Thursday, December 27, 2012

A close-up of Michelle Peterson-Albandoz's Untitled Reclaimed Wood Construction. Shown is the break between
two panels that comprise the diptych. Each panel measures 27.5"h x49.5"w

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reopening Celebration a Great Success!

The gallery's courtyard makes for a great art space and gathering area!
Work by artist Eric Gushee hangs suspended over the crowd.

"Emergence," one of the many sculptures that will make their home in the gallery's new "Broken Thoughts" courtyard.

Photos to mark the occasion!

New works by Peterson-Albandoz, Doug Reyes, E.C. Rolwing,
Michael McGuire, Mieke Zuiderweg and Eric Gushee graced the walls of the space.

Ray Williams was kind enough to spin Hopkins, Coltrane & Bacharach for gallery visitors!

Artist Michael McGuire gives friend Elena a spin on the dance floor during the opening!

Michelle Peterson-Albandoz strikes a pose with a reclaimed wood panel construction.

New Work in enamel on paper and in oils by long-time gallery artist E.C. Rolwing!

Admirers of Doug Reyes' pristine ceramic vessels!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Las Manos Gallery Reopening Celebration Tonight!

Artist Eric Gushee installs part of his mammoth sculpture in Las Manos Gallery's courtyard in preparation for the gallery's Reopening Celebration and Exhibition slated for tonight, 6-10pm!

Drinks, DJ, Artists and the incredible new space will make for a fantastic evening! Don't 

forget to stop by- 1515 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, IL. 60640.

JackLeg Press event at Las Manos Gallery!

Don't forget about "Two Thieves & a Liar" at the gallery on Saturday at 7pm!

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's official!

Las Manos Gallery's new location is 1515 W. Foster Ave!
As most of you know, the gallery was forced out of its home on Clark Street after 14 years. 
At first it seemed we had to close for good - finding an affordable storefront in 
Andersonville has almost become as rare as an empty one. After a month of no hope, 
several people in the community pointed out a space on Foster Avenue, right around the 
corner from our old location. Though half the size, the potential to start again was tempting 
enough snap up the lease!

What makes this spot so enticing is the large enclosed courtyard behind it. Plans for sculpture 

gardens, film festivals, poetry slams and parties are all on next year's schedule! Of course 
there is a lot of work to be done before these events can happen, but we are well on our 
way- thanks to the many volunteers that have donated their time. Clients and artists 
alike wielded sledgehammers, drills, saws and sanders. Without their enthusiasm we would 
have thrown in the towel. A big thank-you to our emerging and professional artists 
that have transitioned with us. Without them we would not be able to continue hosting 
exhibitions, fundraisers and events that help keep Andersonville a cultural destination 
in Chicago ...

Thanks again to everyone that has shown us so much support and love during this 

tough move!

Reopening celebration & Exhibition:
Friday December 7th from 6-10pm.

We will also participate in Andersonville's
"Late Night and Late-er Night" Holiday events:
Friday November 30th, and Friday December 14th

Friday, November 16, 2012

Las Manos Gallery needs one more layer of paint!

Gallery Owner Michelle Peterson-Albandoz hopped around on one leg after stepping in some wet paint on Friday. The gallery space is almost complete- one more coat on the floor, a few touch-ups here and there and we'll be ready to roll! Feel free to stop by during our hours even if we're not quite ready yet- we love the support!

Holy Mammoth!

Our new neighbors- Woolly Mammoth Antiques(1513 W. Foster) will be hosting a fabulous event & raffle tonight. Get your tickets for $5- which includes a cup of hot cider! Las Manos Gallery will stay open late as well to celebrate the eve!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We'll miss you Kate...

