Managing an Independent Art Practice with Alake Shilling - BasBlue

Managing an Independent Art Practice with Alake Shilling

Managing an Independent Art Practice with Alake Shilling
Feb 21

Managing an Independent Art Practice with Alake Shilling

BasBlue // 3rd Floor // 110 E Ferry St Detroit, MI

Managing an Independent Art Practice with Alake Shilling

What does managing an independent art practice look like in 2023? Many artists view traditional gallery representation as the only pathway into exhibiting and selling their work. Through this program, in collaboration with Someday, Inc., we explore the entrepreneurship behind managing one’s own artistic practice - from creating original and commissioned artwork and time management, to self promotion and creating a business plan to support one’s practice.

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I’ve always found that a plush creature can soothe and comfort. I thought it would be interesting to have these characters embody the human condition so that the tables turn, making the viewer become an accessory of comfort. — Alake Shilling


About Alake

Alake Shilling (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) is a painter and sculptor of creatures, in a gelatinous rainbow style in debt to Lisa Frank as much as Peter Saul, bearing carefully coded emotions and driving rich narratives about companionship, risk and reward. In 2018, she presented the final exhibition at 356 Mission, an important artist-run space in Los Angeles, and her work is held in the permanent collection of the Hammer Museum, where it was showcased in the 2019 exhibition Dirty Protest. She participated in Fun House at Josh Lilley in the Summer of 2018, and represented the gallery at the inaugural Felix Fair in Los Angeles in February 2019.

Alake Shilling lives and works in Los Angeles.

Shilling notes “There is a dialogue between me and each character. The characters are more of an emotion. They embody a feeling.” Shilling takes additional influence from the natural world, collecting images of flowers, many of which are translated into her own visual vocabulary. She listens to Disco as her music of choice, drawing from glittering Disco album covers for inspiration, which appear in surprising moments of texture in her paintings. Shilling’s characters ultimately realize her childhood dream of creating her own visual lexicon of cute animals and plush creatures that were made to soothe and comfort, yet in her world embody the human condition in all of their imperfections. For her process, she starts with sketches on loose-leaf paper. Shilling elaborates “When I was younger, I could sit down and just paint all day—not eat, not go to the restroom, just keep going. [...] I am actually a very slow painter—it takes me a few months to finish one painting, and I think that’s because I have to reflect on the process. My paintings tell me what they want, and I have to listen.”Alake Shilling attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago followed by Los Angeles City College. She has had recent solo presentations at 356 Mission and Maitland Foley in Los Angeles. Shilling has been included in group shows at the Hammer Museum, The Rubel Family Collection, Jeffrey Deitch, Karma International LA, and Steve Turner. Her work is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum and The Rubel Family Collection.


Photo courtesy of Trotter

Members may bring one guest.

Please note that BasBlue requires all members and visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully Vaccinated — individuals are considered fully vaccinated 1) two weeks after their second dose in a 2- dose series (such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines); 2) two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine); or 3) has received an World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccination in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Please be sure to bring proof of vaccination to enter.

BasBlue is committed to protecting members, guests, staff and our community from COVID-19.

Date and Time

Tue, February 21, 2023

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM


BasBlue // 3rd Floor // 110 E Ferry St Detroit, MI

Hosted by

BasBlue Team


31 Remaining Seats / 40 Total Seats

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