Sub Chroma 2016: Transcending Artistic Borders


Sub ChromaSub Chroma is an annual event presented by the Chicago art collective, Canvas. The cutting edge event made its third annual appearance November 20th at Moonlight Studios in Chicago’s trendy West Loop area.

Three Rooms of Art, Three Unforgettable Experiences

White-dressed attendees filled the space, filtering throughout three main rooms. One was a gallery filled with Lefty Out There’s squiggly artwork and merchandise.  Another room was dedicated to virtual reality. And then there was the main room.  This room showcased a collaboration between live musicians, projection mapping artists, and augmented reality.

Attendees entered Moonlight Studios to find themselves totally immersed in music, art, fashion, and new technology. These elements combined to deliver an overtly sensory experience that Sub Chroma strives to create. “It’s really incredible to see all these different forms of art coming together in one space,” I overheard one attendee say, as I thought the same thing myself.

Lefty’s Creation “Stretch” appears with His First Furniture Pieces

Sub ChromaTurning right into the first room, you were surrounded by Lefty Out There’s artwork. Here was a mix of modern colorful lines and squiggles that play with dimension to truly transform the space. Lefty debuted his first-ever furniture pieces, playing with color, and showing his infamous piece “Stretch” that has only been on sale to the public once before. He demonstrated his ability to grow and experiment as an artist while staying true to his Chicago roots. “All of the materials I use are sourced from Chicago,” said Lefty.  Additionally, Franco Campanella, the artist we know as Lefty, said, “I use a welder in Wicker Park and get any metal from a local scrap yard.”

Virtual Reality from Lefty and Other Artists

 Continuing with his desire to expand his work, Lefty debuted a virtual reality (VR) experience titled “Lines.”  Attendees walked through a world created from over 100+ hours of work by Lefty himself using Google’s Tilt Brush digital painting app. When asked about her experience in Lefty’s VR world, attendee Lizz Evalen said, “Being immersed in Lefty’s world was like entering another realm. I’d gladly do it all over again.”

Furthermore, Sub Chroma dedicated another whole room to other virtual reality artists. They provided their own VR experience to attendees all night long.

Room 3 Shatters Artistic Boundaries Beautifully

Attendees moved into the main room to find artistic boundaries shattered. Greeting them were the sounds of various DJs, 30-foot ceilings, white-clad models posing on mountainous landscapes styled by none other than Big Hair Big City, an interactive augmented reality piece, and stimulating projection mapping by DrmBt. At 11:30 PM, everyone gathered into the main room.  Here the beats of Fancy Fux served as the background music to live virtual reality painting by Lefty.  In fact, Sub Chroma presented live VR painting for the first time anywhere in the entire world. And finally, Chicago-native and house music enthusiast, Derrick Carter provided music for a set to top it all off.

Canvas Pushed Boundaries Again

Sub ChromaWhen the event was over, one thing was for sure. Canvas showed us once again that they have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening now and what will be cool tomorrow. Integrating artists from a variety of disciplines to create a wondrous space of honest expression. This gave everyone an experience to remember. As attendee Ngoc Nguyen said, “Sub Chroma provided an outlet for people to collaborate and to share innovative ideas that push the boundaries of art and music. Sub Chroma presented art alongside the music and the variety of individual personalities. This combination made this event a huge leap towards gathering the community.” We can’t wait until the next one, which we know will be even bigger and better.

If you want to learn more about Canvas and Sub Chroma, visit their websites and social media pages:

Canvas Website // Canvas Facebook // Sub Chroma 2016 Website

Sub Chroma

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Currently studying Public Relations and Advertising as an undergraduate at DePaul University, Angela Verish has always had an unbelievable passion and fascination with music and the culture it brings within masses of people. She has been seeing live music ever since she was three years old, where her rad dad would take her out to every street festival in her home town of Milwaukee, WI. From there, she’s not only continued the trend of going to see live music through venues and festivals, but she has also expanded her musical taste across the spectrum - from psychedelic rock all the way to hard-hitting, gritty techno. As a 21 year-old entrepreneur, Angela is now looking at ways that she can combine her passions for music, the environment, and communication into one, awesome career that she’ll love for the rest of her life.


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