We're so sad to report that Kate Mooneyham, a fellow artist and Las Manos Gallery Muse, has passed away. We wish her family strength through this very difficult time. We'll miss her visits and enthusiasm a great deal...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Juan Fernandez at Las Manos Gallery

Juan Fernandez

Artist Statement

The Known Unknown

In my work, the viewer's perception is constantly in question. The Known Unknown continues with this thread of investigation, while also addressing the seemingly impossible concept of the universe. As long as the sky has been seen by human eyes, we have struggled to comprehend its contents. I use common materials, such as Styrofoam, paper, glue and plexiglass to make studio based photographic references to the overwhelming proposition that is our universe.

The images compel the viewer to be analytical. The audience is introduced to a black and white image of the depths of space. As the investigation continues, it is a realized that hole-punched paper stands in for stars, while Styrofoam and glue exist as powerful wisps of magnetic plasma. The use of such common materials asks the viewer to examine connections between abstract astrophysics, everyday materials and their own existence.

When It All Ends, 2012 40" x 50"

The Edge of the Universe, 2012 40" x 50"

Las Manos Gallery mentioned in Chicago Artists Resource!


For full article click HERE

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Goodbye 5220 N. Clark St...

-Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, (clockwise from top right) Larry Vodak, Michael McGuire and Jim Peterson take 
down the gallery sign.

After 14 years at 5220 N. Clark St., Las Manos Gallery took its leave on Wednesday afternoon. Thank
goodness the gallery had a place to go- 1515 W. Foster Ave will open for business in the middle of this month.

Thanks again to everyone who helped wrap artwork, clean, lug, move, drag and roll a decade's worth of
inventory to its new place! Special thanks to Paul Clark, Donald Lyons, Michael McGuire, Jim Peterson,
Tricia Rumbolz, Jay Fernandez and Mieke Zuiderweg for helping us through this transition. We would NOT
have been able to do this without your help.

-The last walk through the old gallery space before giving up the keys. We hope that whatever business 
takes over the space does as well as the gallery has in the past.

Join us at 1515 W. Foster this November for new works by artists Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, Michael
McGuire, Mark Pease, Juan Fernadez and Doug Reyes!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Equality Illinois hosts "Women's Social" at Las Manos Gallery!

Purchase your ticket online today!

With the cooler weather and leaves changing color, that means it's time for the highly anticipated Equality Illinois Fall Women's Social.  Tickets are already starting to go fast for this year's Social taking place Saturday, October 27 from 4 to 7pm at Las Manos Gallery (5220 N. Clark St. in Chicago).  

Your $50 ticket includes complimentary open bar, food, and many great raffles and giveaways!  It also supports the important and urgent work that we are doing to achieve full LGBT equality.  This will be your last opportunity to see Las Manos in it's current location and mingle with friends while viewing fabulous art.   This Andersonville art gallery has been a staple of its neighborhood and will have a special exhibit on display showcasing work by great Chicago artists.

The work Continues on the new space...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Congrats to Eric Gushee!

Congratulations to Artist Eric Gushee on his show at the The Ukrainian Institute of Modern  Art! We can't wait to have a few more of your creations back at our new space!

Thank you Volunteers!

Las Manos Gallery is close to moving into its new space on 1515 W. Foster Ave.

We love the volunteers and friends of the gallery that appeared and picked up  hammers and glue guns!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New Works by Tricia Rumbolz

"6 Colors, 39 Combinations" Colored ink on paper, detail of individual color wheel at right.

"English Alphabet Cluster I & II" White ink on wood panel.

"4 points, 643 lines/3 points, 369 lines/2 points, 183 lines/1 point, 131 lines" Archival ink on wood panel

Friday, October 5, 2012

Las Manos Gallery exhibitions at 5220 N. Clark AND 1515 W. Foster tonight!

Our last show at 5220 N. Clark St is tonight from 6-10pm!

Owner Michelle Peterson-Albandoz tears the brown paper off the windows at 1515 W. Foster, the new location for the gallery.
Tonight will be a soft opening at the new space since the renovation process has just started. Join us for music, drinks and
food at both 5220 N. Clark AND 1515 W. Foster tonight!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cerveza Indio Beer sponsors Las Manos Gallery Event!

