Final Fantasia: LaNia Sproles & Juan Arango Palacios

Opening: Saturday, Feb 25, 2023 4 – 7 pm
Saturday, Feb 25 – Apr 2, 2023

2251 S. Michigan Ave.
Suite 220
Chicago, IL 60616

Curated by Ciera McKissick, the duo show brings together artists LaNia Sproles and Juan Arango Palacios. Each artist explores what it means to create queer or color havens within the hegemony of white heteronormativity. The latter informs the contours of queer of color world-building, however fantastical or uncanny those queer spaces might be. Queer world-building allows queer folks like Sproles and Palacios to find comfort and to claim queer of color space(s) for themselves and others. Their queer portraits and tableaus invite viewers into the work rather than denying their entry—the work embraces the current moment, and it inspires Sproles and Palacios's storytelling. 



LaNia Sproles lives and works in the segregated city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they also graduated with a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2017. Their body of work spans several disciplines including printmaking, drawing, and collage. The philosophies of self-perception, queer and feminist theories and inherent racial dogmas are essential to Sproles’s work.

Juan Arango Palacios was born in Pereira, Colombia in 1997. A traditional Catholic upbringing was cut short by a series of migrations that Juan's family took seeking a better future. Juan's family moved from Colombia to the American South where Juan’s sense of identity and belonging began to be skewed by their lack of knowledge of the English language, their unfamiliarity with American culture, and their internal struggle with a queer identity. Juan graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020. 



Ciera Alyse McKissick is an independent writer, curator, cultural producer, and the founder of AMFM, an organization whose mission is to promote emerging artists. She created AMFM, originally a web magazine, as an independent study project in 2009 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied Journalism and Mass Communications. Her work since then often involves collaboration through supporting Black and brown artists, and local arts organizations, and seeks to stimulate community engagement that's driven by inclusivity, accessibility, intention, and care. She is also the Public Programs Manager at the Hyde Park Art Center.

Projects and events have been featured in Terremoto MX, Newcity, Sixty Inches from Center, Saatchi Art, ABC 7 Chicago, The Chicago Tribune, WGN, WTTW, Chicago Reader, The Chicago Sun-Times, Southside Weekly, Afropunk, and more.