction photos of people assembling beehives, making tiles, and sanding down wood.

Indianapolis Bee Sanctuary, 2018

The Indianapolis Bee Sanctuary (IBS) embraces the concept of working as a hive. Chávez teamed up with Bee Public, Solful Gardens and TeenWorks on the construction of the sanctuary.
Amid a glimmering, starry background streaked with blue, an architectural structure outlined in yarn of various colors.

Mesa, 2018

ink, alpaca yarn, raw linen. 25" x 25".
Various items placed atop a blanket, its edges golden and reflective.

Mesa Hive, 2018

Mylar survival blanket, beekeeping equipment, rope, linen canvas, hexagon concrete mold, dried plants, tools, beeswax, wood, Peruvian knitted mask. 5’ x 7’ x 15’.
A knitted mask, an ear of corn, and (what seems to be) a package atop a reflective blanket/fabric.

Mesa Hive (detail), 2018

Peruvian knitted mask. 12" x 12".