Thank you to Cerveza Indio beer and Urban Orchard for providing refreshments and food for the Chicago October Artists
Month Exhibition at Las Manos Gallery on Friday, October 5th from 6-10pm!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Las Manos Gallery Chicago Artists Month opening on Friday, October 5th!

"Catalyst Remastered in Analog" by Jason Hawk

Don't forget Las Manos Gallery's last exhibition at 5220 N. Clark St. is this Friday, October 5th from 6-10pm!

The Migrating Artists: Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, Michael McGuire, Juan Fernandez, Mark Pease, Tricia Rumbolz, Jay Fernandez, Paul Clark, Mieke Zuiderweg, Jason Hawk, Steven Green and Matthew Best.

Michelle Peterson-Albandoz takes her theme of digital landscape one step further during this Chicago Artists Month exhibition.  For Peterson-Albandoz, technical overload leads to the abstraction of information. Continuous access to computers, smart phones and tablets causes a constant stream of data into our conscience. The ability to focus diminishes over time, only letting us pull fragmented bits of information that don't amount to much.
 To capture this disconnect, Michelle has created words and sentences with stencils using layers of paint on wood. This information is then cut down, deconstructing the meaning and leaving only pulses of recognizable letters. By layering them together, Michelle taps into the sporadic focus that is our attention span.

Jason Hawk debuts a new collection of metal sculpture this group show. Hawk, who works in casting, fabrication and forging, has taken a more delicate turn in this series titled “Fabricated Landscapes.”
 The pieces, which spindle into space, manage to look like they cannot hold their own weight- a difficult effect to achieve in this material. Ancient-looking platforms collide with industry-inspired forms that host graffiti art and small human figures to set the scale. This fantastical content lets the viewer instantly create their own narrative- exactly what Jason wants of the work.  

Remember- Las Manos Gallery will be moving to its new location at the beginning of November! Walk a few steps down past the gallery to our new space at 1515 W. Foster Ave in Andersonville

Friday, September 28, 2012

Las Manos Gallery takes part in Andersonville Arts Weekend!


Work has started on Las Manos Gallery's future home at 1515 W. Foster Ave! A back office area will be removed to create a clean and continuous space leading to an art salon for smaller works. 

If you're feeling helpful and want to lend a hand in re-establishing the gallery, please join us at the new space on either Saturday or Sunday October 13th and 14th from noon-5pm. We could always use a few extra hands to scrape, move debris and add a new coat of paint!

Thank you for the support!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Migrating Exhibition at Las Manos Gallery!

"Migrating" Exhibition
Friday, October 5th, 6-10pm

Las Manos Gallery celebrates its last 30 days at 5220 N. Clark St. in Andersonville with the exhibition "Migrating" as part of Chicago Artist's Month on Friday, October 5th at 6pm. The gallery has been pushed out of its location after 18 years in the community, but will relocate down the street into a more streamlined space.

Las Manos Gallery got its start in Andersonville in 1994 with only $495 in monthly rent. A lot has changed since then, including the gentrification of a neighborhood that once sported more empty storefronts than filled ones. Unfortunately for the gallery, the time has come to make way for bigger, more profitable business. We will take our leave from 5220 N. Clark Street at the end of October, but as with any unexpected ending, a new beginning has presented itself. A smaller storefront is opening up at 1515 W. Foster Ave., just a half block down from our current location. The space is gritty, but there is great potential to recreate the gallery's unique environment. We hope to renovate in October and November and reopen to the art-loving public soon after.

Please join us on October 5th to celebrate the Chicago Artists that have made the gallery great over the past two decades. Please keep our new location in mind when you stroll the streets of Andersonville in the future- we'll be in our space on Foster Avenue nestled between Clark and Ashland.

The Migrating Artists:
Michelle Peterson-Albandoz
Michael McGuire
Juan Fernandez
Mark Pease
Tricia Rumbolz
Jay Fernandez
Paul Clark
Mieke Zuiderweg
Matthew Best

Steven Green
Jason Hawk

Help Las Manos Gallery Transition into a new space!

Las Manos Gallery moving to a new location in November!
1515 W. Foster Ave, Chicago, Il. 60640
Although we are not ready to depart our location on Clark Street, we have decided to bow out and start over. It is hard to fight progress in the name of profit when, like many cultural touchstones around the city, we struggle to keep afloat during this recession. Fittingly enough a storefront has opened up at 1515 W. Foster Ave., a block from our current space, but more importantly it is still located in Andersonville.  The space is gritty, but there is great potential to recreate the gallery's unique environment. We will renovate in October and reopen to the public soon after. We hope that we can continue to serve artists from around Chicago and remain a vital part of this city’s cultural identity.

If you would like to help Las Manos Gallery re-establish in Andersonville please join us for our "Construction Party" on Saturday/Sunday October 13/14 from noon-5pm. Bring a paint roller, some work boots and unbridled enthusiasm!

Thank you for the support!

Las Manos

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Just a fitting quote...

Financially, Chicago has the third largest creative economy in the U.S., with 24,000 arts enterprises, including nearly 650 non-profit arts organizations, generating more than $2 billion annually and employing 150,000 people. Chicago’s creative vibrancy creates jobs, attracts new businesses and tourists, and improves neighborhood vitality and quality of life.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Help Las Manos Gallery Stay Open!

Dear Friends of Las Manos Gallery,

After serving Chicago and its artists for nearly two decades we are sad to report that our landlord, through Cagan Management, has declined to renew our lease at the end of October 2012.

Las Manos Gallery moved to the community in 1994, bringing with it the culture that helped create the vibrant Andersonville of today. It was one of the first aesthetic pioneers in the area, paving the way for design-based businesses to set up residence in empty storefronts. Today "Design Alley" is thriving, but seems to have less room for places like Las Manos. The gentrification of neighborhoods often means pushing out the long-term establishments in exchange for chain stores that can afford inflated rents. Andersonville deserves to keep its culture!

The gallery's contributions reach far beyond simple commerce. Scores of artists show their work at Las Manos, and for many of them the gallery is their main if not sole source of income. It employs architects, wood workers and many other professionals.
The business is a rare outpost of art on the North Side.

The many events that take place at Las Manos bring in people from all over the city, and whether they buy art or not, they fan out into Andersonville and support its businesses. Las Manos has also raised tens of thousands of dollars for charities both close to home and around the globe. Non-profits like Equality Illinois, Engineers Without Borders-USA and Greyhound Rescue have benefited from art auctions and promotions provided by the gallery. 

Las Manos is not ready to shut down. The gallery increases the value of this neighborhood and provides a great deal of support to many people. We feel this assault on culture should not be allowed to happen! Please join us in trying to turn the tables on this horrible situation- consider writing a sentence or two in opposition
to this forced closing.

Thank you for the support over the years,

Owner Michelle Peterson-Albandoz & Las Manos Gallery Artists

Email us your support:

Letters from Supporters:

I am writing as a member of the Andersonville business community and as a volunteer for an organization, called Engineers Without Borders, to attempt to persuade you to re-new an affordable lease for Michelle Peterson-Albandoz and the Las Manos Gallery at 5220 North Clark.  This gallery is one of the unique reasons that the Andersonville neighborhood is so distinctive and worth inhabiting and visiting.  They are a business that creates culture and character that draws so much foot traffic and profitability for it's business neighbors, who go to this neighborhood for things, like this gallery, that can NOT be found anywhere else, then eat in local restaurants and continue to shop locally.  I know of another local business on Clark that moved in partially as a result of the "design community" atmosphere that Las Manos has helped to create.  If this lynchpin gallery were to move, other restaurants and retail stores that Cagan manages will also likely suffer a loss of revenue.  Quality arts groups, like Las Manos, embellish and ennoble their communities in ways that can not be accounted for directly, until their loss is felt in underserved neighborhoods.  There is a symbiotic economic relationship which Las Manos creates within its community that can not be understood when one just considers eliminating one business for the profits of another.

People can get a Starbucks coffee anywhere, but this is an extremely high quality enterprise that is committed to being a positive resource for the arts, artists and a larger community.  Through the volunteer efforts of Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, Mieke Zuiderweg at the gallery and the charity of a stable of over 20 professional artist associates that donated work for a silent auction in May, our Chicagoland Chapter of Engineers Without Borders was able to raise over $6,800 for an international clean water program, for which we volunteer.  If this gallery were to leave this neighborhood, organizations like ours have lost an ally that we could not recover.  Starbuck's can not replace this wonderful business.  Can you understand what a remarkable act of effort and generosity that Ms. Peterson-Albandoz made for our group this year and casually continues to make for other charities in the city?  Wouldn't you wish to find a way to allow this tenant to continue to operate and benefit all businesses and residents of this community?  What if your profit margins for a new tenant were to increase marginally? Is that a reason to terminate such a civic-minded business?  Does your building owner only know the cost of things, but the value of nothing?

I ask that you please consider negotiating further with Ms. Peterson-Albandoz on the lease to keep the North Clark community unique and vital. 

Thank You,
Jim Hall
The Hicks Architectural Group
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology
Volunteer, Engineers Without Borders Chicagoland Chapter


I understand from Michelle Peterson-Albandoz that Cagan Realty has declined to renew the Las Manos lease. Las Manos has been a vital part of Andersonville since 1998, and its contributions reach far beyond simple commerce: scores of artists show their work at Las Manos, and for many of them, 
Las Manos is their main if not sole source of income, and Las Manos is a rare outpost of art on the North side. Peterson-Albandoz employs architects and designers and other professionals. The many events that take place at Las Manos bring people from all over the city, and whether they buy art or not, they fan out into Andersonville and support its businesses when they visit. Las Manos also has raised tens of thousands of dollars for charities both close to home and around the globe. 

Given that Las Manos seems to fit so squarely within the intent of the recently released Cultural Plan and actually has operated for years as a bellwether, I'm reaching out to you now to ask for your leadership and advocacy in endeavoring to persuade Cagan to rethink its position and renew the Las Manos lease. 

Susana Darwin 
West Andersonville Neighbors Together 


I cannot think of gallery with a more interesting roster of artist -- both well established and new -- and I cannot imagine a better use of the space. Or a better addition to a neighborhood.

Chuck Thurow
Executive Director, retired
Hyde Park Art Center


Andersonville has long been upheld as an example of one of the truly unique neighborhoods in Chicago: eclectic, diverse, cultural and welcoming. Part of the charm for me, a relocated New Yorker, is that neighborhood feel that comes from the mix of generations. Andersonville thrives because it has not lost its connection to its Swedish roots, yet has managed to attract artists, designers and restaurants. 
I do not pretend to know the financial or business relationship between Las Manos Gallery and its landlord, yet barring a complete breakdown in communication or long term lack of payment of rent, I cannot see any true gains for either Cagan management or the city of Chicago. With so many businesses closing, with dozens of empty store fronts throughout our region, why add to the downturn? Having a thriving, vibrant business gives the appearance of succes even in times of fnancial stress. Surely, as business and development people, you can see the advantage of this kind of advertising. The gallery is also a primary source of income for many of those that shop in surrounding stores, eat at the local restaurants. Dry up their income, and your neighbors go down, too.
I urge you to reconsider your decision not to renew the lease for Las Manos Gallery. Work with Michelle. Ask the city for guidance. Keep Andersonville from becoming a suburban strip mall, and instead support your neighborhoods diversity.

Rita Grendze


It is very sad that I hear today of your unwillingness to renew the lease for Michelle and Los Manos Gallery. I have shopped in her gallery since its earliest days and some of my favorite art hanging on my walls and the walls of dear friends has come from her gallery---and specifically from her hands.

Michelle has been a breath of fresh air for Andersonville and has been steady in her support of the neighborhood and her fellow business owners. She’s never had a bad word to say about anyone in our community and the loss of her gallery would be tragic to say the least.

Please consider art for art’s sake…but also consider the vibe she’s helped to create along this street and reconsider your decision. Please renew her lease so she may continue the good fight!

Long Live Las Manos!


Paul Dooley


I am shocked and dismayed by the possibility of Las Manos closing. The gallery provides a welcome respite and a diverse contribution to the neighborhood. It is unique to have a neighborhood gallery of such quality and talented stable of artists. It would be a sad statement on the gentrification of Andersonville if one of the pioneers and supporters of the neighborhood were forced to close!

In support of Las Manos!!

Michael Calogero


I am appalled to hear that this long time cultural establishment is being ousted of its current home for what will most likely be an establishment that offers no real creative outlet for the artist in the area. The denizens of not only Andersonville but all the neighborhoods in Chicago will be losing an incredible gallery that has hosted substantial and significant artists and large scale exhibits. For many people, this a local way to immerse themselves in art and in the lives of the artists not only in their community but surrounding neighborhoods as well. I urge you to please find a way to keep this gallery open. In an era where our history is being uprooted and erased in exchange for a quick buck, it will become clearer to us the sacrifice we've made for maximizing profit but comprising character at which point it will be too late. 

Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

Adriana Heredia


Writing in support of Las Manos.  It would be a terrible loss to the neighborhood if the gallery were to close.  I truly look forward to every exhibit and Las Manos is a destination for me coming from the western suburbs.  I find the work to be uniquely interesting and surprising.  It is always a pleasure to see what's new and gallery staff are always helpful, welcoming and lovely.  Las Manos adds immensely to the Andersonville business district, in my opinion, and such galleries that show "accessible" fine art are few and far between anywhere!  Please don't leave.
Sincerely - Nancy Hejna


Las Manos Gallery has been my Chicago favorite since I moved here 5 years ago. You and I have met and talked several times between openings and my being a frequent visitor.  I'm a local metalsmith and an elementary art teacher in Skokie.

Michelle Beatrice


I am shocked and dismayed that Las Manos Gallery is being forced to move!  I am positive that Las Manos has infinitely more fans than Cagan and is infinitely more of an asset to Andersonville!  I'm sure that you are aware that Las Manos is an attraction and destination point for many,  many Chicagoans and tourists who otherwise would be unlikely to visit Andersonville.  It was one of the earliest of the unique galleries and shops that now populate Andersonville.  It has,  for years, continued to be  an anchor of the Andersonville community and a catalyst for its growth.  The gallery embodies and defines the qualities that are special about the neighborhood.    I, for one, cannot imagine Andersonville without Las Manos, and am unlikely to continue to be a regular visitor to the neighborhood.
In addition to its enormous value to Andersonville, Las Manos is an invaluable, respected and beloved part of the art community in Chicago.  It supports, exhibits, inspires and mentors dozens of artists.  Through Las Manos, talented artists who otherwise would be unknown, have gained recogntion and success.  It is  unthinkable that the gallery might not survive.  What a loss to the entire Chicago art community!  
I do not know if Cagan owns the building.  If so, SHAME ON YOU!!!  If not, Cagan should have taken a leadership role in persuading the owner of the value of this tenant to the entire community, and Cagan should have been instrumental in mediating an economic deal which wouldbe acceptable to  the owner.
I, for one, am willing to invest whatever time necessary to be sure that tenants of other Cagan buildings, as well as any future tenant of the Las Manos space, know the harm that you are inflicting on the community.  I will make it a personal goal to see that Cagan will suffer from this outrage even more that Las Manos.
Lora Sanberg


Today in a Toronto gallery, a couple of Chicago residents boasted proudly to me about the quality of contemporary and conceptual work at Las Manos Gallery. So much so that it warranted my doing an internet search. It is definitely a galley space that I hope to one day visit and maybe even exhibit. News travels quickly—hoping to hear some good news about your gallery's lease renewal. 

Best wishes,